Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Because what the hell is the point of playing a sport if you aren't going to rank the teams involved in order of their POWER?
Last week The Champaign Room debuted its first set of Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings, and to the surprise of nobody, Indiana found itself in first place. Unfortunately for the Hoosiers, they were only able to hold on to that spot for a week before losing it.
Indiana slips to second place this week by the slimmest of margins, as Michigan jumps up to the top spot. How did Michigan do it? Well, of the statistics I rank these teams in to come up with their final score, Michigan ranks outside the top three of the conference in only one category: assists per game. They rank fourth.
Team (Points, Last Week) -- This week's games
1. MICHIGAN 10-0 (128, 2) -- 12/15 vs West Virginia, 12/20 vs. Eastern Michigan
2. INDIANA 9-0 (127, 1) -- 12/15 vs Butler, 12/19 vs Mt. St. Marys
3. OHIO STATE 7-1 (116, 3) -- 12/15 vs UNC-Asheville, 12/18 vs Winthrop
4. ILLINOIS 11-0 (96, 4) -- 12/16 vs Eastern Kentucky
5. MINNESOTA 11-1 (95, 5) -- None
6. IOWA 8-2 (89, 7) -- 12/15 vs Northern Iowa, 12/19 vs South Carolina State
7. NORTHWESTERN 7-3 (85, 6) -- 12/17 vs Texas State
8. WISCONSIN 7-4 (79, 9) -- None
9. MICHIGAN STATE 8-2 (71, 8) -- 12/15 vs Tuskegee, 12/18 @ Bowling Green
10. NEBRASKA 6-2 (66, 10) -- 12/15 @ Oregon, 12/18 vs Jacksonville State
11. PURDUE 4-5 (59, 11) -- 12/15 vs #22 Notre Dame, 12/18 vs Ball State
12. PENN STATE 5-4 (45, 12) -- 12/15 vs Delaware State
Now while there isn't a whole lot of movement in the rankings themselves, with only a few teams swapping spots here and there, the biggest climber this week was actually Ohio State. Last week the Buckeyes scored 104 points in the rankings and this week they're up to 116. A 12-point gain.
Which might not seem like much, but they're one of only three teams to gain points this week. The other two are Nebraska (2) and Michigan (1). Everybody else except for Penn State lost points, including Illinois which is now ahead of Minnesota by only a point.
All of which means the top three teams in the conference are only separating themselves further from the rest of the pack. While the difference between first and fourth is still 32 points, the difference between third and fourth grew from 4 points to 20.
And the reason the Illini lost points this week is obvious to anybody who watched the Norfolk State game.
Last week's rankings can be found right here if you want to compare and contrast.