#1 isn't much of a surprise - Andy Lyons
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?
Admittedly we're a little late to the part considering the season started a month ago, but at the same time, doing power rankings after only a few games is a bit silly anyway. Still, much like I have a formula I use to rank football teams for my Blogpoll Ballot during the football season, I've developed a formula for ranking the Big Ten's basketball teams.
It's not exactly a complicated formula. I compare each team to every other team in the conference in all the major statistical categories you'd expect, plus their records of course. But I use stats like points per game, points against, offensive efficiency, rebounds, turnovers etc etc blah blah blah. When I'm done I spit out a point total for each team, and the higher the point total, the better team you are.
The highest point total any team can have is 144. The lowest they can have is 12.
So without further ado, here are The Champaign Room's inaugural BIG TEN BASKETBALL POWER RANKINGS OF POWER.
1. INDIANA 8-0 (132)
2. MICHIGAN 8-0 (128)
3. OHIO STATE 5-1 (104)
4. ILLINOIS 9-0 (100)
5. MINNESOTA 9-1 (98)
6. NORTHWESTERN 7-2 (97)
7. IOWA 7-2 (90)
8. MICHIGAN STATE 7-2 (83)
9. WISCONSIN 6-3 (81)
10. NEBRASKA 6-2 (64)
11. PURDUE 4-4 (62)
12. PENN STATE 4-4 (45)
Not surprisingly, there's quite the gap from Indiana and Michigan to the rest of the conference, and not surprisingly the teams ranked third to ninth aren't separated by all that much either (24 points separate Michigan and Ohio State, while only 23 points separate Wisconsin from Ohio State). Though I was a little surprised to see Michigan State ranked so low, as it's below both Northwestern and Iowa despite having the same record.
This is due to the fact that the Spartans have struggled quite a bit on offense so far this season and are also committing more turnovers per game than any other Big Ten team. Defensively, however, Sparty is doing just fine and I anticipate it climbing the rankings in coming weeks.
As for Illinois, it falls behind Ohio State because even though the Buckeyes do have a loss, they're ranked among the best in the conference in just about every category that really matters right now. Meanwhile only Penn State is allowing more points per game in the conference than the Illini are, and we're struggling with assists, turnovers and rebounds as well.