Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings: Change Is Coming

Matthew Holst

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?

If you haven't already read Will Leitch's first edition of the Fighting Illini Power Rankings, go do so now. It contains references to Flowers For Algernon which is the kind of literary reference you're just not going to see in my power rankings because, like Charlie Gordon, I can't read.

What you will see in my power rankings, though, are quite a few changes to the order of things in the Big Ten. Like I mentioned in last week's rankings, now that Big Ten play is underway there are going to be some swings in the rankings until we're deeper into the season. That is most certainly the case this week, though Michigan does still remain on top with Indiana behind it.

After that, things get interesting.

Team (Points, Last Week) -- This Week's Games

1. MICHIGAN 16-0, 3-0 (133, 1) -- 1/13 at Ohio State, 1/17 at Minnesota

2. INDIANA 14-1, 2-0 (124, 2) -- 1/12 vs Minnesota, 1/15 vs Wisconsin

3. MINNESOTA 15-1, 3-0 (115, 3) -- 1/12 at Indiana, 1/17 vs Michigan

4. MICHIGAN STATE 13-3, 2-1 (99, 6) -- 1/13 vs Nebraska, 1/16 at Penn State

5. OHIO STATE 12-3, 2-1 (91, 4) -- 1/13 vs Michigan

6. ILLINOIS 14-3, 1-2 (88, 8) -- 1/12 at Wisconsin, 1/17 vs Northwestern

7. WISCONSIN 11-4, 2-0 (85, 7) -- 1/12 vs Illinois, 1/15 at Indiana

8. NORTHWESTERN 10-6, 1-2 (74, 9) -- 1/13 vs Iowa, 1/17 at Illinois

9. IOWA 11-5, 0-3 (73, 5) -- 1/13 at Northwestern

10. NEBRASKA 9-7, 0-3 (52, 11) -- 1/13 at Michigan State, 1/16 vs Purdue

11. PURDUE 7-8, 1-2 (50, 10) -- 1/13 vs Penn State, 1/16 at Nebraska

12. PENN STATE 8-7, 0-3 (43, 12) -- 1/13 at Purdue, 1/16 vs Michigan State

In spite of the loss to Minnesota the Illini still move up a couple of spots thanks to the win over Ohio State and a couple losses from other teams. Statistically Iowa is still better than the Illini in most categories, but the fact the Hawkeyes are now 0-3 in Big Ten play is the main factor in them falling all the way from fifth to ninth this week. And yes, Ohio State is still ahead of Illinois despite the win, but that wouldn't be the case if we had beaten Minnesota. Also, you'll notice that Ohio State is 3 points ahead of us this week. Last week they were 31 points ahead of us. The gap has been closed.

Elsewhere the major climber is Michigan State who fell last week because of an opening loss in B1G play to Minnesota but made up the gap with two wins against Purdue and Iowa last week. However the Spartans still have some work to do if they're going to catch the top three.

GAME OF THE WEEK

You think the rankings look different now? Just wait until next week. I can't pick a single game to highlight this week because there are just too many good ones on the schedule as Michigan, Indiana and Minnesota are all involved with each other. Minnesota gets both Indiana and Michigan, and the Wolverines are playing two road games against Minnesota and Ohio State. In other words, we know Michigan is good, but we're going to find out how good this week.

Me just might have a new #1 next week.

Last week's rankings can be found here.

Follow The Champaign Room on Twitter at @Champaign_Room. You can follow Tom Fornelli on Twitter at @TomFornelli.

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