Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings: Michigan Finally Falls

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?

For the first time in nine weeks we have a new team atop the Power Rankings. Michigan has finally fallen thanks to losing three of its last four games, but how far has it fallen and can it get back to the top before the end of the season?

Well I know the answer to one of those questions and the other one is best posed to your astrologist.

As for who the new #1 is, it's either Indiana or Michigan State. To find out which one you're going to have to keep reading.

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

1. INDIANA 22-3, 10-2 (129, 2) -- 2/16 vs Purdue, 2/19 at Michigan State

2. MICHIGAN 21-4, 8-4 (123, 1) -- 2/17 vs Penn State

3. MICHIGAN STATE 21-4, 10-2 (118, 3) -- 2/16 at Nebraska, 2/19 vs Indiana

4. OHIO STATE 18-6, 8-4 (105, 4) -- 2/17 at Wisconsin, 2/20 vs Minnesota

5. MINNESOTA 18-7, 6-6 (101, 5) -- 2/17 at Iowa, 2/20 at Ohio State

6. WISCONSIN 17-8, 8-4 (92, 6) -- 2/17 vs Ohio State, 2/20 at Northwestern

7. ILLINOIS 18-8, 5-7 (84, 8) -- 2/17 at Northwestern, 2/21 vs Penn State

8. IOWA 16-9, 5-7 (83, 7) -- 2/17 vs Minnesota, 2/21 at Nebraska

9. NORTHWESTERN 13-12, 4-8 (66, 9) -- 2/17 vs Illinois, 2/20 vs Wisconsin

10. PURDUE 12-13, 5-7 (59, 10) -- 2/16 at Indiana

11. NEBRASKA 12-13, 3-9 (47, 11) -- 2/16 vs Michigan State, 2/21 vs Iowa

12. PENN STATE 8-16, 0-12 (35, 12) -- 2/17 at Michigan, 2/21 at Illinois

Yes, that's right, the big news is that Illinois finally jumped ahead of Iowa. It may seem ridiculous that it took so long and that the difference between the two is still only a point, but statistically Iowa is pretty damn good and that makes up a whole lot of this formula.

Oh, and Indiana is the new number one, but Michigan holds on to second place even if Michigan State is creeping up on the Wolverines. Other than those changes the only difference in this week's rankings is the amount of points separating the schools.

Last week there was 35 points between #1 Michigan and #5 Minnesota. This week that gap shrinks to 28 points between #1 Indiana and #5 Minnesota. Also the gap between first and third last week was at 17 points and this week its only 11.

Down in the poll the chasm between the "bubble teams" and the "no chance in hell teams" has widened. There were only 4 points between Illinois and Northwestern in the #8 and #9 spots last week, but now there's 17 points between them. Which is a very big change. Like a 425% change.

Here's how the conference fared in points gained or lost this week.

Team (Points Gained/Lost)

1. ILLINOIS (10)

2. IOWA (6)

3. MINNESOTA (3)

3. WISCONSIN (3)

5. MICHIGAN STATE (2)

6. NEBRASKA (1)

7. INDIANA (0)

7. PURDUE (0)

7. PENN STATE (0)

10. OHIO STATE (-2)

11. NORTHWESTERN (-4)

12. MICHIGAN (-10)

GAME OF THE WEEK

While I'm going to make a point of watching Wisconsin and Ohio State battle on Sunday afternoon, there's really only one choice for this week's Game Of The Week. That would be the showdown between Indiana and Michigan State on Tuesday.

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

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