Big Ten Conference Standings
(updated 1.7.2011 at 2:00 AM CST)
|Illinois Fighting Illini||3||0||13||3|
|Ohio St. Buckeyes||2||0||15||0|
|Michigan St. Spartans||2||0||10||4|
|Minnesota Golden Gophers||1||2||12||3|
|Penn St. Nittany Lions||1||2||8||6|
Analysis after the jump
- Purdue, Illinois, Ohio State and Michigan State have all started off undefeated, Purdue and Illinois at 3-0, Ohio State and Michigan State at 2-0. This didn't come as a surprise. They all beat the teams they were expected to beat. This is really where it is going to come down to the games where any of these teams play each other, these games are going to decide who takes home the Big Ten crown.
- Wisconsin is sitting alone, at this point. They beat Minnesota and Michigan at home but lost at then-25th-ranked Illinois to start the Big Ten at 2-1. The Badgers next game is on January 11th at 19th-ranked Michigan State. This is where the Badgers need to make a statement. It isn't the easiest job to beat the Spartans at home, but if the Badgers want to contend, they have to prove they can win in games like this, if they do, watch out Big Ten, the Badgers are a serious threat.
- Minnesota, Michigan and Penn State are sitting together at 1-2. Minnesota, much like Wisconsin has a statement game coming up on January 9th at Ohio State. They need to start raking in wins. If they keep dropping games to ranked opponents in the Big Ten, like they have so far, it is bound to be a long ride. Michigan is going out of conference on Sunday to welcome the third-ranked, undefeated, Kansas Jayhawks into Crisler Arena. A win in that game would be a great boost to the team's moral as well as well as their NCAA Tournament resume, but good luck. Penn State started off a five game stretch of playing top 25-ranked teams on January 5th by taking on tenth-ranked Purdue. They lost that game. I don't look for PSU to sit here much longer as I see them losing all of their next four.
- Northwestern, Indiana and Iowa have yet to get a Big Ten win and as a result, are sitting in last. What a turn of events for Northwestern. This was supposed to be the year that they got into the NCAA Tournament. But since Shurna has battled ankle woes, Northwestern finds themselves at the bottom of the Big Ten and on their way to another NCAA Tournament-less season. Iowa may be 0-2 but they are definitely showing signs of improvement, which is encouraging for Hawkeyes fans. Indiana is going through major struggles right now, so it's no surprise to see them 0-3.