Another week goes by in the season and another solid week or rankings for the Big Ten. Here is a look at how the B1G is doing in the latest rankings:
- #3 Ohio State
- #4 Wisconsin
- #5 Michigan State
- #23 Iowa
- Others B1G teams receiving votes: Michigan
- #2 Ohio State
- #5 Michigan State
- #6 Wisconsin
- #22 Iowa
- #25 Michigan
- Other B1G teams receiving votes: Indiana
This week saw Michigan drop from the AP and Indiana drop from the Coaches poll. Michigan State’s loss at home to North Carolina drops them from the #1 spot, but the B1G still has 3 teams in the top 10 for the 5th time in six weeks. No other conferences currently have 3 teams in the top 10. The B1G/ACC ended in a draw, but the conference still appears the best, and deepest, in the land.
#3 Ohio State had a win in the B1G/ACC challenge against Maryland last week. Two teams in front of them lost last week, so they moved up 2 spots. Their weak schedule so far has helped them along, with only two wins against anybody who’s anybody (Marquette and Maryland). And they don’t play anybody until they face Notre Dame in almost two weeks. They should enter B1G play as a top 3 team.
#4 Wisconsin is legit. Dekker is a stud. Bo Ryan always has his team ready. They may be the best team in the B1G right now. Being undefeated right now with their schedule was not unexpected, but it wasn’t guaranteed, either. They are playing better than I anticipated. They jump up 4 spots from #8 last week. Wisconsin should finish the next two weeks without a loss.
#5 Michigan State as the #1 team looked overrated. They were exposed against North Carolina. But I think it started earlier than that. After beating the then #1 Kentucky Wildcats, they put together lackluster performances against Columbia and Portland. This loss was in the definitely in the making. The bench may be the weakest Tom Izzo has had in years. MSU only plays once this week, against a down Oakland (2-7) team. They should, at least, hold steady at #5.
#23 Iowa... What can I say? I saw this team coming two years ago. No, seriously. Marble is legit. The loss, in overtime, against Villanova was tough, but they quickly recovered and beat ND in their game in the B1G/ACC Challenge. I think this ranking is about where they end up on the season. I see them as a legit top 5 team in deep – and I mean DEEP - B1G. And I will be even more impressed if they can get a win at a very tough Iowa State team on Friday.
Michigan. There is no way Michigan does not re-enter the top 25 this season. They are too talented of a team. But they are so young. And a very tough (the toughest in the B1G) out-of-conference schedule doesn’t help their rankings. But it does help in experience. I think these tough games – with another one coming Saturday against #1 Arizona – will help this young team in the long run. They will be battle tested and ready for the tough conference season.
Indiana. This is where I figured they would be all season. Right on the edge of the top 25 but mostly just out of it. They had a chance to get a big win against UCONN but came up oh-so-short. Then they respond by getting pummeled by Syracuse. If this team gets it together at the right time, they will make noise in the B1G. I see them just outside of the top 5 in the B1G right now, right in the same group as Purdue and Illinois.