After the first week or so of conference play, the Big Ten race has begun to start to come into place. Over the next few weeks, we will have an even clearer view of how things are going to go down. Let's take a look at how the Big Ten Powerhouse staff voted in this week's Big Ten power rankings:
Week 10 Power Rankings
#1 - Michigan State (Average - 1.2)
The Spartans pulled off two quality wins last week with a win over Ohio State on Tuesday and a win over Minnesota on Saturday. Though both teams have fallen a little bit in the advanced stats and in our power rankings, they are both quality wins that pushed MSU to 4-0 in the conference. MSU gets Northwestern and Illinois this week.
#2 - Wisconsin (Average - 1.9)
The Badgers continue their undefeated season. They only faced one team, but completely ran Illinois off the court in a game that looked competitive on paper. Wisconsin still has the easiest schedule of any of the top teams so any win for them is perhaps more significant than for others. They get Indiana and Michigan this week.
#3 - Iowa (Average - 3)
The Hawkeyes rose all the way to #3 with wins over Northwestern and Ohio State last week. The big one here is that win over OSU where most were picking the Buckeyes to come out with the win. Iowa is still probably a longshot to win the conference after losing that game against Wisconsin, but they certainly raised some eyebrows with that win over OSU. They get Minnesota on Sunday.
#4 - Ohio State (Average - 4)
The Buckeyes suffered two straight losses this week with a late collapse against MSU on the road in overtime and a bad showing at home against Iowa. Neither of these two losses are horrible, but they were key losses that puts OSU two games back from MSU and Wisconsin in the conference race. It will take some real work to get back in. OSU gets Minnesota on the road this week.
#5 - Michigan (Average - 5)
The Wolverines only played one game last week and eeked out a win over Nebraska on the road. Michigan has looked far from perfect, but get the nod here with an undefeated conference record and that road win over Minnesota. It might be a bit of a stretch to put Michigan with that top group, but they certainly have the inside road at this point to being the "best of the rest." They face Penn State and Wisconsin this week.
#6 - Minnesota (Average - 6.1)
The Gophers beat Penn State and fell on the road to MSU last week. Minnesota is 2-2 in conference play, but has a very challenging slate with OSU, Iowa, and Wisconsin up in their next three games. Don't be surprised to see them slide down a few spots.
#7 - Indiana (Average - 7.2)
Indiana only played one game last week and came up with a much needed win on the road against Penn State. The Hoosiers still don't have a marquee win this season, but they get the chance on Tuesday against Wisconsin.
#8 - Illinois (Average - 8)
Illinois had a terrible week. They lost on the road to Wisconsin and Northwestern. There isn't anything bad about losing to Wisconsin, but Northwestern's team this year is a wreck. A terrible loss.
#9 - Purdue (Average - 8.7)
The Boilermakers stayed put at #9 after beating Nebraska last week. They are still hinging between the middle and bottom group in the conference at this point. They get Illinois and Penn State this week.
#10 - Penn State (Average - 9.9)
The Nittany Lions held on to #10 this week, but actually moved closer in terms of scoring. They have a good shot at moving up even more with Michigan and Purdue this week.
#11 - Northwestern (Average - 11.4)
The Wildcats got their first conference win of the season and moved up a spot. This was a very good week for Northwestern and they will look to build on it against MSU and Indiana.
#12 - Nebraska (Average - 11.5)
The Cornhuskers remain winless in conference play and just barely slid down a spot. They have had a few chances to secure wins, but just couldn't convert. They will be searching for their first conference win next week.
Once again, it's kind of interesting to see where Wisconsin got selected. MSU rose up to #1 this week primarily based on that OSU win (at least I think), but what's interesting is that Wisconsin already beat Iowa who not only beat OSU this week, but is also rated higher on the power rankings. Why the Badgers are so far back is kind of surprising at this point, especially considering how much they have dominated teams like Illinois. Perhaps it will change if they can sweep Indiana and Michigan.
Towards the middle, the divide is pretty clear between Iowa, Ohio State, Michigan and everyone else. It's literally at least a 1 point drop between each team. There isn't much debate right now about where teams should be placed among BTP's staff. I think a big part of this was Illinois losing to Northwestern, who was pretty high on this list before the loss. I have a feeling this middle group is going to get a whole lot more clouded with games like Michigan at Wisconsin, Ohio State at Minnesota, and Illinois at Purdue ahead this week.
At the bottom, it's good to see Northwestern move up and get a little love. Also, noted above, the bottom group closed in on the bottom of the middle group. This could be something to watch. If Penn State keeps looking better, they may jump Purdue and it could make the divide between the middle and bottom a whole lot more confusing.