Rankings Analysis: The Shuffling Begins

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Now that conference play is well underway, the Big Ten pecking order has seen a few changes.

Another week, another fresh batch of polls and metrics for all of your informational needs. Here is how the conference fared:

AP Top 25

  • #3 Wisconsin (↑1)
  • #4 Michigan State (↑1)
  • #11 Ohio State (↓8)
  • #14 Iowa (↑6)
  • "#31" Michigan (↑4)
  • "#36" Illinois (↓13)

USA Today Coaches Poll

  • #3 Wisconsin (↑1)
  • #4 Michigan State
  • #9 Ohio State (↓6)
  • #16 Iowa (↑7)
  • "#31" Michigan (↑4)


Finally a shakeup at the top after Ohio State fell from its perch after losses to Michigan State and Iowa. I'd like to see Iowa a little higher than it is (near or above Ohio State), as they've always been playing quality basketball and now it's clear that they figure to be a major player in the conference race and perhaps beyond. Super lengthy team that can run and shoot? Yikes. Good to see Michigan starting to picking up steam (a little) in the polls. The Nebraska win may have been too close for comfort and they're definitively a notch or two below their preseason expectations, but they've looked pretty good since the Duke loss early last month and are good enough to be flirting with the Top 25. A win against Wisconsin on Saturday would do wonders for them. Illinois has lost all of its momentum and then some in the last week, they really need to beat Purdue on Wednesday before they meet the B1G's buzz-saws in four out of their following five games.

With those polls in mind, here are some key advanced metrics and how they've changed for each team in the last week:

KenPom RPI BPI Sagarin Average
Wisconsin (↑1) 2 (↑2) 2 (↓1) 2 (↑1) 2 (↑3) 2 (↑1)
Michigan State(↑1) 10 (↓4) 8 (↓4) 10 (↑1) 3 7.75 (↑0.25)
Ohio State (↓2) 7 (↓6) 13(↓6) 6 (↓4) 8 (↓6) 8.5 (↓5.5)
Iowa 5 (↑6) 21 13 (↓1) 4 (↑4) 10.75 (↑2.25)
Michigan (↑1) 21 (↓1) 51 (↑10) 21 (↑3) 16 (↑4) 27.25 (↑4)
Minnesota (↑1) 40 36 (↑8) 39 (↓2) 41 (↑9) 39 (↑3.75)
Illinois (↓2) 62 (↓19) 20 (↓9) 46 (↓19) 55 (↓16) 45.75 (↓15.75)
Indiana 60(↑3) 61 (↑14) 62 (↑6) 52 (↑9) 58.75 (↑8)
Nebraska 90 (↑4) 63 (↓15) 88 (↑3) 88 (↑8) 82.25
Purdue 95 (↓6) 84 (↓6) 87 (↑6) 79 86.25 (↓1.5)
Penn State 105 (↓10) 101 (↓17) 77 (↑4) 101 (↓10) 96 (↓8.25)
Northwestern 156 (↓6) 130 (↑25) 152 (↓8) 156(↑5) 148.5 (↑4)

(Note: These rankings are current through Monday)

That Michigan RPI is slowly working its way back up to making sense (#140 last month) and in turn the computers think the Wolverines are safe for a tournament bid right now. Illinois went from "bubble/in" to a hard "out" in one week, they have work left to do and their schedule moving forward won't do them any favors. Michigan State confuses me here, they've been dipping in the computers since before their win against OSU. They should be closer to Wisconsin. I think Indiana could move up to the bubble range with a win against Wisconsin alone, they really need a win like that to their name. The RPI loved Northwestern's win over Illinois but they uhh, they have some work to do yet.

What are your thoughts?

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