Week 13: Big Ten, Twelve Lead Conference Races; Michigan Only B1G Riser

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten slates five teams for the second week in a row, though four of the five failed to gain ground. Who's hot, who's not?

Week 13 brings the same results to the table for the Big Ten that week nine did in the polls. The Big Ten has five ranked teams, led by the Michigan State Spartans at seven. An otherwise positive season for the conference took a shot to the body as four of the five teams fell in the AP Poll by an average of just over five spots. The Michigan Wolverines were the only riser in the conference, jumping 11 spots in both polls. The full rankings from this week for the Big Ten are below:

AP Poll:

Rank Team Record Votes Previous
7 Michigan State 18-2 1251 3
10 Michigan 15-4 1050 21
14 Wisconsin 17-3 763 9
15 Iowa 16-4 722 10
24 Ohio State 16-4 143 17
Others Receiving Votes: Minnesota 5

USA Today Coaches' Poll:

Rank Team Record Votes Previous
6 Michigan State 18-2 621 3
12 Iowa 16-4 386 10
13 Wisconsin 17-3 368 8
14 Michigan 15-4 346 25
23 Ohio State 16-4 118 15

No others receiving votes

Conference Breakdown:

Conference Number of teams
Big Ten 5
Big Twelve 5
American Athletic 3
Atlantic Coastal 3
Atlantic 10 2
Big East 2
SEC 2
Missouri Valley 1
Mountain West 1
Pac 12 1

Who's Hot:

As noted above, the aforementioned Wolverines were the only risers this week among ranked teams, though they aren't alone in this week's "Who's Hot." The Minnesota Golden Gophers get a slight nod, though it'd be a bigger nod if they had found a way to beat upset minded Nebraska on Sunday. The Gophers started off the week scorching with a comfortable win against the Wisconsin Badgers and look to have a favorable stretch coming up. Home games against Northwestern and Indiana sandwich a road trip to Purdue in early February. Look for Minnesota to make a AP appearance sooner rather than later. Speaking of Nebraska, they are the second hottest team this week. Since the release of last weeks poll, Nebraska upset Ohio State at home, and also ruined Minnesota's week as well. The Nebraska Cornhuskers had a great week, and they look to keep up the momentum against Indiana this week. Michigan had one of the best weeks in program history, beating two top-ten teams since the last polls were released. It doesn't get much better than that as far as the Big Ten is concerned. Michigan has a stranglehold on the conference with three bottom-half teams coming up.

Who's Not:

Penn State and Ohio State, two squads set to square off on BTN Wednesday night both need a win to get them off of this list. After dropping four straight, a win against Illinois isn't quite enough to right the ship. Ohio State could see themselves fall, with back-to-back road games against Wisconsin and Iowa coming in the near future. To say this year is disappointing for the Fighting Illini would be an egregious understatement. After beating Penn State and Penn State to open conference play, Illinois has dropped six straight, and they too have Iowa and Wisconsin back-to-back in the coming weeks. The Illini need a win Saturday unless they want to set up camp on the "Who's Not" list.

Notables Nationwide:

A quick look at the AP Poll shows that the Pac-12 only has one ranked team in Arizona, which speaks to the lack of depth out west. Two of the top-five slots are taken by mid-majors, and only the Big Twelve has two top-ten teams alongside the Big Ten. The Texas Longhorns made their first appearance in the AP Poll since the 2011 season. Arizona received 63 of the 65 first place votes; Syracuse were given the other two.

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