The Big Ten closed out its non-conference slate over the last week with some key matchups for the conference, but only a handful of truly meaningful games. However, with conference play on the horizon, this is one of the most important periods of the season for any team and will shape how the next few months unfold. It will be vital to see how things play out for top teams like Maryland, Ohio State, and Wisconsin and see if other teams like Penn State can validate their non-conference records. The Big Ten finished regular season non-conference play at 136-44.
The BTPowerhouse Week 7 Big Ten Power Rankings consisted of 23 voters. A total of 11 voters came from the BTPowerhouse staff. The remaining 12 votes came from SBNation's Big Ten team sites. These sites included: Black Heart Gold Pants, Black Shoe Diaries, Bucky's 5th Quarter, The Champaign Room, Corn Nation, Crimson Quarry, Daily Gopher, Hammer & Rails, Inside NU, Maize & Brew, On The Banks, and Testudo Times. With that, here are the BTPowerhouse Week 7 Big Ten Power Rankings:
Big Ten Week 7 Power Rankings
#1 - Wisconsin (Average 1.0)
The Badgers remained as the unanimous #1 yet again and rightfully so. Wisconsin closed out non-conference play with a road win over a good California team and a solid home win over a solid Buffalo team. With these two wins, Wisconsin closed non-conference play at 12-1 with their only loss against KenPom's #3 team in Duke.
#2 - Maryland (Average 2.30)
The Terrapins remained at #2 to enter conference play after pulling off a win over Oakland at home. Maryland finished non-conference play at 12-1 overall with several key wins over Arizona State, Iowa State, and Oklahoma State. The team's only loss came against KenPom's #2 team in Virginia.
#3 - Ohio State (Average 2.74)
The Buckeyes stayed at #3 this week after blasting Miami (OH) and a fringe Top 100 Wright State team at home in the final week of non-conference play. Ohio State finished the non-conference slate at 11-2 with their only losses coming against Louisville and North Carolina away from Columbus.
#4 - Minnesota (Average 5.1)
The Gophers moved up to #4 this week after extending their winning streak to 8 games. In total, Minnesota enters conference play at 11-2 overall with their only losses coming to an elite Louisville team and a pretty good St. John's team. Minnesota's biggest win at this point came against Georgia, but they have yet to play a quality team since late November.
#5 - Indiana (Average 5.2)
The Hoosiers dropped a spot after splitting to New Orleans and Georgetown over the final week of conference play. Indiana beat New Orleans pretty handily at home, but fell to a fringe Top 25 team in Georgetown in New York City. Overall, Indiana finished with a 10-3 non-conference record losing to Eastern Washington, Georgetown, and Louisville.
#6 - Illinois (Average 5.8)
The Illini slid to #6 this week despite winning their only non-conference game last week against Kennesaw State. Illinois had a rather inconsistent non-conference schedule, but finished at 10-3 overall with wins against Baylor and Missouri and losses to Miami (FL), Oregon, and Villanova.
#7 - Michigan State (Average 7.2)
The Spartans remained at #7 this week after beating The Citadel at home. Michigan State finished non-conference play at 9-4 with no marquee wins and losses to Duke, Kansas, Notre Dame, and Texas Southern.
#8 - Iowa (Average 7.8)
The Hawkeyes stayed at #8 after beating North Florida at home in a game that was a bit close for comfort. Still, Iowa finished non-conference play at 9-4 with no bad losses and a road win against North Carolina.
#9 - Penn State (Average 8.4)
The Nittany Lions stayed at #9 after closing out non-conference play with a win over Dartmouth and a winning streak of 10 games to push their non-conference record to 12-1 overall including wins over Akron, George Washington, and USC.
#10 - Michigan (Average 10.1)
The Wolverines moved up a spot this week after beating Coppin State at home. Michigan finished non-conference play at 7-5 overall with losses to Arizona, Eastern Michigan, NJIT, SMU, and Villanova.
#11 - Nebraska (Average 10.5)
The Cornhuskers dropped a spot after finishing their final week of non-conference play at 2-1. Nebraska had an overall non-conference record of 8-4 with losses to Creighton, Hawaii, Incarnate Word, and Rhode Island.
#12 - Purdue (Average 11.8)
The Boilermakers finished non-conference play with another bad upset against Gardner Webb that dropped them to an overall record of 8-5 with losses to Kansas State, Notre Dame, North Florida, and Vanderbilt as well.
#13 - Northwestern (Average 12.9)
The Wildcats finished non-conference play on a 3 game winning streak and with an overall record of 9-4. Northwestern suffered losses to Butler, Central Michigan, Georgia Tech, and Northern Iowa.
#14 - Rutgers (Average 13.9)
The Scarlet Knights pulled off a buzzer beater to beat Monmouth on the road and finish non-conference play at a record of 8-5. Rutgers suffered losses to George Washington, Saint Peter's, Seton Hall, St. Francis, and Virginia.
**Please note that rankings were compiled on Monday morning, but posting was delayed.***