Last week could very well have been the best week of conference play yet and featured some exciting games from top to bottom. Big Ten title contenders like Maryland and Wisconsin were faced with major road tests, NCAA Tournament contending teams like Indiana, Illinois, Michigan State, and Ohio State faced quality opponents, and teams like Michigan and Penn State nearly pulled off big upsets. As of Monday morning, Wisconsin led the Big Ten with a record of 6-1.
The BTPowerhouse Week 11 Big Ten Power Rankings consisted of 25 voters. A total of 15 voters came from the BTPowerhouse staff. The remaining 10 votes came from SBNation's Big Ten team sites. These sites included: Black Heart Gold Pants, Bucky's Fifth Quarter, The Champaign Room, Corn Nation, Crimson Quarry, Daily Gopher, Hammer & Rails, Inside NU, Land Grant Holy Land, Maize & Brew, and On The Banks. With that, here are the BTPowerhouse Week 11 Big Ten Power Rankings:
Big Ten Week 11 Power Rankings
#1 - Wisconsin (Average 1.03)
The Badgers not only remained at #1 this week, but they removed almost any doubt and were one vote away from being the unanimous pick for the #1 spot in these rankings after annihilating Iowa at home and beating Michigan on the road. Wisconsin gets some time off before facing Iowa on Saturday.
#2 - Maryland (Average 2.3)
The Terrapins split their games this week by losing to Indiana on the road and beating Northwestern at home. Maryland still looks like a serious contender at the top of the Big Ten, but they will have to show they can keep pace with Wisconsin against a tough Ohio State team on the road.
#3 - Indiana (Average 3.3)
The Hoosiers shoot up to #3 this week after beating Maryland at home and falling to Ohio State on the road. Most anticipated Indiana would lose given their challenging upcoming schedule, but to split against two challenging opponents is certainly a positive. They get rival Purdue and Rutgers this week.
#4 - Ohio State (Average 3.5)
The Buckeyes move up 2 spots this week after sweeping their games against Indiana and Northwestern and finally grabbing that marquee win their resume needed. With Maryland at home this week, there is a chance that Ohio State could make a big move up in terms of their resume and in the Big Ten race this week.
#5 - Michigan State (Average 5.6)
The Spartans slide down again this week after splitting games against Nebraska and Penn State. Michigan State still looks like a quality team, but they will have to cash in against a relatively forgiving upcoming schedule. They get Michigan and Rutgers this week.
#6 - Iowa (Average 5.8)
The Hawkeyes had perhaps their roughest week of the season. They got smashed by Wisconsin and lost to Purdue and watched star player Aaron White get injured. They will look to rebound against Wisconsin at home on Saturday in a game that could mean a ton to this team's March resume.
#7 - Purdue (Average 7.1)
The Boilermakers remain at #7 after splitting their games against Illinois and Iowa. Purdue remains a sneaky team that is 3-1 at home in conference play that looks like they could challenge a lot of teams this year. They get rival Indiana at home and then face Northwestern this week.
#8 - Michigan (Average 8.0)
The Wolverines stay at #8 this week after beating Rutgers on the road and narrowly losing to Wisconsin overtime at home over the weekend. This team is still trying to move ahead from the injury of Caris LeVert and look like they could be a dangerous team at home. They get Michigan State and Nebraska this week.
#9 - Nebraska (Average 8.8)
The Huskers might be the most overlooked team in the Big Ten right now. They are 4-1 in their last 5 games with their only loss coming on the road to Wisconsin. If they can play well on the road against Michigan and Minnesota this week, look out.
#10 - Illinois (Average 10.0)
The Illini split their games against Minnesota and Purdue this week and are trying to tread water without a heavily injured team. Luckily, they only have Penn State this week.
#11 - Minnesota (Average 10.5)
The Golden Gophers split their games against Illinois and Nebraska this week, but look like they are playing a little better and get Nebraska and Penn State this week.
#12 - Northwestern (Average 12.2)
The Wildcats actually move up this week despite two losses. Northwestern has been on the rough side of a bunch of close losses in the last few weeks topped by a narrow defeat against Maryland on Sunday.
#13 - Penn State (Average 13.2)
The Nittany Lions won their first conference game of the season against Rutgers last Saturday. Perhaps they can keep it going at home against Minnesota this week.
#14 - Rutgers (Average 13.5)
The Scarlet Knights have cooled off a lot since their win against Wisconsin, but get Indiana and Michigan State in a challenging stretch.
As we have explained in the past, anytime there is a vote that appears out of the ordinary, we make a note of it and try to get some comments from the voter. This week, it was the choice of Maryland over Wisconsin for the #1 spot. It's certainly reasonable to have a team over the Badgers at the top, but considering that every voter except one had Wisconsin as #1, it seemed notable.
"They lost to Rutgers, and went to overtime against a wounded Michigan team."
Overall, it looks like he is still holding that Rutgers loss and the fact that Michigan played them very close over the weekend against Wisconsin . Having been at the game on Saturday, I can say that I can see why Wisconsin struggled in a very good home environment for the Wolverines, but it certainly was not as impressive as some might have thought Wisconsin would play against a struggling Michigan team.