With another week in the books and the major non-conference tournaments finished, BTPowerhouse returns with its third set of Big Ten power rankings for the 2015-16 regular season. The conference had a mixed week with some teams like Michigan State and Purdue continuing to roll and teams like Ohio State and Rutgers struggling.
The BTPowerhouse Power Rankings is composed of votes from 45 writers that cover the Big Ten and three statistical measures (KenPom, RPI, Sagarin). This voting group is composed of BTPowerhouse's staff, 15 writers from SBNation's other Big Ten related sites, Steve Lorenz, Luke Srodulski, Josh Stephens, and Mike Wilson from 247Sports, Brendan Brody of Rush The Court, Alex Cook from MGoBlog, Andrew Kulha from Today's U, Shawn O'Neal from Lindy Sports, and Jim Weber from Lost Lettermen. (Not all writers participated in each set of rankings).
With that, here are BTPowerhouse's week three Big Ten power rankings.
Big Ten Week 3 Power Rankings
#1 - Michigan State Spartans (274 Points)
The Spartans played four games this week including a trip out west to the Wooden Legacy tournament. When all was said and done, Michigan State went 4-0 including four top 200 KenPom wins, two top 100 KenPom wins, and one top 50 KenPom win. Additionally, the Spartans won all four games by double-digits.
Overall, Michigan State received 70 percent of the first place votes this week. If Michigan State can continue to perform well, it's hard to see the Spartans dropping anytime soon either. Michigan State gets Louisville at home on Wednesday and a matchup with Binghamton on Saturday. It seems likely the Spartans will move to 9-0 this week.
#2 - Maryland Terrapins (252 Points)
The Terps played three games this week including two in Cancun with mixed results. Maryland actually did go 3-0 during the three games, but the Illinois State and Cleveland State games were certainly more competitive than most hoped. However, in the matchup with a solid Rhode Island team, the Terps looked like a true national contender.
Overall, the Terps received 20 percent of the first place votes. Now, Maryland will move on and face one of the best teams in the country on the road in North Carolina. The game is anticipated to be the major clash in this year's Big Ten-ACC Challenge and should keep fans excited. Maryland also faces St. Francis PA on Friday.
#3 - Purdue Boilermakers (249 Points)
The Boilermakers had a pretty quiet week, but did record a win over Lehigh on Saturday. The game was touch and go for awhile, but Purdue still ended up winning by 22 points. As of Monday, Purdue's closest game still remains its 15 point win over Florida. Not exactly a bad stat.
Overall, Purdue received 10 percent of the first place votes. This is going to be a key week for Purdue as the team gets Pittsburgh on the road on Tuesday and New Mexico at home on Saturday. These are two quality teams and if Purdue is able to sweep the two games, the team might finally start getting the recognition it deserves.
#4 - Iowa Hawkeyes (198 Points)
The Hawkeyes didn't have an outstanding week, but did have a solid enough one to move up. Iowa went 1-2 on the week, but had losses to quality Dayton and Notre Dame teams and blew out Wichita State on Sunday. Really, it wouldn't be shocking to see all three of those opponents in the NCAA Tournament and the Hawkeyes played well.
Overall, Iowa is now sitting at 4-2 on the season with wins over Marquette and Wichita State on its resume. If the Hawkeyes can score wins over a solid Florida State team and UMKC this week, Iowa would be sitting pretty eight games into the season.
#5 - Michigan Wolverines (191 Points)
The Wolverines had a good, but not great trip to the Bahamas during the Battle For Atlantis this week. Michigan went 2-1 with wins over Charlotte and Texas and the only loss came to a top 25 Connecticut team. Now, the Wolverines will get a major challenge this week with North Carolina State on the road. Michigan is sitting somewhere outside the top 25 range and a win might be enough to get the team back in the top 25 conversation. Michigan also gets Houston Baptist on Saturday.
#6 - Indiana Hoosiers (188 Points)
The Hoosiers were hoping for a thrilling trip to Maui heading into last week and instead got a massive disappointment. Indiana went 1-2 in Maui with losses to Wake Forest and UNLV and the lone win coming against an underwhelming St. John's team. It was a substantial blow to what Indiana was hoping to achieve in the event. This week, the Hoosiers get an underwhelming Alcorn State team at home and on Wednesday, the team goes on the road to face Duke.
#7 - Northwestern Wildcats (172 Points)
The Wildcats went 2-1 this week and actually had a pretty good performance despite the loss. The team had wins over Missouri and New Orleans and had the sole loss coming against a very talented North Carolina team. Northwestern still looks a step below the good teams, but should still be good enough to rack up some wins. Northwestern will face Virginia Tech on the road and SIU Edwardsville at home this week.
#8 - Nebraska Cornhuskers (128 Points)
The Huskers may have only gone 2-1 on the week, but the team actually performed really well. Nebraska got wins over Arkansas Pine Bluff and Tennessee by double-digits and narrowly lost to an undefeated Cincinnati team on a neutral court. Though Nebraska still hasn't shown it's anywhere close to being a great team, it has shown that it can be competitive and beat decent teams. Nebraska gets a very good Miami (Fl) team at home on Tuesday and Abilene Christian at home on Saturday.
#9 - Wisconsin Badgers (126 Points)
The Badgers went 1-1 last week, but had a pretty underwhelming performance. Wisconsin picked up an easy win on Wednesday against Prairie View A&M, but got handled pretty easily on the road against a top 10 Oklahoma team. The Badgers now sit at 4-3 overall and have a brutal week with Syracuse and Temple on the slate. If Wisconsin is going to make some NCAA Tournament noise this season, splitting this week would be huge.
#10 - Ohio State Buckeyes (83 Points)
The Buckeyes continued the disappointing season with two more losses this week. The first came at home on Tuesday to Louisiana Tech and the second came on Friday in overtime to Memphis. Neither opponent is terrible, but neither is great either. Both left real blows to Ohio State's long-term hopes.
Ohio State now sits at 2-3 overall and gets Virginia on Tuesday and VMI at home on Saturday. The odds will be slim, but Ohio State will have to hope to play spoiler against Virginia this week.
#11 - Minnesota Golden Gophers (82 Points)
The Gophers only had one game this week and it was a home matchup with Nebraska Omaha on Friday in a game that was far too close for comfort. Minnesota now sits at 4-2 overall with no quality wins on the resume at this point. Minnesota will not have a huge week with Clemson at home on Monday and South Dakota at home over the weekend. These are games that the Gophers need to find a way to win.
#12 - Penn State Nittany Lions (65 Points)
The Nittany Lions split the team's games this week with a loss to Radford and a win over Bucknell. Penn State is 3-2 overall and doesn't have a great resume, but is slowly putting together wins. Penn State will get two more tricky games this week with Boston College on the road and Eastern Michigan at home. Neither team is a sure win and most likely, Penn State will split these games.
#13 - Illinois Fighting Illini (62 Points)
The Illini are finally starting to look like a decent team. Illinois got Kendrick Nunn back and beat a respectable UAB team pretty easily on Friday and narrowly lost to a very good Iowa State team on Saturday. In fact, if Mike Thorne hadn't gotten banged up, the Illini might have beaten Iowa State. This team looks better, but is still at 3-4 and desperately needs to win games. Illinois gets Notre Dame and Western Carolina at home this week.
#14 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (30 Points)
The Scarlet Knights are 3-3 on the year and have reached that record in unimpressive fashion. The three wins came at home to uninspiring teams and the three losses weren't terrible, but two came by double-digits on neutral courts and one came to an underwhelming St. John's team. Rutgers will get solid Wake Forest and Seton Hall teams at home this week. If Rutgers can even split, it would be a huge boost to the team.