The Big ten is coming off a week packed with action not only among top contenders, but also with some of the best rivalry games the conference has to offer. At this point in the year, the conference title race is not only taking shape, but so is the NCAA Tournament bubble talk as some teams are solidifying their standing and other teams are starting to get in more treacherous standing. As of Monday morning, Wisconsin led the Big Ten title race with a record of 7-1 in conference play.
The BTPowerhouse Week 12 Big Ten Power Rankings consisted of 23 voters. A total of 14 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, Daily Gopher, Hammer & Rails, Land Grant Holy Land, On The Banks, and Testudo Times. With that, here are the BTPowerhouse Week 12 Big Ten Power Rankings:
Big Ten Week 12 Power Rankings
#1 - Wisconsin (Average 1.0)
The Wisconsin Badgers were close to being the unanimous selection for #1 last week, but fell just short. This week, after knocking off an impressive road win over Iowa, they are the unanimous #1 selection. Along with this, Wisconsin holds a 2 game lead over the entire conference and looks like they could be starting to pull away. The Badgers will get Indiana and Northwestern at home this week.
#2 - Ohio State (Average 2.2)
The Ohio State Buckeyes are newcomers at the #2 spot this week after getting a big home win over Maryland. Ohio State has now 3 games in a row and have not lost at home since their Big Ten opener against Iowa. The Buckeyes have their work cut out to challenge Wisconsin, but have winnable games on the road against Purdue and Rutgers this week.
#3 - Maryland (Average 3.0)
The Maryland Terrapins drop to #3 this week after dropping their only game of the week on the road against Ohio State. Maryland still looks like a serious contender at the top of the Big Ten, but they have lost 2 of their last 3 games and will need to regroup against Iowa on the road and Penn State at home this week.
#4 - Michigan State (Average 4.2)
The Michigan State Spartans had a solid week with a road win over Rutgers and an overtime win over rival Michigan. The win over the Wolverines was not as pretty as some Spartan fans would have hoped, but it's still a solid win for a team trying to secure an NCAA Tournament berth. They get Illinois at home this week.
#5 - Purdue (Average 5.4)
The Purdue Boilermakers jump up to #5 this week after knocking off wins over Indiana and Northwestern this week. Purdue remains as one of the most pleasant surprises of conference play and look like they will be a dangerous team for the rest of the season, especially at home. They get Ohio State at home and Minnesota on the road this week and have a chance to really move up the standings.
#6 - Indiana (Average 5.6)
The Indiana Hoosiers drop this week after losing to Purdue on the road and struggling to beat Rutgers at home. Indiana remains an offensively driven team that has shown it can play up with anybody, but can also struggle to beat mediocre teams at home. Consistency will be a major target for this team in coming weeks and with Wisconsin on the road and Michigan at home this week, it will be a challenge.
#7 - Iowa (Average 7.3)
The Iowa Hawkeyes are currently in a 3 game losing streak, but considering that those 2 of those losses came against Wisconsin and that the other was on the road against Purdue, it's not nearly as ugly as many would believe. This is still a quality team with two big games ahead of them. They get Michigan on the road and Maryland at home this week.
#8 - Michigan (Average 7.4)
The Michigan Wolverines had a mixed week with a dominating win over Nebraska at home and a narrow overtime loss to the Spartans on the road. Michigan is still doing very well for a team that has been decimated by injuries and illness, but it hasn't been quite good enough to secure the big wins. They get Iowa and Indiana next.
#9 - Illinois (Average 9.7)
The Illinois Fighting Illini survived their game at home against Penn State on Saturday despite being without key contributors Aaron Cosby and Rayvonte Rice. They will have to continue to try and get through their upcoming slate with Rutgers at home and Michigan State on the road this week.
#10 - Nebraska (Average 10.0)
The Nebraska Cornhuskers appeared to be turning the corner, but are coming off back-to-back road losses to Michigan and Minnesota. Due to this, Nebraska will have their work cut out to make any significant impact in March. They play Northwestern and Penn State this week.
#11 - Minnesota (Average 10.3)
The Minnesota Golden Gophers remained steadfast at #11 after splitting against Nebraska and Penn State. They will get Purdue at home this week.
#12 - Penn State (Average 11.9)
The Penn State Nittany Lions continue to play teams tough, but were unable to pull off a win against Illinois and split their games as a result. They get Maryland and Nebraska this week.
#13 - Northwestern (Average 13.48)
The Northwestern Wildcats extended their losing streak to 7 games after falling to Purdue at home last week. They will get Nebraska and Wisconsin this week.
#14 - Rutgers (Average 13.52)
The Rutgers Scarlet Knights extended their losing streak to 6 games this week after losses to Indiana and Michigan State. They will get Illinois and Ohio State this week and will have their work cut out to snap this streak.