The Big Ten regular season officially tipped off last Friday with 13 Big Ten teams in action and it continued through the weekend. Things got off to a hot start with Indiana and Michigan State in marquee matchups and some dominating performances from teams in Iowa and Wisconsin.
But where does that leave things across the Big Ten? We’ll have to take a look at the power rankings to see where things fit.
The BTPowerhouse Power Rankings is composed of votes from 48 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, Mike Wilson, Brendan Brody of Rush The Court, Alex Cook from MGoBlog, Andrew Kulha, Shawn O'Neal from Lindy Sports, and Jim Weber from Lost Lettermen among others. (Not all writers participated in each set of rankings).
With that, here are BTPowerhouse's week 1 Big Ten power rankings.
Big Ten Week 1 Power Rankings
#1 - Indiana Hoosiers (219 Points) --
No team in the Big Ten had a bigger win than Indiana as the Hoosiers traveled to Honolulu and scored a massive win over a fantastic Kansas squad. It was a showdown of epic proportions that Indiana found a way to win in overtime thanks to some great play from James Blackmon and Thomas Bryant.
Indiana will still have some questions to answer in the weeks to come, but with a pretty manageable slate over the next few weeks, there shouldn’t be many concerns just yet. The Hoosiers will get home games against UMass Lowell and Liberty this week and should improve to 3-0 with ease.
#2 - Wisconsin Badgers (210 Points) --
The Badgers only had one game over the weekend, but crushed Central Arkansas at home to open the season unbeaten. This was a stark departure form the team’s performance last year when it dropped a game to Western Illinois.
However, things will get more difficult with a road game against Creighton on Tuesday and a game against Chicago State later in the week. Wisconsin will be favored in both matchups and whether the team can go 2-0 in those games could tell a lot about the season to come.
#3 - Purdue Boilermakers (184 Points) --
The Boilermakers only played one game last week, but delivered in dominating fashion with a huge 109-65 win over McNeese State at home. The game was never competitive, but the team did see some nice moments from guards Carsen Edwards and Dakota Mathias that could signal things to come.
Of course, things will get much more challenging this week thanks to a showdown with Villanova on Monday night and a game against a tricky Georgia State team on Friday night. If Purdue can make it through those two games, that could really help it down the line on Selection Sunday.
#4 - Michigan State Spartans (183 Points) --
The Spartans only had one game last week and dropped it in excruciating fashion to Arizona in Honolulu, Hawaii. It was a back-and-forth affair where a Tum Tum Nairn three-pointer appeared to seal the deal before Arizona got a bucket right at the buzzer to grab the win.
Still, there were positives. For one thing, true freshman Miles Bridges looked impressive with 21 points and seven rebounds. Additionally, the Spartans played pretty well on the defensive side of the floor. Unfortunately, things won’t get much easier this week for Michigan State as the team faces Kentucky on Tuesday, Mississippi Valley State on Friday, and Florida Gulf Coast on Sunday.
#5 - Michigan Wolverines (150 Points) --
The Wolverines were another team that had two games against inferior competition over the weekend and came out at 2-0. Michigan recorded wins over Howard and IUPUI and played somewhere between mediocre and good during those games. The good news is that Michigan will face some real opponents this week thanks to a trip to the 2K Classic and will have the opportunity to prove whether it belongs among the top 25 teams or not. The first matchup will be with Marquette.
#6 - Maryland Terrapins (135 Points) --
The Terps were one of the more disappointing Big Ten units over the weekend as the team opened with a shaky win over American at home on Friday. Maryland still has an immense amount of talent on its roster, but it’s going to have to improve and quickly to get to where the program has been recently. With a road game against Georgetown and home games against St. Mary’s MD and Towson this week, the team will have to figure things out. And fast.
#7 - Ohio State Buckeyes (124 Points) --
The Buckeyes had just one game last weekend and looked relatively unimpressive in route to a road win over Navy. Many thought the game could be tricky, but Ohio State showed some red flags, despite grabbing the win. The team will now turn to matchups with North Carolina central and Providence this week to prove that its game against Navy was a fluke.
#8 - Iowa Hawkeyes (121 Points) --
The Hawkeyes reeled off two dominant wins over the weekend against Kennesaw State and Savannah State teams at home. Neither or those teams were all that good, but Iowa did show some nice signs for the year to come, especially with the play of Tyler Cook and Nicholas Baer. Iowa is still good enough to get into the NCAA Tournament conversation and it’s run will start this week with a home matchups against a quality Seton Hall team on Thursday and UT Rio Grande Valley on Sunday.
#9 - Northwestern Wildcats (83 Points) --
The Wildcats were another team with only one game over the weekend, but had a dominating win over Mississippi Valley State at home. Admittedly, that’s not great competition, but Northwestern did win by 31 points. Things will get far more interesting this week with games against Eastern Washington at home and Butler on the road. If Northwestern can stay unbeaten this week, the bubble talk will start to develop.
#10 - Illinois Fighting Illini (81 Points) --
The Illini looked like one of the Big Ten’s more improved teams this week and opened up the year at 2-0 with wins over Southeast Missouri State and Northern Kentucky. Admittedly, neither of those teams are great, but to win those two games by a combined 34 points is a big step forward after starting last season at 1-3. Illinois will get home games against McKendree and Detroit this week and should be in good shape to improve to 4-0.
#11 - Nebraska Cornhuskers (65 Points) --
The Huskers were the last Big Ten team to debut, but opened with an impressive 83-61 win over Sacramento State. Glynn Watson had 23 points in the win and looks like he could be something special for Nebraska this year. The team will get the University of Mary and Louisiana Tech at home this week.
#12 - Minnesota Golden Gophers (54 Points) --
The Gophers quietly scored a nice win over Louisiana Lafayette on Friday night and showed some real improvement from where the team was last season. Newcomers Amir Coffey and Reggie Lynch scored a combined 23 points and gave some legitimate reasons to believe this year will be different for Minnesota. However, things will remain tough this week with games against UT Arlington, Mount St. Mary’s, and St. John’s. Scoring three wins would be huge considering that UT Arlington and St. John’s are looking like top 100 teams this season.
#13 - Penn State Nittany Lions (33 Points) --
The Nittany Lions were one of the Big Ten’s more disappointing teams this week after splitting its games against Albany and Duquesne. This wasn’t a surprising result considering Penn State’s youth and inexperience, but it was still a setback for fans hoping to see major progress this season. Things will remain tough this week with a home game against Grand Canyon and a neutral court matchup against Duke.
#14 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (31 Points) --
The Scarlet Knights are 2-0 this season! Two wins and zero losses! I don’t even care if those two wins came against Molloy and Drexel, it’s still great to see Rutgers finally showing some positive momentum. We’ll see if it can keep things going against DePaul on the road and Niagara this week.