With another week of action in the books, the Big Ten picture is finally starting to take some shape. Teams like Indiana, Michigan, and Minnesota appear to be trending up and teams like Michigan State, Northwestern, and Penn State look like they have some room to grow this season.
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 two Big Ten power rankings.*
Big Ten Week 2 Power Rankings
#1 - Indiana Hoosiers (308 Points) --
While Indiana didn’t score any major wins last week, it did take care of business with two blowout victories over UMass Lowell and Liberty. James Blackmon continues to do work in the backcourt and OG Anunoby and Thomas Bryant have been great upfront.
Indiana won’t face any significant challenges this week, but will get a tricky Fort Wayne team on the road in what could be a nice resume boost and Mississippi Valley State at home on Sunday. Considering that Fort Wayne is Indiana’s only road game of non-conference play, that figures to be a must win for the Hoosiers.
#2 - Purdue Boilermakers (264 Points) +1
The Boilermakers had a rough week as the team let one get off the hook on Monday against Villanova and were nearly upset at home against Georgia State. This team is still extremely talented, but continues to have the same problems (turnovers and three-point shooting) that it had last season.
While Purdue likely won’t get to face a team anywhere near Villanova’s caliber this week, it will get Utah State on Tuesday in Cancun and either Auburn or Texas Tech on Wednesday. Plus, Purdue should have a nice win lined up on Saturday against an underwhelming NJIT team. If the Boilermakers can get back on track, look for the team to move to 5-1 this week.
#3 - Wisconsin Badgers (261 Points) -1
The Badgers had the opportunity to score a marquee win last week on the road against Creighton, but let it slip away with a poor performance in the second half. Wisconsin rebounded with wins over Chicago State and Tennessee, but still has some room to grow if the team hopes to seriously contend for another Final Four appearance.
Fortunately for Wisconsin, it will likely get at least one shot at a major win in Maui and has an extremely winnable game at home against Prairie View A&M this week. If the Badgers can take care of business, the team should be in great position heading into the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
#4 - Michigan Wolverines (255 Points) +2
The Wolverines made a major splash last week after heading to New York and dominating the 2K Classic thanks to blowout wins over Marquette and SMU. Even if those two teams don’t end up being all that great, both should (at least) be in the NIT conversation and Michigan beat the two by 40 combined points.
Now, Michigan will go on the road to South Carolina hoping to add another quality win to its resume against a Gamecock program that’s been trending up in recent years and facing Mount St. Mary’s at home. Michigan should be favored in both games and could really help its resume this week if it can move to 6-0 on the year.
#5 - Maryland Terrapins (197 Points) +1
The Terps had an eventful week. In just three games, Maryland scored a nice rivalry win over Georgetown on the road, beat St. Mary’s (MD) by 48 at home, and then nearly fell to Towson at home on Sunday afternoon. Maryland did make it to 4-0, but the team continues to show some major holes. The pressure will continue to move up as Maryland prepares to face a Stony Brook team coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance and a decent Richmond team on a neutral court on Friday.
#6 - Michigan State Spartans (193 Points) -2
The Spartans went 2-1 last week with a loss to Kentucky in New York and two home wins over Mississippi Valley State and Florida Gulf Coast at home. The win over Florida Gulf Coast might have been controversial, but the Spartans still improved to 2-2. The team will now head to the Bahamas for a matchup with St. John’s on Wednesday, Baylor or VCU on Thursday, and potentially Louisville or Wichita State on Friday.
#7 - Ohio State Buckeyes (177 Points) --
The Buckeyes were another team that ranged in emotion last week. After nearly going down to North Carolina Central at home on Monday, the team came back and scored a much needed win over Providence on Thursday. Ohio State did push its record to 3-0, but one can help thinking that trouble could be on the horizon. The good news is that it likely won’t come this week with Western Carolina, Jackson State, and Marshall.
#8 - Iowa Hawkeyes (126 Points) --
The Hawkeyes split the team’s game last week, dropping a competitive game at home to Seton Hall and blowing out UT Rio Grande Valley on Sunday. The team still remains without a quality win on the year, but it should have ample opportunities left on the non-conference slate to do just that.
Iowa’s next opportunity will come this week thanks to a trip to Niceville, Florida to matchup against what looks like a Final Four caliber Virginia team. The Cavaliers are 3-0 on the year and have maintained an exceptional defense, allowing just 121 points through three games. Iowa will have to hope it can play better if it hopes to come out with a win.
#8 - Illinois Fighting Illini (126 Points) +2
The Illini continued the team’s fast start to the season last week with easy home wins over McKendree and Detroit. It’s certainly nice to be 4-0 on the year, but Illinois will enter this week looking for its first quality wins over the season against Winthrop and West Virginia. The difficulty level should raise quite a bit in the coming days.
#10 - Northwestern Wildcats (114 Points) -1
The Wildcats had a mixed week thanks to an easy win over Eastern Washington on Monday and a loss to Butler in the Gavitt Games. the team still looks a bit better than it did last year, but whether that can ultimately yield major results on the court remains to be seen. With a few marquee matchups this week in the Legends Classic, fans should find out if Northwestern is for real.
#11 - Minnesota Golden Gophers (94 Points) +1
The Gophers have been red hot to start the season and have already jumped out to a 4-0 record with two top 100 wins by double-digits. Considering that Minnesota only had two top 100 wins during all of last season, that’s a pretty big jump for the program. Things will remain tough, but with Arkansas and Southern Illinois at home, Minnesota could add even more to its resume this week.
#12 - Nebraska Cornhuskers (69 Points) -1
The Huskers may not have changed any headlines, but actually had a pretty good week on the court with two wins over Mary and Louisiana Tech. Neither team is expected to be great this season, but Louisiana Tech could be in play for a top 150 finish and Nebraska took care of business against the Bulldogs. Things will get tougher this week as Nebraska faces Dayton in Fullerton, California.
#13 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (47 Points) +1
The Scarlet Knights are 4-0 for the first time in over a decade and are still unblemished thanks to a huge road win over DePaul last week. Rutgers will now look to push its record to 6-0 with home games against underwhelming North Texas and Hartford teams this week. Rutgers still probably isn’t a great team, but the progress since last season has already been impressive. This is the first time in more than a calendar year that Rutgers has not been last (or worse) on BTP’s Power Rankings.
#14 - Penn State Nittany Lions (38 Points) -1
The Nittany Lions had a rough week and fell to just 2-3 overall after coming up short against Duke on Saturday and getting blown out by Cincinnati on Sunday. The team still looks pretty intriguing and has some nice pieces, but there’s no debating that there’s still room to grow. Penn State will have a chance to move in the right direction with games against Colgate and George Washington this week.
*- Please note these rankings were compiled before Monday’s games.