Last week had a lot of wild finishes for the Big Ten. Not only did Indiana go down in shocking fashion on the road, but Michigan and Michigan State both had struggles as well. Although Maryland and Wisconsin grabbed some nice wins, it was an unsettling week that left many things up in the air for the conference.
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 three Big Ten power rankings.*
Big Ten Week 3 Power Rankings
#1 - Indiana Hoosiers (175 Points) --
The Hoosiers may have started the season off with a bang thanks to a huge win over Kansas, but the last week wasn’t too kind. Although Indiana did knock off Mississippi Valley State at home, the road loss to Fort Wayne in overtime was a crushing one that could hurt the team on Selection Sunday.
However, Indiana can put those struggles in the rear-view mirror this week with home games against North Carolina, SIU Edwardsville, and Southeast Missouri State. Three wins could dynamically impact Indiana’s resume at season’s end and put the Hoosiers back in contention for a number one seed.
#2 - Purdue Boilermakers (172 Points) --
The Boilermakers rebounded well last week with key wins over Utah State, Auburn, and NJIT. While none of these three can replace the missed opportunity against Villanova, they should help boost Purdue’s resume.
The good news is that Purdue will get two more opportunities to add wins this week on the road at Louisville and at home against Morehead State. If the Boilermakers can find a way to upset Louisville, it might be time to start really analyzing Purdue’s conference title chances.
#3 - Wisconsin Badgers (155 Points) --
The Badgers went to Maui without a marquee win last week, but returned with two in the bag. Wisconsin knocked off Tennessee and Georgetown before falling to North Carolina and then returned home for an easy win over an underwhelming Prairie View A&M team.
Wisconsin will now get an opportunity to really build its resume this week with home matchups against Syracuse and Oklahoma this week. Both are projected to make the NCAA Tournament and the Orange are coming off a Final Four trip last spring. If the Badgers are going to make a serious run at a one seed, it probably starts this week.
#4 - Michigan Wolverines (131 Points) --
The Wolverines had a lackluster week after falling on the road to South Carolina and taking down Mount St. Mary’s at home. Although the team is still 5-1 with two nice wins, Michigan’s offense was extraordinarily awful against South Carolina and raised serious concerns about its long-term chances.
Michigan will now get a similar schedule this week with a good Virginia Tech team at home on Wednesday and Kennesaw State at home on Saturday. Two wins would really help the Wolverines recover from what was truly an ugly outing against South Carolina last week.
#5 - Maryland Terrapins (130 Points) --
The Terps need to start giving out free heartburn medication at games. Maryland went 3-0 last week with wins over Stony Brook, Richmond, and Kansas State, but Maryland continues to play things right on the edge. The Terps now have five wins by 10 points or less, including several that came within the final minute or overtime. Unfortunately for Terp fans with heart problems, things will likely remain stressful with Pittsburgh and Oklahoma State at home this week.
#6 - Michigan State Spartans (126 Points) --
The Spartans had a week of mixed success with wins over St. John’s and Wichita State, but a blowout loss to Baylor. While Michigan State still looks like a capable team, there’s no debating that this group isn’t quite the same as the ones in East Lansing the last few seasons. With a road game against Duke and a home game against Oral Roberts this week, don’t expect many of the evaluations on the Spartans to change anytime soon.
#7 - Ohio State Buckeyes (104 Points) --
The Buckeyes showed up and and impressed in a given week. After middling around with underwhelming competition, Ohio State blew past overmatched Western Carolina and Jackson State teams and then dominated a relatively solid Marshall team on Friday. Ohio State is now 6-0 and will have its work cut out with Virginia on the road and Fairleigh Dickinson at home this week.
#8 - Minnesota Golden Gophers (89 Points) +3
The Gophers have been the Big Ten’s best turnaround story this season. After a dreadful 8-23 campaign last year, Minnesota jumped out to a 6-0 start with three wins against top 100 competition. The team did drop a game on Monday night (not included in the voting this week), but things still look up. Minnesota will get a huge neutral site game with Vanderbilt on Saturday.
#9 - Northwestern Wildcats (82 Points) +1
The Wildcats continue to play well and it looks like the program may finally, finally be turning that final corner. While Northwestern did score a nice win over Wake Forest on Monday night, that win wasn’t counting in the voting this week, so don’t be shocked at where Northwestern landed. With DePaul at home on Sunday, look for the Wildcats to land another nice win.
#10 - Iowa Hawkeyes (54 Points) -2
The Hawkeyes once looked like the Big Ten’s surprise early on this season, but have faded into the danger zone. Iowa is now 3-3 after losses to Virginia and Memphis with upcoming matchups against Notre Dame on the road and Nebraska Omaha at home awaiting. Things could go off the rails in Iowa City if the team can’t start to show promise this week.
#11 - Nebraska Cornhuskers (51 Points) +1
The Huskers went 1-2 last week, but did enough to make it a successful few days for Nebraska’s program. Although Nebraska fell to UCLA and Virginia Tech, it was the win over Dayton that will pay dividends in March. Even if the Flyers weren’t firing at 100 percent, that’s still a huge win. Nebraska now gets Clemson on the road and South Dakota at home this week.
#12 - Illinois Fighting Illini (41 Points) -4
The Illini are in a complete free fall right now. After jumping out to a 4-0 start this season, the team is now 4-3 after dropping to Winthrop at home and losing by double-digits to West Virginia and Florida State on a neutral court. Illinois gets North Carolina State at home and VCU on a neutral court this week. If the Illini can’t go at least 1-1 in those games, it’s probably just a matter of time before John Groce is out the door.
#13 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (38 Points) --
The Scarlet Knights are 6-0! SIX AND OH!
Sorry if that was dramatic, but this is a huge deal. Rutgers has still yet to record a win over a team rated in the top 180 on KenPom, but for a program that won seven games total (!!!) last season, this is huge progress. Unfortunately, things will get tougher this week with Miami (FL) on the road n Wednesday and Morgan State at home on Saturday.
#14 - Penn State Nittany Lions (17 Points) --
The Nittany Lions rebounded really well this week with a home win over Colgate (not the toothpaste) and a road win over George Washington. Although Penn State is just 4-3, things do appear to be trending up. With Georgia Tech and Wright State at home this week, this could be a vital stretch for determining whether Penn State can make some real noise this season.
*- Please note these rankings were compiled before Monday’s games.