Last week was a huge one for the Big Ten. Not only did the Big Ten-ACC Challenge take place, but the conference also saw some marquee matchups like Oklahoma-Wisconsin and some major upsets for teams like Iowa.
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 four Big Ten power rankings.*
Big Ten Week 4 Power Rankings
#1 - Indiana Hoosiers (224 Points) --
The Hoosiers played four times in an eight-day span and came away with four wins. Although just one of those wins came against a good team, it was a big win as Indiana knocked off a previously unbeaten North Carolina squad at home. Even with the Fort Wayne loss, most now consider Indiana a legitimate Big Ten and national title contender.
Things won’t be very tough for Indiana this week as the team has just one game and it’s against Houston Baptist at home on Saturday. Indiana will home to cruise to an easy win, rest, and get OG Anunoby healthy.
#2 - Wisconsin Badgers (203 Points) +1
The Badgers had a huge week with Syracuse and Oklahoma at home and came away with two double-digit wins. Considering that the Orange and Sooners both figure to be top 50 opponents this season, those are two legitimate resume wins that should propel Wisconsin toward a quality seed in March.
Things should remain interesting for Wisconsin this season as the team gets Idaho State at home on Wednesday and Marquette on the road on Saturday. If the team can find a way to add two wins, it should be sitting in great position to enter conference play with just two losses.
#3 - Purdue Boilermakers (193 Points) -1
The Boilermakers had three games over the last week or so and came away with two wins and one loss. The wins came against Arizona State on a neutral floor and Morehead State at home and the loss came on the road against Louisville. Purdue remains one of the Big Ten’s top teams and will look to keep building its resume over the coming weeks.
Like some other teams, Purdue has a pretty easy week with just one home game against Cleveland State. Although some of Cleveland State’s recent teams have been dangerous, this year’s isn’t all that great. Purdue figures to have a pretty easy route to 8-2 before a showdown with Notre Dame.
#4 - Ohio State Buckeyes (166 Points) +3
The Buckeyes had a horrendous week. After looking good, albeit in a loss, on the road against Virginia, the team struggled to put away Fairleigh Dickinson at home and then lost to Florida Atlantic on Tuesday in overtime. Ohio State will have to hope for a rebound on Saturday against Connecticut.
#5 - Michigan Wolverines (151 Points) -1
The Wolverines had a mixed week with wins over Kennesaw State and Texas at home and an excruciating loss to Virginia Tech at home. Despite leading for virtually the entire game, Michigan let the game slip away against the Hokies in the closing minutes and dropped its second game of the season.
Michigan will have its work cut out over the next week as it goes on the road against UCLA on Saturday. Defeating an elite Bruins team is going to be more than difficult, especially on the road.
#6 - Maryland Terrapins (141 Points) -1
The Terps got embarrassed at home against Pittsburgh last Tuesday, but recovered with a key win over Oklahoma State on Saturday. Maryland has already won a plethora of games by single-digits this season and has continued to keep fans on the edge of their seats. Maryland will now hope to get two relatively easy wins t home against Howard and Saint Peter’s this week.
#7 - Michigan State Spartans (127 Points) -1
The Spartans had a great week, despite going 2-1 in its three games. Michigan State started with a (competitive) loss on the road to Duke and finished with home wins over Oral Roberts and Youngstown State. There are still some major concerns about whether Michigan State has enough to compete at the top of the Big Ten this season, but the roster is starting to round into shape. This will be a big week for Michigan State without Miles Bridges at home against Tennessee Tech on Saturday.
#8 - Minnesota Golden Gophers (117 Points) --
The Gophers dropped the team’s first game of the season on the road against Florida State last week, but took care of business against a solid Vanderbilt team on a neutral court and avoided an upset against NJIT on Tuesday night. Minnesota will get two more games this week against Georgia Southern and Northern Illinois at home. Two wins would be huge for the team’s resume.
#9 - Northwestern Wildcats (113 Points) --
The Wildcats only had two games last week and cruised to wins over Wake Forest and DePaul at home. Both wins were valuable ones that should help the program move forward this season and beyond. Northwestern only gets one game this week at home against New Orleans and looks to position itself for a showdown against Dayton the next week.
#10 - Illinois Fighting Illini (63 Points) +2
The Illini have finally gotten back on track after recording home wins over North Carolina State and IUPUI and a neutral site win over VCU. Illinois now sits at 7-3 overall with Central Michigan at home on Saturday. If the team can take care of business against the Chips, things could start to look up for Illinois.
#11 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (55 Points) +1
The Scarlet Knights may, uh, actually be decent? Yes, it’s a statement that would have been surprising to say even a few months ago, but it’s reality for Rutgers fans. With two wins over the last few days, Rutgers has now pushed its record to 8-1 overall, pushing it past its seven-win total from last season. Rutgers will get a huge road game with Stony Brook this weekend.
#12 - Nebraska Cornhuskers (54 Points) -1
The Huskers had a mediocre week with a tight loss on the road to a pretty good Clemson team and a double-digit win over South Dakota at home. Nebraska now sits at 5-3 overall with Creighton at home on Wednesday and Kansas on the road on Saturday. If the team can even go 1-1, it would be a major success.
#13 - Iowa Hawkeyes (43 Points) -3
The Hawkeyes had a horrendous week as the team lost by double-digits on the road against Notre Dame and at home against Nebraska Omaha. Even with a win against Stetson on Monday, it’s hard to feel good about where Iowa sits. The team is 4-5 and is now preparing to face arguably its toughest section of non-conference play starting with Iowa State at home on Thursday. Buckle up.
#14 - Penn State Nittany Lions (26 Points) --
The Nittany Lions had a great week with home wins over Georgia Tech and Wright State, pushing the team’s record to 6-3 overall. Penn State still has a long way to go to prove it belongs among the Big Ten’s top teams, but with games against George Mason and Pittsburgh this week, it should have a few opportunities to prove itself.
* - Not all votes included Monday and Tuesday’s games.