The Big Ten had a loaded week of action again last week and it did plenty to help sort out where things sit in the league. Teams like Purdue and Indiana rose while others like Michigan and Illinois dropped.
So, let’s take a look at this week’s Power Rankings.
Big Ten Week Two Power Rankings
#1 - Purdue Boilermakers (+2)
The Boilermakers moved up to the top spot and absolutely deserved to do so after another impressive week of action. Purdue had three games against decent opponents and won all of them, beating Wright State on Tuesday, North Carolina on Saturday, and Villanova on Sunday. And the last win was particularly impressive, given the quick turnaround and Nova’s status as a top 10 team. Beating a team like that in that situation is incredibly difficult.
Through five games, Purdue now sits a perfect 5-0 and third nationally on KenPom. It’s been an incredible run and likely won’t stop here either, as Purdue now projects to be a favorite in every game until a mid-January trip to Ann Arbor. And with how Michigan’s been playing, that might change as well. Purdue is unquestionably the best team in the league right now.
This week, Purdue gets Nebraska Omaha at home on Friday night. It should be a nice tune up game to prepare the Boilermakers for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
#2 - Michigan State Spartans (+3)
The Spartans scored two more wins last week, beating Butler on the road on Wednesday and Eastern Michigan at home on Saturday. The win over the Bulldogs turned plenty of heads nationally, as Michigan State beat a pretty solid Butler team by 21 points on the road. As a result, Michigan State now sits at 3-1 overall.
This week, Michigan State heads to Atlantis to participate in its non-conference tournament. The team gets Loyola (Chicago) on Wednesday and will play again thereafter. We’ll have to wait and see who Michigan State ends up getting. It’s a great opportunity to grab some marquee wins.
#3 - Iowa Hawkeyes (+3)
The Hawkeyes scored three more wins over the last week, beating North Carolina Central, Alabama State, and Western Michigan at home. All three teams ranked outside the top 300 on KenPom and Iowa performed accordingly, winning all three by double-digits. Keegan Murray continues to be impressive and is averaging over 20 points per game.
Iowa only gets one game this week against Portland State at home on Friday night. It figures to be another game for the Hawkeyes to take out their aggression against an overmatched opponent.
#4 - Ohio State Buckeyes (+3)
The Buckeyes had largely positive results last week. Ohio State opened with a win over Bowling Green at home last Monday, fell on the road to Xavier on Thursday, but rebounded with a win over Seton Hall as part of the Fort Myers Tip-Off on Monday. The mixed results left the team sitting at 4-1 overall.
EJ Liddell continues to impress for Ohio State and presently leads KenPom’s National Player of the Year race. He’s been exceptional so far and scored 28 points in the team’s win over Seton Hall on Monday. If he keeps this up, it could be a special year in Columbus.
Ohio State will continue in the Fort Myers Tip-Off event with Florida on Wednesday. It figures to be an intriguing matchup.
#5 - Indiana Hoosiers (+5)
The Hoosiers haven’t gotten much attention nationally to date, but the team is quietly gaining momentum as we move toward Thanksgiving. Last week, Indiana knocked off a top 50 St. John’s team and absolutely stomped Louisiana on Sunday. The team’s defense also looks impressive, now up to 13th nationally on KenPom.
Indiana will get two more games this week with Jackson State on Tuesday and Marshall on Saturday. The Hoosiers will be double-digit favorites in both games.
#6 - Michigan Wolverines (-5)
The Wolverines had a pretty rough week of play. The team played three games and went 1-2 in them, losing to Seton Hall at home, beating UNLV in Vegas, and falling against Arizona on Sunday night in blowout fashion. The struggles dropped the team to 3-2 overall and left the coaching staff and roster searching for answers five games into the season.
Perhaps the most notable struggles for Michigan have come on the offensive end, where the Wolverines have shot an abysmal 28.3 percent from three, which ranks 272nd nationally. The team also ranks 181st in turnover rate and 177th in assist to field goals made. The offense isn’t moving the ball well and isn’t hitting shots when it gets opportunities. Juwan Howard and his staff will have their work cut out moving forward.
This week, Michigan will return home and get Tarleton State at home on Wednesday. It should provide a nice opportunity to reset before the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
#7 - Wisconsin Badgers (+1)
The Badgers had a mixed week of play. Wisconsin fell at home to Providence on the 15th, but rebounded with a win over Texas A&M on Monday night. The Badgers have largely been as projected, a good defensive team that’s probably a step or two below the elite teams.
Wisconsin will now prepare for a loaded Houston team on Tuesday night. It figures to be the team’s toughest test of the young season so far.
#8 - Illinois Fighting Illini (-6)
The Illini had a rough week of play, falling on the road against Marquette on the 15th and getting blown out by Cincinnati by 20 on Monday night. The losses dropped the team to 2-2 overall and searching for answers heading into a game against Kansas State on Tuesday night. Fans had hoped Kofi Cockburn’s return against Cinci would be the difference, but the team actually looked weaker with him out there.
Moving forward, Brad Underwood and his staff need to work with Andre Curbelo to do a better job of avoiding turnovers and facilitating the offense. Otherwise, there’s a risk Illinois could waste what projected to be a loaded roster. Fortunately, there’s still plenty of time to right the ship. After Kansas State, Illinois will get UT Rio Grande Valley at home on Friday.
#9 - Maryland Terrapins (-5)
The Terps had a relatively rough week of play. The team fell at home on Wednesday night to George Mason and nearly did the same on Friday night before puling out a narrow win against Hofstra on Friday. The split left Maryland sitting at 4-1 overall.
This week, Maryland will head to the Bahamas to compete in the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship. The Terps will get Richmond on Thanksgiving Day and either Louisville or Mississippi State on Saturday. Expect two hard fought games. Maryland desperately needs to win at least one of these games.
#10 - Minnesota Golden Gophers (+1)
The Gophers had a quiet week, winning the team’s only game against Purdue Fort Wayne on Friday night by 29 points. Minnesota will now prepare for Jacksonville at home on Wednesday for the team’s only matchup of the week.
#11 - Northwestern Wildcats (+1)
The Wildcats had a mixed week of play. Northwestern took care of business against New Orleans and Fairleigh Dickinson at home, but fell to Providence in a competitive game on Monday night. As a result, Northwestern now sits 4-1 overall, but has yet to beat a team ranked above 265th on KenPom. However, Northwestern will get a nice opportunity to change that stat with a game against Georgia on Tuesday night. The Wildcats will be favored against the Bulldogs, though it should be a competitive game.
#12 - Penn State Nittany Lions (+1)
The Nittany Lions also had a mixed week, falling on the road against UMass on Monday, but rebounding with wins against St. Francis (NY) and Cornell thereafter. The split left Penn State sitting at 3-1 overall, though the team has still yet to beat any quality opponents.
Penn State will now prepare for the Emerald Coast Classic this week where the team will get LSU on Friday night and either Oregon State or Wake Forest on Saturday. Even a split would be a pretty successful appearance for the Nittany Lions.
#13 - Nebraska Cornhuskers (+1)
The Huskers also had mixed results. The team fell short against Creighton on Tuesday night, but rebounded with wins over Idaho State and Southern over the weekend. The latter two wins pushed Nebraska to 3-2 on the season. Unfortunately, like a few other teams on this list, Nebraska has yet to beat anyone worthwhile this season.
This week, Nebraska gets Tennessee State at home on Tuesday and South Dakota at home on Saturday. It’s a nice opportunity to grab two wins before the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
#14 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (-5)
The Scarlet Knights had a horrific week of play. Rutgers opened things up with a win over NJIT, but subsequently lost to DePaul on the road and Lafayette at home. The second loss was particularly rough, as Lafayette currently ranks outside the top 300 on KenPom. Losing to a team like that is simply inexcusable, regardless of the circumstances.
Rutgers now sits at 3-2 overall and could be in position for a tailspin with some challenging games awaiting on the docket. The team gets UMass on the road on Saturday and will then go into the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and conference play. The Scarlet Knights desperately need to get things fixed against UMass or things could get rough.