The Big Ten had quite a week. The Big Ten-ACC Challenge opened up the week and conference play started over the weekend, including some marquee matchups like Iowa going on the road to face Purdue. Of course, it led to some serious shakeups in these Rankings.
So, let’s take a look at this week’s Power Rankings.
Big Ten Week Four Power Rankings
#1 - Purdue Boilermakers (-)
The Boilermakers had quite a week of play, blowing out a good Florida State team at home on Tuesday and handling an undefeated Iowa at home on Friday night. The wins pushed Purdue to 8-0 overall and to 1-0 in Big Ten play. It’s also widely expected the latest two wins will push Purdue to No. 1 nationally in the polls following Duke’s loss last week. It should mark the program’s first time at No. 1 in its history.
While 8-0 is impressive in its own right, it’s important to recognize the strength of Purdue’s 8-0 record so far this season. The Boilermakers already have four wins against top 40 opponents and five of the team’s wins have come by double-digits. Purdue is not only winning, but is doing it against good teams and in dominant fashion.
This week, Purdue will head on the road for the first time this season to face Rutgers on Thursday before heading to Brooklyn to face North Carolina State in the Hall of Fame Invitational. The Boilermakers will be big favorites in both games.
#2 - Ohio State Buckeyes (+2)
Talk about an incredible week of play. Ohio State had two games and scored quality wins in each, upsetting No. 1 Duke at home on Tuesday and beating Penn State on the road on Sunday. The sweep left Ohio State sitting at 6-2 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten play. It’s one of the better weeks the program has had in quite some time.
The win over Duke is obviously the one that’s going to turn the most heads nationally. EJ Liddell led the way against the Blue Devils, finishing with 14 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists. Zed Key also had a big night with 20 points. Ohio State’s defense was particularly impressive in the win, holding a great Duke team to 0.94 points per possession.
Ohio State will now get a few days off before facing Towson at home on Wednesday and Wisconsin at home on Saturday. The team will be favored in both outings.
#3 - Michigan State Spartans (-1)
The Spartans scored two nice wins this week, beating a good Louisville team at home on Wednesday and a feisty Toledo team at home on Saturday. The two wins pushed Michigan State to 7-2 overall on the season on the eve of starting Big Ten play. The team now has five wins against top 120 KenPom opponents.
Freshman Max Christie also continues to emerge on the scene. He had 14 points in the win over Toledo and 11 points against the Cardinals. Christie still needs to show a bit more consistency and better shot selection, but the growth is apparent. There’s little denying he will be a key player as the Big Ten season continues.
Michigan State will now prepare for two intriguing games this week with Minnesota on the road on Wednesday and Penn State at home on Saturday. Both games should be wins, but the Gophers and Nittany Lions have looked better recently.
#4 - Iowa Hawkeyes (-1)
The Hawkeyes had a mixed week. Iowa opened with a great win on the road over Virginia on Monday, but fell against Purdue on the road on Friday. The split left Iowa sitting at 7-1 overall and 0-1 in Big Ten play. However, the team is still 22nd on KenPom and should be in the picture to be ranked in the polls on Monday.
This week, Iowa will get three opportunities to build its resume with Illinois at home on Monday, Iowa State on the road on Thursday, and Utah State in Sioux Falls on Saturday. Three wins could put the Hawkeyes squarely in the top 20.
#5 - Wisconsin Badgers (+2)
The Badgers had a great week of play, knocking off Georgia Tech on the road on Wednesday and Marquette at home on Saturday. Both were top 100 opponents and Wisconsin looked impressive throughout both games. The team now sits at 7-1 overall.
Wisconsin will now get two intriguing games this week with Indiana at home on Wednesday and Ohio State on the road on Saturday. A split seems like the most likely outcome. However, a sweep would really elevate the Badgers up these rankings.
#6 - Illinois Fighting Illini (+2)
The Illini had a solid week of play, beating Notre Dame at home on Monday and Rutgers at home on Friday night. The two wins pushed Illinois to 6-2 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten play. Illinois continues to try and get back to full strength due to a variety of availability concerns.
Illinois will get two huge games this week with Iowa on the road on Monday and Arizona at home on Saturday. Even a split would be a pretty good result. However, two wins and Illinois would certainly shoot back into the top 25 in the polls.
#7 - Indiana Hoosiers (-2)
The Hoosiers had a mixed week of play. Indiana fell in a double overtime thriller on the road against Syracuse on Tuesday, but rebounded with a 13-point win over Nebraska at home on Saturday. The split left Indiana sitting at 7-1 overall and 1-0 in league play. Indiana still needs to show it can beat top-tier opponents, but the resume is gradually building.
Indiana will now get a few days off before facing Wisconsin on the road on Wednesday and Merrimack at home on Sunday. The numbers expect the Hoosiers to split. Fans will be hoping to steal the game in Madison.
#8 - Michigan Wolverines (-2)
The Wolverines were another team with mixed results this week. Michigan got blown out on the road against North Carolina on Wednesday, but bounced back with a quality win over San Diego State at home on Saturday. The Aztecs are quietly a top 50 opponent, so beating them should help Michigan’s resume moving forward.
Michigan will look for two more wins this week with Nebraska on the road on Tuesday and Minnesota at home on Saturday. The Wolverines will be favored in both games and desperately need two wins to help the team recover from its early missteps.
#9 - Northwestern Wildcats (+2)
The Wildcats had a decent week. Northwestern fell on the road to Wake Forest in overtime on Tuesday, but rebounded with a solid road win over Maryland on Sunday. The split left Maryland sitting at 6-2 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten play. Northwestern has also risen all the way to 37th on KenPom, 11 spots higher than it was to start the season.
Northwestern will get most of this week off before facing NJIT at home on Sunday. The Wildcats will be significant favorites in that one.
#10 - Minnesota Golden Gophers (-)
The Gophers continue to positively surprise fans, notching two more wins this week against Pittsburgh on the road on Tuesday and Mississippi State on the road on Sunday. The wins pushed Minnesota to 7-0 overall. Even if the schedule has been a bit soft, few expected the Gophers to make it through a month of the season with a perfect record.
Minnesota will now prepare for an intriguing week with Michigan State at home on Wednesday and Michigan on the road on Saturday. Both games seem winnable, but neither is anything close to a guarantee. We’ll finally get a look at how good this team is in these two matchups.
#11 - Maryland Terrapins (-2)
The Terps had a rough week on and off the court. Maryland not only lost both of its games against Virginia Tech and Northwestern, but long-time coach Mark Turgeon announced his departure from the program, leaving just a few weeks into the season. It was a surprising announcement, considering Maryland’s success with him at the helm.
Maryland now finds itself sitting at 5-4 overall with some challenging weeks ahead. The effort to resurrect what could be a lost season will begin this week with Florida on Sunday. It’s going to be a tough game for the Terps to come out with a win.
#12 - Penn State Nittany Lions (-)
The Nittany Lions had a tough week, falling at home to Miami (FL) on Wednesday and against Ohio State at home on Sunday. The losses dropped Penn State to 4-4 overall and 0-1 in Big Ten play. Penn State has been surprisingly competitive in some of its games so far, but has still yet to beat a top 125 opponent on KenPom.
This week, Penn State will get Wagner at home on Wednesday and Michigan State on the road on Saturday. Expect a split.
#13 - Nebraska Cornhuskers (-)
The Huskers lost both of the team’s games this week, falling in quadruple overtime to North Carolina State on Wednesday and on the road against Indiana on Saturday. As a result, Nebraska finds itself sitting at 5-4 overall and 0-1 in Big Ten play. Nebraska will hope to get back on track this week with Michigan at home on Tuesday and Auburn on Saturday.
#14 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (-)
The Scarlet Knights showed a little progress this week, beating Clemson at home on Tuesday. Unfortunately, that was followed by a 35-point loss on the road against Illinois on Friday night. Rutgers now sits at 4-4 overall with two really difficult games awaiting this week. Rutgers will get Purdue at home on Thursday and Seton Hall on the road on Sunday. Even a split would be a great achievement for this team.