The Big Ten had a pretty quiet slate of games this week. Despite a few marquee matchups over the weekend, most of the teams saw little action. As such, these rankings stayed relatively unchanged.
So, let’s jump into this week’s Power Rankings.
Big Ten Week Six Power Rankings
#1 - Purdue Boilermakers (—)
The Boilermakers won the team’s only game last week, beating Davidson in Indianapolis on Saturday in a relatively competitive game. The win pushed Purdue to 11-0 on the season and kept the team ranked atop both of the weekly polls.
Purdue will get another quiet slate this week with New Orleans at home on Wednesday. The Boilers are substantial favorites in that one. Don’t expect a close game.
#2 - Wisconsin Badgers (—)
The Badgers also had a quiet week, beating Lehigh at home on Thursday to improve to 9-2 overall. Wisconsin has now won four straight and five of the team’s last six games, including three games away from home and four against top 75 opponents. Fans will hope that momentum continues this week against Grambling State at home on Friday.
#3 - Illinois Fighting Illini (+1)
The Illini won the team’s only outing last week at home against Alabama A&M. The win pushed Illinois to 8-3 overall. The team will now prepare for a challenging neutral site game against Missouri on Thursday in St. Louis. Expect an absolute battle. It’s Illinois’ last chance to grab a marquee win in non-conference play this season.
#4 - Maryland Terrapins (-1)
The Terps had a rough week, losing the team’s only game at home on Wednesday night against UCLA. The game ended up being pretty uncompetitive, as Maryland fell by 27 points to the Bruins. The team’s defense was simply atrocious in the matchup, allowing 1.28 points per possession. The loss dropped Maryland to 8-3 overall.
Fortunately, things should be a bit easier this week as Maryland looks to snap a three-game skid at home on Thursday night against Saint Peter’s. And while the Peacocks are coming off an incredible performance last March, this isn’t the same squad as the one that made a magical run last spring. As such, expect Maryland to cruise to an easy win.
#5 - Indiana Hoosiers (—)
The Hoosiers had another rough week, losing the team’s only game on Saturday on the road against Kansas. It was the team’s third loss in four games and dropped Indiana to 8-3 overall this season. While there’s nothing to be ashamed about losing on the road against a program like Kansas, the team’s offense thoroughly underwhelmed in the outing, finishing with 0.82 points per possession. Trayce Jackson-Davis also finished with just a 92 offensive rating. Not numbers that will build much confidence moving forward.
For Indiana, it’s fair to have mixed feelings about how things have gone. While the Hoosiers look improved from last season, the team is still clearly a few steps away from where fans had hoped things would be right now. The offense and backcourt still need to improve significantly if the Hoosiers are going to make noise in March.
This week, Indiana will get Elon at home on Tuesday and Kennesaw State at home on Friday. Neither opponent looks particularly difficult, at least on paper.
#6 - Penn State Nittany Lions (—)
The Nittany Lions won the team’s only game last week, beating Canisus at home on Sunday. Penn State improved to 8-3 with the win and will now prepare for Quinnipiac at home on Thursday. It’s easily the team’s best start since the shortened 2019-’20 season.
#7 - Ohio State Buckeyes (—)
The Buckeyes lost the team’s only game last week, falling in New York against North Carolina on Saturday afternoon. The game was competitive and ended in overtime, but Ohio State came up a bit short thanks to some underwhelming defense down the stretch. The loss dropped the team to 7-3 overall.
Like a few other teams on this list, it’s fair to have mixed feelings about the Buckeyes through 10 games. While the team has scored some solid wins, the missteps against San Diego State, Duke, and North Carolina took a lot of energy out of the start. The controversial win over Rutgers also makes the 7-3 mark feel a bit emptier.
Either way, Ohio State will look to grab another win this week with Maine at home on Wednesday. It’s expected to be an easy win.
#8 - Michigan State Spartans (—)
The Spartans won the team’s game at home on Saturday against Brown. The win pushed Michigan State to 7-4 overall. It was the team’s second straight win after a rough finish to November and early December. Spartan fans will hope to keep things rolling this week with Oakland at home on Wednesday.
#9 - Iowa Hawkeyes (—)
The Hawkeyes beat Southeast Missouri State on Saturday at home to improve to 8-3 overall. It was the team’s only game of the week and kept up the team’s recent streak of alternating between wins and losses. Iowa will return to action on Wednesday at home against Eastern Illinois. It’s expected to be another blowout.
#10 - Northwestern Wildcats (—)
The Wildcats had a great week of play, blowing out in-state rival DePaul at home on Saturday to improve to 8-2 on he season. The win was so lopsided it pushed Northwestern up 12 spots on KenPom in a single afternoon. The team will return to action on Tuesday at home against Illinois-Chicago. Northwestern will be a significant favorite in that game.
#11 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights (—)
The Scarlet Knights scored a blowout victory in the team’s only game last week, beating Wake Forest at home on Saturday. The win left Rutgers sitting at 7-4 overall. It was the team’s second win over a top 100 opponent this season.
Rutgers is another team sitting in an awkward spot heading into the final days of 2022. The Scarlet Knights have clearly done enough to stay in the NCAA discussions, namely knocking off Indiana earlier this month and avoiding any truly bad losses. However, the team also hasn’t done enough to elevate itself into any comfort about the postseason. The losses to Temple and Seton Hall certainly stand out in that regard. Win even one of those two and the team’s resume looks substantially better.
All told, it means Rutgers will enter January yet again with a lot of work ahead. We’ll see if the team can score another win this week at home against Bucknell on Friday.
#12 - Michigan Wolverines (—)
The Wolverines won the team’s only game this week, beating Lipscomb at home on Saturday. However, while Michigan won the game, it came unimpressively, as the team had to battle it out in the closing minutes to get across the finish line. The win left Michigan sitting at 7-3 overall.
Michigan will now prepare for its last marquee non-conference game of the season against North Carolina on Wednesday. The game will be played in Charlotte as part of the Jumpman Invitational. As such, expect a relatively hostile crowd for the Wolverines as the team hopes to score its first marquee win of the season.
#13 - Nebraska Cornhuskers (—)
The Huskers lost the team’s sole game last week against Kansas State on Saturday. The loss dropped Nebraska to 6-6 overall. It was the team’s third straight loss after what had been a stellar run for the team after Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, much of the momentum built seems to have faded.
Nebraska will get one game this week at home against Queens on Tuesday. It should be a nice opportunity for the team to get back on track.
#14 - Minnesota Golden Gophers (—)
The Gophers snapped a five-game skid this week with a win over Arkansas Pine Bluff at home on Wednesday. The win left Minnesota sitting at 5-6 overall. Fans will hope the Gophers can add another win this week against Chicago State at home on Thursday.