The Week Five AP and USA Today Coaches’ polls were released on Monday and four Big Ten teams were fortunate enough to make the cut at least in one of the polls. Purdue fell from the top spot, but remained in the top five. Boilermaker fans will hope the program can move back up in the coming weeks.
Here is where the Big Ten landed:
Week Five AP Poll:
- No. 4 - Purdue
- No. 20 - Illinois
- No. 23 - Wisconsin
- Receiving Votes: Ohio State, Northwestern, Michigan State
Week Five USA Today Coaches’ Poll:
- No. 4 - Purdue
- No. 18 - Illinois
- No. 25 - Ohio State
- Receiving Votes: Wisconsin, Michigan State, Northwestern
Overall, it’s been a tough start to the season for the league. Preseason darlings like Maryland and Michigan State have underwhelmed and other teams like Indiana, Michigan, and Rutgers have experienced serious missteps as well. It’s led to a massive drop for the league on KenPom and it seems like it could be a down year for the Big Ten.
The good news is that the tide appears to be turning, at least somewhat. Northwestern, Ohio State, and Wisconsin have made strides in recent weeks and all three are getting some serious top 25 consideration as a result. Nebraska also jumped out to a 7-0 start, though the Huskers lost at home to Creighton on Sunday. If these teams can score some wins over the next few weeks, perhaps it could setup for a great Big Ten run.
Of course, most eyes will remain on Purdue. The team projects as the league’s best national title hope and is still in great shape to get a one seed, despite the misstep against Northwestern last Friday. If the team can get back on track this week, don’t be surprised if a return to No. 1 is possible by the end of the year.