Big Ten power rankings

1. INDIANA (23-3, 11-2)
A pair of blowout wins over Nebraska and Purdue just reinforced the Hoosiers’ position atop the Big Ten. Now they have games against three of the other top five teams in the conference to close out the campaign, starting with tonight’s trip to East Lansing, where IU hasn’t won in 22 years. With a victory, Indiana fans can party like it’s 1991.

2. MICHIGAN STATE (22-4, 11-2)
The Spartans made a statement with a rout of Michigan last Tuesday, then Derrick Nix made some statements of his own, declaring MSU and its players underrated. That rant included some shots at IU’s Victor Oladipo and Cody Zeller, which should only add fuel to the fire. It also means it’s put up or shut up time for Nix and company.

3. MICHIGAN (22-4, 9-4)
The Wolverines seem to lack the swagger they had just a few weeks ago, and even struggled to get off the mat against Penn State Sunday. This is a team that may just be fighting some freshmen fatigue, but Michigan also has to rediscover a higher level of defensive play if it wants to remain among the league and nation elites.

4. WISCONSIN (18-8, 9-4)
An overtime loss at Minnesota might have been the start of a Badger swoon, but Wisconsin rebounded with a pummeling of Ohio State on Sunday. When the Badgers shoot like they did against the Buckeyes, forget about it. But only two of the final five games are at the Kohl Center, so expect a return to low-scoring Badger ball.

5. OHIO STATE (18-7, 8-5)
The defeat in Madison was essentially an elimination game when it came to the Big Ten chase, so now the Buckeyes just have to regroup and polish that NCAA resume a bit. There are no bad losses on the ledger, but wins over Michigan and Wisconsin are also the only wins Ohio State can hang its hat on.

6. ILLINOIS (19-8, 6-7)
Reports of the Illini’s demise were greatly exaggerated. Four straight wins and a largely favorable schedule the rest of the way give Illinois the chance to finish the year the way it began. Win out, including upsets of Michigan and Ohio State, and the Illini could find themselves with favorable seeds for both the Big Ten and NCAA Tournament.

7. IOWA (17-9, 6-7)
The Hawkeyes may be late to the party, but they are mostly definitely trying to crash it. Sunday’s blasting of Minnesota marks the Hawkeyes’ best win of the Big Ten campaign. They could still use a win over Illinois, Indiana or both, but two games against Nebraska and one with Purdue will give Iowa a chance to play itself onto the bubble.

8. MINNESOTA (18-8, 6-7)
Just as Iowa is climbing on the bubble, the Gophers are stumbling off. A win over Wisconsin last week turned out to be only a temporary reprieve, because blowing a 16-point lead at Carver-Hawkeye and losing by 20 more than cancels out an overtime win at home. There’s still time to salvage the season, but not much.

9. PURDUE (12-14, 5-8)
Instead of getting better, the Boilermakers seem to be falling deeper and deeper into the abyss, getting blown out by both Illinois and Indiana last week. They’ve now lost five of their last six games, all by double digits. A home game with Northwestern on Sunday may be Purdue’s last stand against the tide of frustration.

10. NORTHWESTERN (13-13, 4-9)
The Wildcats are also trending in the wrong direction, and with three ranked opponents in the final five games, things are looking a little grim in Evanston. The offense is sputtering, and the defense has sprung a leak. It would appear that the Northwestern boat is taking on water faster than its crew can bail.

11. NEBRASKA (12-14, 3-10)
Last week went about as expected for the Cornhuskers, who took their medicine at Indiana and were just held at arm’s length by Michigan State. Nebraska’s greatest asset this season has been its toughness and resilience even in taking lump after lump. That will serve the ‘Huskers well in the long run.

12. PENN STATE (8-17, 0-13)
The Nittany Lions made a bold bid for the upset of the season in Ann Arbor Sunday, but once again couldn’t make a play or get a call when they needed it the most. At this point, coach Pat Chambers is just looking for something good to happen to his team, giving them something to hold onto heading into next season.


  1. s….tarting with tonight’s trip to East Lansing, where IU hasn’t won in 22 years. With a victory, Indiana fans can party like it’s 1991.

    Stop with the Establishment cynicism, Establishment Scoop journalists. Can’t you guys do any research?

    If you subtract out the pair of home losses at Bloomington during Crean’s first two rebuilding years(immediately proceeding the NCAA sanctions and gutting of the program), we are 15-2 against MSU at home with only one loss in Bloomington(1999) over the span of 12 years(1991-2003) and only one overtime loss(the 2003 game) between the span of eight years(2000-08).

    Basically, minus those first rebuilding years after Sampson’s ouster, we had a span of 12 years with just one home loss and a span of 8 years with one home loss in overtime.

    It’s not like Bloomington has been a party town for Spartacus Izzo and his Roman Empire.

  2. I have a question.

    Have there been any talk about bugging locker rooms? Not video, just the audio. Do the visiting team ever do a electronic sweep of the room? Or just don’t consider the possibility.

    Just seems that the new technology would be hard to detect and the information on half-time adjustments would be critical.

    Look what goes on in the political world. ANything goes.

    Not saying it’s happening but when a visiting team comes out of half-time with a new strategy and that is matched in about 2 minutes, you kind of think.

  3. ^Alternative caption? Crean whistled for first ever “adjustment” technical. Mop Lady summoned prematurely…?

  4. Alternative Caption #2:

    On behalf our sponsor, Dick’s Sporting Goods, this is the Big 10 signing off ….?

  5. Update to my post #1:

    Take out the two rebuilding seasons post-Sampson, MSU now has a whopping one more win in Bloomington than we have in East Lansing over the past 22 years. Big effing deal.

    It’s amazing how the Establishment tries to find a story when it means pissing on legacy of Hoosier hoops.

    Did I not tell you it was time for “payback?”…Cue the James Brown.

    Nice to see Elston drain the triple in the first half…The bald guy on ESPN that comes on at halftime and after the game said that Yogi is the difference-maker in allowing all the pieces to fit. Can’t disagree. Some not so wise his impact are giving him a bunch of crap on the blog tonight. He made some very important buckets in the first half..kept us strong coming out of the gate. He plays light years above a typical freshman. I think he’s Big 10 FOY. No question that his penetration skills and solid defensive energy has changed the entire complexion our team. Where are we if Hulls has to assume the majority of the point guard play?

  6. Final thought:

    Sorta figured Izzo would pay for the postgame digs he made in Bloomington a couple weeks ago. Keep the mouth shut after a loss(in terms of derogatory comments aimed at your opponent’s weaknesses going forward the rest of the season and the NCAA) and let your team do your talking.

    Payback is a bitch. Cue the James Brown.

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