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Monday, January 21, 2008

BTC Power Rankings III

If you still haven't heard, some of my good friends in the Big Ten Bloggers group and myself are doing weekly Big Ten Power Rankings for this basketball season. Our rankings will be posted every Monday, and Tom over at Gopher Nation will count the ballots and release the Big Ten Bloggers Power Rankings each week. You can also find the updated rankings each Tuesday right here in the Chronicle's left sidebar.

Pow-Pow-Power Rankings!
1. Indiana Hoosiers 16-1 (5-0) (Previous #1)
This week: 1/23-vs Iowa, 1/26-vs UConn
The Hoosiers remain at the top spot after squeaking a win away from Minnesota and then returning home to take care of Penn State on Sunday. Indiana has won 12 straight games, soon to be 13 straight with Iowa in town on Wednesday, before what should be a tough out of conference test against UConn over the weekend.

2. Wisconsin Badgers 15-2 (5-0) (Previous #2)
This week: 1/22-vs Michigan, 1/26-at Purdue Wisconsin has been impressive in their five wins in conference as they continue to work through the softest portion of their Big Ten schedule. All of that changes on Saturday with a good road test at Purdue on tap before next week's game of the week at home against Indiana on Thursday.

3. Michigan State Spartans 16-2 (4-1) (Previous #3)
This week: 1/24-at N'western, 1/27-vs Michigan Michigan State bounced back from their devastating loss at Iowa with a 2-0 week. It seems as Drew Neitzel found his shooting touch just in time for the Spartans to ride his hot hand to a tough road win against Minnesota on Sunday. I'd say MSU has two gimmes this week with Northwestern and Michigan scheduled, but the Spartans proved in that loss to the Hawkeyes that anything is possible in the Big Ten.

4. Purdue Boilermakers 13-5 (4-1) (Previous #6)
This week: 1/23-at Penn State, 1/26-vs Wisconsin
The Boilermakers are beneficiaries of the biggest jump in this week's power poll. Purdue jumps up two spots after wins at Iowa and against Illinois last week. The young Boiler's are looking nice at 4-1 in conference with their only blemish a 3 point loss at Michigan State.

5. Ohio State Buckeyes 12-6 (3-2) (Previous #4)
This week: 1/22-vs Illinois, 1/26-vs Minnesota
After jumping to a 3-0 start out of the gate, Ohio State has now dropped three straight ball games. Of course, those three games have all been against quality opponents away from home. Buckeye fans can take pride in the way OSU hung tough at Tennessee over the weekend. Just ask nationally ranked Vanderbilt how tough it can be playing a very talented Volunteers squad in Knoxville.

6. Minnesota Golden Gophers 12-5 (2-3) (Previous #5)
This week: 1/26-at Ohio State
Minnesota went into last week needing a win over Indiana or Michigan State to catapult themselves into the upper half of the conference. However, thanks to cold shooting against the Hoosiers and Drew Neitzel's hot hand, the Gophers found themselves with two losses and down a spot in this week's power poll.

7. Iowa Hawkeyes 9-10 (2-4) (Previous #8)
This week: 1/23-at Indiana, 1/26-vs Penn State
The Hawkeyes continue to play solid team defense and thanks in large part to the play of Tony Freeman, it seems Iowa has finally started to show signs of life on offense. Todd Lickliter picked up his first Big Ten road win on Saturday against Michigan and today sees his Hawkeyes move up a spot in BTC's Power Rankings.

8. Penn State Nittany Lions 10-7 (2-3) (Previous #7)
This week: 1/23-vs Purdue, 1/26-at Iowa
Penn State has lost three straight now as they continue to slide down to the bottom of the conference. With Geary Claxton out for the season, things should get worse before they get any better for the Nittany Lions.

9. Illinois Fighting Illini 9-10 (1-5) (Previous #9)
This week: 1/22-at Ohio State, 1/27-vs N'western
Bruce Weber's Illini finally got a Big Ten win last week! Hey, even wins over Michigan count when things are as ugly as they have been for Illinois this year. They find themselves one game under .500 currently, but I'd be very surprised if the Illini finish the year with a losing record. If this team misses out on any postseason play it would be a massive disappointment.

10.Michigan Wolverines 5-13 (1-5) (Previous #10)
This week: 1/22-at Wisconsin, 1/27-at Michigan State
Man are things looking bad in Ann Arbor this season. Michigan lost big to Illinois on the road, then dropped a game to Iowa at home on "Terrelle Pryor Day". The eight-point home loss to Iowa wasn't even really that close as the Wolverines threw in an array of late three's to help it look more respectable. Not that anyone really cared about the basketball score...a blue chip football recruit was in the crowd!!

11.Northwestern Wildcats 6-9 (0-5) (Previous #11)
This week: 1/24-vs Michigan State, 1/27-at Illinois
After a non-conference win at Chicago State last Wednesday, Northwestern came back to conference play with a loss at Wisconsin over the weekend. Two more losses look ahead this week before the Wildcats can boost their confidence with another out of conference game against Texas-Pan America next Wednesday.

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