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Monday, January 14, 2008

BTC Power Rankings

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.

"I HAVE THE POWER.....rankings."

1. Indiana Hoosiers 14-1 (3-0) (Previous #2)
This week: 1/17-at Minnesota, 1/20-vs Penn St
I had a tough time deciding on the top spot this week between Indiana and Wisconsin. The Hoosiers take it for now mostly because I believe they have the best player in the conference with Eric Gordon. Plus, his supporting cast is none to shabby either. However, Indiana had better not look past Minnesota on Thursday. That game has upset written all over it.

2. Wisconsin Badgers 13-2 (3-0) (Previous #3)
This week: 1/15-at Penn St, 1/19-vs N'western
Bo Ryan's Badgers are once again quietly moving to the front of the Big Ten race. Wisconsin may not have the marque name this season, but the Badgers are the most consistent team on both sides of the ball. A 5-0 start looks to be in reach with likely wins against Penn State and Northwestern up this week.

3. Michigan State Spartans 14-2 (2-1) (Previous #1)
This week: 1/15-vs Ohio State, 1/20-at Minnesota
Seriously, What in the world happened in Iowa City on Saturday night? Turnovers and cold shooting helped make the Spartans look more than mortal. If you missed it, the Spartans were held to 36 points in their loss to Iowa, the lowest point total in post-shot clock MSU history. MSU's upset loss is comparable to USC losing to Stanford in football this year. Now the question is how they can respond this week. I promise you practice wasn't fun for the Spartans on Sunday.

4. Ohio State Buckeyes 12-4 (3-1) (Previous #4)
This week: 1/15-at MSU, 1/19-at Tennessee
The Buckeyes saw their 8-game win streak snapped at Purdue over the weekend. This is a young Ohio State team that will take some hits this year, but I think they will be in the upper half of the standings come season's end. Up next is a tough game against an angry Spartan team, then a trip to Knoxville to face top-10 Tennessee out of conference.

5. Minnesota Golden Gophers 12-3 (2-1) (Previous #5)
This week: 1/17-vs Indiana, 1/20-vs MSU
I was tempted to jump Purdue ahead of Minnesota in this week's rankings, but in the end decided to keep the Gophers right where I had them. Minnesota's 76-73 win at Penn State on Saturday was more impressive then some may think. The Gophers proved they could win on the road and now it's time to show they can knock off a top-ranked team. They'll get two chances at home this week when Indiana and Michigan State come to town.

6. Purdue Boilermakers 11-5 (2-1) (Previous #6)
This week: 1/16-at Iowa, 1/19-vs Illinois
After going 1-1 last week against Michigan State and Ohio State, Purdue now gets to travel to offensive inept Iowa City. And I'll guarantee you that the Boilers post more than 36 against Iowa's defense.

7. Penn State Nittany Lions 10-5 (2-1) (Previous #7)
This week: 1/15-vs Wisconsin, 1/20-at Indiana
Penn State blew a good opportunity against Minnesota over the weekend to remain undefeated in conference. Now the schedule immediately gets tougher with Wisconsin and Indiana up this week. The Lions are better than last year, but it will take a lot for this year's team to finish above 7th in the conference.

8. Iowa Hawkeyes 8-9 (1-3) (Previous #9)
This week: 1/16-vs Purdue, 1/19-at Michigan
Iowa moves up a spot after their stunning victory against Michigan State. The Hawkeye's forced more turnovers (18) than made baskets for MSU (16). Iowa made only 11 shots themselves in the game, but that was enough to give Todd Lickliter his first Big Ten win. If the Hawk's keep playing team defense like that and Tony Freeman or Justin Johnson can get hot from the outside, this will be a tough out for anybody in the conference.

9. Illinois Fighting Illini 8-9 (0-4) (Previous #8)
This week: 1/16-vs Michigan, 1/19-at Purdue
The Illini continued to disappoint on Sunday with another loss at Indiana. The schedule starts to get softer in the coming weeks, but its looking more and more like a sub-.500 year in Chaimpaign.

10.Michigan Wolverines 5-11 (1-3) (Previous #10)
This week: 1/16-at Illinois, 1/19-vs Iowa
Michigan holds on to the 10-spot this week after a win at Northwestern on Saturday. I must admit that I did not see a minute of the game in Evanston this weekend, and if you were one of the few watching my sympathy goes out to you.

11.Northwestern Wildcats 5-8 (0-4) (Previous #11)
This week: 1/16-at Chicago St, 1/19-at Wisconsin
What is Northwestern doing playing at Chicago State in the middle of the conference schedule? Are they trying to create a cross-town rivalry? Better question, does anyone care?

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