Last week provided some more clarity within the conference amidst the top teams. The middle tier however, became even more murky.
Lets rundown the updated Big Ten Power Rankings to check-in with where each team stands in the conference after another week of play.
1) Michigan State Spartans (15-5 overall, 7-2 B1G, last week: 1st)
The Spartans maintain their top spot this week, even after a tough loss at Indiana. Michigan State has been the most consistent team in the conference, and have arguably the top collection of talent. Illinois is working to close the gap on them quickly, but a head-to-head victory gives Tom Izzo’s crew a slight edge.
2) Illinois Fighting Illini (15-5 overall, 7-2 B1G, last week: 2nd)
Illinois had a huge week, winning both of their road contests against Purdue and Michigan to enter a tie for first place in the Big Ten standings with Michigan State. The Fighting Illini have now won six straight, and have are firmly in the hunt for a conference title.
3) Maryland Terrapins (16-4 overall, 6-3 B1G, last week: 6th)
Entering the season as the team most media pundits assumed would be the toughest competition for Michigan State, Maryland struggled early on in conference play. The Terrapins have responded nicely though, winning their last three games, two of which have been on the road.
4) Iowa Hawkeyes (14-5 overall, 5-3 B1G, last week: 4th)
The Hawkeyes have been streaking now for a while, winning four straight, three of which were against ranked opponents. With one of those victories happening over Rutgers, Iowa gets a slight edge over the Scarlet Knights. Big man Luka Garza is the do it all big man that powers the team.
5) Rutgers Scarlet Knights (15-5 overall, 6-3 B1G, last week: 3rd)
Rutgers fell two spots after splitting their games last week against Iowa and Nebraska. The Scarlet Knights have been a pleasant surprise this season, and appear on pace to secure an NCAA tournament berth barring catastrophe.
6) Indiana Hoosiers (15-5 overall, 5-4 B1G, last week: 7th)
A big win over Michigan State propels the Hoosiers up a spot in the Power Rankings. Add in a narrow 1-point loss to Maryland, and Indiana demonstrated improvement from the beginning of the season. Two straight road games loom for the Hoosiers this week, can they continue to climb?
RECORD-BREAKER! @FOXSports Indiana's win over No. 11 Michigan State Thursday night was the highest-rated game EVER on FoxSports1. That FOX/Big Ten deal is working out just fine. Here's the story: https://t.co/9CNSeJLG5p— Tom Brew (@tombrewsports) January 26, 2020
7) Wisconsin Badgers (12-8 overall, 5-3 B1G, last week: 5th)
Things from here out were tough. Splitting their two games against Nebraska and Purdue, Wisconsin dropped two spots. Wisconsin resumed their Jekyll and Hyde nature by making a school record 18 three-pointers against Nebraska, and followed that up with a blowout loss against the Boilermakers. The Badgers will need to find their footing quickly as games against Iowa and Michigan State are up next.
8) Purdue Boilermakers (11-9 overall, 4-5 B1G, last week: 9th)
The Boilermakers have lost four of their last six games, but they also beat Michigan State and Wisconsin in that same span. Despite a dominating victory over the Badgers, Purdue is a full game behind Wisconsin in the standings, thus their placement at eighth.
9) Minnesota Golden Gophers (11-9 overall, 5-5 B1G, last week: 8th)
Minnesota has tended to lose the games that they are supposed to versus Rutgers, Michigan State and at Iowa. The Gophers however have gone on a nice run as of late with wins over Northwestern, Michigan, Penn State, and Ohio State to maintain their current standing in the Power Rankings.
10) Penn State Nittany Lions (14-5 overall, 4-4 B1G, last week: 10th)
Having only played one game last week, Penn State took care of business against Michigan. The Nittany Lions held serve in the rankings, but they have a big week ahead with games against Indiana and Nebraska on the horizon.
11) Ohio State Buckeyes (13-7 overall, 3-6 B1G, last week: 12th)
The Buckeyes have been securely fastened on the struggle bus as of late, losing six of their last eight games. A win over Northwestern may begin to turn the tide of their season, but there are still some glaring concerns for this young roster.
12) Michigan Wolverines (11-8 overall, 2-6 B1G, last week: 11th)
Michigan has continued to slide down the rankings since a hot start in non-conference play. The Wolverines have lost their last four games, including two last week. First year head coach Juwan Howard can’t be feeling too great about the direction of his team currently.
Nebraska and Northwestern. They are just plain bad.