With football winding down many of the Big Ten bloggers including BSD are turning their attention toward basketball. Minnesota blogger Gopher Nation is organizing a weekly power ranking to be determined by ballots submitted by fellow Big Ten bloggers. I think he will post the final results on Tuesday night. You can see that some bloggers already have their rankings up here, here, and here. I think it's safe to say Black Heart Gold Pants has set the standard as they often do. No frills here this week, but since this will be a recurring feature every Monday I promise to put more effort into it in the future to give you an overall picture of what's going on in Big Ten hoops. This is how I would rank the Big Ten teams at this time.
#1 - Michigan State (13 - 1, 1 - 0)
After a rocky preseason Izzo has it going. Quality wins over Mizzou, BYU, Texas, and Minnesota. And really no shame in losing to UCLA by five points.
#2 - Wisconsin (12 - 2, 2 - 0)
Every year you think this is the year they are going to suck. And then just like the football team, they don't. Only losses are to Duke and Marquette. Only good win was a 67-66 nail biter at #9 Texas. Easy conference schedule so far with wins over Michigan and Iowa.
#3 - Indiana (12 - 1, 1 - 0)
Normally impressive win over Kentucky is not so impressive this year. Southern Illinois was a good win though. Only loss is to Xavier (12 - 3). Barely beat Iowa in conference play.
#4 - Ohio State (11 - 3, 2 - 0)
I can't figure this team out yet. They look good one night and horrible the next. The three losses were to ranked teams, but last year they won games like that. They kind of struggled with Northwestern on Sunday.
#5 - Purdue (10 - 4, 1 - 0)
Nice win over Louisville, but what happened against Wofford and Iowa State? This is another team I haven't figured out yet. I think they are probably a year away.
#6 - Penn State (10 - 4, 2 - 0)
After a disappointing 3-4 start the Nittany Lions have rolled off seven straight wins and are playing their best basketball in years. Both conference wins are on the road.
#7 - Minnesota (10 - 3, 0 - 1)
After starting out 10-1 against poor competition the Gophers have dropped their last two against good competition. The schedule is tough over the next few weeks. Me thinks the Tubby Smith honeymoon may be coming to an end.
#8 - Illinois (8 - 7, 0 - 2)
The Illini are on a three game losing streak with all of three losses on their home court. Remember back when they won 30-some straight at home? This team is in a tailspin right now and lacking confidence.
#9 - Iowa (7 - 8, 0 - 2)
Nothing special about this team at all, but they did play Indiana tough last week.
#10 - Northwestern (5 - 6, 0 - 2)
Same old story for the Wildcats: a bunch of short slow white guys just fielding a team because the Big Ten needs them to help fill out the schedule. Usually they fight Penn State for the #10 spot in the conference. This year it will be...
#11 - Michigan (4 - 10, 0 - 2)
Man. I thought all the Michigan bloggers were exaggerating when they said Tommy Amaker left the cupboard bare. They weren't kidding. It may take a few years to rebuild this program. The ultimate insult came in losing to Harvard, Tommy Amaker's new team.