Our second set of rankings deliver a quiet week, with some headliners that made the conference look bad more than anything.
The Boilermakers were in a battle with Davidson, but remained undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the AP poll. It’s unlikely that Purdue gives up the No. 1 spot anytime soon.
Wisconsin takes No. 2 by default, as the teams above them didn’t do particularly well in the past week. The Badgers struggled with Lehigh early, but a late run in the second half lifted them over the Hawks.
Another team moving up due to teams above it, Illinois didn’t struggle with Alabama A&M as much as Wisconsin struggled with Lehigh, but the Illini certainly didn’t look as polished against a vastly overmatched opponent as they probably should have.
4: Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes lost to North Carolina, but, unlike the teams it leapfrogged, it lost away from home (Maryland) and not by a mile (Indiana). The jury may still be out on Ohio State, whose only wins of note right now are Texas Tech and Rutgers.
You can’t fault the Hoosiers for losing on the road to Kansas. You can fault them for looking listless for most of the game, however. What most though would be a conference, if not national title contender in the preseason is turning out to be a garden variety Indiana squad so far. They may still contend for a Big Ten crown, but they’ll need to fix what’s not working soon if they want to do that.
The Hawkeyes dropped 100 on an overmatched opponent. What else is new. No sign of Kris Murray still, and, as conference play closes in, they might start to miss him.
Maryland is probably not as bad as the beatdown against UCLA showed, but they’re certainly not the No. 2 team in the conference, as we had them pegged last week. The Terps have lost all of the luster from their hot start, but get two low majors to get ready for the Big Ten grind.
Penn State started slow against Canisius, but ultimately stepped the foot on the gas to earn a 30-point win when it was all said and done. That earns them some run in the rankings.
Struggling, but not losing to Lipscomb nets you zero spots in the rankings. The Wolverines get the Jumpman Invitational for a chance to earn another quality win before conference play resumes.
Dropping two spots after not playing seems harsh, but it’s less about what Michigan State did or didn’t do and more about what the other teams, namely Penn State, did.
The Wildcats found an offense! Hopefully they didn’t use all of it on DePaul, because they’re going to need to score the basket if they want to get out of the Big Ten basement this season.
12: Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Rutgers overcame the dreadful performance against Seton Hall by blowing the doors off Wake Forest, which may turn out to be a good win when it’s all said and done. But, with the ACC this season, it’s wise to not hold one’s breath.
Nebraska lost to Kansas State in its lone game of the week. The loss wasn’t pretty. Maybe the Huskers will have a little bit of Jekyll and Hyde in them this year.
14: Minnesota Golden Gophers
And then there’s Minnesota. Two should-be wins against Chicago State and Alcorn State precede what is likely to be a long conference season for the Gophers.