Some teams just know how to be a given opponent. That seems to be the case with Rutgers and Purdue, the former of which has won five of the last six contest against the latter, the last two of which were when Purdue was ranked No. 1. The Scarlet Knights may have given life to their season once more, and who knows, maybe this time around, they won’t need to beat an assortment of teams to earn a tournament bid.
Yes, they did just lose to Rutgers at home, but one upset does not automatically dethrone a team that has been the class of the Big Ten for basically the entire season. They get Ohio State and Penn State to right the ship, so let’s see how they do the rest of the week.
Wisconsin is just humming along, minding its own business, doing what it does every year. I do expect the Badgers to fade some as the season goes on, and could possibly pick up a loss or two in the next few weeks.
3: Ohio State Buckeyes
Another team that seems to be flying under the radar, Ohio State made quick work of Northwestern on Saturday. They get Purdue at home and Maryland on the road this week. Go 2-0 and they won’t be under the radar for much longer.
The Nittany Lions took care of business against a reeling Iowa, and now they get to go on the road to face a Michigan team that seems to have woken up against Maryland. They also get a shot at Purdue, and like Ohio State, if they manage to go 2-0 this week, people are going to notice.
Indiana hasn’t played since December 23rd, which is a long time to be off. Lucky for them, they go to Iowa on Thursday and host Northwestern on Saturday, so their long layoff might not matter as much. On the other hand, Iowa, coming off three games in a week, might be a lot more polished and steal one from the Hoosiers.
6: Rutgers Scarlet Knights
A huge upset of Purdue propels the Knights in the rankings, and, if they keep it up, they may find themselves in the upper quarter of the conference standings for a second consecutive year.
Does the win against Maryland say more about Michigan or the Terps? We’ll find out this week, as the Wolverines host Penn State and travel to Michigan State in a span of four days.
8: Michigan State Spartans
Speaking of Michigan State, the Spartans looked pretty good against Buffalo. Michigan State could very well find themselves in true form soon enough.
Things get really real really fast for Northwestern, who picks up conference play with Ohio State, Illinois, Rutgers, and Michigan. Ouch!
A win against Bethune-Cookman separates the loss to Missouri and the rest of conference play. If Illinois can figure out what ails them before that, they should move up these rankings pretty quickly.
All goodwill from that hot start is now gone, and Kevin Willard can’t really blame scheduling for the Terps’ performance against Michigan. Something needs to get right or Maryland’s season could fall off a cliff soon.
Nebraska beat Iowa at home, so they got that going for them!
13: Iowa Hawkeyes
Iowa sits at 0-3 in conference, having played the aforementioned Huskers when everyone else was playing a buy game to close out the 2022 calendar. They get a bit of rest, then they get an Indiana team who hasn’t played in almost two weeks.
14: Minnesota Golden Gophers
Better luck next year!