December 6, 2013 / 11:41 am

Big Ten Power Rankings

Welcome back to our Big Ten Power Rankings after a week off for Thanksgiving. We have pushed back our Power Rankings to account for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. This week’s rankings consist of WIUX Sports personalities Andy Wittry, Sam Rumpza, Matthew Dlugie, Lucas Corley, Tori Ziege, Kevin Hyland, Andrew Vailliencourt and Ethan Gaba.

Team Name, First Place Votes, Record, Average, High/Low

1. Ohio State Buckeyes (5), (7-0), Average: 1.5, High/Low: 1/3

What They’re Saying: “This Ohio State team makes its living on defense, but their offense has a new dimension now that big man Amir Williams is producing in the middle (averaging 10.4 ppg).” –Kevin Hyland

“With four players averaging 11 points per game, the Buckeyes have shown they can go to anyone if they need a basket. Will be interesting to see though how they hold up in B1G play where the defenses will force OSU to look to one player to score the majority of their buckets.” –Matthew Dlugie

2. Wisconsin Badgers (1), (9-0), Average: 2.125, High/Low: 1/3

What They’re Saying: “With another nice win in the ACC/ Big Ten Challenge, the Badgers are showing right now that they can beat anybody. They have shooters, and an inside game and are playing that slow, defense focused style of play that we are used to. The have higher quality wins than Ohio State, which is why I have them atop the rankings this week. There is no reason this team can’t go undefeated in non-conference play.” –Andrew Vailliencourt

“Bo Ryan’s Badgers are showing the Big Ten and the rest of the country that they are legit. They can win by scoring with you, or win by grinding it out on defense. In their Big Ten/ACC matchup against UVA, they did just that by winning 48-38. They were able to shut down the nation’s best scorer from the 2012-13 season in Joe Harris who only made one of ten attempted field goals. Their starting lineup is all averaging double-digit points. But my main concern is their depth. All starters average over 28 minutes of play. If Bo Ryan can get a little more production from his bench, the rest of the Big Ten needs to watch out.” –Ethan Gaba

3. Michigan State Spartans (2), (7-1), Average: 2.5, High/Low: 1/4

What They’re Saying: “Now Spartan fans know what it’s like to lose at home while ranked number one — it’s not easy being the best team in the nation. With UNC struggling to this point, this loss really was a bad one. You have to protect your home court, especially in the B1G.” –Matthew Dlugie

“The biggest movers for me this week were the Michigan State Spartans. They did not show up at home as the number one team in the country, against an average Roy Williams’ Tar Heel team. They looked flat at times, and could not shoot the ball. As a team they shot a woeful 35.9 percent from the field and just 66.7 percent from the line. This team has the talent to get back to the top, but as I said before Tom Izzo teams are meant to peak in March not early December.” –Ethan Gaba

4. Iowa Hawkeyes, (8-1), Average: 4.125, High/Low: 4/5

What They’re Saying: “The Hawkeyes looked strong in a big test Tuesday night, spoiling Notre Dame’s first appearance in the Big Ten/ACC challenge. Guard Roy Devyn Marble and forward Aaron White have been the difference makers for this team. They lead way in scoring in key wins vs. the Fighting Irish and in overtime vs. Xavier. Iowa’s only loss came to No. 14 Villanova in OT. This highly hyped team has certainly lived up to expectations thus far.” –Tori Ziege

The Hawkeyes had a great tournament in the Battle 4 Atlantis. The beat Xavier in OT, took down UTEP, and ended up as runner up to Villanova. That loss to Villanova was the first of the season for Iowa. They bounced back with a win over Notre Dame. Iowa is a team I really enjoy watching. The move the ball well, they’re unselfish, and they have a talented core. Their one drawback is they don’t have much depth.” –Lucas Corley

5. Indiana Hoosiers, (6-2), Average: 5.5, High/Low: 3/7

What They’re Saying: “The Syracuse game was IU’s first road test and it came against a top five team in the country but the Hoosiers’ second half performance was pitiful. IU doesn’t have a go-to shooter. In fact, IU may not have any shooters at all. The Hoosiers are at their best when they get out in transition and when they play at the rim. However, this team can’t rely on put-back dunks from Troy Williams or second chance layups as its offense. It’s evident that two of IU’s preseason concerns–leadership and outside shooting–haven’t been resolved and they may haunt the Hoosiers for the remainder of the season.” –Andy Wittry

“The Hoosiers are still young and inexperienced. In their game against Syracuse they looked lost the entire second half. Pair that up with a lack of shooting other than Yogi Ferrell, and it’s obvious to see why this team may struggle this year. This team needs to spend more time driving to the hoop and less time spotting up behind the arch if they want to have success as the season progresses.” –Lucas Corley

6. Michigan Wolverines, (5-3), Average: 5.75, High/Low: 5/8

What They’re Saying:  “Is Michigan any good? I don’t know. The Wolverines have two players–Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III–who were projected to be first round draft picks in the 2014 NBA Draft but they haven’t played like it so far. The duo is averaging 20.9 points and 13.9 rebounds per game but based on McGary’s performances in last year’s NCAA Tournament, one would think he would put up similar numbers by himself. Michigan certainly misses Trey Burke and unfortunately Spike Albrecht won’t be able to bail out the Wolverines every time they get into trouble like he did in the National Championship game against Louisville.” –Andy Wittry

“A rough stretch right now for the Wolverines. And it doesn’t get any easier with presumed new No. 1 Arizona coming up. Mitch McGary is showing that he isn’t the player we saw in the NCAA tournament last year, and needs to step up along with Glenn Robinson the third. They will bounce back, and are still a better team than Indiana and others, but they have a lot of work to do.” –Andrew Vailliencourt

7. Illinois Fighting Illini, (7-1), Average: 7.625, High/Low: 5/9

What They’re Saying: “Some people will wonder why I have Illinois down at number nine, but they have no big wins, lost to a struggling Georgia Tech team, and played too close with UNLV and IPFW. They have a solid roster though, and have a chance to do some things this year.” –Andrew Vailliencourt

The Illini have been a little suspect with a weak schedule so far and the loss to Georgia Tech in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge exposed them a bit. With Auburn, Dartmouth, and No. 13 Oregon coming up, I’d like to see Illinois go 2-1 in these three. But going 3-0 with a win over a ranked team would be huge moving forward for this team. Building confidence is something the Illini desperately need.” –Lucas Corley

8. Purdue Boilermakers, (7-2), Average: 8.125, High/Low: 7/9

What They’re Saying: “Purdue is a tough team to judge. They showed fight in the second half against No. 5 Oklahoma State and then came back the next day and gave up 52 in the second half to Washington State. The Boilers shot it well in the 21 point drubbing of Boston College, but who knows what team we’ll see going forward? Butler at the Crossroads Classic on the 14th will be a good test for this Boilers squad as we move towards Big Ten season.” –Sam Rumpza

9. Minnesota Golden Gophers, (7-2), Average: 8.5, High/Low: 7/9

What They’re Saying: “There are two reasons the Golden Gophers will make the NCAA Tournament: Hollins and Hollins.” –Kevin Hyland

“Nice job protecting home court vs. FSU. The Hollins men could lead this team to a few upsets through the course of the year. Keep an eye out for them.” –Matthew Dlugie

10. Nebraska Cornhuskers, (6-2), Average: 10.125, High/Low: 10/11

What They’re Saying: “In the young fledgling years of Nebraska in the Big Ten, the Cornhuskers seem to be finding their way. Under new head coach Tim Miles, they find themselves with a good start to the season. They beat Georgia and Miami, but a tough game against Doug McDermott and Creighton will be a litmus test for this team. I don’t expect them to win, but if they can play the Blue Jays close on the road consider it a “moral victory.’” –Lucas Corley

11. Penn State Nittany Lions, (6-3), Average: 10.875, High/Low: 10/11

What They’re Saying: Penn State was starting to find a rhythm winning five straight before they dropped two in a row to Ole Miss and Pitt respectively. In their upcoming four games before conference play, I expect them to go 3-1. Not because of a tough schedule, but because they just don’t have talent. But picking up these wins will be important because they start off Big Ten play hosting the Michigan State Spartans.” –Lucas Corley

12. Northwestern Wildcats, (4-5), Average: 12, High/Low: 12

What They’re Saying:  “With Missouri, UCLA, and NC State as their last three games, the Wildcats have seen one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the Big Ten. This could help them come conference play, but for now they sit at them bottom of my rankings.” –Matthew Dlugie