Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings: Many Happy Returns Edition



Since Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, today is a day NO ONE is at work. There’s no Federal services, no trading on the stock market this Monday. It’s December 26th, so if you’re a mindless-zombie-worker bee-corporate drone-lemming, I know exactly where you are today- at the mall making your Christmas gift returns. (Remember to take the receipts!)

I’m guessing I know what you did on the day after Thanksgiving too, door busters! But for those of us who actually have a shred of individuality, let’s move on to the Big Ten basketball POWER rankings. The cupcake/puff scheduling is over. You ever wonder why the weak mid/low-majors get referred to as pastries? Baked goods are considered sugary and weak I guess. Now it’s time for the “meat and potatoes” of Big Ten conference play. Enjoy!


1.) #2 Ohio State Buckeyes (5-3, 2-2)

I think the Buckeyes aren’t just the best team in the conference, but also the nation. Why? Because now they have an Aaron Craft to complement a Jared Sullinger.

2.) #13 Indiana Hoosiers (12-0)

So what’s changed? Well a lot of things, but the main addition is Cody Zeller, McDonald’s All-American. More on that here

3.) #11 Wisconsin Badgers (11-2)

Teams can’t really figure out a way to score 50 on these guys. When they play Illinois, seriously expect that game to finish in the 30s. From 11 Warriors:

They held MVSU to a paltry 29.2% from the field and 20 points fewer than their season average. In regard to the Delta Devils, Bo Ryan looked on and coldheartedly declared, “if he dies, he dies.”4

4.) #18 Michigan Wolverines (10-2)

Trey Burke and Jordan Morgan have been a pleasant surprise, Evan Smotcryzxyxysysssyq, oh I don’t feel like looking up the spelling right now, has been the biggest surprise of all.

5.) #16 Michigan State Spartans (11-2,)

Same ‘ol Spartans. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Especially with the rebounding efforts. Not so much with the free throw shooting thus far. Or the defense versus Lehigh. No Tom Izzo teams give up points like that- unless you’re playing the 2009-09 North Carolina Tar Heels.

6.) #RV Illinois Fighting Illini (11-2)

I guess we do know their identity now: a team that plays up and down to its competition. Which means they’ll fit right in in this wide open Big Ten. More on this here

7.) Purdue Boilermakers (10-3)

The Butler loss was perplexing. This will be a down year in West Lafayette. But how will “down year” be defined? It could be like Michigan State last year, and still include a trip to the NCAAs, or it could mean 13+ losses.

8.) Northwestern Wildcats (10-2)

Blew their two chances to build up their RPI for their tourney profile. Will need a 10-8 in conference or better to have a shot at an at-large bid

9.) Minnesota Golden Gophers (12-1)

Don’t be fooled by that record- they barely escaped versus DePaul, and will have get eaten alive inside in the Big Ten without Trevor Mbwake

10.) Iowa Hawkeyes (8-5)
Don’t rule 20+ losses out of the equation.

 11.) #10 Nebraska Cornhuskers (8-3)

BTN’s Tim Doyle (pictured below) said on air that this team will make the NCAA Tournament. Yes, I have a special post planned for him- with all the dumbest things he said on air. It’s taking me awhile to do it because there’s so many it’s just so hard to choose!


12.) #16 Penn State Nittany Lions (8-5)

Need headline story emerging in the valley- how terrible at basketball their hoops team is.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio shows all across the world. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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