Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings 2-28-11

illini_cheerleader

When doing a Big Ten Power rankings this time of year, there’s three tiers. You have your top three teams, a force to be reckoned with in national college basketball. Then you have this muddled mix of mediocre blah. Some of it will rise to the cream, and possibly make a run in March because this is kind of a down year nationally.

Some of the muddled mass is just blahhhh ughh though; but those teams will get a tourney bid anyway because expanding the field by three (although the perfect move at the perfect time, making the field more even and eliminating the condescending play-in game) has actually watered down the bracket much more than anyone anticipated.

Then there’s the third tier- which is just…kind of ugly.

By Paul M. Banks

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Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings February 2011 Edition

hoosiers cheerleader

Lots of shakeup this week in my Big Ten Power Rankings. Let’s see where everyone shakes up. “CAN’T WAIT” as the New York Jets Bart Scott would say:

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Big 10 Power Rankings 1-17-11 Edition

jared sullinger

Ohio State takes over the #1 position in both national college basketball polls. Just like they did in college football a couple months ago…then they lost their very next game at Wisconsin. In hoops, they don’t visit Madison until February 12th, so maybe they’ll be alright for awhile this time.

After the Buckeyes, the talent level drops off DRAMATICALLY! as 2-6 are about as interchangeable as can be. And 7 and 8 are right in there too.

You’ve heard of the expression “for argument sake,” well you can arguably put the big mass of teams in the muddled middle in various spots.

By Paul M. Banks

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Big Ten Power Rankings: Start of Conference Season Edition

golden gopher cheerleaders

Back around Halloween, there was this belief that the Big Ten was the most powerful conference in college basketball. Of course that was before the season started. With the league going just 17-18 versus other power conference teams, while the Big East has gone 24-12 with the same criteria.

In other words, this league is rather overrated; and they’ve suffered some unexpected losses in the pre-conference. So I’ll use the losses on everyone’s resume to rate the team’s this week.

By Paul M. Banks

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Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings: Holiday Party Edition

ready for the dance illini

When you get into mid-late December, the featured games in college basketball can be less than appealing. We’re past the riveting pairings of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and Feast Week Thanksgiving tournaments. However, we still have three weeks until conference season begins. Last Saturday’s nationally televised match-ups on Saturday were so dreadfully boring that Indiana Hoosiers vs. Kentucky Wildcats and Marquette Golden Eagles versus Wisconsin Badgers were the BEST options.

It also doesn’t help that college football was over by last Saturday, and the NFL hasn’t started their games on Sat part of the schedule. But hey, at least you have 7th tier bowl games coming up this week, it’ll give you something to distract you from all the hoops powerhouses loading up on cupcakes before conference season begins.

Perhaps this is why all your non-family related Christmas parties are going on right now. So spike the eggnog at the office yuletide, because you won’t get much excitement from watching your team destroy somebody you’ve never heard of with a hyphenated name by 30 points.

By Paul M. Banks

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2011 Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings, Premature Edition

As we learn every November/December, college basketball polls in the early season are often pretty useless. Therefore, as I do my power rankings I’m going to try and ignore the polls in evaluating these Big Ten teams. We’ll see how that works out. Going with the eye test here.

By Paul M. Banks

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Big Ten Power Rankings: Midseason Edition

msu dance team

On my way home from the “Banks Bowl” (nickname I give to the annual IllinoisMichigan State meeting, because the former is my undergrad, the latter my MBA school) on Saturday night I drove past the town of Climax, MI on I-94.

The miles immediately leading into Climax are exciting, but then when you’re past Climax, it’s all downhill.

By the way, wouldn’t it be HILARIOUS if there was a town called Refractory Period, MI bordering Climax?

I bring this up because MSU football has had a tendency to climax during the middle of the season these past couple decades. It seems like they start 5-0 and finish 7-5 every season. They’ve also been prone to tremendous let-downs. Beating undefeated Michigan and Ohio State teams in midseason (see 1998, 1999, 2001) then losing to Indiana and Purdue the following week.

Will this year be different? With a 7-0 record, the first since the national title year of 1966, and a #7 BCS ranking, it appears so. Will the excitement for Tom Izzo’s basketball team will be delayed a little?

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Big 10 Power Rankings 10-11-10

iowa cheerleaders

Big Ten news of the week? Obviously, the polls deeming Columbus the current capital of college football power.

The great American poet Cornell Haynes once posed this existential query:

“What does it take to be #1, two is not a winner, and three nobody remembers.” In slightly more recent history, another local wordsmith named Kanye West stated “number one can’t put nothing above that. You deserve a verse from me, we’re going to party like it’s our anniversary.”

1. Ohio State (6-0)

By Paul M. Banks

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Big Ten Power Rankings: Conference Season Edition

#11 Wisconsin Finally Impresses in 70-3 Thrashing of Austin Peay

Madison, WI -The #11 Wisconsin Badgers improved to 4-0 with a 70-3 thrashing of the Austin Peay Governors in front of 77,224 at Camp Randall Stadium. Unlike in their three previous games, the Badgers impressed on all fronts this Saturday. To no one ‘s surprise, the Badgers’ running game was downright dominant while accumulating 346 yards. Freshman running back James White (pictured above) led the way with 145 yards on 11 carries (a whopping 13.2 yards per carry) and four touchdowns. The Badgers’ defense was also a force to be reckoned with. After giving up 125 yards to Arizona State’s running back Deantre Lewis last week, the rush defense locked down the Governor’s run game while limiting them to only 42 yards on the ground, including a stifling eight yards in the first half.

Wisconsin’s 70 points is a single game school record for the most points in the modern era dating back to 1946. The win also extends the Badgers’ regular-season non-conference winning streak to 28 consectutive games and marks the seventh consectutive season the Badgers enter Big Ten play undefeated.

By: Nick Grays

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#11 Badgers Take On Austin Peay in One Final Tune-Up

On Saturday, the Badgers welcome in the Governors of Austin Peay for one final tune-up before they hit the road for their Big Ten opener with the Michigan State Spartans. Through three games, the Badgers look great on paper at 3-0 with a #11 ranking in the polls. However,  the Badgers have struggled to impress in their wins over UNLV, San Jose St. and Arizona State, winning each game by an average  of only 11.3 points. Moreover, the team has been less than stellar on the defensive side of the ball and  to make matters worse, sophomore standout Chris Borland is out for the season after re-injuring his shoulder against ASU.

Maybe a game with a FCS opponent like Austin Peay is exactly what the Badgers need. This will be the fifth consecutive year that the Badgers face off with a FCS opponent, winning the last four by an average of 17.3 points.

By: Nick Grays

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