By Paul M. Banks
1. Purdue (12-0, 1-0)
Now that conference play has started for what seems like the earliest point in history, it’s time to decide who the conference favorite is, and it’s pretty obvious as the Boilers are off to their best start since the Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson era
2. Michigan State (9-3)
They are a tad overrated. Even in this specific power rankings, I probably gave them to much credit. But I have a feeling Izzo’s benching of Kalin Lucas might wake them up. By the way, backup (sometimes starting) F/C Derrick Nix is shooting 3-28 from the charity stripe this season. No, that’s not a typo.
3. Northwestern (10-1)
Ranked in the Associated Press poll for the first time in 41 years and winners of nine straight, the #25 Wildcats have done it all without injured star Kevin Coble. That’s got to make Bill Carmody the Coach of the Year award front-runner so far
4. Wisconsin (10-2)
League’s wild card because they have the Big Ten’s most impressive preconference win (Duke) and one of the most embarassing losses (UW-Green Bay) on their resume
5. Ohio State (10-2)
If David Lighty keeps putting up 30 point games, Thad Matta should easily keep these guys heads above water till Evan Turner gets back.
6. Minnesota (10-3, 1-0)
Royce White’s legal issues and bone-headed decision to leave the program means “Tubby Time” is truly delayed substantially now.
7. Illinois (8-4)
A HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT this year! This NIT bound group is a huge reason that the conference has failed to live up to preseason hype. Should conceivably be ranked lower than 7th, but take a look below
8. Indiana (5-6)
Seemed to have taken a step or two forward this month…until Loyola Md. Seriously, Loyola MD?!
9. Michigan (6-5)
HUGE disappointment this season, and a big reason the conference was a colossal letdown in pre-conference play.
10. Penn State (8-5, 0-1)
Seemed to have a taken a major step backwards this season; again hurting the rep of the conference.
11. Iowa (5-8, 0-1)
Plucky bunch might steal a couple come conference season, but their talent level is clearly the Big Ten’s bottom of the barrel.