This weekend is HUGE in Big Ten baseball.
First of all, current standings.
This week's schedule:
- Nebraska at Michigan
- Maryland at Minnesota
- Iowa at Indiana
- Penn State at Northwestern
- Rutgers at Ohio State
- Michigan State at Purdue
- St Louis at Illinois
- Wisconsin has no baseball team
Michigan State won their series at Penn State this past weekend and with this weekend at Purdue you have to believe they'll be at 8-1 in conference when they leave West Lafayette.
Minnesota took two games against Michigan (!!!) but the third was cancelled due to weather. Now you have Nebraska heading to Michigan to see which of those teams is going to stay in the running for the top or fall back amongst the pack. Nebraska won their series against Northwestern, but lost the third game in crappy fashion, and then lost a seven-game win streak against Creighton midweek.
Ohio State was swept (!) by Maryland last weekend, and the Buckeyes will be looking to bounce back against Rutgers and not get into a position where they're fighting to get into the Big Ten tournament.
Despite the losses to Minnesota, Michigan remains the only ranked Big Ten team (NCBWA) with Michigan State, Nebraska, and now Minnesota sitting in the "Others Receiving Votes" category.
Current RPIs (Boyd Nation):
- Minnesota: 19 (what happens when you win on the road against a decent RPI team)
- Michigan State: 30
- Maryland: 38
- Michigan: 46
- Rutgers: 57
- Nebraska: 84 (what happens when you play Northwestern - 247 RPI)
- Iowa: 92
- Illinois: 104
- Penn State: 105
- Ohio State: 116
- Indiana: 161
- Northwestern: 247
- Purdue: 273
Minnesota currently ranks sixth nationally in team batting average (.326). This is quite a change from past seasons when they couldn't generate offense to save their lives. Michigan State (.309) and Michigan (.308) are 24th and 27th, respectively.
Nebraska has slowed down on home run-hitting, dropping to 42nd nationally with 30, while Ohio State is 12th with 36.
There are five Big Ten teams in the top 50 in ERA. Michigan State leads everyone at 2.36 (5th nationally) followed by Indiana (10th, 2.83), Penn State (32nd , 3.31), Michigan (34th, 3.33), and Ohio State (41st, 3.41).