I’ve not had the time to write this in a bit, but the column is back and the numbers are filled in on the spreadsheets. Let’s delve into the various rankings then, shall we?
We are now just past the halfway mark of the season, and what a mess the standings are! Just take a look at how little separates first place from fourth at this point:
T-1. Michigan State Spartans (8-3)
T-1. Illinois Fighting Illini (8-3)
3. Maryland Terrapins (7-3)
T-4. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (7-4)
T-4. Iowa Hawkeyes (7-4)
6. Penn State Nittany Lions (6-4)
7. Wisconsin Badgers (6-5)
T-8. Indiana Hoosiers (5-6)
T-8. Purdue Boilermakers (5-6)
T-8. Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-6)
T-11. Ohio State Buckeyes (4-6)
T-11. Michigan Wolverines (4-6)
13. Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-9)
14. Northwestern Wildcats (1-10)
Rutgers dropped out of the AP after a road loss at Michigan, and MSU dropped two spots after a road loss at Wisconsin. Everyone else in the rankings moved up, Maryland especially. Oh, and Michigan continues to be over-rated in the AP Rankings.
9. Maryland (15)
16. Michigan State (14)
17. Iowa (18)
20. Illinois (19)
22. Penn State (24)
Receiving Votes: Ohio State 19, Rutgers 12, Michigan 1
The Huskers are in last place in every category here. The conference depth is quite apparent here as you can see 7 teams are in the top 25, and 11 teams are in the top 40. The conference definitely skews a bit more toward defense as their strength, with 8 teams in the top 40 for adjusted defense compared to 6 for adjusted offense.
The overall conference is as follows:
The Huskers are not in last place in the conference when it comes to RPI! So there is some nice news there at least. RPI conference standings have the Big Ten in third behind the Big East (1st) and Big 12 (2nd).
Nebraska and Northwestern are in the abolute basement of the conference in BPI. Indiana is ranked 44th, and you have to scroll through 89 teams to get to Northwestern. Nebraska is even further down at 144th. As for SOS, Rutgers is the only school currently sitting outside of the top 30.
Joe Lunardi currently projects 12 teams from the Big Ten to make the tournament. Michigan State is the highest seed at the 3 line in the Midwest, while Maryland is the 4 seed in the East. Penn State is the 5 in the South, and Iowa a 5 in the West. It is highly unlikely we see 12 teams actually make it in, but just as a reminder the Big East owns the record for most teams from a single conference to get an NCAA bid when 11 of their 16 teams made it in 2011.
I finally have NET rankings to include in here. 11 teams fall in the top 44, far and away the strongest of any conference.