Not too much happened this week, but I'm still going to break it down like always.
1 (previously 1). Purdue: As expected, they cruised past SIU-Edwardsville and enter Big Ten play undefeated. Also as expected, they didn't cover the absurd 41 point spread. While Purdue fans get a little sensitive when people question their team, there's no doubt the Boilers look very strong and have a chance to do some serious damage in the NCAA tournament. A win over West Virginia on Friday would give them the inside track at getting a #1 seed in the tournament.
2 (2). Michigan State: They're not dropping in the power rankings after losing to Texas, but that game definitely hurt the Spartans chances for a top seed in March. Texas was just too quick, too athletic and too deep for Tom Izzo's team to handle. I still expect them to challenge Purdue for the Big Ten title, but they're running out of time to put it together. Their final tune-up for Big Ten play comes Wednesday vs Texas-Arlington before they visit Evanston on Saturday.
3 (3). Wisconsin: The Badgers stay at third after handling two Horizon league opponents at home. Much like Northwestern, their conference schedule is very tough early, with 4 of the first 6 away from home, so it will be quite a challenge for Bo Ryan and company. Fortunately for Wisconsin fans, Bo knows coaching.
4 (4). Minnesota: Another week, another 30 point Gopher win over a terrible team. The most interesting thing in the last month for Minnesota was the Royce White YouTube saga, so to continue on that subject here's a fantastic parody from a Gopher fan. They finally get back to playing real teams tomorrow against Penn State.
5 (5) Ohio State: A win over Cleveland State keeps them at 5th. Next up: a trip to the Kohl Center to face Wisconsin.
6 (6) Northwestern: The big news of the 'Cats reaching the top 25 for the first time since the Nixon administration broke as I was typing this. I didn't think much would change this week, but losses by Butler, Texas A&M, Florida and Gonzaga opened the door.
Interestingly, a recent bracket projection had NU as a 12 seed, taking on New Mexico and Steve Alford in the first round.
7 (7) Illinois: Another disappointing showing away from homefor the Illini this week, as they lost on a neutral court to Missouri in the annual bragging rights game. It was sweet revenge for Missouri, who had lost 9 straight games to Illinois (not quite the level of revenge that this grounded kid got on his tattling sister, but still pretty sweet.)
8 (8) Michigan: They finally blew out a Division 1 opponent, winning by 30 over Coppin State. Not the most impressive win, but baby steps for the struggling Wolverines.
9 (9) Penn State: They finished the non-conference season a lackluster 8-4 against a very weak schedule, although the loss at Temple doesn't look as bad as it once did.
10 (10) Indiana: I briefly considered moving them down after an embarrassing home loss to Loyola-Maryland. The Hoosiers played maybe the worst 10 minutes in Big Ten history to open the game, falling behind 24-4 and turning the ball over 14 times. If they lose tonight at home to 0-12 Bryant College, there might be a riot in Bloomington.
11 (11) Iowa: They took care of business at home against South Carolina State. Still nothing to see here.
So those are the rankings for this week, remember to disagree early and often.