Monday, January 12, 2009

Big Ten Power Poll 2009, Week 2

1. Michigan State (3-0)
The Sparties are looking like the best conference team by far, and picking up a nice win over Kansas while Lucas is starting to get his shot falling results in a week that should have the other Big Ten teams nervous. Everyone seems to be playing better since Suton got back- he won't wow you with per-game stats, but he may be the best center in the conference.

2. Wisconsin (3-1)
The Badgers suffer their first loss at Purdue, but with Hummel's first game back from injury, that's really not a bad loss. Bo Ryan's got his club in good position for yet another title run. It seems strange to say, but I'm most concerned about the Badger defense.

3. Illinois (2-1)
Hopefully the Illini feel better about last season's losses to Indiana, because they played just about perfectly and crushed the walk-ons and freshmen that make up the Hoosier squad. Bruce Weber has assumed the mantle of the new Gene Keady in that he always looks like his team has never gotten a call, ever, even when they're up by 30.

4. Michigan (3-1)

It's a sweet-shooting scrappy club that Beilien has put together, but they're probably also a bit lucky not to be 2-2 after an OT win at Indiana, and the home victory over a Tate-less Iowa is unlikely to convince anyone that this isn't a middling conference team. But, hey, they're 3-1, and they can beat anybody.

5. Minnesota (2-1)

I'm still not really sold on these guys, despite the blowout win over PSU. They were barely able to win at Iowa, even after Cyrus Tate went down early. While I do think their pressure will spell big problems for IU, I don't see them as a real threat to Wisconsin or MSU yet.

6. Purdue (1-2)
The Boilers seem to have some sort of strange grip over Wisconsin. The home win was nice for a team just starting to come back and a healthy Hummel makes a big difference, too. Keaton Grant & E'Twuann Moore need to get back on track offensively if the Boilers are going to challenge MSU, tho.

7. Penn State (2-2)

Yes, I know the Lions just nipped Purdue last week. But, it was a home game for PSU while Purdue didn't have Robbie Hummel, so they didn't face the real Boilermakers. But give them credit, they are earning their wins and looked respectable in a loss at Wisconsin. If the game at Minnesota wasn't an aberration, then they might be in trouble, but I'd guess they're still a NIT-worthy team.

8. Ohio State (1-2)
Of all of the teams here, I think the Buckeyes are really the ones on the knife-edge. They're good enough to make the NCAA tournament, but they're also not good enough to overcome a really bad conference start, either. They've got to start taking care of business if they want to bounce back.

9. Northwestern (0-3)
The Wildcats start out with a tough schedule, so Carmody has to rally his troops so they don't get too down after a bad start. They'll get some wins, but if they want a post-season, NU has to scrape out a road win or two.

10. Iowa (1-3)
Losing Cyrus Tate in a narrow home loss to Minnesota hurts this thin club really badly. The rest of the month (@Pur, v. Wis., @PSU, v. MSU, @Ill.) looks like it could be pretty brutal. Good thing they eked out that narrow home victory against IU early.

11. Indiana (0-3)
I'm not giving up hope, even with Dumes injury. Dumes could create offense, but he also created a lot of opportunities for the other team as well. Any game could be where the Hoosiers could jump on somebody and spring the upset. Well, probably not at Ohio State, but Jones & Williams are starting to get more comfortable in the offense, which is good when not much else is.


Post a Comment

<< Home