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Matt Charboneau’s Big Ten Power Rankings

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

1. Michigan State (22-5, 9-5): The Spartans have won six of seven, the only loss a one-point road defeat in overtime against Purdue. MSU also ended Wisconsin’s seven-game win streak.

2. Indiana (22-6, 12-3): The Hoosiers bounced back from their loss last weekend at Michigan State by getting wins over Nebraska and Purdue and now control their fate in the Big Ten.

3. Iowa (20-6, 11-3): The Hawkeyes have hit their first rough patch of the Big Ten season, losing two of three. They must win out to have a shot at the outright title.

4. Wisconsin (17-10, 9-5): It wasn’t the best week for the Badgers, who saw their seven-game win streak end at Michigan State before struggling to get past Illinois at home.

5. Maryland (23-5, 11-4): The Terrapins have been underwhelming much of the season and proved it with a loss at Minnesota. They bounced back to beat Michigan at home, but allowed the Wolverines to hang around.

6. Ohio State (18-10, 10-5): The young Buckeyes are surging late, winners of four straight. They’ll have their work cut out for them late with two games against Michigan State and one with Iowa.

7. Purdue (21-7, 9-6): The Boilermakers came up short in Saturday’s rivalry game with Indiana and have now lost three of their last five and have a home game with Maryland coming up this weekend.

Charboneau: Indiana a surprise contender for title

8. Michigan (19-9, 9-6): The Wolverines appeared to be surging toward an NCAA bid last week, but two losses to Ohio State and Maryland have put them back firmly on the bubble.

9. Penn State (14-13, 5-9): The Nittany Lions followed up their win over Iowa by taking care of business against Rutgers. A favorable schedule will give them a chance to avoid playing on the first day of the Big Ten tournament.

10. Northwestern (17-10, 5-9): The Wildcats were game in a loss at Purdue, a solid showing coming off a win last weekend over Illinois. Four winnable games remain and could provide a path to the postseason.

11. Nebraska (14-14, 6-9): Things have been headed in the wrong direction for the Cornhuskers for a few eeks and two straight losses after a win over Penn State haven’t helped.

12. Minnesota (7-19, 1-13): The Golden Gophers finally got it done by upsetting Maryland for their first Big Ten win of the season. They could add to the total with two games still against Rutgers.

13. Illinois (12-15, 4-10): The record doesn’t look good, but the Illini have been in nearly every game the last few weeks. Getting over the hump, however, has been the issue, including blowing a double-digit second-half lead at Wisconsin on Sunday.

14. Rutgers (6-21, 0-14): The Scarlet Knights hung tough against Penn State but the first win remained elusive. They’ll have a shot, at least, in three of their final four games.