Published Monday, January 13, 2014 at 10:24 pm / Updated at 10:47 pm
Barfknecht's Big Ten Ratings, Jan. 14

World-Herald staff writer Lee Barfknecht ranks the Big Ten men's basketball teams. RPI from

* * *

1. Wisconsin (16-0, 3-0, 1st)

This week: at Indiana, Michigan. Win your favorite beverage with this one: Wisconsin has beaten Indiana 12 straight times. No foe has ever thumped the Hoosiers 13 times in a row.

2. Michigan State (15-1, 4-0, 9th)

This week: at Northwestern, at Illinois. Two overtime wins last week saved the Spartans' spot in the national Top 10. Two games against part of the league's bottom half this week should allow easier breathing.

3. Iowa (14-3, 3-1, 18th)

This week: Minnesota. In one week's time, Fran McCaffery went from being suspended for a game to claiming his signature win. Iowa's topping of then-No. 3 Ohio State was the first over a Top 5 team in 13 years.

4. Ohio State (15-2, 2-2, 16th)

This week: at Minnesota, at Nebraska. Worries about how battle-tested OSU would be from a soft nonconference schedule have proven true. Getting well at Minnesota won't be easy.

5. Michigan (11-4, 3-0, 49th)

This week: Penn State, at Wisconsin. The Wolverines, without Mitch McGary, need Glenn Robinson III to become the All-American that many projected him to be.

6. Minnesota (13-4, 2-2, 48th)

This week: Ohio State, at Iowa. Other than Wisconsin going undefeated, Minnesota has been the surprise of the league. The Golden Gophers like Richard Pitino's uptempo, high-pressure style.

7. Illinois (13-4, 2-2, 31st)

This week: Purdue, Michigan State. Why did the Illini, after moving into the Top 25 last week, lose two games? They had 39 offensive rebounds, but only 11 second-chance points.

8. Indiana (11-5, 1-2, 71st)

This week: Wisconsin, Northwestern. Forward Noah Vonleh has won the league's freshman of the week honor five times, tied for the third most in Big Ten history.

9. Purdue (11-5, 1-2, 104th)

This week: at Illinois, Penn State. When center A.J. Hammons plays hard, this team is a threat. When the 7-foot sophomore coasts, the Boilermakers are nothing special.

10. Northwestern (8-9, 1-3, 148th)

This week: Michigan State, at Indiana. First-year coach Chris Collins danced in the locker room after the Wildcats got their first Big Ten win. But not many more Ws are expected.

11. Penn State (9-8, 0-4, 119th)

This week: at Michigan, at Purdue. Lot of talk in Happy Valley about this being a young team that loses focus at key times and can't pull out close games. Sounds similar to the story in Nebraska Valley.

12. Nebraska (8-8, 0-4, 85th)

This week: Ohio State. It's unclear if it's good for the Huskers to have eight days between games. Regardless, that time is critical to figure out the path going forward.

Read more related stories


< >
2013 college football preview
View our 2013 college football preview, a 26-page, three-part section filled with coverage of the Huskers, Big Ten conference and more.
Big Red Bowl Retrospective
See complete historical results, game recaps and photo coverage from the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football bowl game appearances, from the 1941 Rose Bowl up to today.
Big Ten football recruits
The World-Herald's Big Ten recruiting database contains every football recruit that signed with a Big Ten school from 2002 to 2011, complete with color-coded interactive map representations, player information, high-concentrations recruiting clusters and more.
Devaney Center timeline
Check out a World-Herald timeline to see the evolution of memorable moments at the Devaney Center, complete with photos, videos, memorable quotes and more.
Follow OWHbigred on Twitter
Looking for the latest Husker sports news from The Omaha World-Herald and Follow us on Twitter!
Husker scholarship distribution chart
Want to see how many scholarships NU has invested at each position? Wondering how the Huskers have appropriated their offers by class? Check out our handy chart to look further into how Bo Pelini has built his team.
Husker Signing Day 2013
The World-Herald's top-notch coverage of the Nebraska football's class of 2013, complete with videos, photos, articles, live recruit interviews, interactive components and more.
Husker turnovers: A slippery slope
Bo Pelini has coached 68 games at Nebraska. When NUís turnover margin is positive or even, the Huskers are 35-2. When they lose the turnover battle, theyíre 13-18. Why hasnít Nebraska joined the nationís elite? More than anything, itís turnovers.
Interactive: Bo Pelini's contract
View an interactive PDF of Pelini's revised contract signed by the NU football coach, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Darin Erstad's contract (2012)
View an interactive PDF of NU baseball coach Darin Erstad's contract released in August 2012, complete with brief summaries of the legalese and insight into the document's finer points.
Interactive: Tim Miles' contract
View an interactive PDF of Tim Miles' contract signed by the Nebraska men's basketball coach on May 4, 2012, complete with brief legal explanations, comparisons to other Big Ten coaches and more.'s Big Ten coverage
Delivering the best news coverage and analysis of the Big Ten Conference, from and other top news outlets from around country.
Husker Recruiting: Changes shrink NU's sphere of influence
For decades, the Great Plains represented fertile recruiting ground for Tom Osborne's football program. Restoring that lost tradition won't be easy.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
The Jaipur in Rockbrook Village
Half Off Fine Indian Cuisine & Drinks! $15 for Dinner, or $7 for Lunch
Buy Now
< >