Last week, we discussed how the Big Ten is back. This week, the question of whether the Big Ten is the nation’s best conference just might be answered.
So far this season, the league’s 14 teams are 25-17 against the six other high-major conferences (Atlantic Coast, American Athletic, Southeastern, Big 12, Pac 12 and Big East), and that includes an 0-5 mark from Illinois. That clip has resulted in the conference slotting seven teams in the top 25 of the NCAA’s NET Rankings, which will heavily influence NCAA Tournament seeding (the league has nine in the top 44 as well). That’s a far cry from last season, when the Big Ten finished 22-34 against high-major, non-conference opponents.
And on Saturday, with seven more such games lined up, the Big Ten could assert itself as the nation’s premier conference. That would make quite the statement, and likely guarantee that at least eight Big Ten teams could make the NCAA Tournament.
In addition to non-conference success, the Big Ten also began conference play a month early for the second year in a row. There weren’t too many surprises, but we did get to see which teams are more ready to compete than other.
So who has impressed, who hasn’t and where do all 14 teams stack up? Using stats, the eye test and other factors, we break down all 14 teams in our weekly Big Ten Power Rankings.