Sunday, December 9, 2007

Big Ten Rankings

Beautiful game last night, with the Gophers stomping CSU, but letting them back in just enough to let CSU cover the +21. I couldn't attend last night, and, of course, the game wasn't on TV, so I don't have much to talk about regarding it. I will say that 21 for Hoffarber, with the second most shots taken on the team, shows how much his confidence has grown. This is a good thing.

With just under a month to go before the Big Ten schedule gets going, here's a look at how the Big Ten teams stack up so far:

1. Indiana (8-1)
Good Wins: G-Tech, @So Ill, Kentucky
Bad Losses: None
Remaining: none

Rolling so far this season and looking like the class of the Big Ten. Beat Kentucky without either starting guard, and are still looking forward to getting A.J. Ratliff back from suspension. Gordon has been awesome, and the other newcomers have really helped as well. There's no shame in losing to a very good Xavier team at their place.

2. Michigan St (7-1)
Good Wins: @Missouri, NC State, @BYU
Bad Losses: None
Remaining: Texas

The Spartans are doing what they need to, their only loss being against UCLA on a neutral court, where they actually lead for most of the game before letting it slip away. Three very good wins, but nothing that really stands out yet. They'll have their shot against Texas.

3. Illinois (5-3)
Good Wins: @Hawaii, Arizona St, Oklahoma St
Bad Losses: Arizona
Remaining Impact NC games: @Missouri

Looking good this season. Losing to Arizona wouldn't normally be a bad loss, even at home, but they had a double digit lead for a big chunk of the game, and ended up letting it slip away before losing in overtime. The Illini play very tough defense on the perimeter, but struggle a bit against good post players.

4. Ohio St (4-3)
Good Wins: Syracuse
Bad Losses: None

Will probably be ok, but haven't really shown much so far. The win against Syracuse is nice, but the Orange are very up and down so far this season. In three other chances to impress - against UNC, Butler, and Texas A&M - they've come short, including losing by 23 against A&M. Really not very impressive thus far.

5. Wisconsin (6-2)
Good Wins: Georgia
Bad Losses: Marquette
Remaining: @Texas

The Badgers haven't been all that impressive, but haven't really done anything wrong yet either, as they try to replace Alando Tucker. I'll say this, Trevon Hughes is a better point guard than Kammron Taylor was.

6. Minnesota (6-1)
Good Wins: @Iowa St
Bad Losses: None
Remaining: @UNLV

As much as the optimism is flying, they really haven't done anything special, which is a clear sign of just how far the program had fallen. The win at Iowa St, while wouldn't mean much to many programs, was a huge win for the Gophers. No shame in losing @ FSU. With only the game @ UNLV remaining as a quality game in non-conference, we'll likely have to wait for the Big Ten season to know just how good this team is.

7. Purdue (5-2)
Good Wins: None
Bad Losses: @Missouri, @Clemson
Remaining: Louisvile, @Iowa St

The Boilers have had their chances to show something so far, but have let leads against both Missouri and against Clemson get away from them in the end, so they have no good wins to show for it. The fact that they are such a young team, and that they were able to have those leads at all against good teams, both on the road, shows me that they have the ability to be a top tier Big Ten team, if they can only put it all together. They should end up being better than this #7 ranking.

8. Penn St (4-4)
Good Wins: Virginia Tech, Seton Hall
Bad Losses: South Carolina, UCF, Rider
Remaining: None

Very tough team to evaluate right now. I had high hopes for them this year, with Claxton and Cornley back, but they've been really up and down. Of all teams, they have the most good wins and bad losses combined. I'm thinking they're going to be the kind of team that isn't really dangerous except at home, and will probably knock off a team or two they shouldn't there.

9. Michigan (3-6)
Good Wins: None
Bad Losses: Western Kentucky, @Harvard
Remaining: UCLA

The bottom three could be here in any order, but I guess I have more hope for Michigan that for the other two. Michigan always has a non-conference schedule as if they were a top tier team, when in fact they are horrible. They have already lost to, and been non-competitive, against Duke, Georgetown, and Butler, with UCLA still to come. The losses to Harvard and W. Kentucky don't help when you have that kind of schedule. They'll probably win a game or two they probably shouldn't in the Big Ten, but they don't look good so far.

10. Iowa (6-5)
Good Wins: None
Bad Losses: LA-Monroe, Utah St, @Iowa St
Remaining: Drake

Even worse than Michigan. The transfer of Tyler Smith and the injury to Tony Freeman have really torpedoed the Hawkeyes season, which was likely going to be bad anyway. Freeman is close to coming back, he actually played 24 minutes against N. Iowa, the only win the Hawks had that was even close to quality, but isn't there just yet. He sat out the game @ Iowa State, another Hawkeye loss.

11. Northwestern (4-4)
Good Wins: None
Bad Losses: Brown, @DePaul
Remaining: None

Just a total garbage team again this year. Their wins are against really bad teams, and their only chance at a decent win, @ DePaul, they had a lead most of the game and let it get away at the end, which I was unfortunate enough to witness. Freshman Michael Thompson looks like a decent player, but the rest of that team is brutal. Maybe if/when they get Coble back, they might be ok, but as for now, their tradition of beating the Gophers every year might be in trouble.

St. Joseph +7.5 @ Creighton (W)
Maryland -4.5 vs. Boston College (L)
Brown +15.5 @ Providence (L)
Manhattan +3 @ Loyola-MD (L)
Temple +5 vs. Villanova (L)
Cal +2.5 @ K State (L)

Yesterday: 9-6
Season: 96-80


The Sidler said...

Freshman of the Year showdown-

Eric Gordon vs. Hoffbauer

WWWWWW said...

It's on.

Dawg said...

WWW- Marquette was ranked 15th when they beat Sconi. Whats your criteria for bad losses?

WWWWWW said...

That was an iffy one. It felt like a bad loss to me. At home and against a rival school, it just felt like they should win. And they didn't. So that's why.

Dawg said...

You're stupid.