Women's Big Ten power rankings

BY DI STAFF | DECEMBER 19, 2013 5:00 AM

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Penn State: Sure, the Nittany Lions may have lost to San Diego State very recently, but that doesn’t mean the media — or Penn State — should hit the panic button on this season. After all, the Nittany Lions have been a force to be reckoned with in Big Ten play, and that isn’t going to change. 

Purdue: It’s always kind of strange to see Purdue be so successful with both its basketball programs after football season. But the Boilermakers can never be taken lightly in basketball, and it’s shown this season: the team is ranked No. 18 in the Top 25. 

Nebraska: Picked as early favorites to win the Big Ten, the nonconference portion of the schedule hasn’t been exactly kind to the Cornhuskers.

Iowa: Two wins over ranked opponents later and four games against ranked teams overall, the Hawkeyes have practically punched their ticket to the Big Dance already, and Big Ten play hasn’t even started yet. 

Indiana: The Hoosiers are off to an 11-0 start to the season, but aren’t getting much respect from poll voters, thanks to an easy schedule and lack of quality wins. They’ll start getting that respect if they can keep up the pace during Big Ten season. 

Minnesota: The Golden Gophers are off to a quiet but successful start to the season. This team could be one of the dark horses to make a big push in the Big Ten Tournament and beyond if early records are any indication. 

Northwestern: The Wildcats have earned 8 wins to only 2 losses to open the season, and they look as if they’ll ride some momentum into the Big Ten season. If they’re able to keep it up, March Madness could await. 

Michigan: Michigan isn’t having the season its Athletics Department wants it to have in any program so far in 2013, and women’s basketball is no exception. But the season is far from over for both basketball teams. Things could turn around quickly. 

Ohio State: The Buckeyes are off to a solid start under first-year coach Kevin McGuff. It hasn’t been all glory, as the team is only one game above .500, but a winning record is a winning record, particularly with a first-year head coach. 

Wisconsin: The Badgers may have a 6-4 record, but Michala Johnson and Taylor Wurtz are both averaging around 15 points per game, and that’s nothing to be upset about. If the rest of the team can start scoring bigger numbers, the Badgers may be pull some upsets in conference play. 

Michigan State: The Spartan women are not off to as strong of a start as its men’s team, but the start of Big Ten play can change a lot of things about a team’s identity. Winning will help that. 

Illinois: The Illini are struggling through the nonconference portion of the schedule, with a 6-5 record after 11 games. It seems as if the team will try to use the start of Big Ten season as a way to get things back under control.

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