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Big Ten Power Rankings

BY KYLE MANN and RYAN RODRIGUEZ | NOVEMBER 06, 2014 5:00 AM

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No. 1 — Maryland (T-2nd in ACC in 2013)

The Terps are the overwhelming favorite to win the Big Ten outright this season, and for good reason. Head coach Brenda Frese guided her team to a Final Four appearance last season, and has reached the NCAA Tournament the last four seasons in the row.

No. 2 — Michigan State (T-1st in Big Ten in 2013)

Michigan State shared a part of the Big Ten regular season title last season, and return three starters as well as a talented recruiting class that should make it a force once again this year.

No. 3 — Iowa (4th in Big Ten in 2013)

Iowa’s strength lies with its experience. Returning four of her five starters from a year ago, head coach Lisa Bluder will lean heavily on seniors Sam Logic, Mellissa Dixon, and Beth Doolittle to shoulder the load for the Hawkeyes in 2014.

No. 4 — Nebraska (3rd in Big Ten in 2013)

The Huskers ranked third in the pre-season coaches poll after a 12-win season in the Big Ten last year and a victory in the Big Ten tournament Championship.  Nebraska boasted the second best offense in the conference last season, averaging nearly 76 points per game.
 
No. 5 — Penn State (T-1st in Big Ten in 2013)

A team that shared part of the Big Ten crown last season will have to try and repeat that success while replacing senior Talia East on the floor this year. Luckily for the Nittany Lions, their four other starters will be back in action in State College this year.

No. 6 — Purdue (4th in Big Ten in 2013)

The Boilermakers are a very technically sound team, ranking in the top half in the conference in free-throw percentage and total field goal percentage last season.  They will look to improve on a 22-win campaign from a year ago.

No. 7 — Indiana (8thth in Big Ten in 2013)

A young team that made a splash in 2013 largely due to its outstanding freshman class will look to another step forward this season. The Hoosiers are returning all five starters from last season as well.

No. 8 — Rutgers (4th in AAC in 2013)

Head Coach Vivian Stringer and the Scarlet Knights are the second new face in the Big Ten this season, and while the Big Ten is a different animal compared to the American Athletic Conference, Rutgers is fresh off of an NIT Championship.

No. 9 — Minnesota (6th in Big Ten in 2013)

Led by pre-season All Big-Ten selection Rachel Banham, the Golden Gophers are hoping to rebound after a helter-skelter season last year that saw the team finish with an 8-8 record in conference play.

No. 10 — Michigan (7th in Big Ten in 2013)

Big Blue will be returning the bulk of a team that underwhelmed in the Big Ten last season. A team that ranked in the top-ten nationally in field-goal percentage will again rely on the strength of their shooters to get by.

No. 11 — Northwestern (9th in Big ten in 2013)

A Northwestern team that finished with just five conference wins last season will have to try to improve that mark with two more teams to deal with this season.   Four new freshmen will look to make an impact on head coach Joe McKeowen’s team.

No. 12 — Ohio State (10th in Big Ten in 2013)

The Buckeyes were woeful offensively last season, averaging the second fewest points per game in the Big Ten Conference, and were one of jus three teams to finish 2013 with a sub-.500 record.

No. 13  — Illinois (12th in Big Ten in 2013)

After a solid year in 2013, the Illinis stumbled in 2014, victorious in just two conference games. Standout Freshman recruit Chatrice White will look to help turn things around for Illinois in 2014.

No. 14 — Wisconsin (11th in Big Ten in 2013)

Winners of just three Big Ten contests all of last season, the Badgers finished near the bottom of just about every statistical category in the conference in 2013.   


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