A clear line has emerged. The top 5 seem likely to stay that way, as do the bottom five, and it remains to be seen what the Gophers will do. Here goes:
1. Purdue (15-5, 6-1). Last week: 3. I don't expect Purdue to remain here, but who else is more deserving right now? Purdue is young, and I would guess that the team that lost to Wofford will show its face again and prevent the Boilers from winning the conference. But for now, Purdue is on top.
2. Wisconsin (16-3, 6-1). Last week: 2. Given my ranking of Purdue, I can't fault the Badgers much for losing at Mackey.
3. Michigan State (18-2, 6-1). Last week: 4. Sorry, Spartans. I'm still punishing you for losing at Iowa.
4. Indiana (17-2, 6-0). Last week: 1. Yes, this is a bit overdramatic, but the Hoosiers need to show me something against a quality team.
5. Ohio State (14-6, 5-2). Last week: 5. Definitely the best of the rest. I still don't have a read on the Buckeyes at all.
6. Minnesota (12-6, 2-4). Last week: 6. The Gophers have played a tough schedule so far, and now begin a stretch in which 6 of their 8 games are against team 7 through 11. If the Gophers are going to make a move, it will be in the next two to three weeks.
7. Iowa (10-11, 3-5). Last week: 7. The Hawks have had a nice run, but they probably won't win again until Michigan comes to town on February 14.
8. Illinois (10-11, 2-6). Last week: 9. The next four games are interesting for the Illini: @Michigan State, Purdue, IU, and @ Minnesota. 3-1 wouldn't surprise me, and neither would 0-4.
9. Penn State (10-9, 2-5). Last week: 8. The Nits are headed for #10, I fear. They haven't been within 15 points of anyone since losing Claxton.
10. Michigan (5-15, 1-7). Last week: 10. They played well in a loss at Wisconsin, and I expect Michigan to pass PSU within the next couple of weeks.
11. Northwestern (6-11, 0-7). Last week: 11. Just hideously awful. Carmody has to be toast, right? NU made a really poor Illinois offense look like North Carolina.