POWER POLL

 

Iowa (16-3, 6-0): The Hawkeyes haven’t started Big Ten play with a 6-0 record or better since 1986-87, but Iowa is rolling now.

Maryland (17-2, 6-1): While at times the offense comes and goes, the Terrapins defense keeps them steady.

Indiana (16-3, 6-0): I’m not here to take away from what the Hoosiers have done so far, but it’s been in the context of the softest league slate.

Michigan (14-5, 4-2): The Wolverines are vulnerable when they’re not lighting it up from three-point range.

Purdue (17-3, 5-2): The Boilermakers’ defensive efficiency rating was fourth nationally heading into Thursday night, which explains how Purdue beat Ohio State shooting only 39 percent from the field.

Michigan State (16-4, 3-4): How bizarre: The Spartans went 3-1 without star Denzel Valentine in the lineup but are 1-3 since getting him back.

Nebraska (12-8, 4-3): It’s hard to understand what’s going on in Lincoln, but the Huskers have just won four consecutive games, most recently at Michigan State.

Northwestern (15-5, 3-4): The Wildcats are far from a finished product, but it’s clear they are going to fight every game as witness by a near-miss in an overtime loss at Maryland.

Ohio State (16-4, 4-3): Jae’Sean Tate scored 17 vs. Purdue on Thursday, but all four other Buckeyes starters combined for just 16 points.

Wisconsin (11-9, 3-4): The Badgers had a rough start to the year, but have shown some finishing power in tight games, winning the past two over Michigan State and Penn State by two possessions or fewer.

Penn State (11-8, 2-5): The Nittany Lions brought the score within three of Wisconsin’s lead but ran out of time to pull out another upset after beating Northwestern on the road.

Illinois (9-10, 1-5): Indiana can score a little bit, but when the Illini let the Hoosiers post 103 points Tuesday, it was the first time Illinois had allowed that many since 1993.

Gophers (6-13, 0-7): The losses aren’t ceasing yet, but the Gophers have dropped the past two by just 12 points total after throwing away the previous two by 50.

Rutgers (6-14, 0-7): When things are this bad, competing means something. So the Scarlet Knights’ relatively close eight-point deficit to Iowa at the half means at least there’s some passion remaining.