Here’s a look at how the Big Ten stacks up entering Thursday’s league openers, starting with the four preseason favorites and ranking the rest by their nonconference records this season:

Maryland (11-1)

 

All-America guard Lexie Brown left the program, but the No. 6 Terps lead the nation in scoring, averaging 89.1 points per game, behind a potent offense headed by guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and center Brionna Jones. Went undefeated in the Big Ten last season.

 

Ohio State (8-3)

 

Big Ten player of the year Kelsey Mitchell is surrounded by a deep supporting cast for the ninth-ranked Buckeyes, whose nonconference losses came to top-ranked UConn, No. 2 South Carolina and No. 3 Notre Dame.

 

Michigan State (9-2)

 

Forward Aerial Powers and guard Tori Jankoska ran the show for the injury-riddled Spartans last season; while No. 24 MSU has more depth this year, those two still are combining for almost 36 points per game.

 

Northwestern (11-1)

 

After earning their first NCAA tournament appearance since 1997, the No. 14 Wildcats returned their top five scorers — including Hopkins product Nia Coffey — and began the season with 10 consecutive victories.

 

Iowa (10-2)

 

The Hawkeyes lost three starters from last year and have a tough stretch to start the Big Ten season, but guard Ally Disterhoft is averaging 17.3 points per game, and center Chase Coley of Minneapolis is blossoming as a sophomore.

 

Nebraska (9-2)

Star guard Rachel Theriot is back after an ankle injury cut last season short, and 6-4 freshman Jess Shepard — one of the top recruits in the nation — has adapted quickly to give the Huskers a strong inside presence.

Purdue (9-2)

 

The Boilermakers’ outstanding defense is surrendering 51.6 points per game, best in the Big Ten, while guard April Wilson heads a balanced offense.

 

Rutgers (9-3)

 

The defense remains strong, allowing 52.1 points per game, and guards Kahleah Copper and Tyler Scaife provide a strong scoring punch.

 

Gophers (8-3)

 

The Gophers boast one of the league’s top players in Rachel Banham, who directs a guard-heavy lineup that loves to shoot three-pointers.

 

Michigan (8-3)

 

6-5 freshman center Hallie Thome immediately stepped into the starting lineup and has bolstered the inside game for a hot-shooting team.

 

Indiana (8-4)

 

Coach Teri Moren redesigned the Hoosiers’ offense during the offseason to highlight forward Amanda Cahill, who is delivering 13.2 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

 

Illinois (7-4)

 

The Illini return two starters and hope to quickly integrate five newcomers as they try to move on from a difficult year, which included allegations of racial hostility by coaches.

 

Penn State (5-6)

 

The Lady Lions staggered to a 6-24 record last season, worst in the Big Ten, and a young lineup has struggled with consistency.

 

Wisconsin (4-6)

 

It’s likely to be a tough year for the Badgers, who rank at or near the bottom of many league categories.

Rachel Blount