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Blog Entry

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

Posted on: December 27, 2011 1:20 pm
Edited on: December 27, 2011 1:36 pm
 


By Gary Parrish

So I was on the Tim Brando Show early Tuesday chatting with guest host Jon Rothstein, and he asked what Big Ten team could slip now that conference play is beginning. My answer: Pretty much any of them except Ohio State.

And I really do think that's true.

That's how deep and competitive the Big Ten is this season.

The league is rated No. 1 at CollegeRPI.com and -- as Ohio State beat writer Bob Baptist points out -- its lead over the second-rated conference (ACC) is greater than the margin separating the conferences rated second (ACC) through sixth (MWC). Translation: It's not even close. Furthermore, the Big Ten has 67 percent of its members (or eight teams) ranked in the top 60 at CollegeRPI.com and 75 percent of its members (or nine teams) ranked in the top 60 at KenPom.com. No other league has more than 58 percent of its members in the top 60 at CollegeRPI.com or 63 percent of its members in the the top 60 at KenPom.com. Those facts suggest the Big Ten is the nation's most competitive league from top to bottom.

Which brings me back to that conversation with Rothstein.

While I believe Ohio State is a level above the rest and going to be the regular-season champion as long as Jared Sullinger remains healthy, I really do think second-place through about seventh-place is completely up for grabs. I won't be surprised if Indiana finishes second just behind Ohio State or seventh behind Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State, Illinois and Purdue. Likewise, I won't be surprised if Michigan finishes second just behind Ohio State or seventh behind Ohio State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Indiana, Illinois and, say, Northwestern.

My guess is Ohio State finishes something like 15-3 in the league, somebody else will finish 14-4 or 13-5, somebody else will finish 12-6, and then we'll get a group of teams -- probably five but perhaps as many as six -- in that 10-8/9-9/8-10 range. Again, I have no idea how the schools will finish, but I do know this: Big Ten play starts tonight with Wisconsin-Nebraska and Minnesota-Illinois, and I can't wait to watch it unfold. The competitiveness thanks to stronger-than-expected starts from a few members, most notably Indiana, should make for a fun two-plus months in the land of so-called Legends and Leaders.

Photo: US PRESSWIRE

Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: December 27, 2011 5:53 pm
 

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

IU fan, but I will be happy being 10-8 in the Big Ten.  Hope for more, fear for less.



Since: Feb 27, 2008
Posted on: December 27, 2011 5:26 pm
 

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

What is the point of this?  It doesn't answer the question it asks.  It is a stupid question to ask at this point, though.



Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: December 27, 2011 5:25 pm
 

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

How does history tell us this?  In the past the Badgers have not finished below fourth in a long time.  Their place in the standings starting from last year is 3, 4, 4, 1, 2, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, and 5 in 2000-2001.

With it being 11 years since they have finished below fourth, what shows they will finish there? 



Since: Aug 26, 2008
Posted on: December 27, 2011 4:52 pm
 

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

History tells us that Wiscosnin will finish now worse than fourth in the B1G.....I think they will continue that trend.



Since: Aug 1, 2009
Posted on: December 27, 2011 4:30 pm
 

Big Ten play is starting. But how will it end?

Ohio State should not only win the big ten but a go a long way in the madness.If Sullinger stays health and Buford can get it going watch out.Craft is nasty and getting better everyday.


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