The best time of the year is here, which means it’s also time for the most pointless rankings. College basketball is going to have to put on quite the show if they want to top last year’s theatrics. The story lines in the Big Ten are too good to pass up. The reason these rankings are pointless is because it is the pre-season. Once the season plays out there will be much more argument and credence to how we at DSN view the college basketball landscape. Without further adieu, I present to you the Big Ten basketball power rankings. *applause*
(Indicates 1st place votes) [Avg Rank]
1. Wisconsin (5) [1.0]
There was no argument at number one, and they’re shouldn’t be. At least for now. Bucky Badger returns all five starters from last year, and they’re always good. Expect them to get plenty of national coverage, putting viewers to sleep with Bo Ryan’s effective “if they ain’t awake, they can’t win” offense.
2. Michigan State [2.8]
Tom Izzo has his most talented recruiting class ever, and Miles Bridges can literally jump out of this world. However, there are major depth concerns, especially in the front court. If the early season non-conference schedule doesn’t kill the Spartans, their lack of depth and three-point shooting might.
3. Indiana [3.2]
The Hoosiers are defending conference champions but lost one of the best players in program history. They have talent everywhere else, but if the point guard can’t get them the ball, the Hoosiers will be loosiers (there’s still 11 more to go).
4. Purdue [3.6]
I still miss Robbie Hummel. Truth is, this might be one of the best Boilermakers teams since Hummel was on campus. Purdue can throw a balanced attack at you, which should help them win their first NCAA Tournament game in five years. Yikes.
5. Maryland [4.8]
Every time I pick Melo Trimble and Terrapins to do anything positive, I get burned. Maryland crumbled under the high expectations last year, but I like Scott Van Pelt, so I’m willing to give them one more shot. Don’t let me down.
6. Michigan [6.0]
I’m sure the Wolverines would love if everyone on the roster didn’t get hurt again this year. Michigan returns one of conference’s top back courts, and freshman guard Xavier Simpson will end up being a steal for Big Blue. However, nobody on Michigan with the exception of Duncan Robinson can shoot, which is a pretty important skill in basketball.
7. Ohio State [6.8]
— Ohio State Hoops (@OhioStateHoops) September 29, 2016
I’m not sure if that tweet moves Ohio State to No. 1 or No. 14. What I do know is that if Matta were to suit up during an actual game, he’d probably crack the top eight of the rotation.
8. Iowa [8.2]
Iowa lost a bunch of pieces and now look like the Oklahoma City Thunder minus Russell Westbrook. They’ll upset a top-tier Big Ten team, but won’t do much else. Iowa is that start of what I like to call the non-factors.
9. Northwestern [9.2]
Northwestern is the only long-standing member of a power conference to have never appeared in the NCAA tournament, and that’s the only thing you need to know about Northwestern basketball.
10. Penn State 
Out of all the “non-factors”, Penn State is the most likely to win 20 games. Their brutal non-conference should prepare them to beat up on lesser Big Ten teams, and compete with the big boys.
11. Illinois [10.6]
I saw somebody describe Illinois as the “leftover pizza” of the Big Ten. They might look good, but you probably shouldn’t trust them.
12. Minnesota [11.8]
A Pitino that fails at coaching? Minnesota isn’t very good, but expect a few mob-influenced outcomes to bolster their win total by season’s end, capeesh?
13. Nebraska [13.0]
If nothing else, Nebraska will be fun to watch. A lot of young players, just not a lot of young talent.
14. Rutgers [14.0]
Everybody in the world is picking the Scarlet Knights to finish last in the Big Ten this year, so trust them. They’re all right.