Big Ten increases lead over others

The Big Ten increased its lead atop ESPN Stats & Info’s weekly college basketball rankings, while the ACC and SEC each had strong weeks. The rankings include a human element from the Top 25 polls and a computer portion, which is comprised entirely of the BPI.

The BPI is ESPN’s College Basketball Power Index. The BPI team rating takes into account the game score, where the game was played, the pace of the game and if any of the team’s top five players were missing. For a complete explanation on the College BPI, click here.

The Big Ten is now more than five percentage points ahead of the next closest conference in the rankings, the Big East. With Michigan atop this week’s AP Top 25 Poll, the Big Ten has had the number one ranked team in the country in seven of the 13 AP polls this season. Despite Minnesota falling to number 23 this week, the Big Ten still has four teams ranked in the top 15 in the nation, more than any other conference.

Despite the struggles of traditional powers Duke and UNC during the previous week, the ACC has a rating under 60 for the first time this season, largely due to its human bonus. The conference has three teams ranked in the top 20 in the AP Poll, with Miami providing the biggest spark. After beating Duke last Wednesday, the Hurricanes jumped 11 spots in the Top 25 from 25 to 14. Miami is 6-0 in the ACC and its ranking in the AP Poll is its highest since the 2002 season.

The SEC remains seventh in the rankings, but has closed the gap with the Big 12 from 16.6 points to 9.2 points. The conference has been helped by Ole Miss, who joined Florida and Missouri in the top 20 this week. The Rebels are 6-0 in the SEC and are ranked 17th in the BPI, 13 spots ahead of Missouri.

The highest computer ranking is still controlled by the Big East. The conference has seven teams in the top 35 of the BPI, with no other conference having more than six (Big Ten).

The Patriot League had the biggest jump this week, going from number 20 to 17 in the rankings. Bucknell (No. 49) and Lehigh (No. 84) are the only teams from that conference in the top 100 of the BPI.

ESPN Stats & Information Conference Power Rankings