RPI rankings for Big Ten baseball teams following the April 17 games

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Iowa polished off a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Golden Gophers, rallying with a monster seventh inning. It was a seven-hit, eight-run seventh inning that catapulted the Hawkeyes to a 9-3 series-sweeping victory.

Now, Iowa sits at 20-12 overall and improved to 6-3 in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes are tied fourth in the Big Ten standings but own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Michigan thanks to their series win over the Wolverines to open the month of April.

Iowa hosts Bradley on Tuesday night at 6:05 p.m. CT from Duane Banks Field in Iowa City where the Hawks will look to run their winning streak to a season-best five straight. Then, it’s an all-important series at Big Ten-leading Rutgers over the weekend.

With limited resume-enhancing opportunities ahead, Iowa needs to cash in on its opportunity to pick up several quality wins against the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers is currently on a 15-game winning streak, sits 30-6 overall and owns an 11-1 mark in Big Ten play. With games against Iona (1-29) on Tuesday and Princeton (4-24) on Wednesday, it’s likely that Rutgers will play host to Iowa on a 17-game winning streak.

To say that Rutgers has been a surprise would be an understatement. In the 2022 preseason coaches poll, the Scarlet Knights weren’t even voted one of the top six. Instead, Nebraska was the preseason favorite. The Huskers were followed by Michigan at No. 2, Iowa at No. 3, Maryland at No. 4, Ohio State at No. 5 and Indiana at No. 6.

Nebraska has been a big disappointment thus far. The Huskers are just 13-21 overall and 4-5 in Big Ten play. Ohio State hasn’t been what the coaches thought they would be either. The Buckeyes are currently 11-21 overall and 2-8 in Big Ten play. Here’s the full look at updated records and standings through the April 17 games.

Which teams are well positioned to make the postseason? Taking a peek at the updated RPI rankings following the April 17 games can give us a glimpse into answering that question. Below is a look at each team’s RPI ranking to start the week of April 18.

Maryland Terrapins - No. 23

AP Photo/Ben McKeown

As the week begins, Maryland currently has the highest RPI ranking of any Big Ten team. The Terrapins are 29-7 overall and 7-2 in Big Ten play. Maryland plays Towson on Tuesday before heading to Illinois for a big series in the conference standings.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights - No. 28

AP Photo/Rich Schultz

With a 30-6 record and an 11-1 mark in Big Ten play, Rutgers is sitting pretty in terms of making the NCAA Tournament. The Scarlet Knights play Iona and Princeton on Tuesday and Wednesday before welcoming in the Iowa Hawkeyes for another important conference series in the Big Ten regular season race.

Illinois Fighting Illini - No. 66

AP Photo/James Kenney

With an overall record of 19-14 and a 10-2 start in Big Ten play, Illinois has positioned itself as firmly in the mix for an NCAA Tournament berth. There’s still work to be done, but the Illini are off to a nice start. Illinois travels to Indiana State on Tuesday before its big aforementioned weekend series versus Maryland.

Iowa Hawkeyes - No. 72

Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Iowa improved to 20-12 overall and 6-3 in the Big Ten with its series sweep of Minnesota. The Hawkeyes host Bradley on Tuesday night and then head to Big Ten-leading Rutgers for a potentially season-defining series.

Michigan Wolverines - No. 73

Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan is 20-15 overall and 6-3 in Big Ten play. The Wolverines are fresh off a sweep of rival Michigan State. Like Illinois and Iowa, Michigan hasn’t done anything yet to play itself out of a postseason berth, but there’s still work to be done. Michigan hosts Ohio State this coming weekend.

Penn State Nittany Lions - No. 124

AP Photo/Ben McKeown

Penn State is just 14-19 overall and 5-7 in Big Ten play. If the Nittany Lions caught fire, it’s not unthinkable that they could work themselves into postseason consideration, but it would have to start asap. Penn State hosts Mount St. Mary’s on Wednesday before heading to cellar-dwelling Minnesota this weekend.

Indiana Hoosiers - No. 128

Ken Ruinard / USA TODAY NETWORK

Indiana is just 13-21 overall and 2-7 in Big Ten play. The Hoosiers have played some really good teams out of conference and that’s holding this RPI up just a bit in the meantime. Indiana was swept by Clemson (No. 46) in a three-game series to open the season, lost to Arkansas (No. 20), lost to Stanford (No. 21) and lost to Kentucky (No. 70). Plus, Indiana was just swept in a three-game series by Rutgers.

If there’s any hope for postseason play, it’s time to start winning games, though. Indiana travels to Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday and to Cincinnati on Wednesday before hosting Nebraska in a three-game weekend series.

Northwestern Wildcats - No. 139

AP Photo/Emilee Chinn

At just 15-16 overall and 4-5 in Big Ten play, Northwestern appears to have perhaps dug itself too big of a hole to earn an at-large NCAA Tournament berth. The Wildcats host Saint Louis on Tuesday before hosting Michigan State this weekend.

Purdue Boilermakers - No. 143

AP Photo/Ben McKeown

Purdue raced out to a perfect 15-0 start before Illinois State handed the Boilermakers their first loss on March 17. Getting swept by Illinois in Purdue’s second Big Ten series and then losing the series to Penn State this past weekend have really hurt their postseason chances. Purdue travels to UIC on Tuesday and then hosts Evansville on Wednesday before a weekend series against Belmont.

Ohio State Buckeyes - No. 156

AP Photo/Ben McKeown

Ohio State is ranked No. 156 in the RPI after being swept by Maryland last weekend. The Buckeyes host Marshall on Tuesday night before heading to Michigan for a three-game weekend series.

Nebraska Cornhuskers - No. 183

Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen

The coaches pick to win the Big Ten hasn’t lived up to the billing. Nebraska is just 13-21 overall and 4-5 in Big Ten play. As a result, the Huskers are ranked No. 183 in the RPI. Nebraska hosts North Dakota State on Wednesday before traveling to Indiana this weekend.

Michigan State Spartans - No. 188

AP Photo/Mic Smith

Following its three game sweep at the hands of Michigan, the Spartans dropped back to No. 188 in the RPI rankings. Michigan State hosts Oakland on Tuesday and Eastern Michigan on Wednesday before heading to Northwestern for this weekend’s three-game series.

Minnesota Golden Gophers - No. 200

AP Photo/Doug Murray

After blowing Sunday’s series finale against Iowa, the Golden Gophers dropped to 10-23 overall and 1-8 in Big Ten play. As a result, Minnesota sits at No. 200 in the RPI rankings. Minnesota hosts St. Thomas on Tuesday night and then welcomes in Penn State this weekend.

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