The Big 10 this season is probably the toughest I've ever seen it, which will have both good and bad implications for Bucky.
On the minus side - yes, the next month is gonna be hella tough.
On the plus side - the team that comes out the other end of the regular season is going to be diamond hard. Also, there seems to be a general recognition on the part of the sports punditocracy of the strength and depth of the Big 10 conference; this understanding will hopefully be reflected by the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
The next 8 games will be the key - five at home, three on the road, and none of them pushovers. Here's how I look at it:
At home, I think the best we can reasonably expect is 4-1; winning both the Ohio State and the Michigan State games is a tall order, even at home, and we've already lost to both Minnesota and Indiana. On the road, I would say that 2-1 is the best we can hope for; Iowa would have probably beat us here if their coach hadn't decided it was the time to have a Charlie Sheen moment. So, I would say that 6-2 over the next eight games is the rosy scenario, and that 5-3 or even 4-4 is the more realistic prognostication.
The last three games - at Penn State and Nebraska, and Purdue at home - are legitimately sweepable, although not a sure thing.
So, let's assume they go 7-4 the rest of the way (I hope they do better than that, obviously, but that seems the most likely scenario to me). 24-7 is a perfectly respectable record in the toughest conference in basketball, and if they get into the Conference tournament title game I think that's still 3-seed, possibly even 2-seed territory for the Big Dance.