Last week we had, by my calcs, a 32% shot at the Rose Bowl. (We also by my calcs had a 70% chance of beating Wisconsin, so take that for it's worth.)
I'm taking team strengths from Sagarin's PREDICTOR. Add 3 points to home team, compare strengths, that's your spread. I'm assuming a spread of 0 means a 50/50 chance of either team winning, a spread of 20 or more means no chance of the underdog winning, and a linear distribution in between. Those are not well-founded assumptions - especially the last one - and any thoughts you have on it are appreciated.
Sagarin PREDICTOR ratings (team, rating, change from last week):
tOSU, 88.46, 2.68
Iowa, 84.95, 1.19
MSU, 81.87, 0.2
Wisc, 80.4, 1.32
Ill, 79.12, 2.97
Mich, 73.81, -1.91
PSU, 72.35, 2.89
jNW, 68.51, -0.7
Ind, 62.65, -1.21
Purdue, 62.64, -3.94
MN, 60.79, -0.33
Odds of an Iowa win for each of the remaining games:
** Interesting note: Iowa's Sagarin score actually went up from last week. My guess is the strength of schedule went up after Iowa State's victory, and, more likely than not, the mere fact we played Wisconsin raised our strength of schedule almost as much as the loss hurt our overall score. Or to put it another way, his computer likes our team even more after the loss than they did before it.
So, onto it.Two things must happen. First, we win out. Second, Wisconsin loses at least one more game. That's it. We win the Big Ten title and go to the Rose Bowl.
Chance of Iowa not losing any more games - 25%
Chance of Wisconsin losing at least one game - 55%
Chance of both happening - 0.25 * 0.55 = 14%
That's not terrible, especially considering the most unlikely portion (us winning out) is in our hands. If you could guarantee me that were to happen, then our odds of being B10 champs would be over 50%. I'll say it again: if we win out, we have a better than 50-50 chance of going to the Rose Bowl. Feel better?
We would at worst be tied with a 11-1 MSU, whom we would hold the tie-breaker over. They would likely get a BCS bid. If they go one step further and lose at Penn State on the last day of the season we would be outright champions.
There may be scenarios where everyone has at least two losses. Those are too complicated for my football-depressed brain to contemplate this afternoon. If Wisconsin or OSU loses a 2nd game I might start cranking those scenarios, but until then they are too remote to waste dreaming and scheming about.
That's it. Hope this cheers you a little this week!