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2015 BIG TEN WIN PROJECTIONS: POST-WEEK 7

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After week 7, Iowa is firmly in control of their destiny in the Big Ten West, while the Big Ten East has a new leader.

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

For most of the season the Big Ten West has been a bit hard for THOR+ to figure out at times, while the East has been less so. Week 7 saw the opposite, however. Every Big Ten team played an opponent within their division, but THOR+ was 100% when it came to the Big Ten West games and went 1-2 in the East. Of course, if it wasn't for a botched Michigan punt and Indiana giving up 28 unanswered points in the final 20 minutes of the game, THOR+ had the East called correctly, too.

As the great Kirk Ferentz once said "That's football."

On the season, THOR+ is still doing pretty well predicting the outcome of games. In the Big Ten West, THOR+ is 77.3%. In the East, THOR+ is 81.8%. Meanwhile, from a national perspective, THOR+ is 75.2% when it comes to picking FBS winners and losers in 2015.

Now, to the win projections!

THOR+ Rank B1G West Season Wins 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
12 Iowa 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 1.0% 5.6% 22.5% 44.5% 26.3%
36 Nebraska 0.0% 0.0% 0.9% 8.2% 23.9% 36.6% 24.2% 6.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
44 Wisconsin 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.5% 7.2% 23.3% 34.5% 26.4% 7.1% 0.0% 0.0%
49 Illinois 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 3.4% 13.8% 31.9% 30.9% 16.9% 3.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
64 Northwestern 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 3.8% 19.4% 34.4% 27.9% 12.5% 2.0% 0.0% 0.0%
78 Minnesota 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 15.9% 38.2% 32.1% 12.1% 1.3% 0.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
81 Purdue 5.9% 26.6% 38.4% 23.0% 5.5% 0.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
THOR+ Rank B1G East Season Wins 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
10 Michigan 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 1.8% 9.1% 26.7% 38.8% 23.5% 0.0% 0.0%
16 Ohio State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.7% 3.4% 17.4% 36.9% 31.6% 10.0%
43 Michigan State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.7% 7.6% 26.3% 41.6% 19.6% 4.2%
63 Penn State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 4.5% 20.3% 33.5% 29.4% 10.9% 1.4% 0.0% 0.0%
79 Rutgers 0.0% 0.0% 6.1% 21.3% 32.4% 27.6% 10.6% 1.9% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
84 Maryland 0.0% 4.9% 20.8% 32.0% 28.9% 10.8% 2.3% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
92 Indiana 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 18.9% 39.7% 28.9% 10.3% 2.0% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Above are the overall win projections. Below are the conference win projections.

THOR+ Rank B1G West Conference Wins 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
12 Iowa 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 1.0% 5.6% 22.5% 44.5% 26.3%
36 Nebraska 0.0% 0.9% 8.2% 23.9% 36.6% 24.2% 6.2% 0.0% 0.0%
44 Wisconsin 0.0% 0.0% 1.5% 7.2% 23.3% 34.5% 26.4% 7.1% 0.0%
49 Illinois 0.0% 3.4% 13.8% 31.9% 30.9% 16.9% 3.1% 0.0% 0.0%
64 Northwestern 0.0% 3.8% 19.4% 34.4% 27.9% 12.5% 2.0% 0.0% 0.0%
78 Minnesota 0.0% 15.9% 38.2% 32.1% 12.1% 1.3% 0.4% 0.0% 0.0%
81 Purdue 5.9% 26.6% 38.4% 23.0% 5.5% 0.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
THOR+ Rank B1G East Conference Wins 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
10 Michigan 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 1.8% 9.1% 26.7% 38.8% 23.5% 0.0%
16 Ohio State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.7% 3.4% 17.4% 36.9% 31.6% 10.0%
43 Michigan State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.7% 7.6% 26.3% 41.6% 19.6% 4.2%
63 Penn State 0.0% 0.0% 4.5% 20.3% 33.5% 29.4% 10.9% 1.4% 0.0%
79 Rutgers 0.0% 11.8% 31.4% 37.1% 15.6% 4.0% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0%
84 Maryland 4.9% 20.8% 32.0% 28.9% 10.8% 2.3% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0%
92 Indiana 18.9% 39.7% 28.9% 10.3% 2.0% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

I always start with the West it feels like, so let's start in the East today because one play in one game changed the entire outlook of this division. Yes, the aforementioned bobbled snap by Michigan's punter that was subsequently returned for a touchdown as time expired, shook up the win projections something huge. With one loss in the conference, Michigan now trails Ohio State and Michigan State in the race for the East title. They aren't out of it entirely, but they no longer control their destiny. The fightin' Harbaughs now need Michigan State to lose twice and they need Ohio State to lose at least once, depending on tiebreakers.

Now, onto the best division in all of college football, the Big Ten West is now controlled by our beloved Hawkeyes. And when I say "controlled" that actually may be an understatement. Seriously, the Hawkeyes have an iron grip on the division thanks to beating Pat Fitzgerald into oblivion this past weekend and Nebraska handing Minnesota their second conference loss. Iowa's most likely outcome after Saturday is now 11-1, but they have something like a a 1 in 4 chance at going undefeated. That means, in about 250 of the 1,000 simulations run, THOR+ had Iowa finishing 12-0. Additionally, Iowa now has approximately a 70% chance of finishing with no worse than 1 loss in the regular season. 2015 truly has the makings of something special.

After week 7, the Big Ten West now looks something like this:

0 Losses: Iowa

1 Loss: Wisconsin, Illinois

2 Losses: Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern

Haha, Yeah Right: Purdue

These current standings mean that Iowa must lose two games in order for anybody else to win the division. That's because the Hawkeyes already have the tiebreaker over both 1-loss teams. They also have the tiebreaker over 2-loss Northwestern. Additionally, they could have the West wrapped up before Thanksgiving if they win their next four games. A scenario not guaranteed to happen, but very realistic, nonetheless.

Really, outside of something incredible like Purdue beating Wisconsin in week 7, I don't think Iowa could have asked for a better start to Big Ten play.

So, with Michigan losing, your projected Big Ten Championship game has changed this week. Ohio State is now picked to take the East, with Iowa, of course, winning the West. Since the Hawkeyes are actually ranked ahead of the Buckeyes by THOR+, Iowa is currently a 52% favorite to win by a projected score of 24-22.

Finally, before we get to the team schedules, here are the mean, min, and max wins for each team based on the 1,000 simulations run.

THOR+ B1G West Mean Wins Min. Wins Max. Wins Mean B1G Wins Min B1G Wins Max B1G Wins
12 Iowa 10.9 7 12 6.9 3 8
36 Nebraska 5.9 3 8 3.9 1 6
44 Wisconsin 8.0 5 10 5.0 2 7
49 Illinois 6.5 4 9 3.5 1 6
64 Northwestern 7.3 5 10 3.3 1 6
78 Minnesota 5.5 4 9 2.5 1 6
81 Purdue 3.0 1 6 2.0 0 5
THOR+ B1G East Mean Wins Min. Wins Max. Wins Mean B1G Wins Min B1G Wins Max B1G Wins
10 Michigan 8.7 5 10 5.7 2 7
16 Ohio State 10.3 7 12 6.3 3 8
43 Michigan State 9.8 7 12 5.8 3 8
63 Penn State 7.3 5 10 4.3 2 7
79 Rutgers 5.2 3 9 2.7 1 6
84 Maryland 4.3 2 8 2.3 0 6
92 Indiana 5.4 4 9 1.4 0 5

Also, don't forget, the "THOR+ Record" listed below is how THOR+ has done picking each team this season.

Big Ten West

Iowa

Date Iowa Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Illinois State FCS W
9/12 Away Iowa State 72 W
9/19 Home Pittsburgh 40 W
9/26 Home North Texas 128 W
10/3 Away Wisconsin 44 W
10/10 Home Illinois 49 W
10/17 Away Northwestern 64 W
10/31 Home Maryland 84 85%
11/7 Away Indiana 92 78%
11/14 Home Minnesota 78 84%
11/21 Home Purdue 81 84%
11/27 Away Nebraska 36 56%

THOR+ Record: 4-2 (66.7%)

I've already expounded upon Iowa's huge advantage in the division, but look at this remaining schedule. They have to lose two of these five games to make the West a toss up. It could certainly happen, but they really couldn't have asked for a better situation.

Illinois

Date Illinois Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Kent State 110 W
9/12 Home W. Illinois FCS W
9/19 Away North Carolina 5 L
9/26 Home Middle Tennessee 66 W
10/3 Home Nebraska 36 W
10/10 Away Iowa 12 L
10/24 Home Wisconsin 44 54%
10/31 Away Penn State 63 49%
11/7 Away Purdue 81 56%
11/14 Home Ohio State 16 40%
11/21 Away Minnesota 78 55%
11/28 Neutral Northwestern 64 57%

THOR+ Record: 5-0 (100%)

In case Iowa does manage to lose two games, we should all be rooting hard for Illinois in week 8. Wisconsin has as cushy a schedule as Iowa, so if the Illini can deliver a second loss to those dairy-loving animals to the North East, that would be make it that much more difficult for them to take advantage of their schedule and win the West. I mean, Illinois certainly has at least two losses left in them this year. Hopefully they can wait a week.

Minnesota

Date Minnesota Team Rank Projected Win%
9/3 Home TCU 13 L
9/12 Away Colorado State 75 W
9/19 Home Kent State 110 W
9/26 Home Ohio 76 W
10/3 Away Northwestern 64 L
10/10 Away Purdue 81 W
10/17 Home Nebraska 36 L
10/31 Home Michigan 10 27%
11/7 Away Ohio State 16 17%
11/14 Away Iowa 12 16%
11/21 Home Illinois 49 45%
11/28 Home Wisconsin 44 42%

THOR+ Record: 5-2 (71.4%)

Remember when Minnesota was a contender in the West? Welp.

Nebraska

Date Nebraska Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home BYU 52 L
9/12 Home South Alabama 117 W
9/19 Away Miami (Florida) 48 L
9/26 Home Southern Mississippi 73 W
10/3 Away Illinois 49 L
10/10 Home Wisconsin 44 L
10/17 Away Minnesota 78 W
10/24 Home Northwestern 64 69%
10/31 Away Purdue 81 61%
11/7 Home Michigan State 43 60%
11/14 Away Rutgers 79 61%
11/28 Home Iowa 12 44%

THOR+ Record: 6-1 (85.7%)

Theoretically, Nebraska still has a chance at wining the division. How? Well, they have to win out and Iowa would have to lose two games. If they were able to win their final five games, Iowa had two losses, and neither of Wisconsin/Illinois still had 1 loss, the Huskers would have a chance, depending on the tiebreakers. Basically, I'm just reiterating that Iowa should avoid losing two games. Hell, they should just not lose at all. I'd be cool with that.

Northwestern

Date Northwestern Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Stanford 3 W
9/12 Home Eastern Illinois FCS W
9/19 Away Duke 27 W
9/26 Home Ball State 113 W
10/3 Home Minnesota 78 W
10/10 Away Michigan 10 L
10/17 Home Iowa 12 L
10/24 Away Nebraska 36 31%
11/7 Home Penn State 63 56%
11/14 Home Purdue 81 63%
11/21 Away Wisconsin 44 34%
11/28 Neutral Illinois 49 43%

THOR+ Record: 4-2 (66.7%)

Northwestern has been struck with the mighty hammer of THOR+ this week, as they fall in the rankings. By A LOT. Getting outscored 78-10 in your last two conference games will do that. And now THOR+ is thinking the Wildcats are something like a 7-8 win team this year. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Purdue

Date Purdue Team Rank Projected Win%
9/6 Away Marshall 61 L
9/12 Home Indiana State FCS W
9/19 Home Virginia Tech 54 L
9/26 Home Bowling Green 51 L
10/3 Away Michigan State 43 L
10/10 Home Minnesota 78 L
10/17 Away Wisconsin 44 L
10/31 Home Nebraska 36 39%
11/7 Home Illinois 49 44%
11/14 Away Northwestern 64 37%
11/21 Away Iowa 12 16%
11/28 Home Indiana 92 63%

THOR+ Record: 4-2 (66.7%)

I'm sorry, Purdue. I promise the season is almost over. Actually, no. No, that was a lie. I am a liar. There are still five games left. Five horrific, painful games to watch.

Wisconsin

Date Wisconsin Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Neutral Alabama 8 L
9/12 Home Miami (Ohio) 120 W
9/19 Home Troy 108 W
9/26 Home Hawai'i 100 W
10/3 Home Iowa 12 L
10/10 Away Nebraska 36 W
10/17 Home Purdue 81 W
10/24 Away Illinois 49 46%
10/31 Home Rutgers 79 72%
11/7 Away Maryland 84 59%
11/21 Home Northwestern 64 66%
11/28 Away Minnesota 78 58%

THOR+ Record: 6-1 (85.7%)

Seeing how their schedule is just as favorable, Wisconsin is likely Iowa's biggest competition for the West. Their toughest remaining game looks to be this weekend.  So, again, let's all hope they find a way to lose.

Big Ten East

Indiana

Date Indiana Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home S. Illinois FCS W
9/12 Home Florida International 85 W
9/19 Home Western Kentucky 34 W
9/26 Away Wake Forest 93 W
10/3 Home Ohio State 16 L
10/10 Away Penn State 63 L
10/17 Home Rutgers 79 L
10/24 Away Michigan State 43 23%
11/7 Home Iowa 12 22%
11/14 Home Michigan 10 22%
11/21 Away Maryland 84 37%
11/28 Away Purdue 81 37%

THOR+ Record: 3-3 (50%)

I imagine Indiana would have probably held onto their 25-point lead on Rutgers if Jordan Howard was healthy and playing. But, nonetheless, LOL.

Maryland

Date Maryland Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Richmond FCS W
9/12 Home Bowling Green 51 L
9/19 Home South Florida 47 W
9/26 Away West Virginia 38 L
10/3 Home Michigan 10 L
10/10 Away Ohio State 16 L
10/24 Neutral Penn State 63 42%
10/31 Away Iowa 12 15%
11/7 Home Wisconsin 44 41%
11/14 Away Michigan State 43 27%
11/21 Home Indiana 92 63%
11/28 Away Rutgers 79 42%

THOR+ Record: 4-1 (80%)

Yeah, I've got nothing.

Michigan

Date Michigan Team Rank Projected Win%
9/3 Away Utah 11 L
9/12 Home Oregon State 99 W
9/19 Home UNLV 83 W
9/26 Home BYU 52 W
10/3 Away Maryland 84 W
10/10 Home Northwestern 64 W
10/17 Home Michigan State 43 L
10/31 Away Minnesota 78 73%
11/7 Home Rutgers 79 85%
11/14 Away Indiana 92 78%
11/21 Away Penn State 63 68%
11/28 Home Ohio State 16 62%

THOR+ Record: 6-1 (85.7%)

The Wolverines aren't out of the running for the East, but they really can't afford another loss.

Michigan State

Date Michigan State Team Rank Projected Win%
9/4 Away Western Michigan 74 W
9/12 Home Oregon 67 W
9/19 Home Air Force 86 W
9/26 Home Central Michigan 71 W
10/3 Home Purdue 81 W
10/10 Away Rutgers 79 W
10/17 Away Michigan 10 W
10/24 Home Indiana 92 77%
11/7 Away Nebraska 36 40%
11/14 Home Maryland 84 73%
11/21 Away Ohio State 16 28%
11/28 Home Penn State 63 66%

THOR+ Record: 6-1 (85.7%)

The odds of Michigan State scoring a touchdown instead of losing were astronomically low, right? Oh, buddy. You have no idea.

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

Ohio State

Date Ohio State Team Rank Projected Win%
9/7 Away Virginia Tech 54 W
9/12 Home Hawai'i 100 W
9/19 Home Northern Illinois 55 W
9/26 Home Western Michigan 74 W
10/3 Away Indiana 92 W
10/10 Home Maryland 84 W
10/17 Home Penn State 63 W
10/24 Away Rutgers 79 72%
11/7 Home Minnesota 78 83%
11/14 Away Illinois 49 60%
11/21 Home Michigan State 43 72%
11/28 Away Michigan 10 38%

THOR+ Record: 7-0 (100%)

Not like it really matters this week, but is J.T. Barrett the the starting quarterback yet?

Penn State

Date Penn State Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Away Temple 31 L
9/12 Home Buffalo 109 W
9/19 Home Rutgers 79 W
9/26 Home San Diego State 89 W
10/3 Home Army 97 W
10/10 Home Indiana 92 W
10/17 Away Ohio State 16 L
10/24 Neutral Maryland 84 58%
10/31 Home Illinois 49 51%
11/7 Away Northwestern 64 44%
11/21 Home Michigan 10 32%
11/28 Away Michigan State 43 34%

THOR+ Record: 7-0 (100%)

Penn State could only play the Armys and Buffalos of the world for so long, which means they should probably cherish playing Maryland this weekend. After week 8, there are no more easy wins on their schedule.

Rutgers

Date Rutgers Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Norfolk State FCS W
9/12 Home Washington State 68 L
9/19 Away Penn State 63 L
9/26 Home Kansas 115 W
10/10 Home Michigan State 43 L
10/17 Away Indiana 92 W
10/24 Home Ohio State 16 28%
10/31 Away Wisconsin 44 28%
11/7 Away Michigan 10 15%
11/14 Home Nebraska 36 39%
11/21 Away Army 97 52%
11/28 Home Maryland 84 58%

THOR+ Record: 3-2 (60%)

Leonte Caroo makes Rutgers semi-respectable. Of course, not respectable enough to make them favorites in any of their next 4 games. The Scarlet Knights are going to need to pull an upset or two if they want to go bowling this year.