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2015 BIG TEN WIN PROJECTIONS: POST-WEEK 5

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Not much changed in the Big Ten East after week 5, but we do have a new leader in the West.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 was an interesting one in college football nationwide, and the oddities sure didn't escape the Big Ten. Ohio State and Michigan State both continued to fail to live up to poll rankings, squeaking out wins against teams from the state of Indiana. Nebraska continued to lose in hilariously agonizing fashion (LOL). Meanwhile, Iowa and Northwestern look like early favorites in the Big Ten West and Michigan looks like they could win the East. Just how we predicted it 5 weeks ago, right?

Now, since all Big Ten teams but Rutgers have played 5 games, all Big Ten teams but Rutgers now have ratings and win projections that are no longer influenced by preseason projections. That is good news for a team like Iowa, whose preseason numbers were holding back its offensive rating. That's not nearly as good of news for someone like Michigan State, whose preseason projections were helping it in just about every category.

Let's talk win projections, shall we?

THOR+ Rank B1G West Season Wins 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
10 Iowa 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.2% 5.4% 16.7% 29.6% 32.0% 16.1%
33 Wisconsin 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 1.3% 4.0% 16.6% 29.0% 28.0% 17.2% 3.8% 0.0% 0.0%
37 Northwestern 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.4% 3.8% 14.4% 31.4% 28.9% 16.5% 4.1% 0.5%
47 Illinois 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 3.5% 15.1% 30.0% 28.0% 17.0% 5.5% 0.9% 0.0% 0.0%
49 Nebraska 0.0% 0.9% 6.5% 15.6% 24.9% 29.1% 16.8% 5.5% 0.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
74 Purdue 1.9% 11.8% 25.9% 29.5% 21.2% 8.5% 1.1% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
80 Minnesota 0.0% 0.0% 5.7% 18.6% 34.3% 25.9% 11.8% 3.2% 0.4% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0%
THOR+ Rank B1G East Season Wins 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
9 Michigan 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.6% 4.7% 15.5% 33.6% 31.6% 14.0% 0.0%
23 Ohio State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3% 2.8% 12.2% 26.7% 33.7% 20.1% 4.2%
42 Michigan State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.4% 2.9% 9.4% 27.1% 28.3% 22.0% 9.1% 0.8%
60 Penn State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.3% 7.8% 21.8% 31.5% 24.3% 10.4% 2.6% 0.3% 0.0%
92 Maryland 0.0% 5.5% 22.4% 33.6% 24.1% 11.9% 2.3% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
96 Indiana 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 5.9% 21.0% 34.1% 25.7% 10.4% 2.3% 0.6% 0.0% 0.0%
99 Rutgers 0.0% 4.4% 18.5% 29.9% 27.5% 13.6% 4.9% 1.1% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0%

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Michigan sits in the driver's seat again this week, but screw them. The real news is Iowa.

To quote last week's power rankings:

If Iowa is able to win this game, the win projections will likely be off the charts next week.

As you are probably all aware, Iowa did, in fact, win that game. And, as you can see, the win projections are, in fact, off the charts. Not literally, of course. That would make the chart useless. But I digress.

You may be wondering how the Hawkeyes continue to shoot up the charts? Especially after a 10-6 win that wasn't exactly pretty in all areas. Well, THOR+ has bumped them from #26 to #10 this week for a couple of reasons. First, the preseason projections are no longer holding back their offensive numbers. Second, THOR+ still has Wisconsin at #33 in the nation, which helped Iowa's strength of schedule. That is how Iowa continues to rise up the charts in THOR+'s eyes. And I feel like I say this every week, but this week I really am a bit skeptical about their overall ranking. But whether they are #10, #22, or whatever, it actually may not affect their win probabilities all that much, so whatever.

THOR+ Rank B1G West Conference Wins 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
10 Iowa 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.2% 5.4% 16.7% 29.6% 32.0% 16.1%
33 Wisconsin 0.1% 1.3% 4.0% 16.6% 29.0% 28.0% 17.2% 3.8% 0.0%
37 Northwestern 0.0% 0.4% 3.8% 14.4% 31.4% 28.9% 16.5% 4.1% 0.5%
47 Illinois 0.0% 3.5% 15.1% 30.0% 28.0% 17.0% 5.5% 0.9% 0.0%
49 Nebraska 0.9% 6.5% 15.6% 24.9% 29.1% 16.8% 5.5% 0.7% 0.0%
74 Purdue 1.9% 11.8% 25.9% 29.5% 21.2% 8.5% 1.1% 0.1% 0.0%
80 Minnesota 5.7% 18.6% 34.3% 25.9% 11.8% 3.2% 0.4% 0.1% 0.0%
THOR+ Rank B1G East Conference Wins 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 Michigan 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.6% 4.7% 15.5% 33.6% 31.6% 14.0%
23 Ohio State 0.0% 0.0% 0.3% 2.8% 12.2% 26.7% 33.7% 20.1% 4.2%
42 Michigan State 0.0% 0.4% 2.9% 9.4% 27.1% 28.3% 22.0% 9.1% 0.8%
60 Penn State 0.0% 1.3% 7.8% 21.8% 31.5% 24.3% 10.4% 2.6% 0.3%
92 Maryland 5.5% 22.4% 33.6% 24.1% 11.9% 2.3% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0%
96 Indiana 5.9% 21.0% 34.1% 25.7% 10.4% 2.3% 0.6% 0.0% 0.0%
99 Rutgers 6.5% 23.1% 33.6% 24.6% 9.1% 2.9% 0.1% 0.1% 0.0%

As for the conference win projections, Iowa has the best odds in the West, but it's still early. Wisconsin still has the same easy schedule as the Hawks and Northwestern's defense will keep them hanging around against just about anyone.

In the East, Michigan continues to pull away in the win projections, thanks largely to Ohio State's continued offensive struggles and Michigan State's inability to look the part against clearly inferior opponents.

And, per usual, here are the mean, max, and min wins for each team:

THOR+ B1G West Mean Wins Min. Wins Max. Wins Mean B1G Wins Min B1G Wins Max B1G Wins
10 Iowa 10.4 7 12 6.4 3 8
33 Wisconsin 7.5 3 10 4.5 0 7
37 Northwestern 8.5 5 12 4.5 1 8
47 Illinois 6.6 4 10 3.6 1 7
49 Nebraska 5.5 2 9 3.5 0 7
74 Purdue 3.9 1 8 2.9 0 7
80 Minnesota 5.3 3 10 2.3 0 7
THOR+ B1G East Mean Wins Min. Wins Max. Wins Mean B1G Wins Min B1G Wins Max B1G Wins
9 Michigan 9.3 6 11 6.3 3 8
23 Ohio State 9.7 6 12 5.7 2 8
42 Michigan State 8.9 5 12 4.9 1 8
60 Penn State 7.1 4 11 4.1 1 8
92 Maryland 4.2 2 8 2.2 0 6
96 Indiana 6.2 4 10 2.2 0 6
99 Rutgers 4.5 2 10 2.2 0 7

Lastly, remember that the "THOR+ Record" included under every team is a running tally of how well THOR+ has done picking each game straight up this season. THOR+ is 50-12 (80.6%) picking Big Ten games this season, which is a little higher than the 77.4% it is in all FBS games for 2015. But there are clearly teams that it has done better with (most of the Big Ten East), and others it has had to adjust expectations on (Iowa, Indiana, Northwestern).

Big Ten West

Iowa

Date Iowa Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Illinios State FCS W
9/12 Away Iowa State 63 W
9/19 Home Pittsburgh 38 W
9/26 Home North Texas 125 W
10/3 Away Wisconsin 33 W
10/10 Home Illinois 47 78%
10/17 Away Northwestern 37 56%
10/31 Home Maryland 92 88%
11/7 Away Indiana 96 79%
11/14 Home Minnesota 80 85%
11/21 Home Purdue 74 84%
11/27 Away Nebraska 49 64%

THOR+ Record: 2-2 (50%)

Iowa's numbers make me incredibly happy, but fill me with an incredible amount of anxiety. This schedule is ridiculously manageable, though, so let's all pray to our deities of choice that there are no bad injuries/team wide implosions down the stretch. Otherwise, this could be really fun, you guys.

Illinois

Date Illinois Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Kent State 112 W
9/12 Home W. Illinois FCS W
9/19 Away North Carolina 15 L
9/26 Home Middle Tennessee 46 W
10/3 Home Nebraska 49 W
10/10 Away Iowa 10 22%
10/24 Home Wisconsin 33 48%
10/31 Away Penn State 60 47%
11/7 Away Purdue 74 53%
11/14 Home Ohio State 23 43%
11/21 Away Minnesota 80 55%
11/28 Neutral Northwestern 37 43%

THOR+ Record: 4-0 (100%)

THOR+ missed on the Iowa/Wisconsin game last week, but it called the Illinois/Nebraska one right. As it stands, Illinois doesn't look great, but their defense looks pretty good. That's good enough to make most of their remaining games look like coin flips, but there still aren't any guaranteed wins.

Minnesota

Date Minnesota Team Rank Projected Win%
9/3 Home TCU 32 L
9/12 Away Colorado State 71 W
9/19 Home Kent State 112 W
9/26 Home Ohio 43 W
10/3 Away Northwestern 37 L
10/10 Away Purdue 74 41%
10/17 Home Nebraska 49 46%
10/31 Home Michigan 9 25%
11/7 Away Ohio State 23 20%
11/14 Away Iowa 10 15%
11/21 Home Illinois 47 45%
11/28 Home Wisconsin 33 36%

THOR+ Record: 4-1 (80%)

Minnesota had a tough schedule when THOR+ thought they were pretty good at the beginning of the year, and that still has yet to change now that the Gophers look pretty horrible right now. There is likely no fix for the offense in 2015, and with injuries piling up, the defense may continue to get worse, too.

Nebraska

Date Nebraska Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home BYU 65 L
9/12 Home South Alabama 120 W
9/19 Away Miami (Florida) 56 L
9/26 Home Southern Mississippi 55 W
10/3 Away Illinois 47 L
10/10 Home Wisconsin 33 47%
10/17 Away Minnesota 80 54%
10/24 Home Northwestern 37 49%
10/31 Away Purdue 74 52%
11/7 Home Michigan State 42 53%
11/14 Away Rutgers 99 62%
11/28 Home Iowa 10 36%

THOR+ Record: 4-1 (80%)

This is your weekly reminder that Nebraska still has a schedule that's not much tougher than Iowa's or Wisconsin's, outside of a home game with Michigan State. Of course, that won't help them win the West if they continue to go splodey at the end of every game.

Northwestern

Date Northwestern Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Stanford 2 W
9/12 Home Eastern Illinois FCS W
9/19 Away Duke 31 W
9/26 Home Ball State 93 W
10/3 Home Minnesota 80 W
10/10 Away Michigan 9 26%
10/17 Home Iowa 10 44%
10/24 Away Nebraska 49 51%
11/7 Home Penn State 60 68%
11/14 Home Purdue 74 73%
11/21 Away Wisconsin 33 40%
11/28 Neutral Illinois 47 57%

THOR+ Record: 2-2 (50%)

Northwestern's win probabilities continue to increase every week, but it's not because their anemic offense has found its footing. It's because their Defense+ rating continues to rise out of the stratosphere. Seriously, though, if you thought the 17-9 THOR+ projection for the Minnesota game was ugly last week, just wait until you see the Michigan one this week. You won't be disappointed.

Purdue

Date Purdue Team Rank Projected Win%
9/6 Away Marshall 78 L
9/12 Home Indiana State FCS W
9/19 Home Virginia Tech 69 L
9/26 Home Bowling Green 66 L
10/3 Away Michigan State 42 L
10/10 Home Minnesota 80 59%
10/17 Away Wisconsin 33 25%
10/31 Home Nebraska 49 48%
11/7 Home Illinois 47 47%
11/14 Away Northwestern 37 27%
11/21 Away Iowa 10 16%
11/28 Home Indiana 96 66%

THOR+ Record: 3-1 (75%)

Purdue just can't catch a break this year. And even with THOR+ liking Purdue slightly this week over Minnesota, I am fully expecting the Boilers to blow a late lead in heart-breaking fashion.

Wisconsin

Date Wisconsin Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Neutral Alabama 3 L
9/12 Home Miami (Ohio) 118 W
9/19 Home Troy 106 W
9/26 Home Hawai'i 98 W
10/3 Home Iowa 10 L
10/10 Away Nebraska 49 53%
10/17 Home Purdue 74 75%
10/24 Away Illinois 47 52%
10/31 Home Rutgers 99 82%
11/7 Away Maryland 92 69%
11/21 Home Northwestern 37 60%
11/28 Away Minnesota 80 64%

THOR+ Record: 4-1 (80%)

Iowa owns the tiebreaker over the Badgers, but the Hawkeyes can't get complacent. Wisconsin could still win the division with this schedule.

Big Ten East

Indiana

Date Indiana Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home S. Illinois FCS W
9/12 Home Florida International 83 W
9/19 Home Western Kentucky 20 W
9/26 Away Wake Forest 82 W
10/3 Home Ohio State 23 L
10/10 Away Penn State 60 29%
10/17 Home Rutgers 99 59%
10/24 Away Michigan State 42 23%
11/7 Home Iowa 10 21%
11/14 Home Michigan 9 20%
11/21 Away Maryland 92 42%
11/28 Away Purdue 74 34%

THOR+ Record: 2-2 (50%)

At this point, I'm pretty sure Indiana fans (if they even read this) think there is a special "penalize Indiana" variable in my formula for THOR+ because they are still ranked in the 90s, despite being 4-1. No, I don't think they are quite that bad after what they did against Ohio State down Jordan Howard and Nate Sudfeld for chunks of the game. But I don't think they are much higher than the 60s or the 70s. Maybe the 50s if they keep winning. But that looks like a big IF.

Maryland

Date Maryland Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Richmond FCS W
9/12 Home Bowling Green 66 L
9/19 Home South Florida 81 W
9/26 Away West Virginia 30 L
10/3 Home Michigan 9 L
10/10 Away Ohio State 23 16%
10/24 Neutral Penn State 60 36%
10/31 Away Iowa 10 12%
11/7 Home Wisconsin 33 31%
11/14 Away Michigan State 42 24%
11/21 Home Indiana 96 58%
11/28 Away Rutgers 99 45%

THOR+ Record: 3-1 (75%)

Seeing how I think Indiana is better than #96, I don't see Maryland winning the only remaining green game on their schedule. But Maryland has to pull off at least one win, right? The last two weeks of the season are definitely their best bet to do so.

Michigan

Date Michigan Team Rank Projected Win%
9/3 Away Utah 25 L
9/12 Home Oregon State 90 W
9/19 Home UNLV 57 W
9/26 Home BYU 65 W
10/3 Away Maryland 92 W
10/10 Home Northwestern 37 74%
10/17 Home Michigan State 42 77%
10/31 Away Minnesota 80 75%
11/7 Home Rutgers 99 90%
11/14 Away Indiana 96 80%
11/21 Away Penn State 60 69%
11/28 Home Ohio State 23 68%

THOR+ Record: 5-0 (100%)

Every week Michigan's numbers look more realistic to me, including that last game on the schedule. Odds are that they are going to slip up once or twice, but let's just hope that it's not this week.

Michigan State

Date Michigan State Team Rank Projected Win%
9/4 Away Western Michigan 97 W
9/12 Home Oregon 87 W
9/19 Home Air Force 68 W
9/26 Home Central Michigan 89 W
10/3 Home Purdue 74 W
10/10 Away Rutgers 99 66%
10/17 Away Michigan 9 23%
10/24 Home Indiana 96 77%
11/7 Away Nebraska 49 47%
11/14 Home Maryland 92 76%
11/21 Away Ohio State 23 31%
11/28 Home Penn State 60 64%

THOR+ Record: 5-0 (100%)

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (They're still probably winning 9-10 games this year.)

Ohio State

Date Ohio State Team Rank Projected Win%
9/7 Away Virginia Tech 69 W
9/12 Home Hawai'i 98 W
9/19 Home Northern Illinois 50 W
9/26 Home Western Michigan 97 W
10/3 Away Indiana 96 W
10/10 Home Maryland 92 84%
10/17 Home Penn State 60 75%
10/24 Away Rutgers 99 75%
11/7 Home Minnesota 80 80%
11/14 Away Illinois 47 57%
11/21 Home Michigan State 42 69%
11/28 Away Michigan 9 32%

THOR+ Record: 5-0 (100%)

Ohio State was supposed to be more than well off at the quarterback position this year, instead their Passing+ rating is 12 percentage points below the FBS average and Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett have both thrown as many interceptions as they have touchdowns. Ezekiel Elliot is a beast, though -- and the main reason they still have a shot at 12-0.

Penn State

Date Penn State Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Away Temple 39 L
9/12 Home Buffalo 101 W
9/19 Home Rutgers 99 W
9/26 Home San Diego State 108 W
10/3 Home Army 72 W
10/10 Home Indiana 96 71%
10/17 Away Ohio State 23 25%
10/24 Neutral Maryland 92 64%
10/31 Home Illinois 47 53%
11/7 Away Northwestern 37 32%
11/21 Home Michigan 9 31%
11/28 Away Michigan State 42 36%

THOR+ Record: 5-0 (100%)

Penn State barely beat Army in week 5 and James Franklin promptly went on a tirade against point spreads after the game. And that's it. That's all I got, because Franklin's speech was much more entertaining than the game itself was.

Rutgers

Date Rutgers Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Norfolk State FCS W
9/12 Home Washington State 88 L
9/19 Away Penn State 60 L
9/26 Home Kansas 121 W
10/10 Home Michigan State 42 34%
10/17 Away Indiana 96 41%
10/24 Home Ohio State 23 25%
10/31 Away Wisconsin 33 18%
11/7 Away Michigan 9 10%
11/14 Home Nebraska 49 38%
11/21 Away Army 72 32%
11/28 Home Maryland 92 55%

THOR+ Record: 2-1 (66.7%)

The Scarlet Knights come off a win against the bye week, but is visited by Sparty in week 6. No, you cannot have another bye week, Rutgers.