clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

BIG TEN WIN PROJECTIONS: POST-WEEK 11

New, 69 comments

Another week of football, another Iowa victory. The amazing season continues.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Week 11 almost saw some upsets that could have had some big implications for both Big Ten divisions, but instead the underdogs came up short (thankfully, in our instance) and absolutely nothing changed in regards to division title races. Indiana almost beat Michigan, but lost in two overtimes. Meanwhile, Minnesota gave Iowa all the Hawkeyes could handle, but came up 5 points short. I would say the Michigan game was the closest to being an upset, as Indiana was actually on the verge of winning the game until their defense blew a lead with just a few seconds left in regulation. Iowa, on the other hand, struggled to stop a suddenly potent Minnesota offense, but the Hawkeyes never actually trailed in this contest, and they had multiple opportunities to pull away.

Anyway, there were no big surprises this weekend. All of the favorites won and all of the underdogs lost. THOR+ didn't call for any shockers this week, and thus went 6-0 on the weekend in the Big Ten. That makes THOR+ 71.6% in the Big Ten West this season and 85.3% in the East. Combined, that's 78.5% calling the Big Ten this season, which is higher than the 76% THOR+ has managed for all FBS teams in 2015.

Now, let's talk win projections. Here are the overall projections for each Big Ten team:

THOR+ Rank B1G West Season Wins 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
21 Iowa 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 11.4% 46.7% 41.9%
28 Wisconsin 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 11.4% 46.2% 42.4% 0.0% 0.0%
46 Nebraska 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 55.0% 45.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
67 Illinois 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 47.2% 52.8% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
69 Northwestern 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 38.4% 47.3% 14.3% 0.0% 0.0%
72 Minnesota 0.0% 0.0% 28.3% 50.0% 21.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
81 Purdue 32.0% 55.1% 12.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
THOR+ Rank B1G East Season Wins 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
5 Ohio State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 12.3% 54.6% 33.1%
7 Michigan 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 17.0% 45.1% 37.9% 0.0% 0.0%
37 Michigan State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 34.1% 55.1% 10.8% 0.0%
38 Penn State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 37.2% 47.9% 14.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
74 Maryland 17.2% 46.9% 35.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
89 Indiana 0.0% 0.0% 37.4% 47.1% 15.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
101 Rutgers 0.0% 32.3% 47.3% 20.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Here are the conference win projections:

THOR+ Rank B1G West Conference Wins 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
21 Iowa 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 11.4% 46.7% 41.9%
28 Wisconsin 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 11.4% 46.2% 42.4% 0.0%
46 Nebraska 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 55.0% 45.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
67 Illinois 0.0% 0.0% 47.2% 52.8% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
69 Northwestern 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 38.4% 47.3% 14.3% 0.0% 0.0%
72 Minnesota 0.0% 28.3% 50.0% 21.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
81 Purdue 0.0% 32.0% 55.1% 12.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
THOR+ Rank B1G East Conference Wins 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
5 Ohio State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 12.3% 54.6% 33.1%
7 Michigan 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 17.0% 45.1% 37.9% 0.0%
37 Michigan State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 34.1% 55.1% 10.8% 0.0%
38 Penn State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 37.2% 47.9% 14.9% 0.0% 0.0%
74 Maryland 17.2% 46.9% 35.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
89 Indiana 37.4% 47.1% 15.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
101 Rutgers 0.0% 58.5% 41.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

With only two games left, our much beloved Hawkeyes are at about 89% odds for at least 11 wins this season. Better yet, Iowa's odds of finishing 11-1 or 12-0 are basically a coin flip at this point. Obviously, the Hawkeyes controls their own destiny and are all but guaranteed to win the West at this point. But week 12 is a big one because Iowa clinches the division with a win against Purdue or a Wisconsin loss to Northwestern. Of course, we much prefer the former to happen, as it would mean Iowa's perfect season would remain intact.

As for the East, Ohio State's defense dominated Illinois and their perfect season is also still going. Their upcoming game with Michigan State this week is huge for the division, as it will determine whether the East remains a 3-team race or if it will dwindle to a 2-team one (assuming Michigan wins this week). If the Spartans can beat the Buckeyes, that would keep them in the hunt for a division title, along with Ohio State and Michigan. But if they lose, a second conference loss would put them officially out of the hunt for the Big Ten East. The same goes for Michigan. If they lose, a second loss would eliminate them from division championship scenarios because Michigan State owns the tie-breaker over them and Ohio State only has the potential for one conference loss if they win this weekend.

So, we could potentially see both Big Ten divisions get wrapped up this Saturday. THOR+ gives that something like 24% odds of happening. More likely, though, is that Iowa will clinch the West with a win over Purdue, while the East will be settled next weekend in Ann Arbor. But, you never know.

At this point, Iowa and Ohio State are the current favorites for each division, which would pit them against each other in the Big Ten Championship if the season were to end right now. Iowa actually moved down a bit this week in THOR+'s eyes after the defense gave up 5 touchdowns to Minnesota, thus Ohio State is currently favored (63%) to win 28-22. Boo.

Finally, here are the mean, min, and max wins for each Big Ten team based on the thousand simulations I ran:

THOR+ B1G West Mean Wins Min. Wins Max. Wins Mean B1G Wins Min B1G Wins Max B1G Wins
21 Iowa 11.3 10 12 7.3 6 8
28 Wisconsin 9.3 8 10 6.3 5 7
46 Nebraska 5.5 5 6 3.5 3 4
67 Illinois 5.5 5 6 2.5 2 3
69 Northwestern 8.8 8 10 4.8 4 6
72 Minnesota 4.9 4 6 1.9 1 3
81 Purdue 2.8 2 4 1.8 1 3
THOR+ B1G East Mean Wins Min. Wins Max. Wins Mean B1G Wins Min B1G Wins Max B1G Wins
5 Ohio State 11.2 10 12 7.2 6 8
7 Michigan 9.2 8 10 6.2 5 7
37 Michigan State 9.8 9 11 5.8 5 7
38 Penn State 7.8 7 9 4.8 4 6
74 Maryland 3.2 2 4 1.2 0 2
89 Indiana 4.8 4 6 0.8 0 2
101 Rutgers 3.9 3 5 1.4 1 2

Big Ten West

Iowa

Date Iowa Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Illinois State FCS W
9/12 Away Iowa State 75 W
9/19 Home Pittsburgh 47 W
9/26 Home North Texas 125 W
10/3 Away Wisconsin 28 W
10/10 Home Illinois 67 W
10/17 Away Northwestern 69 W
10/31 Home Maryland 74 W
11/7 Away Indiana 89 W
11/14 Home Minnesota 72 W
11/21 Home Purdue 81 79%
11/27 Away Nebraska 46 54%

THOR+ Record: 7-2 (77.8%)

The Hawkeyes should be able to win the West this weekend, but a Black Friday game that pits an 11-0 Iowa against a 5-6 Nebraska, fighting for bowl-eligibility, should be a fantastic game.

Illinois

Date Illinois Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Kent State 114 W
9/12 Home W. Illinois FCS W
9/19 Away North Carolina 2 L
9/26 Home Middle Tennessee 79 W
10/3 Home Nebraska 46 W
10/10 Away Iowa 21 L
10/24 Home Wisconsin 28 L
10/31 Away Penn State 38 L
11/7 Away Purdue 81 W
11/14 Home Ohio State 5 L
11/21 Away Minnesota 72 46%
11/28 Neutral Northwestern 69 51%

THOR+ Record: 7-2 (77.8%)

Somehow the Illini came up with 7 wins in exactly 0 of the thousand simulations run this week, even though they should have about 23% odds at winning both games against Minnesota and Northwestern, based on their win probabilities. Either way, they probably aren't winning both games. Minnesota looks much improved lately, and Northwestern's defense will make life difficult for a terrible Illinois offense. They just need one win to become bow eligible, however, and THOR+ thinks it is essentially a coin flip on whether that happens or not.

Minnesota

Date Minnesota Team Rank Projected Win%
9/3 Home TCU 29 L
9/12 Away Colorado State 82 W
9/19 Home Kent State 114 W
9/26 Home Ohio 92 W
10/3 Away Northwestern 69 L
10/10 Away Purdue 81 W
10/17 Home Nebraska 46 L
10/31 Home Michigan 7 L
11/7 Away Ohio State 5 L
11/14 Away Iowa 21 L
11/21 Home Illinois 67 54%
11/28 Home Wisconsin 28 41%

THOR+ Record: 8-2 (80%)

Give credit to Minnesota offensive coordinator, Matt Limegrover, for calling the game of his life this past weekend. Where the hell has that been all year? If that's the Minnesota we see for the next two games, this team could reach 6 wins.

Nebraska

Date Nebraska Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home BYU 34 L
9/12 Home South Alabama 115 W
9/19 Away Miami (Florida) 66 L
9/26 Home Southern Mississippi 57 W
10/3 Away Illinois 67 L
10/10 Home Wisconsin 28 L
10/17 Away Minnesota 72 W
10/24 Home Northwestern 69 L
10/31 Away Purdue 81 L
11/7 Home Michigan State 37 W
11/14 Away Rutgers 101 W
11/28 Home Iowa 21 46%

THOR+ Record: 8-3 (72.7%)

The Huskers finally have back-to-back wins this season. Now, they sit and wait for Iowa.

Northwestern

Date Northwestern Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Stanford 10 W
9/12 Home Eastern Illinois FCS W
9/19 Away Duke 58 W
9/26 Home Ball State 110 W
10/3 Home Minnesota 72 W
10/10 Away Michigan 7 L
10/17 Home Iowa 21 L
10/24 Away Nebraska 46 W
11/7 Home Penn State 38 W
11/14 Home Purdue 81 W
11/21 Away Wisconsin 28 28%
11/28 Neutral Illinois 67 49%

THOR+ Record: 5-4 (55.6%)

Northwestern continues to win close games, in spite of possessing a terrible offense. That will likely hurt them this week against Wisconsin's defense and it also has the potential to hurt them against a solid Illinois defense. The path to 10 wins is there, but 9 seems more realistic.

Purdue

Date Purdue Team Rank Projected Win%
9/6 Away Marshall 56 L
9/12 Home Indiana State FCS W
9/19 Home Virginia Tech 61 L
9/26 Home Bowling Green 26 L
10/3 Away Michigan State 37 L
10/10 Home Minnesota 72 L
10/17 Away Wisconsin 28 L
10/31 Home Nebraska 46 W
11/7 Home Illinois 67 L
11/14 Away Northwestern 69 L
11/21 Away Iowa 21 21%
11/28 Home Indiana 89 60%

THOR+ Record: 5-4 (55.6%)

Basketball season is finally here, Boiler fans.

Wisconsin

Date Wisconsin Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Neutral Alabama 8 L
9/12 Home Miami (Ohio) 119 W
9/19 Home Troy 90 W
9/26 Home Hawai'i 112 W
10/3 Home Iowa 21 L
10/10 Away Nebraska 46 W
10/17 Home Purdue 81 W
10/24 Away Illinois 67 W
10/31 Home Rutgers 101 W
11/7 Away Maryland 74 W
11/21 Home Northwestern 69 72%
11/28 Away Minnesota 72 59%

THOR+ Record: 8-2 (80%)

The outcome of Wisconsin's final two games probably hinge on whether or not the offense can actually look competent. And that means the Badgers will need a healthy Corey Clement because relying on Joel Stave to win with his arm just won't get it done against the defenses of Northwestern or Minnesota.

Big Ten East

Indiana

Date Indiana Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home S. Illinois FCS W
9/12 Home Florida International 100 W
9/19 Home Western Kentucky 45 W
9/26 Away Wake Forest 93 W
10/3 Home Ohio State 5 L
10/10 Away Penn State 38 L
10/17 Home Rutgers 101 L
10/24 Away Michigan State 37 L
11/7 Home Iowa 21 L
11/14 Home Michigan 7 L
11/21 Away Maryland 74 37%
11/28 Away Purdue 81 40%

THOR+ Record: 6-3 (66.7%)

Indiana is finally through the rough part of their conference schedule. If they were ever going to reach bowl-eligibility, now would be the time. Well, and that Rutgers game they pissed away. Imagine how good this team could be if they had an actual defense.

Maryland

Date Maryland Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Richmond FCS W
9/12 Home Bowling Green 26 L
9/19 Home South Florida 35 W
9/26 Away West Virginia 31 L
10/3 Home Michigan 7 L
10/10 Away Ohio State 5 L
10/24 Neutral Penn State 38 L
10/31 Away Iowa 21 L
11/7 Home Wisconsin 28 L
11/14 Away Michigan State 37 L
11/21 Home Indiana 89 63%
11/28 Away Rutgers 101 56%

THOR+ Record: 8-1 (88.9%)

Maryland is also through the hardest part of their schedule, but they have no bowl hopes. They are playing better lately, but they still have historically bad turnover issues and they haven't won since September. But, hey, they are playing better.

Michigan

Date Michigan Team Rank Projected Win%
9/3 Away Utah 24 L
9/12 Home Oregon State 102 W
9/19 Home UNLV 91 W
9/26 Home BYU 34 W
10/3 Away Maryland 74 W
10/10 Home Northwestern 69 W
10/17 Home Michigan State 37 L
10/31 Away Minnesota 72 W
11/7 Home Rutgers 101 W
11/14 Away Indiana 89 W
11/21 Away Penn State 38 61%
11/28 Home Ohio State 5 59%

THOR+ Record: 9-1 (90%)

In order to win the East, Michigan needs a bit of help. They need to win out, of course, because a 2-loss Michigan can't win the division. But they also need Michigan State to lose one more game. If Ohio State wins this weekend, that would mean The Big House would effectively host the Big Ten East Championship in week 13. If Michigan State beats Ohio State, though, the Wolverines would need to beat the Buckeyes and pray that Penn State can beat the Spartans.

Michigan State

Date Michigan State Team Rank Projected Win%
9/4 Away Western Michigan 80 W
9/12 Home Oregon 30 W
9/19 Home Air Force 70 W
9/26 Home Central Michigan 73 W
10/3 Home Purdue 81 W
10/10 Away Rutgers 101 W
10/17 Away Michigan 7 W
10/24 Home Indiana 89 W
11/7 Away Nebraska 46 L
11/14 Home Maryland 74 W
11/21 Away Ohio State 5 21%
11/28 Home Penn State 38 58%

THOR+ Record: 9-1 (90%)

Michigan State's road to Indianapolis is a bit more straight-forward: Win and they are in. The Spartans control their own destiny, as winning their final two games would mean a 1-loss MSU would own tie-breakers over Ohio State and Michigan. If they lose this week, though, they are officially eliminated because Ohio State would only have the potential for one loss.

Ohio State

Date Ohio State Team Rank Projected Win%
9/7 Away Virginia Tech 61 W
9/12 Home Hawai'i 112 W
9/19 Home Northern Illinois 53 W
9/26 Home Western Michigan 80 W
10/3 Away Indiana 89 W
10/10 Home Maryland 74 W
10/17 Home Penn State 38 W
10/24 Away Rutgers 101 W
11/7 Home Minnesota 72 W
11/14 Away Illinois 67 W
11/21 Home Michigan State 37 79%
11/28 Away Michigan 7 41%

THOR+ Record: 10-0 (100%)

Ohio State is still the team to beat, though. It helps when you haven't lost any games.

Penn State

Date Penn State Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Away Temple 41 L
9/12 Home Buffalo 98 W
9/19 Home Rutgers 101 W
9/26 Home San Diego State 64 W
10/3 Home Army 103 W
10/10 Home Indiana 89 W
10/17 Away Ohio State 5 L
10/24 Neutral Maryland 74 W
10/31 Home Illinois 67 W
11/7 Away Northwestern 69 L
11/21 Home Michigan 7 39%
11/28 Away Michigan State 37 42%

THOR+ Record: 9-1 (90%)

For whatever reason, I feel like Penn State is going to catch one of the Michigan teams sleeping and pull an upset. Jake Rudock shouldn't look like Aaron Rodgers this week against an actual defense and Michigan State is dangerously attracted to close games this season. I'm not sure which opponent it could be, but don't be surprised if Penn State does get to 8 wins.

Rutgers

Date Rutgers Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Norfolk State FCS W
9/12 Home Washington State 49 L
9/19 Away Penn State 38 L
9/26 Home Kansas 113 W
10/10 Home Michigan State 37 L
10/17 Away Indiana 89 W
10/24 Home Ohio State 5 L
10/31 Away Wisconsin 28 L
11/7 Away Michigan 7 L
11/14 Home Nebraska 46 L
11/21 Away Army 103 46%
11/28 Home Maryland 74 44%

THOR+ Record: 7-2 (77.8%)

Home field advantage is actually favoring Army over Rutgers this weekend... I know Rutgers is bad at football and everything,  but Army is absolutely horrible at it. I'm expecting THOR+ to get this one wrong and expecting Leonte Carroo to have an absolute heyday.