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2015 BIG TEN WIN PROJECTIONS: POST-WEEK 9

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Week 9 saw some movement in the bottom and the middle of the conference, but no huge shakeups at the top.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Week 9 looked about as boring as possible on paper, and it kind of was. However, there were a few games that ended up being thoroughly enjoyable to watch. Iowa, Wisconsin, and Penn State all recorded blowouts -- the latter being quite the surprise -- but the day was saved by Minnesota coming extremely close to pulling off the upset over Michigan and Purdue LOL'ing Nebraska. And, yes, I am calling what Iowa did to Maryland a blowout. That game, while not exactly pretty in the second half, was never competitive. But I did enjoy watching it.

Anyway, with week 9 in the books, let's take a look at the win projections. First, here are the overall season ones:

THOR+ Rank B1G West Season Wins 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
18 Iowa 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 3.6% 21.0% 42.7% 32.6%
26 Wisconsin 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 4.3% 22.7% 44.2% 28.8% 0.0% 0.0%
51 Nebraska 0.0% 10.8% 34.8% 41.1% 13.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
61 Northwestern 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 7.2% 28.2% 36.2% 24.1% 4.3% 0.0% 0.0%
65 Illinois 0.0% 0.0% 21.1% 45.9% 26.8% 6.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
70 Purdue 6.0% 30.0% 41.5% 20.1% 2.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
84 Minnesota 0.0% 0.0% 21.0% 46.8% 26.4% 5.7% 0.1% 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
9 Ohio State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3% 6.4% 28.4% 44.3% 20.6%
15 Michigan 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.7% 9.1% 28.2% 42.6% 19.4% 0.0% 0.0%
39 Michigan State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 5.9% 23.1% 40.6% 26.9% 3.5%
43 Penn State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 16.6% 44.6% 29.9% 8.9% 0.0% 0.0%
78 Maryland 7.0% 32.6% 38.1% 19.3% 3.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
90 Indiana 0.0% 0.0% 19.8% 44.2% 26.9% 8.6% 0.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
93 Rutgers 0.0% 15.5% 37.8% 33.7% 12.6% 0.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

And here are the conference ones:

THOR+ Rank B1G West Conference Wins 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
18 Iowa 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 3.6% 21.0% 42.7% 32.6%
26 Wisconsin 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 4.3% 22.7% 44.2% 28.8% 0.0%
51 Nebraska 0.0% 10.8% 34.8% 41.1% 13.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
61 Northwestern 0.0% 0.0% 7.2% 28.2% 36.2% 24.1% 4.3% 0.0% 0.0%
65 Illinois 0.0% 21.1% 45.9% 26.8% 6.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
70 Purdue 0.0% 6.0% 30.0% 41.5% 20.1% 2.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
84 Minnesota 0.0% 21.0% 46.8% 26.4% 5.7% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
THOR+ Rank B1G East Conference Wins 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 Ohio State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.3% 6.4% 28.4% 44.3% 20.6%
15 Michigan 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.7% 9.1% 28.2% 42.6% 19.4% 0.0%
39 Michigan State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 5.9% 23.1% 40.6% 26.9% 3.5%
43 Penn State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 16.6% 44.6% 29.9% 8.9% 0.0%
78 Maryland 7.0% 32.6% 38.1% 19.3% 3.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
90 Indiana 19.8% 44.2% 26.9% 8.6% 0.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
93 Rutgers 0.0% 27.1% 47.4% 24.1% 1.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Nothing really changed at the top of either division. Iowa and Ohio State are still projected to win the West and the East, and face off in the Big Ten Championship game. If that were to happen today, THOR+ would be calling for an Ohio State (58%) victory by a projected score of 24-23. Boo.

But, while the tops of each division didn't really change, there was some movement toward the middle and bottom of the conference. The big winners from week 9 were Penn State and Purdue. The Nittany Lions saw their mean wins go from 7.7 to 8.3, while Purdue went from 3 to 3.8. Meanwhile, the biggest losers were Nebraska and Illinois. (Duh.) Nebraska's loss to Purdue changed their mean wins from 5.2 to 4.6, while Illinois dropped from 5.9 to 5.2.

Nebraska and Illinois derping it up in week 9 also made it a real possibility that the Big Ten West may only have 3 bowl eligible teams when the regular season is all said and done.

THOR+ B1G West Mean Wins Min. Wins Max. Wins Mean B1G Wins Min B1G Wins Max B1G Wins
18 Iowa 11.0 8 12 7.0 4 8
26 Wisconsin 9.0 7 10 6.0 4 7
51 Nebraska 4.6 3 6 2.6 1 4
61 Northwestern 7.9 6 10 3.9 2 6
65 Illinois 5.2 4 7 2.2 1 4
70 Purdue 3.8 2 6 2.8 1 5
84 Minnesota 5.2 4 8 2.2 1 5
THOR+ B1G East Mean Wins Min. Wins Max. Wins Mean B1G Wins Min B1G Wins Max B1G Wins
9 Ohio State 10.8 8 12 6.8 4 8
15 Michigan 8.7 6 10 5.7 3 7
39 Michigan State 10.0 8 12 6.0 4 8
43 Penn State 8.3 7 10 5.3 4 7
78 Maryland 3.8 2 6 1.8 0 4
90 Indiana 5.3 4 8 1.3 0 4
93 Rutgers 4.4 3 7 2.0 1 4

As for how THOR+ did in week 9, well, it only missed on the Nebraska and Purdue game. That now leaves THOR+ 46-8 (85.2%) in the Big Ten East this season and 38-16 (70.4%) in the West. Combined, that's 77.8% for the entire Big Ten conference and just a smidge better than the 76.3% that THOR+ has recorded for all FBS games this season.

Big Ten West

Iowa

Date Iowa Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Illinois State FCS W
9/12 Away Iowa State 67 W
9/19 Home Pittsburgh 47 W
9/26 Home North Texas 126 W
10/3 Away Wisconsin 26 W
10/10 Home Illinois 65 W
10/17 Away Northwestern 61 W
10/31 Home Maryland 78 W
11/7 Away Indiana 90 74%
11/14 Home Minnesota 84 83%
11/21 Home Purdue 70 80%
11/27 Away Nebraska 51 61%

THOR+ Record: 5-2 (71.4%)

Another week, another win. I am trying hard not to get my hopes up over the remaining games because college football is a crazy, crazy game where anything can happen. I know coaches say it all the time to their teams, but I'm also finding that I need to say it to myself: One game at a time.

Illinois

Date Illinois Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Kent State 115 W
9/12 Home W. Illinois FCS W
9/19 Away North Carolina 13 L
9/26 Home Middle Tennessee 74 W
10/3 Home Nebraska 51 W
10/10 Away Iowa 18 L
10/24 Home Wisconsin 26 L
10/31 Away Penn State 43 L
11/7 Away Purdue 70 44%
11/14 Home Ohio State 9 27%
11/21 Away Minnesota 84 49%
11/28 Neutral Northwestern 61 48%

THOR+ Record: 6-1 (85.7%)

Illinois was my preseason pick to start fast and then fall on their face hard to end the season. They had me fooled into thinking this prediction would be wrong, but now they are doing their best to prove it right after all.

Minnesota

Date Minnesota Team Rank Projected Win%
9/3 Home TCU 12 L
9/12 Away Colorado State 83 W
9/19 Home Kent State 115 W
9/26 Home Ohio 86 W
10/3 Away Northwestern 61 L
10/10 Away Purdue 70 W
10/17 Home Nebraska 51 L
10/31 Home Michigan 15 L
11/7 Away Ohio State 9 13%
11/14 Away Iowa 18 17%
11/21 Home Illinois 65 51%
11/28 Home Wisconsin 26 35%

THOR+ Record: 6-2 (75%)

Minnesota played an inspired game for Jerry Kill, but some horrible end-of-game play calling and clock management kept them from pulling the upset. They are now 4-4 and not guaranteed to reach a bowl game this season. Just to get to 6 wins, they are going to need to beat Illinois and upset one of Ohio State, Iowa, or Wisconsin. It's not impossible, but the odds are not favorable, either.

Nebraska

Date Nebraska Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home BYU 35 L
9/12 Home South Alabama 116 W
9/19 Away Miami (Florida) 54 L
9/26 Home Southern Mississippi 72 W
10/3 Away Illinois 65 L
10/10 Home Wisconsin 26 L
10/17 Away Minnesota 84 W
10/24 Home Northwestern 61 L
10/31 Away Purdue 70 L
11/7 Home Michigan State 39 52%
11/14 Away Rutgers 93 60%
11/28 Home Iowa 18 39%

THOR+ Record: 6-3 (66.7%)

I've dialed it back the past couple of weeks, but LOLOLOLOL Nebraska.

Also, yes, the Huskers are slightly favored at home against Michigan State. Do I think they will win? No. But Michigan State hasn't exactly blown anyone out this year, either. So a coin flip projection may not be all that crazy.

Northwestern

Date Northwestern Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Stanford 5 W
9/12 Home Eastern Illinois FCS W
9/19 Away Duke 34 W
9/26 Home Ball State 108 W
10/3 Home Minnesota 84 W
10/10 Away Michigan 15 L
10/17 Home Iowa 18 L
10/24 Away Nebraska 51 W
11/7 Home Penn State 43 49%
11/14 Home Purdue 70 60%
11/21 Away Wisconsin 26 28%
11/28 Neutral Illinois 65 52%

THOR+ Record: 4-3 (57.1%)

Northwestern comes off a bye and gets ready to play what looks like it should be an ugly game against Penn State. Their win projections right now are spread quite close to even in the range of 7-9 wins. But if they come away from this one victorious, their mean wins should move closer to 9 than 8.

Purdue

Date Purdue Team Rank Projected Win%
9/6 Away Marshall 59 L
9/12 Home Indiana State FCS W
9/19 Home Virginia Tech 57 L
9/26 Home Bowling Green 42 L
10/3 Away Michigan State 39 L
10/10 Home Minnesota 84 L
10/17 Away Wisconsin 26 L
10/31 Home Nebraska 51 W
11/7 Home Illinois 65 56%
11/14 Away Northwestern 61 40%
11/21 Away Iowa 18 20%
11/28 Home Indiana 90 65%

THOR+ Record: 4-3 (57.1%)

Last week, I asked if Purdue would beat an FBS team this year? Purdue responded by earning their first Big Ten home win since 2012. Not only that, the win over Nebraska was also Darrell Hazell's first home Big Ten win as Purdue's head coach, and just his second Big Ten win, overall, in 20 tries. And THOR+ actually thinks they have a good chance to win at least one more before season's end. Feel the excitement.

Wisconsin

Date Wisconsin Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Neutral Alabama 17 L
9/12 Home Miami (Ohio) 120 W
9/19 Home Troy 87 W
9/26 Home Hawai'i 110 W
10/3 Home Iowa 18 L
10/10 Away Nebraska 51 W
10/17 Home Purdue 70 W
10/24 Away Illinois 65 W
10/31 Home Rutgers 93 W
11/7 Away Maryland 78 63%
11/21 Home Northwestern 61 72%
11/28 Away Minnesota 84 65%

THOR+ Record: 7-2 (77.8%)

Corey Clement being healthy is huge upgrade for the Badgers' running game. Him being healthy makes me feel more confident that Wisconsin could win out, be ranked again, and provide Iowa with a huge quality win.

Big Ten East

Indiana

Date Indiana Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home S. Illinois FCS W
9/12 Home Florida International 88 W
9/19 Home Western Kentucky 46 W
9/26 Away Wake Forest 94 W
10/3 Home Ohio State 9 L
10/10 Away Penn State 43 L
10/17 Home Rutgers 93 L
10/24 Away Michigan State 39 L
11/7 Home Iowa 18 26%
11/14 Home Michigan 15 24%
11/21 Away Maryland 78 38%
11/28 Away Purdue 70 35%

THOR+ Record: 4-3 (57.1%)

Who is more likely to not win a Big Ten game this year? Indiana or Maryland? THOR+ thinks Indiana, but I'm not so sure.

Maryland

Date Maryland Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Richmond FCS W
9/12 Home Bowling Green 42 L
9/19 Home South Florida 40 W
9/26 Away West Virginia 37 L
10/3 Home Michigan 15 L
10/10 Away Ohio State 9 L
10/24 Neutral Penn State 43 L
10/31 Away Iowa 18 L
11/7 Home Wisconsin 26 37%
11/14 Away Michigan State 39 28%
11/21 Home Indiana 90 62%
11/28 Away Rutgers 93 50%

THOR+ Record: 6-1 (85.7%)

But, seriously, one of these teams has to get a Big Ten win because they play each other on November 21st.

Michigan

Date Michigan Team Rank Projected Win%
9/3 Away Utah 22 L
9/12 Home Oregon State 101 W
9/19 Home UNLV 89 W
9/26 Home BYU 35 W
10/3 Away Maryland 78 W
10/10 Home Northwestern 61 W
10/17 Home Michigan State 39 L
10/31 Away Minnesota 84 W
11/7 Home Rutgers 93 87%
11/14 Away Indiana 90 76%
11/21 Away Penn State 43 59%
11/28 Home Ohio State 9 55%

THOR+ Record: 7-1 (87.5%)

Michigan's outside shot at winning the Big Ten East is still alive thanks to Minnesota's late-game incompetence. Are they now cosmically even for the whole punt debacle against Michigan State?

Michigan State

Date Michigan State Team Rank Projected Win%
9/4 Away Western Michigan 79 W
9/12 Home Oregon 50 W
9/19 Home Air Force 71 W
9/26 Home Central Michigan 73 W
10/3 Home Purdue 70 W
10/10 Away Rutgers 93 W
10/17 Away Michigan 15 W
10/24 Home Indiana 90 W
11/7 Away Nebraska 51 48%
11/14 Home Maryland 78 72%
11/21 Away Ohio State 9 22%
11/28 Home Penn State 43 59%

THOR+ Record: 7-1 (87.5%)

Connor Cook must be salivating at the thought of throwing the ball against Nebraska's "secondary" this weekend and Maryland's the following.

Ohio State

Date Ohio State Team Rank Projected Win%
9/7 Away Virginia Tech 57 W
9/12 Home Hawai'i 110 W
9/19 Home Northern Illinois 53 W
9/26 Home Western Michigan 79 W
10/3 Away Indiana 90 W
10/10 Home Maryland 78 W
10/17 Home Penn State 43 W
10/24 Away Rutgers 93 W
11/7 Home Minnesota 84 87%
11/14 Away Illinois 65 73%
11/21 Home Michigan State 39 78%
11/28 Away Michigan 15 45%

THOR+ Record: 8-0 (100%)

J.T. Barrett is out of this week's game against Minnesota, so this one could be a lot closer than THOR+ is calling for.

Penn State

Date Penn State Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Away Temple 27 L
9/12 Home Buffalo 99 W
9/19 Home Rutgers 93 W
9/26 Home San Diego State 66 W
10/3 Home Army 100 W
10/10 Home Indiana 90 W
10/17 Away Ohio State 9 L
10/24 Neutral Maryland 78 W
10/31 Home Illinois 65 W
11/7 Away Northwestern 61 51%
11/21 Home Michigan 15 41%
11/28 Away Michigan State 39 41%

THOR+ Record: 9-0 (100%)

Penn State actually looked like they had an offense against Illinois. If it turns out that wasn't just a one week apparition, the Nittany Lions have a chance to win out. I will remain skeptical until it happens, though.

Rutgers

Date Rutgers Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Norfolk State FCS W
9/12 Home Washington State 64 L
9/19 Away Penn State 43 L
9/26 Home Kansas 118 W
10/10 Home Michigan State 39 L
10/17 Away Indiana 90 W
10/24 Home Ohio State 9 L
10/31 Away Wisconsin 26 L
11/7 Away Michigan 15 13%
11/14 Home Nebraska 51 40%
11/21 Away Army 100 47%
11/28 Home Maryland 78 50%

THOR+ Record: 5-2 (71.4%)

Rutgers very well could be the worst team in the Big Ten without Leonte Carroo. It's pretty incredible how valuable one player can be to a team.