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BIG TEN WIN PROJECTIONS: POST-WEEK 3

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Week 3 saw a mini ACC Coastal-Big Ten West Tournament, in which Iowa and Northwestern took care of business and Nebraska... well, LOL. Meanwhile, Ohio State continues to look less juggernauty over in the East.

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

We are now 75% done with the non-conference portion of the schedule, and while it's still VERY early, winning these games do have implications for every team's end-of-season win total. Iowa and Northwestern, for instance, have set themselves up nicely for 8+ win seasons. Nebraska, on the other hand, has increased their odds of winning fewer than 8 games after two absolutely brutal losses in the first three weeks. Again, it's still early, and injuries/bad luck/whatever can still happen and fortunes can reverse. But, as it stands now, teams that have started 3-0 are siting better than teams sitting 1-2.*

*LOL NEBRASKA

But, without further ado, here are the projected season win totals for the 2015 season, as of today:

THOR+ Rank B1G West Season Wins 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
9 Wisconsin 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.2% 0.8% 3.0% 15.5% 22.5% 31.6% 20.0% 6.4% 0.0%
24 Nebraska 0.0% 0.0% 1.2% 4.0% 11.5% 21.8% 28.4% 21.7% 9.6% 1.8% 0.0% 0.0%
41 Northwestern 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 0.6% 3.6% 10.5% 22.9% 31.8% 19.3% 9.1% 1.9% 0.2%
48 Iowa 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 0.3% 2.7% 10.6% 21.5% 27.3% 22.2% 11.2% 3.6% 0.5%
51 Illinois 0.0% 0.4% 3.5% 12.9% 26.3% 26.4% 18.7% 8.2% 3.5% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0%
62 Minnesota 0.0% 0.8% 4.4% 15.7% 24.3% 27.2% 16.8% 8.0% 2.3% 0.5% 0.0% 0.0%
75 Purdue 0.9% 6.0% 14.9% 27.8% 24.7% 18.0% 6.1% 1.2% 0.4% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
THOR+ Rank B1G East Season Wins 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
8 Ohio State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.1% 0.0% 0.7% 3.0% 9.6% 21.3% 29.6% 26.5% 9.2%
25 Michigan State 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.9% 2.8% 10.9% 23.5% 30.8% 21.3% 8.7% 1.1%
28 Michigan 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.1% 5.0% 13.6% 25.4% 27.1% 19.5% 7.3% 1.0% 0.0%
47 Penn State 0.0% 0.1% 0.2% 2.1% 10.4% 21.0% 30.6% 23.6% 10.3% 1.5% 0.2% 0.0%
73 Maryland 0.0% 1.4% 10.3% 20.2% 30.4% 21.2% 11.1% 4.8% 0.6% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
94 Rutgers 0.9% 7.7% 19.6% 32.3% 22.7% 13.1% 3.6% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
105 Indiana 0.0% 0.0% 5.0% 18.9% 29.8% 25.2% 14.6% 5.2% 1.2% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0%

Here are the projected conference wins:

THOR+ Rank B1G West Conference Wins 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 Wisconsin 0.0% 0.0% 0.8% 2.3% 11.6% 23.8% 31.2% 23.2% 7.1%
24 Nebraska 0.0% 0.6% 3.1% 10.2% 19.9% 29.1% 24.2% 10.6% 2.3%
41 Northwestern 0.5% 2.6% 8.6% 22.4% 32.3% 21.4% 9.8% 2.1% 0.3%
48 Iowa 0.3% 2.0% 9.2% 19.2% 27.8% 24.4% 12.6% 4.0% 0.5%
51 Illinois 1.4% 9.3% 23.5% 27.9% 23.8% 9.5% 4.4% 0.2% 0.0%
62 Minnesota 1.4% 10.3% 22.4% 30.1% 21.0% 11.0% 3.3% 0.3% 0.2%
75 Purdue 1.8% 10.7% 23.5% 29.5% 21.9% 10.4% 1.8% 0.4% 0.0%
THOR+ Rank B1G East Conference Wins 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
8 Ohio State 0.0% 0.1% 0.7% 2.2% 7.4% 20.2% 30.4% 28.3% 10.7%
25 Michigan State 0.0% 0.2% 2.3% 8.7% 21.8% 31.9% 23.6% 10.0% 1.5%
28 Michigan 0.0% 0.1% 2.6% 10.5% 19.8% 30.6% 23.8% 10.7% 1.9%
47 Penn State 0.1% 1.2% 7.4% 19.5% 31.1% 27.1% 10.9% 2.5% 0.2%
73 Maryland 2.0% 11.9% 22.7% 30.8% 20.7% 8.5% 3.2% 0.2% 0.0%
94 Rutgers 4.6% 16.9% 33.4% 25.9% 14.2% 4.9% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0%
105 Indiana 7.5% 23.0% 34.1% 21.4% 11.0% 2.6% 0.4% 0.0% 0.0%

Not much has changed for the projected winners of each division. THOR+ still likes Wisconsin to take advantage of their easy schedule, giving them better than 50% odds at reaching 9 total wins and at least 6 conference wins. Then it goes to Nebraska, who despite their non-conference woes, is still projected to win 5-6 Big Ten games this season thanks to their offense. And then behind the Huskers, Iowa and Northwestern are fighting it out for 7-9 overall wins and 3-5 conference wins. And let's be honest, Illinois and Minnesota are still in the hunt since it's so early and both teams are 2-1, tough conference schedules aside. Basically, the Big Ten West is still a crap shoot, you guys.

The East, meanwhile, is all Ohio State and Michigan State. The Buckeyes suddenly look more vulnerable, but are still very good. Of course, Michigan State is probably the only team in the East capable of taking the division from them.

Finally, here are the mean, min, and max wins for each team.

THOR+ B1G West Mean Wins Min. Wins Max. Wins Mean B1G Wins Min B1G Wins Max B1G Wins
9 Wisconsin 8.7 4 11 5.8 2 8
24 Nebraska 6.8 3 10 5.0 1 8
41 Northwestern 7.9 3 12 4.0 0 8
48 Iowa 8.1 3 12 4.2 0 8
51 Illinois 5.8 2 10 3.1 0 7
62 Minnesota 5.7 2 10 3.1 0 8
75 Purdue 4.6 1 9 3.0 0 7
THOR+ B1G East Mean Wins Min. Wins Max. Wins Mean B1G Wins Min B1G Wins Max B1G Wins
8 Ohio State 9.9 4 12 6.0 1 8
25 Michigan State 8.8 5 12 5.0 1 8
28 Michigan 7.7 4 11 5.0 1 8
47 Penn State 7.0 2 11 4.2 0 8
73 Maryland 5.2 2 9 3.0 0 7
94 Rutgers 4.2 1 8 2.4 0 6
105 Indiana 5.5 3 10 2.1 0 6

Big Ten West

Iowa

Date Iowa Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Illinios State FCS W
9/12 Away Iowa State 77 W
9/19 Home Pittsburgh 50 W
9/26 Home North Texas 118 85%
10/3 Away Wisconsin 9 23%
10/10 Home Illinois 51 58%
10/17 Away Northwestern 41 40%
10/31 Home Maryland 73 67%
11/7 Away Indiana 105 68%
11/14 Home Minnesota 62 63%
11/21 Home Purdue 75 69%
11/27 Away Nebraska 24 31%

The Hawkeyes have a pretty decent looking remaining schedule. The one potential issue, is that the three games in which they are not favored to win all come against Big Ten West opponents on the road. They are going to need to take 1-2 of those if they want to win the West this year.

Illinois

Date Illinois Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Kent State 111 W
9/12 Home W. Illinois FCS W
9/19 Away North Carolina 17 L
9/26 Home Middle Tennessee 83 71%
10/3 Home Nebraska 24 45%
10/10 Away Iowa 48 42%
10/24 Home Wisconsin 9 37%
10/31 Away Penn State 47 42%
11/7 Away Purdue 75 55%
11/14 Home Ohio State 8 35%
11/21 Away Minnesota 62 48%
11/28 Neutral Northwestern 41 47%

We still don't know how good Illinois is, but their conference schedule does not appear to be set up for success.

Minnesota

Date Minnesota Team Rank Projected Win%
9/3 Home TCU 18 L
9/12 Away Colorado State 53 W
9/19 Home Kent State 111 W
9/26 Home Ohio 67 59%
10/3 Away Northwestern 41 35%
10/10 Away Purdue 75 49%
10/17 Home Nebraska 24 39%
10/31 Home Michigan 28 41%
11/7 Away Ohio State 8 18%
11/14 Away Iowa 48 37%
11/21 Home Illinois 51 52%
11/28 Home Wisconsin 9 32%

Speaking of schedules that do not appear to be set up for success... Minnesota's defense will likely keep them in just about every game, but they need to figure that offense out quick.

Nebraska

Date Nebraska Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home BYU 40 L
9/12 Home South Alabama 116 W
9/19 Away Miami (Florida) 36 L
9/26 Home Southern Mississippi 102 85%
10/3 Away Illinois 51 55%
10/10 Home Wisconsin 9 50.3%
10/17 Away Minnesota 62 61%
10/24 Home Northwestern 41 67%
10/31 Away Purdue 75 67%
11/7 Home Michigan State 25 59%
11/14 Away Rutgers 94 73%
11/28 Home Iowa 48 69%

As much as I love laughing at Nebraska, their schedule isn't much harder than Iowa's or Wisconsin's, outside of playing Michigan State. The Spartans are definitely a tough team, but Nebraska gets them, the Badgers, the Wildcats, and the Hawkeyes all at home. Let's all hope that Blackshirt defense continues to look awful for the next two months.

Northwestern

Date Northwestern Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Stanford 13 W
9/12 Home Eastern Illinois FCS W
9/19 Away Duke 39 W
9/26 Home Ball State 121 87%
10/3 Home Minnesota 62 65%
10/10 Away Michigan 28 35%
10/17 Home Iowa 48 60%
10/24 Away Nebraska 24 33%
11/7 Home Penn State 47 59%
11/14 Home Purdue 75 71%
11/21 Away Wisconsin 9 25%
11/28 Neutral Illinois 51 53%

So yeah, Northwestern will probably be 4-0 after Saturday. And their conference schedule looks pretty manageable, as well. That's assuming their defense continues to look elite and can offset their inept offense, of course.

Purdue

Date Purdue Team Rank Projected Win%
9/6 Away Marshall 58 L
9/12 Home Indiana State FCS W
9/19 Home Virginia Tech 49 L
9/26 Home Bowling Green 74 57%
10/3 Away Michigan State 25 22%
10/10 Home Minnesota 62 51%
10/17 Away Wisconsin 9 15%
10/31 Home Nebraska 24 33%
11/7 Home Illinois 51 45%
11/14 Away Northwestern 41 29%
11/21 Away Iowa 48 31%
11/28 Home Indiana 105 70%

Purdue is favored over Bowling Green and Minnesota in what are essentially coin flip games. I expect them to lose one if not both of these games. I also expect it to be another long football season in West Lafayette.

Wisconsin

Date Wisconsin Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Neutral Alabama 5 L
9/12 Home Miami (Ohio) 113 W
9/19 Home Troy 97 W
9/26 Home Hawai'i 82 86%
10/3 Home Iowa 48 77%
10/10 Away Nebraska 24 49.7%
10/17 Home Purdue 75 85%
10/24 Away Illinois 51 63%
10/31 Home Rutgers 94 88%
11/7 Away Maryland 73 72%
11/21 Home Northwestern 41 75%
11/28 Away Minnesota 62 68%

I still don't know what to say about the Badgers. We probably won't get a decent idea of how good they are until next week.

Big Ten East

Indiana

Date Indiana Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home S. Illinois FCS W
9/12 Home Florida International 81 W
9/19 Home Western Kentucky 63 W
9/26 Away Wake Forest 78 32%
10/3 Home Ohio State 8 17%
10/10 Away Penn State 47 20%
10/17 Home Rutgers 94 52%
10/24 Away Michigan State 25 14%
11/7 Home Iowa 48 32%
11/14 Home Michigan 28 24%
11/21 Away Maryland 73 29%
11/28 Away Purdue 75 30%

I know Indiana football fans are on cloud nine right now, but THOR+ thinks they are the worst undefeated team in the country right now. Additionally, THOR+ thinks their record should be something more like 1-2. And not only because their defense is hilariously bad, but I'll discuss that in the power rankings this week. Instead, I'll mention that I think Wake Forest is likely ranked too high at #78 by THOR+. Their offense -- which is probably as bad as Indiana's defense -- is being carried by what THOR+ thinks is pretty good defense. That may be true, and Wake Forest could win, but I would probably think this game is closer to 50/50 than the 32/68 it's projected at. But who knows?

Maryland

Date Maryland Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Richmond FCS W
9/12 Home Bowling Green 74 L
9/19 Home South Florida 79 W
9/26 Away West Virginia 19 20%
10/3 Home Michigan 28 37%
10/10 Away Ohio State 8 15%
10/24 Neutral Penn State 47 39%
10/31 Away Iowa 48 33%
11/7 Home Wisconsin 9 28%
11/14 Away Michigan State 25 23%
11/21 Home Indiana 105 71%
11/28 Away Rutgers 94 52%

Maryland admirably bounced back and took care of business against South Florida in week 3, but now it's about to get ugly. May the football deities have mercy on your soul, Randy Edsall.

Michigan

Date Michigan Team Rank Projected Win%
9/3 Away Utah 43 L
9/12 Home Oregon State 88 W
9/19 Home UNLV 119 W
9/26 Home BYU 40 64%
10/3 Away Maryland 73 63%
10/10 Home Northwestern 41 65%
10/17 Home Michigan State 25 57%
10/31 Away Minnesota 62 59%
11/7 Home Rutgers 94 82%
11/14 Away Indiana 105 76%
11/21 Away Penn State 47 52%
11/28 Home Ohio State 8 46%

The best game of the week looks like Michigan and BYU. If the Wolverines come away with the victory, 3-1 sets them up nicely for a manageable Big Ten schedule. You will notice they are favored in all but one game. However, there are a lot of 50-65% games listed there, so things could go either way. And if Michigan proves to be worse than THOR+ thinks they are right now, those margins could shrink as the season goes on.

Michigan State

Date Michigan State Team Rank Projected Win%
9/4 Away Western Michigan 89 W
9/12 Home Oregon 52 W
9/19 Home Air Force 70 W
9/26 Home Central Michigan 99 85%
10/3 Home Purdue 75 78%
10/10 Away Rutgers 94 73%
10/17 Away Michigan 28 43%
10/24 Home Indiana 105 86%
11/7 Away Nebraska 24 41%
11/14 Home Maryland 73 77%
11/21 Away Ohio State 8 30%
11/28 Home Penn State 47 68%

Just keep winning, Spartans. It will work itself out if you just keep winning.

Ohio State

Date Ohio State Team Rank Projected Win%
9/7 Away Virginia Tech 49 W
9/12 Home Hawai'i 82 W
9/19 Home Northern Illinois 55 W
9/26 Home Western Michigan 89 88%
10/3 Away Indiana 105 83%
10/10 Home Maryland 73 85%
10/17 Home Penn State 47 78%
10/24 Away Rutgers 94 80%
11/7 Home Minnesota 62 82%
11/14 Away Illinois 51 65%
11/21 Home Michigan State 25 70%
11/28 Away Michigan 28 54%

Trouble in paradise? Eh, maybe not so much. Although, if the Buckeyes continue to turn the ball over like this, it's going to burn them. But if it doesn't burn them against Michigan State, it may not be fatal.

Penn State

Date Penn State Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Away Temple 44 L
9/12 Home Buffalo 96 W
9/19 Home Rutgers 94 W
9/26 Home San Diego State 107 81%
10/3 Home Army 104 79%
10/10 Home Indiana 105 80%
10/17 Away Ohio State 8 22%
10/24 Neutral Maryland 73 61%
10/31 Home Illinois 51 58%
11/7 Away Northwestern 41 41%
11/21 Home Michigan 28 48%
11/28 Away Michigan State 25 32%

Good defense, bad offense (except you, Saquon Barkley), and what looks like a fairly tough conference schedule. At least the next two weeks look fairly easy.

Rutgers

Date Rutgers Team Rank Projected Win%
9/5 Home Norfolk State FCS W
9/12 Home Washington State 86 L
9/19 Away Penn State 47 L
9/26 Home Kansas 122 78%
10/10 Home Michigan State 25 27%
10/17 Away Indiana 105 48%
10/24 Home Ohio State 8 20%
10/31 Away Wisconsin 9 12%
11/7 Away Michigan 28 18%
11/14 Home Nebraska 24 27%
11/21 Away Army 104 47%
11/28 Home Maryland 73 48%

At least you're not Kansas football, Rutgers. That's at least one positive you can take from this season.