SPAM - NCAA Football 2021 - Week 12 Preview - Week 11 Recap



Iowa beat Minnesota again. The Gophers are still coached by a guy who dresses like he's trying to put you behind the wheel of this gorgeous 1997 Olds Cutlass, and Minnesotta fans are still the worst. THE WORST. I don't want to think about it or talk about the game any more than that. Barf. Flush.


Game by Game

Opponent Margin Win%
Indiana 13.5 W (1-0)
@Iowa State -4.5 W (2-0)
Kent State 8.4 W (3-0)
Colorado State 7.1 W (4-0)
@Maryland 5.6 W (5-0)
Penn State 2.1 W (6-0)
Purdue 5.4 L (6-1)
@Wisconsin -4.9 L (6-2)
@Northwestern 7.0 W (7-2)
Minnesota 3.4 W (8-2)
Illinois 8.6 71.0%
@Nebraska -1.4 43.9%

Record Projection

Record Odds
8-4 16.4%
9-3 52.3%
10-2 31.4%

Things are beginning to crystallize. It's pretty simple. SPAM has Iowa with a 31.4% shot at beating both Illinois and Nebraska. That seems a little low to me, but both of those opponents are better than their records. Nebraska in particular. It's almost impossible to play as well as Nebraska has and be 3-7. It's almost impossible for a team to get outplayed as badly as Iowa did last week and still win.

But here we are.

I'm a bit worried about Illinois running the ball on Iowa. Just as with Minnesota, I fear Iowa's coaching staff being alarmingly disinterested in game planning for their opponent. Illinois has a decent defense and a solid run game, and it's Bert. I'm not looking forward to watching Illinois run the ball effectively down Iowa's throat for 45 minutes before Iowa makes any adjustment, nor to falling victim to weird trick plays.

You know, for a season where Iowa is actually doing pretty decent, I think this is the least fun I've had watching Iowa football in a long time. Because I look at the data and I just know that the team isn't that good and every week is just an opportunity for some garbage team like Minnesota to prove it. The bowl game might be uuuuuugly. I'm ready to get into basketball season, I think.

Division Championship Odds

Big 10 West

Team Champ. Odds
Wisconsin 47.40%
Weird Multiway Tie 21.763
Iowa 20.71%
Minnesota 6.42%
Purdue 3.75%

It's time to talk about tiebreakers.

As of Monday, November 15, 2021, Iowa and Wisconsin are alone atop the Big 10 West at 5-2 in conference play. Technically, if both win out and finish 7-2, both teams in that situation are Big 10 West Co-Champions, but the heads-up winner goes to the championship game to lose to Ohio State. Minnesota and Wisconsin did this in 2019, with the Badgers having the heads-up win and Minnesota hanging a "Second Place Is Still Pretty Good" banner for their division co-championship. I'd throw more shade at the Gophers for that, but I am 100% sure that Iowa, who hung a banner for being invited to the Music City Bowl last year even though the game was never actually played, will also hang a co-division champion banner in that circumstance.

Moving on. Tie breakers. You'll see in the data a category for Weird Multiway Tie, which is more likely to occur than Iowa winning the Division straight-up. Let me explain what that is. SPAM is programmed to determine Division champions and to run the first two tie-breaking scenarios. They are: two teams are tied and the heads-up winner goes to Indy. Or, there's a three-way tie and the team with the highest win % against the others goes. For anything beyond that, SPAM doesn't calculate the winner, it just throws that simulation into the Weird Tie category, which I don't even usually list here as an outcome because the odds of that happening are usually less than 2-3%.

Well, here we are. It's on the table, and so we need to figure out what it means. The bottom line is that in this scenario, Iowa and Purdue are 1-2 against the rest, but Minnesota and Wisconsin are 2-1, so it's either Minnesota or Wisconsin going. I can find no circumstance under which any of those tiebreakers break for Iowa.

There's only one route to Indy for Iowa, and it's to win out and for Wisconsin to drop a game.

Big 10 East

Team Champ. Odds
Ohio State 57.56
Michigan 29.68%
Michigan State 11.80%

It's weird that the Big 10 East is the less interesting of the two divisions to talk about. Whether Rutgers gets bowl-eligible is more interesting than The Game.


Last week, SPAM projected:
  • Rutgers over Indiana by 1.8 (HIT)
  • Michigan over PSU by 3.9 (HIT)
  • Michigan State over Maryland by 9.4 (HIT)
  • Ohio State over Purdue by 14.5 (HIT)
  • Wisconsin over Northwestern by 12.2 (HIT)
  • Iowa over Minnesota by 2.9 (HIT)
SPAM called every single game correctly. Yay!

This week, SPAM projects:
  • Michigan over Maryland (by 10.9)
  • Wisconsin over Nebraska (by 6.1)
  • PSU over Rutgers (by 7.5)
  • Ohio State over MSU (by 10.5)
  • Iowa over Illinois (by 8.4)
  • Minnesota over Indiana (by 7.9)

Unless otherwise expressly indicated by BHGP editors, this FanPost is strictly the viewpoint of the author and is not endorsed by BHGP in any way.

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