WHERE WE'VE BEEN
Week 2 is behind us. Ohio State lost and looked decidedly mortal in the process. Iowa sat back and watched Iowa State implode. ESPN, for some reason, decided to go this game twice in a row, spent an entire morning kissing Coach Campbell's keister, only to then clown and troll the Cyclones with the trophy, bring in Ashton Kutcher to pick Iowa, and then Corso shit all over them and picked Iowa in an upset. I don't get it. It was a perfect setup for Iowa State to win anyway, silence all the nay-sayers, and take their place on the national stage.
They didn't. The national sports press is jumping off the bandwagon like rats fleeing a sinking ship. I'm not sure what's wrong over there in Ames, but I still think that's premature. There's talent there. Campbell can coach. And, perhaps more importantly, the rest of that conference is mostly garbage. The Cyclones should still be looking at anything less than 9-3 and a B12 Championship Game appearance as a disappointment. The loss to Iowa changes none of that.
Ya'll hate Iowa State way more than I do (I was all set to go to Iowa State for engineering at one point), so maybe you enjoyed this. While I am grateful for the win, as this was also an opportunity for Iowa to flex on the national stage and we usually wilt instead, I felt for Cy. If you were to try to script a more humiliating day for Iowa State, you'd struggle to do much better than what we saw. Yikes.
But, all we really care about is that the annual dread of ¡El Assico! is behind us and I won't have to listen to Cyclone fans on Twitter until we get into mid-October and they start shitting on Iowa and talking about all the other universes in which they would have won this game and the last 5.
Everybody else in the Big 10 basically did what they should have done, except Minnesota, who should have lost, and Penn State, who deserves to lose every game they play for the rest of time.
Here's how SPAM picked Week 2, which is Progressing To The Mean.
Wisconsin v. Eastern Michigan
Game by Game
|@Iowa State||-0.4||W (2-0)|
These advantages slipped across the board. Even SPAM's projection of Iowa-Iowa State moved slightly in favor of the Cyclones compared to last week, despite Iowa's heads-up win. This reflects that as the 2020 data falls off and we lean more on 2021 data, Iowa is statistically underperforming last year, and its competition. This might be an artifact of having played two of the Top-25 defenses from 2020, including one on the road. We'll see if the numbers don't straighten out when Iowa gets its more conventional diet of September Cupcakes.
Sitting at 2-0, and with one of those games being a 50/50 contest that is now a W, the scenarios in which Iowa loses that game are off the table. The redistribution of that probability landed mainly in the 10-2 category, which shot up considerably over last week.
Division Championship Odds
Big 10 West
As I suggested last week, there's little movement here because nobody played a conference game. Iowa and Wisconsin both LOST some ground here, which was distributed among Northwestern, Purdue, and Nebraska. What this should tell you is that the latter three teams looked better in terms of pure statistics on paper than did Iowa and Wisconsin in their respective games. But that's about all that tells you. Likewise, we won't see this change much over the next two weeks until we get back into conference play. Maryland and Illinois play this week, which might move the needle for them, but everybody else should largely stay put.
Big 10 East