this week in unintentionally grim-sounding recruiting headlines
As an amatuer follower of conference re-alignment, I became interested in trying to figure out the true conference value of all the potential schools that seem to come up for discussion and started looking for data to see what kind of value they might drive for the Big Ten (or other conferences).
I recently started reviewing the USA Today's database again and was surprised to find that much of the data that people are looking for - that is, how much value the schools can derive from multimedia markets, is already available here.
In particular, I will be looking at the following two columns in this datbase :
Rights/Licensing: Includes revenue for athletics from radio and television broadcasts, Internet and ecommerce rights received from institution-negotiated contracts, the NCAA and conference revenue sharing arrangements; ; and revenue from corporate sponsorships, licensing, sales of advertisements, trademarks and royalties. Includes the value of in-kind products and services provided as part of the sponsorship (e.g., equipment, apparel, soft drinks, water and isotonic products).
Other revenue: All other sources of revenue including game guarantees, support from third-parties guaranteed by the school such as TV income, housing allowances, camp income, etc.; tournament/bowl game revenues from conferences; endowments and investments; revenue from game programs, novelties, food or other concessions; and parking revenues and other sources.
While the other revenue column isn't completely 'clean' data in that it does add non-media revenue, I felt that it was better to add it to capture the relevant data than to remove it completely.
The focus on these two data points means that revenue sources that only benefit the school in question - ticket sales, student fees, and donor contributions - are not added to this list, which impacts the overall rankings of the different schools considerably.
While admittedly a simplistic view of the schools that does not take potential synergies into account, I still thought that this was an interesting datapoint when considering potential schools to add.
Here is the data for ACC and Big East schools from 2006-2011 (I did not bother doing this analysis for Big Ten/SEC schools but schools in these conferences average around the $40M mark) :
*Note: Private schools are not listed on the database so I could not gather those numbers
|Former Conference||New Conference||School||5 Yr Average ('Combined Media Value')||5 Yr Value Increase||5Yr % Increase|
|Big East||Big XII||West Virginia||
|Big East||Big Ten||Rutgers||
The biggest surprise from looking at these numbers is the high value of UConn - presumeably from its continued success from Men and Women's basketball. I have seen a lot of angst from UConn fans the past year and it's not hard to see why that is.
The second surprise? The relative low value of Clemson. I guess being second fiddle to South Carolina really limits mass market appeal regardless of how strong the product.
Finally, Rutgers. Yeah - well, like I said, this metric does not account for potential synergies!
That said, it is fair to say that the only 'no brainer' school additions for any conference are Florida State & UNC...and perhaps UConn if those numbers can be sustained. All other schools only make sense for conferences with their own TV networks who are confident in their ability to get full coverage throughout the state (i.e. Rutgers)
This year, the Michigan football team will play O$U twice - once during the annual regular season finale and the following week in the Big Ten Championship Game
this is not a great revelation, because most people expect this to happen
the good news is that this will be the first and last time Michigan will play O$U twice in a year as the upcoming division realignments will put the teams in the same division
the reason for the realignment is part of why THE KNOWLEDGE has referred to ohio state as O$U in this post
THE KNOWLEDGE always refrains from such sophomoric behavior (THE KNOWLEDGE always refers to that school as osu), but the circumstances in columbus have changed over the last year, and are poised for even more drastic changes, to warrant the use of the dollar sign
soon after Meyer took over, he and Gene Smith have been developing the best possible way to cheat the NCAA and not get caught. in their mind, it is: (1) the continuation of their grand tradition of winning without integrity, and (2) a great revenge on the NCAA for daring to take some action against them, even though the punishment was absolutely not commensurate with the extreme magnitude of the original crime (a 10 year postseason ban and 100 scholarships reduction over 10 years would have been a more just punishment)
according to this plan, covert payments for recruits has already started, and a yearly stipend for the players has been instituted under great secrecy. the stipend is directly related to on-field performance on a weekly basis. this scheme is so novel that the NFL may jump at it if they understood the details
more money is on the way. THE KNOWLEDGE has mentioned earlier on these very pages that tressel will soon be hired in columbus to take care of recruit signing bonuses
even with these plans, they are still worried that Hoke and co in Ann Arbor may be a formidable ally. hence, the other part of the plan is to influence the B1G to make things easier for O$U - such as not playing Michigan twice a year
thus, the great desire on Smith's part for both teams to be in the same division, whereas Brandon is somewhat less enthused
while Brandon is more concerned about making money for the AD, Smith is keen on distributing as much money as covertly possible to players, recruits, and some well positioned B1G officials to make winning football games easier for them
THE KNOWLEDGE will provide reviews of the NCAA basketball tournament shortly, and will be discussing the 2013 Michigan football season results in the summer
Much to my surprise, there has been some demand to look at the relationship between basketball results and the Coach's Poll, the same way I have looked at B1G football results and the Coach's Poll. Apologies for any errors; copying results off of ESPN.com and lining it up by week was an invitation to mix a few things up (an opportunity I am sure I took). Also, I know some of the games at tournaments are not accurately labeled--I might have to update.
How to read: The week reflects the week of the results; RESULT #XX reflects the poll ranking following those results. This is intended to make it easier to follow a potential cause (results) with the effect (ranking).
- Week 1: Beat Bryant 97-54 (RESULT #1)
- Week 2: Beat NDSU 87-61, Beat Sam Houston St. 99-45 (RESULT #1)
- Week 3: Won @ Georgia 66-53, Won @ Georgetown 82-72, beat Ball St. 101-53 (P.S. Brady Hoke now hates you, Tom Crean) (RESULT #1)
- Week 4: Beat UNC 83-59, beat Coppin St. 87-51 (RESULT #1)
- Week 5: Beat Central Conn. St. 100-69 (RESULT #1)
- Week 6: Lost @ Butler, 88-86 (RESULT #6)
- Week 7: Beat Mt. St. Mary's, 93-54, beat Fla. Atl. 88-52 (RESULT #5)
- Week 8: Beat Jacksonville, 93-59 (RESULT #5)
- Week 9: Won @ Iowa 69-65 (RESULT #5)
- Week 10: Won @ Penn St. 74-51, beat Minnesota 88-81 (RESULT #2)
- Week 1: Beat Albany (RESULT: #4)
- Week 2: Won @ URI 69-58, Beat Washington 77-66 (RESULT: #3)
- Week 3: Beat UMKC 91-45 (RESULT: #4)
- Week 4: Lost @ Duke, 73-68, beat NKU 70-43 (RESULT: #7)
- Week 5: Beat Long Beach St. 89-55 (RESULT: #7)
- Week 6: Beat Savannah St., 85-45, beat UNC-Asheville 90-72 (RESULT: #7)
- Week 7: Beat Winthrop 65-55, lost to Kansas 74-66 (RESULT: #10)
- Week 8: Beat Chicago St. 87-44 (RESULT: #8)
- Week 9: Beat Nebraska 70-44, lost @ Illinois 74-55 (RESULT: #14)
- Week 10: Won @ Purdue 74-64, beat Michigan 56-53 (and resolved to break referees' glasses before every home game) (RESULT: #11)
- Week 1: Beat Slippery Rock, 82-60 (RESULT: #5)
- Week 2: Beat IUPUI 91-54, Beat Cleveland St. 77-47 (RESULT: #4)
- Week 3: Beat Pitt at a tournament, 67-62, beat K-State at same tournament 71-57 (RESULT: #3)
- Week 4: Beat NC State 79-72, Won @ Bradley 74-66 (RESULT: #3)
- Week 5: Beat W. Michigan 73-41, Beat Arkansas 80-67 (RESULT: #3)
- Week 6: Beat Binghamton 67-39, beat W. Va. 81-66 (RESULT: #2)
- Week 7: Beat E. Michigan 93-54 (RESULT: #2)
- Week 8: Beat C. Michigan, 88-73 (RESULT: #2)
- Week 9: Won @ Northwestern 94-66, beat Iowa 95-67 (RESULT: #2)
- Week 10: Beat Nebraska 62-47, lost @ Ohio* 56-53 (and purchased glasses for all of the referees) (RESULT: #5)
- Week 1: Lost in Germany to UConn 66-62 (RESULT: #22)
- Week 2: Won @ Kansas 67-64, beat TX Southern 69-41 (RESULT: #19)
- Week 3: Beat Boise St. 74-70 (narrow win over crappy BSU team--Izzo imitating Dantonio...), Beat Oakland 70-52, Beat LA-Lafayette 63-60 (RESULT: #14)
- Week 4: Lost @ Miami (YTM) 67-59, beat Nicholls St. 84-39 (RESULT: #17)
- Week 5: Beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff 76-44, beat Loyola (of Illinois) 73-61 (RESULT: #19)
- Week 6: Beat Tuskegee 92-56 (RESULT: #19)
- Week 7: Won @ Bowling Green 64-53, beat Texas 67-56 (RESULT: #19)
- Week 8: No games (RESULT: #18)
- Week 9: Lost @ Minnesota 76-63, beat Purude 84-61 (RESULT: #18)
- Week 10: Won @ Iowa 62-59, beat Nebraska 66-56 (RESULT: #17)
- Week 1: Beat SE Louisiana 87-47 (RESULT: #20)
- Week 2: Loss @ Florida 74-56, beat Cornell 73-40 (RESULT: #24)
- Week 3: Beat Presbyterian 88-43, Lost to Creighton 84-74, Won @ Arkansas 77-70 (take that, Bret Bielema) (RESULT: NR, 7th vote getter)
- Week 4: Lost to Virginia 60-54, beat California 81-56 (RESULT: NR, no votes)
- Week 5: Beat Nebraska-Omaha 86-40, lost @ Marquette 60-50 (RESULT: NR, no votes)
- Week 6: Beat Wisconsin-Green Bay 65-54 (RESULT: NR, no votes)
- Week 7: Beat Wisconsin-Milwaukee 74-53 (RESULT: NR, no votes)
- Week 8: Beat Samford 87-51 (RESULT: NR, no votes)
- Week 9: (RESULT: NR, no votes) Beat Penn St. 60-51, won @ Nebraska 47-41
- Week 10: Beat Illinois, 74-51, won @ Indiana 64-59 (RESULT: NR, 4th vote getter--I guess it helps to win @ Indiana. A lot.)
- Week 1: Beat American, 72-36 (RESULT: NR, 11th vote getter)
- Week 2: Beat Toledo 82-56, beat Tennessee St., 72-43, beat Richmond 72-57 (RESULT: NR, 5th vote getter)
- Week 3: Lost to Duke, 71-89, beat Memphis 84-75, beat Stanford 66-63 (RESULT: NR, 1st vote getter)
- Week 4: Won @ Fla. St. 77-68, Beat N. Fla. 87-59 (RESULT: #21)
- Week 5: Beat SDSU 88-64, won @ USC (of California) 71-57 (RESULT: #16)
- Week 6: Beat NDSU 70-57 (RESULT: #16)
- Week 7: Beat Lafayette, 75-50 (RESULT: #14)
- Week 8: No games (RESULT: #13)
- Week 9: Beat MSU 76-63, beat Northwestern 69-51 (RESULT: #10)
- Week 10: Won @ Illinois 84-67, lost @ Indiana 88-81 (RESULT:#12)
- There seem to be fewer inexplicable jumps when looking solely at a team's results than in football (there is no equivalent to NW's incredible jump after clubbing a floundering Illinois team). The closest I could find is MSU losing @ YTM and still going up two slots. But other than that...
- It appears that if you lose, no matter how good the opponent and how highly ranked you are, the team is going to drop. This is in contrast with football, where a team who played a very tough road game (like Indiana at Butler, or Michigan at Ohio*) and lost would not slide more than a slot or two.
- I do not know whether it is that there are more games, the voters play closer attention, or the box score really does tell you more (there is no bball equivalent to a fluke game-changing interception or punt return for touchdown, at least in terms of magnitude), or that the computer ranking system is more respected for basketball (RPI vs BCS), but there appears to be a higher correlation between team results and moves in the rankings despite having significantly more basketball teams.
Thoughts? Comments? Errors?
(10-8, 3-2 Big Ten)
RPI - 112
Wins vs Top 100 Opponents
|Wins (RPI 51-100)|
|59||Jan. 16||@ Nebraska||65-56|
|86||Jan. 19||West Virginia||79-52|
|Losses (RPI 1-50)|
|39||Dec. 15||Notre Dame*||68-81|
|16||Jan. 5||@ Michigan State||61-84|
|26||Jan. 8||Ohio State||64-74|
|Losses (RPI 51-100)|
|Losses (RPI 150+)|
|152||Nov. 16||Oregon State*||58-66|
|215||Dec. 8||@ Eastern Michigan||44-47|
FR. Ronnie Johnson. G. 6'0" 170lbs
9.1 ppg. 3.9 rpg. 3.4 apg.
JR. Terone Johnson. G. 6'2" 199lbs
13.4 ppg. 4.7 rpg. 3.1 apg.
FR. Rapheal Davis. G. 6'5" 211lbs
5.6 ppg. 3.2 rpg. 52% fg.
SR. D.J. Byrd. G-F. 6'5" 228lbs
10.4 ppg. 6.4 3pa. 3.8 rpg.
FR. A.J. Hammons. C. 7'0" 280lbs
10.3 ppg. 6.3 rpg. 2.1 bpg. (Leads the Big Ten)
Key Bench Players
SO. Anthony Johnson. G. 6'3" 191lbs
21.8 MIN. 6.1 ppg. 3.6 rpg.
FR. Donnie Hale. F. 6'8" 221lbs
14.8 MIN. 3.9 ppg. 3.2 rpg.
SO. Jacob Lawson. F. 6'8" 217 lbs.
14.4 MIN. 3.1 ppg. 3.1 rpg.
*Yes, they do have three guards with the last name Johnson that play significant minutes*
Key Team Stats (Big Ten Rankings)
9th in Scoring (66.8/game)
9th in FG% (42%)
9th in 3PT% (32%)
11th in SPG (5.17)
11th in FT%. (63%)
12th in 3PA (14/game)
1st in Total Rebounds (41.2)
T-2nd in BPG (4.89)
2nd in Offensive Rebounds (14.4)
What I make out of all of this
This is a very streaky team. As you can see from their wins/losses, they are capable of beating good teams and losing to bad teams. It looks like it's going to be another battle on the boards and down low, similar to how Minnesota was. This is not a good shooting team and they don't take many 3s, so make them shoot.
Purdue 48, Michigan 63.
I don't think Purdue is going to be able to keep up with us offensively and therefore we are going to pull away in the 2nd half. Hammons is going to give us trouble down low in the first half, much like Mbakwe did, but they will make some adjustments in the 2nd half to counter that. I think this is going to be a game that GRIII has a double-double with around 20pts.
Bumped at author's request. JGB.
So a while back I tried to take a look at the correlation (or lack thereof) of team performance with movement in the polls, specifically the Coach's Poll because it matters for the BCS (http://mgoblog.com/mgoboard/how-coachs-poll-reacts-b1g-results). Based on positive feedback (thank you!) and some spare time, I am updating the analysis through the end of the year. The previous analysis was through Week 11 (Michigan v. Northwestern week); now, it goes through bowls.
Michigan (Started #8)
- 19 (0-1) - Lost on neutral field to then #2 Alabama 14-41 (fairly large drop, probably because Michigan looked like it was not competitive)
- 18 (1-1) - Beat Air Force 31-25 (thank you Arkansas and Wiscy falling)
- 17 (2-1) - Beat UMass 63-13 (likely more of a result of MSU losing than destroying a creampuff)
- NR (2-2) - Lost @ ND 6-13 (Ugh...argh...still ranked third among vote-getters and two slots behind Northwestern)
- NR (2-2) - Wife Day (actually dropped among vote-getters to 9th)
- NR (3-2) - Won @ Purdue 44-13 (third among vote-getters, just ahead of Northwestern and MSU, in that order)
- 23 (4-2) - Beat Illinois 45-0 (Biiiiiiig boost from killing baby seal Illinios)
- 20 (5-2) - Beat MSU 12-10 (fairly solid jump for eeking by an unranked MSU team at home)
- NR (5-3) - Lost @ Nebraska 9-23 (12th among vote-getters...ouch)
- NR (6-3) - Won @ Minny 35-13 (3rd among vote-getters--bullish on Devin?)
- 23 (7-3) - Beat Northwestern in OT 38-31 (?)
- 20 (8-3) - Beat Iowa 42-17 (Note that two teams, LA Tech and USC, took a plunge out of the rankings)
- 24 (8-4) - Ughhhhh lost @ Ohio* 26-21 (Not much of a penalty for losing to Ohio*)
- 22 (8-5) - No B1G Championship (Cue MSU/Georgia crying about getting a bump for not playing in the championship game. Note that Nebraska is still ahead and Wisky is still behind)
- NR (8-5) - Lost to South Carolina 33-28 in Outback Bowl (top vote-getter)
Nebraska (Started #16)
- 14 (1-0) - Beat Southern Miss 49-20
- 24 (1-1) - Lost @ UCLA 30-36 (UCLA did not come into the season with much hype, so they were probably underrated at the time relative to now)
- 22 (2-1) - Beat Arkansas State 42-13
- 20 (3-1) - Baby sealed Idaho St. 73-7
- 20 (4-1) - Beat Wisconsin 30-27 (Not much of a bump for beating Wisky, even if the perception was that Wisky was bad and it was a close game at home)
- NR (4-2) - Lost @ OSU 38-63 (Bo Pelini stands there with his large mouth bass face after getting killed on the road by undefeated OSU, still unable to comprehend why his team has less votes than Michigan, Northwestern, MSU, and OHIO (!))
- NR (4-2) - Bye (Nebraska remained behind NW among vote-getters, 9th to 6th for Northwestern)
- NR (5-2) - Won @ Northwestern 29-28 (Still only 5th among vote-getters, perhaps punishment for Northwestern snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in Cubs-like fashion)
- 21 (6-2) - Beat Michigan 23-9 (apparently lots of credit for beating Bellomy)
- 18 (7-2) - Won @ MSU 28-24 (not sure I can explain this one)
- 14 (8-2) - Beat Penn St. 32-23 (I guess the "lucky" call did not enter voters' minds)
- 14 (9-2) - Beat Minny 38-14 (No change)
- 13 (10-2) - Won @ Iowa 13-7
- 21 (10-3) - Finished in fetal position to Wisconsin 70-31 in B1G Championship (A butt-whipping will do that, I guess)
- 23 (10-4) - Finished in fetal position to Georgia in Capital One Bowl, 45-31
Wisconsin (Started #12)
- 13 (1-0) - Beat Northern Iowa 26-21 (penalized slightly for close loss)
- 22 (1-1) - Lost @ Oregon State (NTOSU) 7-10 (even after its victory, NTOUS was 9th among non-top 25 vote getters)
- 24 (2-1) - Beat Utah State 16-14 (Not penalized too much for almost losing to non-BCS school)
- 23 (3-1) - Beat UTEP 37-26
- NR (3-2) - Lost @ Nebraska 27-30 (No votes for you!)
- NR (4-2) - Beat Illinois 31-14 (a couple of votes, behind Nebraska, Texas Tech, and Duke (!!))
- NR (5-2) - Won @ Purdue 38-14 (one ahead of Nebraska)
- NR (6-2) - Beat Minny 38-13 (third-highest vote-getter)
- NR (6-3) - Lost to MSU 13-16 (Votes? #HALOL)
- NR (6-3) - Bye (taking the weekend off brings no votes)
- NR (7-3) - Won @ Indiana 62-14 (2nd among vote-getters--boost for controlling destiny in Leaders?)
- NR (7-4) - Lost to Ohio* 21-14 (11th among vote-getters--ironically note that Utah State is tops among vote-getters)
- NR (7-5) - Lost @ Penn St. 24-21 (No votes)
- 23 (8-5) - Destroyed Nebraska 70-31 at B1G Championship (Big boost, but not enough to surpass Nebraska or Michigan)
- NR (8-6) - Lost to Wicked Smaht Stanford 21-14 in Rose Bowl (5th-leading vote getter; clearly losing to Stanford twice is better for your ranking because UCLA was the second-leading vote-getter)
MSU (Started #13)
- 11 (1-0) - Beat then #23 Boise St. 17-13 (quality win at home, but looks like MSU was penalized somewhat from a perception of Boise State looking overrated at #23)
- 10 (2-0) - Won @ Central Michigan 41-7
- 20 (2-1) - Lost to ND 3-20
- 18 (3-1) - Beat Eastern Michigan 23-7
- NR (3-2) - Lost to OSU 16-17 (fifth among vote-getters despite losing to undefeated OSU by a point)
- NR (4-2) - Won @ Indiana 31-27 (see above)
- NR (4-3) - Lost to Iowa 16-19 (No votes for you! The Fall comes before the Threat!)
- NR (4-4) - Lost @ Michigan 10-12 (Pride comes before the lack of votes)
- NR (5-4) - Won @ Wisconsin 16-13 (Still no votes)
- NR (5-5) - Lost to Nebraska 24-28 (All your votes are belong to somebody else)
- NR (5-5) - Bye (Hide yo couches)
- NR (5-6) - Lost to Northwestern 23-20 (All the votes hidden in the weeds)
- NR (6-6) - Won @ Minny 26-10 (Surprise! No new votes for beating Minny)
- NR (6-6) - "Bye" (Dantonio thought sitting home from the B1G Championship would better prepare his team for its bowl...)
- NR (7-6) Beat TCU 17-16 in toilet...er, BW3s Bowl (apparently nobody watched, because nobody voted)
Northwestern (Started NR)
- NR (1-0) - Won @ Syracuse 42-41
- NR (2-0) - Beat Vandy 23-13 (ranked well below Oregon State)
- NR (3-0) - Beat BC 22-13 (still 5th-ranked among those receiving votes but not in top 25)
- NR (4-0) - Beat South Dakota 38-7 (I know all three BCS team wins were bad, but 4-0 with only one seal clubbing!)
- 22 (5-0) - Beat Indiana 44-29 (Finally...some respect!)
- NR (5-1) - Lost @ Penn St. 28-39 (just behind Michigan, good enough for 4th among vote-getters)
- NR (6-1) - Won @ Minnesota 21-13 (6th among vote-getters, which is a backslide from the previous week)
- NR (6-2) - Lost to Nebraska 28-29 (No votez iz sad)
- NR (7-2) - Beat Iowa 28-17 (9th among vote-getters)
- NR (7-2) - Bye (5th among vote-getters; better study up for the next game rather than celebrating those votes...)
- NR (7-3) - Lost @ Michigan 31-38 (8th among vote-getters)
- NR (8-3) - Won @ MSU 23-20 (2nd among vote getters...not much of a jump for a conference road win)
- 20 (9-3) - Beat Illinois 50-14 (Huuuuuge jump for clubbing a baby seal who was asleep in a flaming dumpster)
- 17 (9-3) - No B1G Championship Game (Now highest ranked B1G team. MSU/Georgia melt down)
- 16 (10-3) - Beat MSU (NTMSU) in Gator Bowl 34-20 (highest-ranked B1G team)
UPDATED Conclusions based on limited information (holdovers in italics):
- Ranking among those receiving votes is a crap-shoot. There seemed to be some strange sequencing among B1G teams if looking at record-to-date, as far as I could tell. This seemed to get a bit better by the end of the season, but that may be a small sample size issue.
- Northwestern was underrated early on. It was probably ranked about right at the end.
- Wisconsin was punished for disappointing. It got a nice boost when it performed the way it was supposed to in the off season in the B1G game, but sunk like a rock when it played like it had earlier in the season.
- B1G is not very good, but the voters are not doing it very many favors. Aside from a few nicer-than-expected bounces, a lack of ranked teams has probably lead to depressing the rankings of the teams that have been winning. Still true at the end.
- The early season dumpster fire at Penn State and sanctions at OSU hurt the B1G profile in the polls.
- And, most important of all: The B1G would probably benefit from beating a few good eams OOC early and then riding on voter assumptions into league play. I probably did not need to analyze anything to convince myself and some of you of this...
- New conclusion: The shifts seem to be more subtle and less random at the end of the year, but it is not clear whether this happens because: (1) there is more data, (2) rankings are more on results and less on potential and expectations, (3) voters actually watch late-season big games, conference championships, and non-participation certificate bowls.
- New conclusion: despite the shifts being more subtle at the end of the year, it appears that you cannot anticipate the magnitude of a slide/rise at any time of year with any accuracy without knowing what else happened that week. In other words: individual team results do not (anecdotally) appear to predict movement in rankings.
UPDATE: Corrected Alabama's preseason ranking.
CHART - Remaining basketball games schedule:
- Wisconsin and NC State climb up.
- Illinois tumbles.
- Jury is still out on MSU but will know significantly more in next two weeks.
- Michigan has now played 4 of their hardest 10 games.
- Penn St be bad.
- Adidas jerseys are worse.
Path to B1G Conference Title:
- Michigan will not play another team with as much raw athleticism as Minnesota in the regular season (Indiana is probably more talented but not bouncier).
- Finish 6-3 or better on the road. To do that, Michigan must win @Illinois, @Purdue, and @Penn St. Then they have to take one of three from @Indiana, @MSU, @Wisconsin. That seems doable.
- Run the table at home or maybe just one loss.
- I think it's still easier for Wisconsin to get four losses than Indiana at this point, so the Badger's road win there will definitely have been a major deciding factor at the end of the year.
- My prediction is any team finishing 15-3 wins outright, 14-4 gives a shot at a split. I don't think Indiana will lose 4 more games in the conference so I disagree with the idea that 13-5 multi-way title will happen again.