Week 10 Conference Wins Update
“Break their hearts my pride and hope, break their hearts and have no mercy.”
- Miss Havisham (Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations)
With only three games remaining at the ten week mark, the distributions are look much less … distributed. By next week, the computations will be in the realm of solution using your favorite handheld device, and the resulting charts will begin to look monolithic. That said, I’m thinking this may be the last installment of this diary.
Now at ten weeks into the season, Michigan continues its ascent toward the pinnacle of college football, the
Rose Bowl College Football Playoff. The air at these heights - heights this team has not seen since the Lloyd Carr era - becomes rarified, and each swing of the pick axe demands even more focus and concentration. At the same time, the Buckeyes have regained their footing in vanquishing the Huskers, and appear to be on track for a collision not seen since Football Armageddon.
So, the challenge now is that the Wolverines must avoid an untimely demise in what might be the true trap game of this season. But with a renewed commitment evidenced in its ruthless disposal of the Terrapins, Team 137 can turn toward the exorcism of another albeit lesser of its demons, Kinnick Stadium. M has not won there since Carr’s 2005 team escaped with a win in overtime. Yea verily, the Hawkeyes are pulling out all the stops to make it a contest. The locker room has received a fresh coat of pink paint. In addition to the game being scheduled at night, it will be a blackout. What’s more, having had all day to become appropriately lubricated, the crowd promises be a particularly unsavory corn-fed lot.
The impetus of this diary is the desire to characterize the competitive landscape of the Big Ten Conference through the synthesis of total win probability distributions for each of the teams. The distributions are derived from the relative expected points ratings from Bill Connelly (S&P+), ESPN (FPI), and occasionally Ed Feng (The Power Rank). The key is that the ratings are based on expected points, which are in turn translated into win probabilities. Each of these three ratings are generated from their respective advanced statistical analyses and metrics. In doing so, they achieve varied results ... some more pleasing than others depending on your point-of-view.
Anyway, here you will find further ruminations on said statistics into still more statistics as a means for enabling further discussion, jumping to conclusions, flying off of the handle or goading your rival. Also included is a fresh look at the all-important head-to-head win-differential probability distribution for the matchup between a select pair of contenders in the B1G East.
Schedules, Margins, Probabilities & Distributions
B1G East Schedules & Margins Rundown
The table of schedules below shows the overall schedules for all seven teams in the B1G East based on the Bill Connelly’s S&P+ weekly ratings. The last table simply shows a rank-ordering of the B1GE teams based on their expected in-conference win totals, it’s not a projection of divisional standings based on projected wins, losses, and tie-breakers.
Michigan, by virtue of a complete dismantling of Maryland, continues as the #1 ranked team in all the land as per S&P+. However, the lead enjoyed by U-M has contracted to three spots over of OSU. Penn State, meanwhile, continues its climb up the S&P+ ranks now stands at #9 - one ahead of Wisconsin - to grab the 3rd highest rank in the B1G.
Looking at the S&P+ probabilities, the Wolverines lead the B1GE with about 8.6 expected B1G wins, ahead of the 2nd place Nittany Lions by just under 1 expected win. The Buckeyes now trail the Nits by about 0.4 wins. Michigan is the only team in the B1G at this point expected to exceed 8 wins; OSU and PSU the only teams expected to exceed 7 conference wins. U-M and PSU are both still favored in all of their remaining games. As such, OSU remains a 5½ point underdog in The Game.
Indiana, after dispatching Rutgers, remains in the fourth spot. The Hoosiers, with nearly 4.2 expected wins and being favored in the last of their remaining games against Purdue, are on track for bowl eligibility. Meanwhile, Maryland is also on the bowl-eligibility bubble looking for its sixth win, but with slightly more than 3 expected wins and LOLRutgerz still on the schedule, the Terps have an ace in the hole.
As is typical, the FPI results differ slightly. Here Michigan retains the #2 ranking, while OSU moved back up one spot to #4. In turn, M tops all teams in the B1GE with nearly 8.4 expected wins, expanding it lead over OSU slightly to 1.4 wins. As was the case last week, FPI results show U-M to be favored in all of its remaining games; the only game in which OSU is not favored is The Game. The margin, however, now stands at a razor-thin 0.6 points. Meanwhile Penn State continues to roll, and stands about 0.2 wins ahead of OSU to claim the #2 spot at just over 7.5 wins. The bowl-eligible Nits are favored in all of their remaining games, and is on track for a 10-2 season.
After squeaking by Rutgers, Indiana holds the #4 B1GE spot firmly at 4 wins, and remains in the edge of bowl-eligibility. Likewise, Maryland is on the bowl-eligibility bubble, now at 3.1 expected wins and being a favorite in only one more game. MSU, after dropping another game in which they were favored to Illinois, is now favored in only one more game this season: LOLRutgerz. Sparty will take on the Scarlet Knights in what should be a tremendous battle for the Situation Trophy.
Here’s a link to a chart showing the results from the Power Rank-ings. The numbers here look slightly less optimistic.
B1G East Expected Conference Wins Distributions
The bar plots below show the expected total overall wins distributions for teams in the B1G East, in alphabetical order. Noted above each bar is the probability for that number of wins (you may need to click & embiggen to read it). The bar with the highest value is the most likely outcome (the mode). Also flagged on each plot is the expected overall win total (the mean). The last line plot is just an overlay of the same data from the other seven bar plots.
Once again Michigan stands apart from all other with the highest mode of all possible modes - an undefeated 9 wins! PSU remains in sole occupation of next highest mode at 8 wins. Following the Nits are the Buckeyes with a mode of 7 wins, with a tilt toward 8 wins. Of course this suggests that the most likely outcome is that OSU will lose one more game. The complementary nature of OSU losing one more and Michigan winning out still holds, which gives statistically-minded folks a warm-fuzzy when pondering the covariance of the M and OSU distributions.
Still, a bit of a cluster remains at the 8-win mode. A quick computation shows that the much ballyhooed three-way tie among Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State now has a probability of about 29%, largely because it’s almost twice as likely that OSU or PSU lose at least more game. That said, PSU could only advance if M drops two more games than PSU from here on out, whereas the B1GE divisional championship at this point is Michigan’s to lose. The likelihood of UM having an undefeated season at stands at 60.5% or about 3:2 odds in favor.
Indiana still sits at 4 wins, leaning toward 5 wins, while Maryland is balanced at 3 wins. MSU is still looking like a lock for a 1-win B1G season, but still has a strong lean toward winless-ness. LOLRutgerz is still looking like a solid winless record in the B1G.
With only three games remaining in the season, some distributions begin to indicate more strongly what the final win totals will be. Those that do not are the teams that have competitive games left on the slate. In the B1GE, those teams are M and OSU. These FPI results show an even tighter cluster at the top than S&P+, so the likelihood of the pseudo-threeway tie is a bit greater. Nonetheless each team occupies a unique mode, except M and PSU. Both show the same 8-win mode, but M leans strongly toward the undefeated mode with PSU leaning toward 7 wins. UM registers a 45.2% chance to win out.
From the 3 contenders at the high end, a 3 win gap separates the remaining teams in the B1GE. In order, they are Indiana, Maryland, MSU and LOLRutgerz at 4, 3, 1 and 0-win modes, respectively.
Here’s a link to a chart showing the results from the Power Rank-ings.
B1G West Schedules & Margins Rundown
The next table of schedules shows the overall schedules for the B1G West based on the Bill Connelly’s S&P+ weekly ratings. Again, the last table simply shows a rank-ordering of the B1GW teams based on their expected win totals - it’s not a projection of divisional conference standings per se.
The B1GW S&P+ results have the principal contenders, Wisconsin and Nebraska, at 6.7 and 6.0 expected wins. For Wisconsin, the defeat of Nebraska has put them in control of their destiny by virtue of the tie-breaker rule. Wisconsin’s path to Indy is relatively assured as the Badgers are favored by no less than 14 points from here on out. Nebraska, meanwhile, have still to face Iowa at Kinnick, a game in which the Huskers are favored by less than half a point.
Minnesota, Northwestern and Iowa remain congealed in the second tier of bowl-eligibles and likelies. At 7-2, Minnesota is already bowl-eligible with two of its toughest games remaining. The Gophers are favored in only one remaining game. Northwestern, now expecting nearly 5.2 B1G wins, is favored in 2 more games which it needs to close on in order to become bowl eligible. Poor-damn-Iowa lags at 4.2 expected wins and is favored in only the Illinois game, and has the toss-up with the Huskers.
FPI results now have Wisconsin leading the B1GW now with over 6.6 expected wins, while Nebraska trails at just under 5.9 wins. Like S&P+, FPI has the Badgers favored in all its remaining games by two-score margins, and the Huskers an underdog in the season-ender in Iowa City. Minnesota and Northwestern follow in the 5.0-5.1 win range. FPI has Northwestern favored in two more games, which it needs to capture to become bowl eligible. Wrapping up the likely bowl invitees is Iowa at about 4.7 expected wins, who FPI has favored to win its last two to close out 7-5 and make a bowl game.
Here’s a link to a chart showing the results from the Power Rank-ings.
B1G West Expected Conference Wins Distributions
The bar plots below show the expected overall win distributions for the B1G West teams, in alphabetical order.
With 3 games remaining, the story in the B1GW has pretty well shaken out. Five teams still have modes in the 4 to 7 win range, but Wisconsin is the only team with a mode of 7 wins, and it’s a very strong mode indeed. Nebraska now sits at the 6 win mode, leaning toward 7 wins, but would need to win out and have the Badgers lose again to advance. The likelihood of that combination is less than 7%. Northwestern and Minnesota remain balanced and nearly indistinguishable at the 5 win mode, while Iowa remains at the 4 win mode, skewed toward 5 wins.
The FPI now tells a similar story as S&P+, showing 5 teams in the 4 to 7 win range, with very similar distribution shapes and order.
Here’s a link to a chart showing the results from the Power Rank-ings.
Michigan vs. Ohio State Big Ten Wins Differential
The win-differential distribution simply shows the likelihood of one team (say, Michigan) finishing with a conference record that is some number of games better or worse than another team (say, Ohio State). Keeping in mind that in the event of a tie, the winner of the head-to-head match up determines the tiebreaker … the probability of the teams having identical conference records (i.e. a win differential of zero) heading into the final head-to-head meeting is then pro-rated in proportion to the win probability of the head-to-head game. The same principle also applies to the probabilities of either team having a one-game lead going into (our outside of) the head-to-head (i.e. win differentials of +1 and -1). This is because a team trailing by one game would still clinch the tie-breaker by winning the final head-to-head game. Thus, the total likelihood of Michigan finishing ahead of Ohio State is the sum of all the maize-and-blue shaded bars (i.e. U-M wins two or more games than OSU), plus a proportional split of the -1, 0 and +1-differential bars. It’s worth noting that this total likelihood does not indicate the likelihood of making it to the B1G Championship, as it says nothing about how other teams in the B1G East do, or even how Michigan or Ohio State do in the absolute sense. For example, if both teams were to finish tied in the B1G at 7-2, which means that UM and OSU would be losing 2 games each, at that point another team (Penn State) may have the lead.
Beginning as usual with the results of the S&P+ analysis, this week’s chart still shows that the most likely outcome (now at 87.1% likelihood) is that U-M is one game up heading into Columbus. No news here really - The Game will in all likelihood decide who will play for the B1G Championship. Looking at the head-to-head matchup, the win probability for Michigan has contracted to 63.9% after OSU’s obliteration of Nebraska, with the margin shrinking from 7.7 to 5.5 points. So UM collects a 55.7 point share of the 87.1 points for the likelihood of winning when coming in up one (and finishing ahead two games). OSU collects the remaining 31.5 points.
The second most likely scenario, now with only a 7.9% likelihood, is that UM comes into Columbus two games ahead of OSU. Of this possible outcome, UM collects the entire 7.9 points, of course, because UM would still be assured of finishing one game ahead of OSU regardless of the outcome.
The third most likely scenarios that UM comes with the same record as OSU. This scenario has a 4.8% likelihood, of which UM collects a 3.0 point share for its likelihood of winning and finishing one game ahead. OSU collects the remaining 1.7 points.
In total according to the S&P+ ratings, Michigan now has a 66.8% likelihood (down slightly from 76.4%) of finishing the season ahead of OSU, or 2:1 in favor.
Painting a slightly more rosy picture, here is the same chart based on the FPI ratings following the week 10 results. As with S&P+, the most likely outcome is that UM heads into Columbus up one game on the Buckeyes. In the head-to-head matchup, UM is rated high enough to overcome OSU’s home-field advantage, giving Michigan a 51.6% likelihood (only a 0.6 point margin) to win the game. However, because the FPI margins in OSU’s intervening games are a good bit less than those of S&P+, the likelihood of OSU dropping one is greater, as is the likelihood of M coming into Columbus up two games. That stands at a 25.5% chance. To sum it all up, UM has a 67.6% likelihood of beating out OSU at season’s end, or a shade better than 2:1 chance. Very much the same as S&P+, but with a slightly different distribution of outcomes.
Here’s a link to the chart showing the results from the Power Rank-ings.
So there you have it. As you can see, the distributions are looking much more deterministic than earlier in the season. That said, Michigan remains in a favorable position rolling into Columbus the last Saturday of the month, but will still need to play and win the game to advance, as is the case with the Buckeyes. In the meantime, Michigan will need to remain focused on the intervening games, the next of which is tomorrow night’s game at Kinnick Stadium. This game still looms large as the most significant risk between now and Columbus.
The prospects for Michigan football to play in the Big Ten Championship Game may have receded slightly from the plateau reached last week. This is largely due to the Buckeyes regaining their composure and competitive edge after exhibiting various foibles in the preceding weeks. No surprises there, to be honest. OSU will always be tough out when facing Michigan, and that’s why so many look forward to The Game with such great anticipation each year. In all, Team 137 has exhibited all the qualities one expects to see in a team that has both great expectations as well as a great capacity to realize those expectations.
Yours in football, and Go Blue!
This is going to be an abbreviated Breakdown (mostly bullet points, etc). I am going to try to catch the 2nd half of Hoops at Crisler and then we leave for Iowa City in the morning. So, I'll see what I can get you, tonight...
(James Coller) Betcha didn't see this coming, heh heh
- Not good. By my tally, M created 31 attempts. This seems about on par with the rest of their season.
- The first 5v5 goal (to make it 3-0) was an elite move by Lockwood to swim a defender and and unbelieveably difficult finish from Slaker, who had the slimmest of angles to get it inside the post. But he did.
- The other was an empty-netter with 4:30+ left in the 3rd. Ok, sure.
- Lockwood/Slaker duo looks fantatstic. They made most of the offensive chances and seem to be the future offense of this team.
- Alex Kile and Max Shuart did not dress. Along with 2 other veterans.
- I don't want to slam this defense too much. It was not great, but they did a decent job starting 3 freshmen and 2 sophomores.
- Other than a second period with multiple M penalties, the defense did a respectable job of keeping BU out of the slot/crease...especially given the talent depth for the Terriers.
- That being said, there were still a few bad DZTOs and struggles to get the puck clear of the defensive zone. Given the strength of the opponent, though, I've seen worse defensive performances from M this season.
- Nolan De Jong did not dress.
- As per usual (at least the games I see), Michigan scores of 2 of their first 3 power play shots.
- M finishes 2/5 on PP, which is still great. They are now 10/40 on the season.
- With all of the suspensions, they could not go 1-3-1, setting up almost exclusively with 2 high at the points.
- M commits a lot of penalties (6) but looks solid on the PK, killing them all and not ceding many great looks, down a man.
- Hayden Lavigne was fantastic. He absolutely stole the 2nd period.
- Lavigne made a ton of positional saves and looked good moving around the net when he was forced to scramble.
- He also recorded his 2nd shutout of the season...this time against a Top 10 scoring offense.
- Michigan will probably still rotate goalies, to a degree, but I expect Lavigne to get most of the minutes going forward.
ODD MAN RUSHES
- Perhaps, I fell asleep, but I do not remember a single OMR for BU. I asked around, but no one else near me could give me a single detail about one OMR they remembered. Huh. Obviously, even if there was one, it wasn't overly threatening, then. Yay!
- There was one horrendously bad DZTO where Luce centered a BU attacked from behind the net and he walked in on Lavigne. Hayden said NO.
- I am encouraged by this!
FINAL CORSI SCORE
I had: Boston University 55, Michigan 31
collegehockeynews.com had BU 53, M 32
Not bad at all for a November away game! Great travel weather through the entire midwest and plenty of sunshine. High pressure is scooting from near Iowa towards Illinois and Indiana, bringing clear skies and light winds. You'll probably still want the jacket during the day, and definitely take it to the game at night. Let's keep this momentum going - go blue!
If you're traveling to Iowa City...
Picture perfect for a later fall game! It will have a frosty start with temps in the upper 20s early, warming through the 30s into mid-morning - fire up that crockpot! Although we'll hit the low 40s temperature-wise, a SW wind at 5mph (just enough to feel it on your skin, rustle leaves) will be enough to make it feel more like the low and mid 30s through most of the morning. Luckily we'll have tons of sunshine to help warm us up! By lunchtime, expect low 50s with SW winds at 10mph (a few leaves blow around). We then keep wall-to-wall blue skies for the entire afternoon, so it's another day to keep the hat or sunglasses with you- well, for the early part of the tailgate - that sun sets at about quarter-to-5! We'll drop to the mid 40s for dinner, with a SSW wind around 5mph creating a wind chill closer to 40.
42 degrees for the kickoff! Clear skies mean we don't have any clouds acting like a blanket to hold some heat in, so those temps drop off quickly. Winds will be out of the SSW around 5-6mph - so on the lighter side, but it's enough to make it feel like the mid 30s!
Falling into the upper 30s by the time the game is half over. See? Bet you're really glad you kept that jacket now! :) Winds will remain out of the SSW at 5-6mph, making it feel like 35 or so. Brrr!
Mid 30s to leave Kinnick Stadium with it feeling more like the low 30s thanks to that SSW light breeze. Starry skies will follow through the overnight, leading to another good travel day Sunday. Planning on staying out to celebrate a win in Iowa? 35 degrees by last call with a light SW wind. Sunday will be beautiful with mostly sunny skies and upper 50s, but you will have to deal with a little more wind. Sunday's wind will be out of the SW at 10-20mph (leaves blow about to some small branches swaying).
If you're staying in Ann Arbor...
Because it's the same high pressure system in control of most of the Great Lakes region, we'll have fantastic weather here too! Expect sunny skies with highs around 50 in the afternoon. After light winds overnight, they pick back up for the day, at 10-15mph out of the WSW. They turn lighter for the evening, around 6-7mph. If you're headed somewhere to watch the game, we'll already be in the upper 30s by the start, with mid 30s when you're ready to go home (unless you don't plan on leaving your buddy's house... Hashtag walk of shame? lol) Go Blue!
Christina Burkhart is the morning meteorologist for ABC in Flint, MI. She grew up in Ann Arbor and associates Saturdays with Michigan football. Go Blue!!
At the conclusion of last season, I posted the results of a fun exercise that took a relatively objective look at ranking teams based on the quality of their wins and losses. It was inspired by Seth's post that proposed a point system to determine bowl eligibility. The premise was to create a ranking as a starting point from which to apply considerations such as the eye test, margin of victory, or head-to-head results.
The feedback I received from last year's post led me to adjust the model such that top 10 and top 25 wins/losses would refer to the model's own rankings and iteratively converge to a stable ranking. This was an improvement over using the end-of-season AP poll as the top 10 and top 25 rankings. In addition, wins over FCS teams are no longer considered to determine a team's "winning" status. Below you will find the point system description and the rankings resulting from this model as of the conclusion of week 10.
I would love to have feedback from the community again, especially with regards to:
- The weight of points for each category of win or loss.
- The weight of points for conference championship.
- Should there be a bonus for division winners?
- Should Notre Dame and/or BYU be considered power 5 teams? (They were not, here.)
- What's the best way to break a tie in points? (So teams do not have the same rank.)
- What to do when the system does not converge?
The rules for this proposed system are:
+3 points for a conference championship.
+4 points for a win over a top 10 team.
+3 points for a win over a top 25 team (not in top 10).
+2 points for a win over a winning P5 team (not in top 25).
+1 point for a win over a winning G5 or losing P5 team.
+0 points for a win over a losing G5 or any FCS team.
-1 point for a loss to a top 10 team.
-2 points for a loss to a top 25 team (not in top 10).
-3 points for a loss to a winning P5 team (not in top 25).
-4 points for a loss to a losing P5 or any G5/FCS team.
2016 Week 10 Results
|35||'San Diego State'||-3|
|102||'New Mexico State'||-19|
|120||'San Jose State'||-25|
Let's get to know our upcoming opponent the University of Iowa Hawkeyes!
Click on the player's name to bring up their picture. HINT: Set width to 150 when posting the image
#19, S Willis BarringerWhat's wrong with your hand?I mean, I'm seriously:It's always broken.#26, RB Alijah BradleyYou're really, reallyreally, really, really, real--ly, really quite short.#38, ST BJ Opong-OwusuHey, did you know this?BJ Opong-OwusuAn entire line#50, DE Jeremy Van AlstyneYou've got Barringer'sHands in your knees, so it's hardto play much football#61, LS Turner BoothYou're the long snapperI've never thought about youTherefore: good job, Booth
3. Did your team play any Division I-AA opponents this year? If so, do you think it benefited your team at all? If you were a coach or an NCAA official, what policy would you have toward scheduling D-IAAs?Michigan's never scheduled a I-AA team and likely never will,
Finally, three opportunities for me to look stupid Sunday:
- Breaston touchdown. I have to be right about this eventually. (Take four.)
- Henne has fewer than 20 attempts.
- 30-13, Michigan. (Indiana cover! Look at the respect!)
And so. Here we are, on the cusp of the biggest football-related event in any of our lives. Good is 11-0. Evil is 11-0. Good is #2. Evil is #1. I am a wordy, analogy-laden person and words and analogies fail. This is like what? Nothing. This can be described how? With some gaping, useless jaw-movements sans audio and a defeated shrug.
Expect a lot of 3-3-5 against the Buckeye spread, a lot of instances where six guys threaten at the line and then random players back off at the snap, including Jamison and Woodley.
DeBord?As much as DeBord grinds my gears, one thing Michigan has always done is pull out the stops for OSU. I expect a fairly even run-pass balance unless our relative proficiency at one blows the other away. No more of this 80% rushes on first down.
This would be outstanding for Michigan. If Harbaugh succeeds at ISU he'll rocket towards the top of appealing head coach candidates when Carr retires.
Michigan's gameplans to date do not have relevance. Michigan is not going to run on 80% of its first downs, nor is it going to close up shop with a two-touchdown lead. I've tried to note the divergent philosophies Michigan employs against teams they respect and teams they think they can roll over. The comparative scores of, say, the Minnesota games (28-14 Michigan versus 44-0 Ohio State) are more a function of philosophy than ability.
This is what I think the game comes down to: who completes more bombs? Both teams have lived on the long ball this year. Both have receivers who can get open and quarterbacks who excel at the deep ball. Michigan has a tiny advantage here with Trent and Hall, both guys who can run stride-for-stride with anyone, and a defensive line that's more likely to prevent Smith from launching his deep balls. But the margin is razor thin.Finally, three opportunities for me to look stupid Sunday:
- Secret weapon TYLER ECKER.
- I don't get the crap kicked out of me.
- 20-17, Michigan.
At some point, as David Harris reclines -- head against a wall, fixing his bayonet, passing the time -- the faint ratatat of drums will filter through the concrete, beating out a march. Harris will rise from his seat, take up his helmet, and stride forward. The future holds its breath for three hours.
This blog has warped itself into something of a -- yuck -- personal diary of a sports fan almost against my will. I've tried to chronicle the emotions of a Michigan fan in this space, but I'm clean out. Anyone who needs to tell me some bad news, ("Brian, we've never met but this is definitely your baby") this is your opportunity. Lo, I am spent.
Ferentz. Oft-rumored as a potential Carr replacement, the bloom has come off the rose a bit with these last couple disappointing years in Iowa City.