One of the recurring themes around here is a hypothetical expansion of the Big Ten. Well, I'm thinking differently: what if the Big Ten axed a school? I'm thinking Iowa, but others could happen. Then our conference name wouldn't be confusing annually to college freshmen, we could play everyone in the conference every year (or have two five-team divisions), and as a plus we could all stop talking about adding Notre Dame or Pitt.
EDIT: Iowa's just an example. Feel free to comment on which team you would kick out.
Given all the talk before the Michigan – Michigan State game about “respect” as well as under and overrated teams, I found myself wondering which team in the Big Ten is typically the most overrated. I feel like MSU never meets their preseason expectations, but the same can usually be said about Michigan as well. Ohio State has been very solid within the conference, but obviously slips up once it goes up against the elite outside the Big 10. But which team is the most consistently overrated during the entire season?
I analyzed the point spreads for all Big 10 games for the past 10 years, 1999-2008. Team performance against the spread is well documented, but we don’t really care about ATS; hanging 50 points on Wofford when the spread is 40 does not an underrated team make. We want to break the lines down to victory or defeat, and see how the team performs in comparison.
W # of upsets against opposing team
L # of times being upset
TOT Total deviation from expected over total games
Stdev Standard deviation
PW Predicted win percentage
ATS Performance against the spread
46% Penn State
51% Ohio State
53% Michigan State
Move over Mark Dantonio, there is a new Rodney Dangerfield in town. Yes, humble Northwestern earns the title of most misunderestimated in the Big 10. Meanwhile, Purdue is the most overrated team, although they have several teams not far behind, notably Michigan. I expected the Big 10 bottom-feeders to be the most underrated; when everyone expects you to lose every game, there is nowhere to go but up. Likewise, the big boys would be near the top. But Purdue has no excuse ... they have been given the modest task of winning 2/3 of their games, and they consistently blow it.
- Ohio State has the highest predicted win percentage @ 83%, as well as the lowest standard deviation. People expect them to win, and they oblige.
- Michigan State appears to perform as-expected @ -2.5%, but they have the highest standard deviation. Sparty wins a lot of games they have no right to win, and loses a lot of games for no reason, and basically acts very Sparty-like
- The third most underrated teams is Iowa. Given Michigan's overrated-ness, this does not bode well for this Saturday. Or it has no relevance, since Iowa is already favored ... I haven't decided.
- Purdue has only upset 6 teams in the past decade. Northwestern performed the same feat between 2005 and 2006.
- I expected the ratio of underrated teams to overrated teams to be closer. The Big Ten, not surprisingly, is not performing.
Thoughts? Is this a useful analysis of overrated-ness? Should this be expanded to additional seasons and teams? Spoiler-alert: I have already looked at Notre Dame, and they are not, repeat NOT the most overrated team in the universe.
At the end of the Purdue game, after the clock ran out, a Purdue lineman hit a NIU player who was on the ground in what was a very late hit that appeared to be an intent to injure. He was given a personal foul (meaningless given circumstance).
If Purdue does not take action, does the Big Ten step in again or is there something about a punch (no matter how weak) that causes them to act. I think the Purdue incident was more likely to cause an injury.
I think it will be interesting to see.
I came across his photography pages and he has a (literal) few pictures of the new Gopher Stadium. It's no Big House, but the high quality pictures that he posted make the stadium look absolutely gorgeous. Looks like a good place for Big Ten football. Thought some people on the board might enjoy a couple of high quality pictures.
I searched and I haven't seen anything about this on the site yet, so I decided to throw it out there. ESPN.com has a "fantasy football" game for college football this year. It's not the greatest design, but it lets you pick players each week and get points (just like any sort of fantasy football). The cool thing, in my opinion, is that it lets you choose a particular conference, and you can only take players from that conference. So, I set up a group called "Readers of MGoBlog" that is public and only allows Big Ten players. Anyone can join if you're interested in the mild, prizeless distraction. I'd also be happy to consider changing the settings if anyone sees anything they'd be more into.
Just create your entry, then choose "Join Group" and put mgoblog into the search field, and you should be good.