2012-2013 basketball schedule
Take four of a look at the remaining schedules:
This is long... if that's not for you you will dislike this...
Who has the hardest schedule?:
Below are the remaining schedules:
(Note: Below the game are my predicted odds of a victory)
|GAME 15||GAME 16||GAME 17||GAME 18|
|INDIANA||@ MINNESOTA||IOWA||OHIO ST||@ MICHIGAN|
|MICHIGAN ST||N/A||@ MICHIGAN||WISCONSIN||NORTHWESTERN|
|MICHIGAN||@ PENN ST||MICHIGAN ST||@ PURDUE||INDIANA|
|WISCONSIN||NEBRASKA||PURDUE||@ MICHIGAN ST||@ PENN ST|
|OHIO ST||N/A||@ NORTHWESTERN||@ INDIANA||ILLINOIS|
Last time I started something new by associating a score with each team. The higher the score the harder the opponent is. Since there are 12 teams in the Big Ten the top team gets 12 points, and the lowest team gets 1 point. Any tie ranking all teams get the highest possible rank (both Michigan and Wisconsin are the 3rdhardest team). Below is that ranking.
Teams get a bonus three points for playing on the road- so Michigan’s score for an opponent rises by three if the game is in Ann Arbor. Below are the point rankings for each teams remaining schedule- included is an average ranking since two teams have three games left, and three have four:
|Game 15||Game 16||Game 17||Game 18||Total||Average|
Wisconsin has the easiest schedule left- but they play at MSU- so I do believe they are very likely to still lose a game. The rest of the schedules are pretty similar. And even though Michigan's schedule is tough- that is a good thing since we need to beat the top teams to have a good shot at a championship- and the games are at home- so that is good.
Below is a more traditional look at the remaining schedules:
|RD||HM||Vs. Top-5||Vs. Mid-4||Vs. Bot-3|
Northwestern has joined Nebraska and Penn St as bottom teams- it's hard not to feel bad for Northwestern...
Thoughts on remaining teams:
Indiana: Huge win against MSU- now they are very much in the drivers seat. If they escape in Minnesota they have two home games- which should be wins despite being tough. If they don't lose before Michigan they win the conference- if they have one loss before Michigan that game become enormous. If they lose twice before Michigan that game becomes incredibly enormous. I think they should win all the games before Michigan- but tbeing a favorite in all three games doesn't mean that it is very likely. I think Minnesota and OSU have a 1/4 chance of winning, and Iowa is a long shot. Let's hope they lose at least one.
Michigan State: Thank god for that OSU game! MSU is tied with us in the loss column and play us at home. If they finish ahead of us they really earned it- but they quickly went from co-favorites to being in a very tough position. Northwestern should be an easy win, but Wisconsin could also give them trouble. I may be optomistic giving them 50% chance of winning in AA given their beat-down of us before- but it looks like they will come in on the slide as we are coming in after sorting some issues out.
Michigan: Glad other teams have their tough stretches to end the year. The two road games, PSU and Purdue are must wins (as are all games) and road must-wins are never easy... The big game is obviously MSU. Let's hope the game in EL was a low-point, because MSU losses have made it so that we have a great chance to leap-frog our in-state rival coming up.
Wisconsin: Their schedule is very easy compared to the other 4 teams. Home games against Nebraska and Purdue should be wins (although Purdue could be tough), and at PSU shouldn't be an issue. The game at MSU is huge. If they win they should have a decent chance at a co-champ situation, if they lose all hope is likely lost.
Ohio State: Thanks for MSU! With 5-losses they need a lot of luck, so they have very little chance of getting a co-championship. Essentially they have to hope Wiscy loses to MSU, and then MSU loses to Michigan, while Michigan beats Indiana, while Indiana also loses two other games. Seem unlikely? Well so are their title hopes...
|16-2||15-3||14-4||13-5||12-6 or Worse|
Michigan still needs some luck! It is Indiana's title to lose. At least we have Indiana and MSU at home- if we win both all we need is for Indiana to lose another game (which may not be probable- but is certainly not crazy). Given our huge loss to MSU they still have an edge over us- so lets hope we protect Crisler! Wisconsin is in similar shape to us- except playing at MSU they have harder odds despite easier other games. OSU needs to much luck...
Take three of a look at the remaining schedules:
This is long... if that's not for you you will dislike this...
I may have screwed up the 6-7 order- it is unclear if 2-2 is better than 1-1 given the description- but that is not too important...
Who has the hardest schedule?:
I decided to try something new here and associate a score with each team. The higher the score the harder the opponent is. Since there are 12 teams in the Big Ten the top team gets 12 points, and the lowest team gets 1 point. Any tie ranking all teams get the highest possible rank (both MSU and Indiana are “top team” in this ranking). Below is that ranking.
Next I determined that a road game should adjust the rankings. A team’s road score is their regular score +3. I settled on 3 arbitrarily because it seemed like the best fit. Michigan and Wisconsin on the road seem barely harder than Indiana or Michigan State at home, while Minnesota/Illinois/Iowa on the road seem to be about the same strength as Wisconsin or Michigan at home. This is definitely quite subjective choosing three points- but it is simple. Some teams are much stronger at home and you could argue deserve and even bigger bump than three, while some play at relatively similar strength home or away. Perhaps Indiana and Michigan State should be +5 on the road because beating a top-10 team on the road is so difficult, while Penn State still is relatively terrible at home…. Anyway, I settled on three!
Below is each of the top-5 teams remaining schedules. Below each opponent is the regular score and advanced score. The regular score does not adjust for home/away, while the advanced score adds 3 points for each away game. If you don’t like the advanced score- disregard it.
|GAME 14||GAME 15||GAME 16||GAME 17||GAME 18||TOTAL|
|INDIANA||@MICHIGAN ST||@MINNESOTA||IOWA||OHIO ST||@MICHIGAN|
|MICHIGAN ST||INDIANA||@OHIO ST||@MICHIGAN||WISCONSIN||NW|
|OHIO ST||MINNESOTA||MICHIGAN ST||@NW||@INDIANA||ILLINOIS|
To show you a little bit easier I order the schedules from hardest to easiest below:
Those numbers seem about right- Wisconsin has it pretty easy, Michigan not too bad, and the rest have it pretty rough...
Next I looked more traditionally at the remaining schedules- looking at: the number of home games compared to road games, the number of games vs top-5 teams (note: all parenthesis show home games, road games), the number of games vs the middle-5 teams, and finally the games vs Nebraska and Penn State. Perhaps it’s not the best split with 5/5/2- arguments could be made to put the split at several points but that’s what I chose (mostly because the first two versions used those splits).
|Home Games||Road Games||Vs. Top-5||Vs. Mid-5||Vs. Bot-2|
|Indiana||2||3||3 (1,2)||2 (1,1)||0|
|Michigan St||3||2||4 (2,2)||1 (1,0)||0|
|Wisconsin||2||3||1 (0,1)||2 (1,1)||2 (1,1)|
|Michigan||3||2||2 (2,0)||2 (1,1)||1 (0,1)|
|Ohio State||3||2||2 (1,1)||3 (2,1)||0|
Enough data/tables… onto opinion:
Indiana has the hardest schedule left. They play fewer home games than everyone but Wisconsin, and only two of their opponents are not fellow top-5 teams-one team is Iowa, who has been playing very well and has lost several very close games, and the other is at Minnesota. They have no easy games left and each game is “losable” to some degree. If you told me Indiana lost any of those games I would not be shocked- and that is not a good way to end the season. Obviously the most important game is at Michigan State coming up. MSU gets the edge at home- which means Indiana will have to pull an upset to be number 1. At Minnesota will be tough, and Iowa at home could be a sleeper game if they get caught looking ahead. They wrap up at home against OSU which will essentially be a must-win with a road game in Ann Arbor wrapping up the season. It’s hard to imagine the final game not determining the champion in some fashion. If Indiana beats MSU that final game could be sole possession of first- if not it will determine who will be champion in some way with Michigan hopefully having a shot for a co-championship in that game.
The second toughest schedule according to the point systems. Looking at the traditional details it looks just as hard as Indiana however. Only one game is not against a top-5 team and that is the final game at home against Northwestern. That last game could determine the championship as well. It’s hard to imagine them not losing at least one game. Indiana at home coming up next is huge (covered above) and then OSU and Michigan on the road will be daunting. OSU is a little hard to figure out, and they beat down Michigan in EL, so these games may play out to be less challenging than they may appear. If they lose to Indiana they have to win-out at home and at least split those road games to still feel comfortable- if they beat Indiana a split in the road games becomes easier to swallow- but both of those situations assume a win against Wisconsin which will not be easy either.
No matter how you slice it their remaining schedule is incredibly easy. They play the 4 lowest teams in the conference, and while they play NW and PSU on the road neither of those should be games they should lose. They play at home against Nebraska and Purdue- and both of those should be wins. Purdue is probably the only game that will be a serious challenge other than Michigan State. With 4 losses the MSU game is a must-win (as are all their games). On the road they are not favored to win, but if they pull it off they have to hope MSU loses at least one other game, and Indiana also loses 2. If they beat MSU and take care of the games they should it is not too unlikely they have a shot at being co-champs. (Writing that made me throw-up a little…)
As is the case with Wisconsin Michigan needs to win out. Indiana on the road was close, and then we fought out a win against OSU, before the two most frustrating games all year in Madison and EL. Let’s hope more spacing of games and an easier schedule (particularly compared to what we just went through) will allow us to get back to top-form. A lot of questions remain: were we significantly overrated before? Will Morgan be at full strength? Will the freshman be able to step-it-up? Are Indiana, and particularly Michigan State, a clear step-up from us? Is this team on the rebound- or are we still slumping? Have teams played great games against us- or is our defense underperforming and is that just foolish optimism?
The answers to those questions will come in time- that is, unless we lose to Illinois or at Penn State. Both games should be wins- and if we lose either of those games our chance for a championship erode- and our stock will be sliding fast. If we get through those games we still likely need to win out. Last analysis I said I expected a loss at MSU and that we could be said to be favored the rest of the way. Our play at EL changed that outlook significantly. MSU in Ann Arbor will be very intense- and if we win we have a good shot- if we lose it’s all over for co-champ talk most likely. Plus, if we lose, MSU will very possibly go into the last week looking like favorites- a lot will be at stake. Most fans, and presumably the team, will be looking to show that the game in EL was a terrible hiccup; otherwise that game will possibly be a very low point of the season. If we do beat MSU, and took care of business against Illinois and PSU we have a sleeper game at Purdue (who last year cost us an outright title by being the only home loss) before closing against Indiana at home. Worst case, we lost to MSU (and maybe even one of the other three games) and play Indiana with no-chance to win a title- and they show us that they, and MSU, are the class of the conference. Best-case, we took care of business, righted the ship against MSU, and play at home against Indiana for a chance for being co-champs. If that is the case we will have only lost at home once in the last two years, have lots of momentum, and have a good chance to beat Indiana- let’s hope that last scenario plays out!
With five-losses OSU has almost no-chance. It is hard to imagine both Indiana and MSU losing three times, and Wisconsin’s schedule looks like they will be at worst a 5-loss team meaning OSU has essentially no chance at being an outright champ- and almost no chance of a co-championship. Plus, they have to play at Indiana and home against MSU. Although, if you need to make up ground you want to play the teams you need to lose. Minnesota at home, their next game, will be a challenge, and at Northwestern could be a sleeper game. Most likely they end the year a game (or likely more) out- and the last game at Illinois will matter for seeding and if Illinois makes the dance.
I think we are looking at co-champs at 14-4. Who those teams are is very hard to say. Indiana will likely lose at MSU, and hopefully at Michigan as well. At Minnesota, Iowa, and OSU will all be a challenge too- so even if they only lose one of the first games mentioned there is still a good shot they lose one of those.
Michigan State I think has the best chance because they play Indiana at home. I think they are better than OSU and Michigan but will struggle to win both of those games, and may lose both. After that they should beat Wisconsin and NW. I think they have the best chance to go 15-3 and be alone on top of the charts. It really comes down to whether or not we can beat them, in my opinion.
Wisconsin lucked into the easiest schedule to end the year. Luckily for every other fan-base they should lose to MSU- and it’s hard to see 13-5 cutting it. If they pull the upset- they have the four bottom teams left- let’s hope they slip up in one of those- because who wants to see Wisconsin win the championsip….
Michigan has long odds. Granted I projected them losing to MSU and being in good shape last time, the nature of the last few weeks make it tough to be too optimistic at this point. MSU and Indiana at home are very, very tough. But if we want to be champs we need them to lose- so it’s good we play them- and good it is at home for both. Illinois at home could be tough if we play like we have been also. Let’s hope that we can show up and protect the home-court- because we need to!
Ohio State is too far out…
What I said above in nice simple, very subjective number form:
|16 - 2||15 - 3||14 - 4||13 - 5||12 - 6 or Worse|
Hope everyone liked it!
Part one last weekend: http://mgoblog.com/diaries/look-big-ten-remaining-schedules
This is long- if you don't like that move on....
First up current standings:
....shakes fist at Wisconsin.....
Next- upcoming schedules, with some scheudle notes:
|GAME 12||NEB (3-8)||MICH (8-3)||@MSU (9-2)||@MINN (5-5)||NW (4-7)|
|GAME 13||PURD (5-6)||@NEB (3-8)||PSU (0-11)||OSU (7-4)||@WISC (8-3)|
|GAME 14||@MSU (9-2)||INDIANA (9-2)||ILL (3-7)||@NW (4-7)||MINN (5-5)|
|GAME 15||@MINN (5-5)||@OSU (7-4)||@PSU (0-11)||NEB (3-8)||MSU (9-2)|
|GAME 16||IOWA (4-7)||@MICH (8-3)||MSU (9-2)||PURD (5-6)||@NW (4-7)|
|GAME 17||OSU (7-4)||WISC (8-3)||@PURD (5-6)||@MSU (9-2)||@IND (9-2)|
|GAME 18||@MICH (8-3)||NW (4-7)||IND (9-2)||@PSU (0-11)||ILL (3-7)|
You may have noticed from last week I dropped Minnesota. With 5-losses their odds of competing for a crown have faded too far to include them this time around.
Projected wins and losses are done by better than 50% or worse than 50% to win that game. After each team’s write-up I will delve into deeper odds (since most teams win/lose unpredictable games obviously- and you can project which games those could be)- so the projected final is if every expected win is a win and every expected loss is a loss...
Projected Wins: NEB, PURD, @ MINN, IOWA, OSU
Projected Losses: @MSU, @ MICH
Simplified Projected Final: 14-4
Middle of the pack schedule of remaining teams- road games at Michigan and Michigan State are very tough- they win one or both of those their chances of winning the conference shoot up. Sleeper games- At Minnesota, and OSU and Iowa at home- all are possible L’s- they let any of those games slip their chance at the title could slip with it.
Projected Wins: MICH, @ NEB, IND, WISC, NW
Projected Losses: @ OSU, @ UM
Simplified Projected Final: 14-4
Hardest schedule of remaining teams- at least 3 of the 5 games against top 5 are at home- but all three of those home games- Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin are all very, very losable. Road games at Ohio St. and at Michigan are both likely losses. Their 14-4 projection is a little tenuous. While they are favored in my opinion in the three top home games my guess is that there is a slightly better than 50-50 chance one of those becomes losses and they end at 13-5.
Projected Wins: PSU, ILL, @ PSU, MSU, @ PURD, IND
Projected Losses: @MSU
Simplified Projected Final: 14-4
Bold potentially, but the schedule is Michigan’s friend relative to other top-5 teams. Splitting against MSU seems likely, and the final home game against Indiana very well could decide the conference. Sleeper game is at Purdue, maybe home at Illinois fighting for the tournament at-large. PSU twice is a very pleasant upcoming stretch.
Projected Wins: @ NW, NEB, PURD, @ PSU
Projected Losses: @ MINN, OSU, @ MSU
Simplified Projected Final: 12-6
Maybe a little low on Wisconsin because of sheer madness of thinking about the last game but I think they have a tougher chance at winning the conference. Their projected wins are all safe bets- although home at Purdue could be a sleeper game. Home at OSU I think they lose because I think OSU is a very good team, and will guard the 3’s better than we did- and I don’t think they have an answer for Thomas- they lost at Ohio State by nine and even though the next game will likely be close I say they lose. At Minnesota very well could be a win- but I think Minnesota will be playing for a lot in that game and will hold out at home. At MSU seems very likely to be a loss.
Projected Wins: NW, @ WISC, MINN, MSU, @ NW, ILL
Projected Losses: @ IND
Projected Final: 13-5
Another bold predicted finish. Although I favor them against Wisconsin on the road and MSU at home it is 50-50 or so one will be a loss. At Indiana will likely be a loss, and home against an Illinois team fighting for the tournament and away at NW could be tough- as could Minnesota. They have a tough schedule- but are the favorites in most of them. If they hold onto all of the games I have them favored in they could definitely compete; however, they have a lot of tough games that could be road blocks for them. Plus, with 4 losses already they are realistically shooting for a split crown most likely.
I have a 3 way tie at 14-4 in conference with Indiana, MSU, and Michigan. But all 14-4 projections are not equal.
One, Indiana and MSU are projected to lose 2 games and UM (OSU also) only 1. Projecting fewer losses always leaves more room for error. Even though Wisconsin’s schedule is easier than most of the other top-5’s I do see them falling off.
MSU has likely the hardest schedule left. 5 games against the top-5, but only two on the road; however, those are the two I see them losing (OSU and Michigan). I think those are most likely losses, and the chance they lose 1 out of: Michigan at home, Indiana at home, and Wisconsin at home seem decently high.
Indiana also has a tough schedule. They close at Michigan a distinct disadvantage in that it is the hardest last game of a top-5 (although Michigan home against Indiana obviously is close). Losing at Michigan and Michigan State seems most likely. At Minnesota and home against OSU/Iowa/Purdue could all be tricky though. They could also win one of the games (or both) in the state of Michigan however, so their 14-4 to me seems more likely than MSU’s.
Michigan has perhaps the easiest schedule (Wisconsin could be a bit easier) which is why I have one more loss predcted. Unfortunately it is the next game- @ MSU. I have predicted wins at home against MSU and Indiana as well- both of which are hard games. The rest is easier- 2 games against PSU, and home against Illinois are likely wins, and @ Purdue is hard but winnable. I actually think Michigan finishing with a loss or less is as likely or better than both MSU and Indiana due to the schedule.
OSU is the other team I said has 1 loss- but they will be hard pressed to do it. The @ Indiana game is the projected loss; however, the odds of them losing at least one of: @ Wisconsin, Minnesota, MSU, or Illinois seem to be high. So they have the hardest chances in my opinion to win the conference- particularly outright of any team besides Wisconsin.
Wisconsin may have the easiest schedule looking at top-5 games (only 2); however, those games (OSU at home and @ MSU) are both games I think they are more likely to lose. Plus, the next game, @ Minnesota they have likely slightly better than 50% chance of losing. Although the rest of the schedule: NW home and away, Nebraska t home, Purdue at home, and at PSU seem very likely to be wins- and although they could lose 1- most likely @ NW or home at Purdue they should be able to win all of those- and to win the conference they have to.
Note: I give the odds I estimate as well as the most likely outcome to reach that won-lost record.
In conclustion (if you have read this far):
I see very little chance of MSU or IND winning out- obviously if they do they win the conference.
I see three teams with a shot at 3 losses (Wisconsin not so much)- in Michigan, Indiana, and Michigan State. None of these teams are likely to go 15-3 in my opinion- with Michigan a 5% chance, MSU twice that, and Indiana 3 times that.
Most likely the winner (or co-champs) will be 14-4. All three of Michigan, Indiana, and Michigan State have a 50% chance of going 14-4. So I have Indiana as a slight favorite, followed closely by Michigan State and Michigan. OSU with 4-losses already is unlikely to win with a 2 game hole, and Wisconsin I see as falling off a bit, and only having a very outside chance at splitting a championship at 14-4. There are so many tough games left that it's possible 13-5 may be co-champ worthy again- but with two 9-2 teams, and Michigan's schedule it seems very unlikely- although you never know with the BigTen and looking at all the hard games remaining it is possible we see a lot of upsets ahead.
Hope you all enjoyed- and GO BLUE!!!! If we win at Michigan State coming up be very very pumped- and if we lose don't be do disheartened- the odds are still good for us if we can split with MSU and hold on at home against Indiana. Also thank god for playing PSU twice!!!