I'll take it! 9 would be grand as well. Good work, Mathlete. Just as I expected, PSU win probablility went up. I would expect Wisconsin to decrease as the season goes on leading up to Michigan/Wisconsin game.
Indiana postgame roundup: Just as we suspected
All numbers included in this preview are using my PAN metric, Points Above Normal. PAN is essentially how many points above an average FBS team was a team/unit/player worth. For reference, an average FBS team is approximately equal to Illinois or a top team from the MAC.
All games against FCS teams are excluded, as well as any plays in the second half where one team leads by more than 2 touchdowns or any end-of-half, run-out-the-clock situations.
Post Game Notes
The numbers predicted a one-possession win for Michigan and that’s largely how they played out. I audibled against the numbers and said the score might be a bit lower because Michigan might try a UConn game plan, slowing it down and limiting possessions. If that was the gameplan, no one told Denard.
Running the ball was Michigan’s obvious advantage coming in. I projected its worth to be in the range of 9 to 15 points for the game. We ended at the high end, with +16 PAN for the game on the ground. Denard put up his usual +12, while Vincent Smith put up all of his +4 on the long TD run. In four qualifying games Denard now has 4 of the top 14 rushing performances of the season in PAN. Bryce Beall from Houston is the only other player in the country to have two top-30 performances.
The big separation came in the passing game. Every time Michigan dropped back to pass it was basically worth a point. Michigan was +17 PAN on 17 attempts and Denard was +19. In terms of overall quarterback performance, Robinson’s three top-15 performances (the BG game still cracked the top 50!) is compared with only one other player with multiple top-15 appearances.
Ben Chappell's +27 performance was the second-best overall QB performance of the year, and he now has three top-40 games. Robinson and Chappell are the #1 and #2 rated QBs in opponent-adjusted PAN so far this year. Chappell’s number may very well come down as he faces defenses tougher than those of Towson, Western Kentucky, Akron, and Michigan, but there is no doubt that he is an exceptional player.
Indiana’s ground game was labeled by me as a pillow fight going in, and you could say that it ended like that. However, it was a pillow fight that Michigan won. The Hoosiers ended the game –5 on the ground as contrasted with a +22 through the air. Every time Indiana ran the ball it was a time they didn’t throw the ball, and a win for Michigan. At least for Indiana’s sake, the running game kept Michigan from pinning their ears back and rushing the passer…with three.
On predictions outside of Michigan, I almost called the OSU-Illinois score outright, but correctly had Illinois covering. I correctly had Iowa winning but did not have them covering, and I almost called the Michigan St.-Wisconsin score. Minnesota couldn’t put a last minute rally together to make me correct but I did correctly have them covering. I did not see Alabama’s domination over Florida coming and the Stanford over Oregon pick was looking great at halftime but looked terrible by the end. Pretty nice week for my Big 10 picks but I missed big on both of the national games.
Even with all of the struggles on defense, the season total projection keeps on rising. My team ranking has now eliminated the pre-season component and is made up entirely of in-season performance, with 50% of the opponent adjustment coming from 2009 performance and 50% coming from 2010 performance. For some teams there is a wide variation on which form of opponent adjustment is used. Michigan looks much better (ranked #12) based on in-season adjustment, but is still #23 when adjusting opponents based on their prior year success. The hybrid of the two has Michigan a full game ahead of where they were projected going into Indiana.
10 wins is now projected to be the most likely scenario and the odds of running the table have risen to 1 in 18.
Michigan State - 20, 60%
Iowa - 15, 56%
@ Penn State - 48, 66%
Illinois - 46, 83%
@ Purdue - 80, 90%
Wisconsin - 60, 92%
@ Ohio State - 14, 37%
Between the loss to Michigan St and the move to eliminate the preseason portion of ratings, Wisconsin has taken a massive beating in the numbers this week. The move is almost certainly too far but we will find out more as the Big 10 season progresses. Illinois and Michigan St were the big movers up, while Penn St, Wisconsin and Ohio St all dropped back after worse-than-expected showings on Saturday.
Projected Big 10 Standings
After last week things looked like three tiers with a mess in the middle. After this week, things are starting to separate a bit.
- Ohio St
- Michigan St
- Penn St
Switch Wisconsin and Illinois and this seems pretty reasonable, even after so few matchups against quality competition overall. Penn St could be higher but this doesn’t look like a season where defense alone is going to get you very many Big 10 wins.
|8||Oklahoma St||Big XII||15.87|
|12||Texas A&M||Big XII||13.85|
|14||Ohio St||Big Ten||13.51|
|17||Kansas St||Big XII||12.61|
|20||Michigan St||Big Ten||11.99|
On a purely data-driven model like mine there are going to be some oddballs, especially since this is more of a power poll than a rankings. Teams are rewarded strictly for how they performed relative the competition, without regard to win or loss.
Of the biggest head scratchers, Stanford #3 and ahead of Oregon, the Big XII seems highly overvalued and Notre Dame checking in at #25 seems a bit crazy at first, but they went to the wire with both Michigan schools who are obviously both undefeated and their other loss was to the highly rated Stanford squad.
I'm terrified (in a good way) that these stats are showing we have a ~90% chance to win 9+ games.
Please let this happen.
I'm terrified (in a good way)
Would that be "thrilled"?
And let me get an early start on travel plans.
Excellent work, for sure.
As much as I'd like to believe these predictions, something is askew. We clearly do not have a 92% chance of beating Wisconsin, for example. I'm fairly confident (as I'm sure are others) that they are one of the top five teams in the conference, yet they are ranked in the bottom 4. It appears you are overlooking losses to decent-quality opponents.
Wisconsin had a very close win over ASU, who is now a 2-3 team. That is hurting them a lot.
And, as I mentioned in a different thread, teams they have beaten have a grand total of one FBS victory, and that was against New Mexico! I too think they're in the top 5 in the Big 10, but right now, there's no evidence to support that.
But I remain nervous. Please keep winning
The 10 win projection has my terrified and I don't know why. Thank you for the wonderful diary.
Please keep it up.
My favorite part is that there is no chance (projected) that we end up with only 5 wins.
Keep this train going until the 12 win projection equals 100%!
Oops, Sorry THE_KNOWLEDGE, I'm not taking your prediction in vain, just got a little excited there for a minute.
If you multiply the probabilities he posted, there is a 0.0513 % chance of finishing with 5 wins (and a 5.639% chance of finishing with 12 wins).
so you're sayin there's a chance
what's the first number in the remaining games?
e.g. Michigan State - 20, 60%
what does the 20 refer to? thanks.
is a little crazy. That would be like a -16.5 spread. I like our chances at 9 wins. We play some of the best pass offenses the first half of the schedule. Once we don't have to drop 8 every play, the defense will firm up a bit. I just can't wait until we get some real LBs (sorry Mouton but you're still sub-par for a highly touted 5th year senior) and can get a few more stops.
Uhhhh. Are you sure about Mouton there? Or did you mean Ezeh?
Mathlete: I'm an empiricist and I appreciate your work, but given how counter-intuitive some of these results are on the surface - 92% to beat Wisconsin (!), 37% to beat OSU on the road (!!) - I recommend providing a little more descriptive analysis. What, exactly, does your model see that Sagarin, FEI, and my eyes do not?
To me, the Sagarin Predictor ranking of Michigan at #30 seems just about right (as does its placement of Iowa, Wisconsin, ND, and others). Does your model ignore special teams, where Michigan has been poor - and projects to be poor in some areas for the rest of the year (i.e. FG kicking)? Or perhaps your model sees our offense as even more spectacular than the other models predict? It would be nice to understand where the relative optimism is coming from in order for us to better process the information.
Again, raw data is awesome, but a little more analysis to help explain why your model is providing some of these results would be much appreciated. Thanks, and great work.
Agree that some of the numbers, especially Wisconsin look off. I haven't looked at how Sagarin or anyone else does their projections, but my numbers are a pure power poll (regardless of wins or losses) based on how teams do on a down by down basis, including special teams. Each team's rating is based on they did against their opponent in comparison to how other teams have done against the same opponent.
For Wisconsin, their game scores are +13 vs UNLV, +1 vs MSU, -6 vs Arizona St and -9 vs San Jose St. On the season, they only have one game were they have played a team significantly better than the rest of that team's opponents. For Michigan, the game scores are +32 vs Indiana, +13 vs BG, +11 vs UConn and +1 vs ND. The Indiana game is inflated because everyone else the Hoosiers have played was without a pulse but overall, Michigan has played a tougher schedule than Wisconsin and played better against that schedule. I fully expect the Mich-Indiana game score to come down as the season progresses and Wisconsin's numbers to improve. The Indiana game is a big example of why 50% of the opponent adjustment is done based on 2009 performance still. Comparing Michigan to W Kentucky and Akron is going to always look good but as the season goes on the numbers begin to clear up more.
Do you think it would be good after this week (two weeks of Big Ten play) to take out the weakest non-conference game each Big Ten team has played this year? The subtraction of that game and the addition of this weeks matchups would seem to provide a more balanced look at the conference as a whole. Seems like some teams have greater cupcakes than others, and it really tends to mess the numbers up.
I am just glad most of the graph has 8+ wins. Can I start dreaming about which bowl game Michigan will be in?
that what the boys (er, Spartan Dan) put together over at the Off Tackle Empire. I'd love to hear your thoughts on how your respective methodologies compare/contrast. All I know is that their 2 different methodologies show Michigan as most likely to end up at 6-2 in conference and 5-3 in conference, respectively. Not too dissimilar from your own analysis. Their analysis also shows MSU as being ahead of Michigan, though, with the winning probabilities much closer - pretty much a tossup for UM-MSU, not the 60% UM bias that you show.
For the most part their numbers are pretty similar to mine in terms of expected wins. I have Michigan and MSU virtually tied in terms of team strength. Home field is worth 9% and so on a neutral field I would have it 51/49 Michigan.
They also don't include home-field advanatge in their projections. I don't understand that philosophy.
I love your analysis, but still struggle to see better than 9 - 3. So much depends on Denard. Should Toussaint or Shaw greatly contribute, should the defense improve, should we lose no-one, especially Denard, to injury, then yes, I could see 10 - 2, 11 - 1, even run the table!
I feel much better than I did last year. There are two teams left on our schedule, Purdue and Penn State, whose QB situation is a mess and who won't be able to gash us at will with their passing game like Indiana did (and neither of them have spectacular defenses). Since our defense actually isn't all that atrocious against the run, those are games that we should win. In my mind, 7-5 is a worst-case, 8-4 seems likely, and 9-3 is about 50/50. 10-2 will be tough since, if we take a loss to OSU and wins over PSU, Purdue, and Illinois as a given, we have to get through Iowa, MSU, and Wisconsin with only one loss; that's a tall order. Still though, I'd be happy with 8-4.
But after the way last year ended, I'm not taking anything for granted.
This ain't no place for a nervous person. Why does a good projection like this make me feel so bad? I guess it's just with the last two years I want to believe but just can't believe, yet. Who is the God of math I need to pray to?
I'd guess that a mathematical model will get more accurate as more data comes in. It should help as the power conference teams play each other more rather than feast on the cupcakes.
I think this is good work and also that the current rankings by pollsters aren't amazing. That being said, there's no way Illinois is a better team or a tougher to beat team than Wisconsin (for us at least) at this stage. I think the percentage win rate for OSU, Wisconsin, Iowa, and MSU are all a little bit high but hopefully the numbers are smarter than me.
...but it 's great to see someone say 10, especially since the Chicken Little contingent is still stuck on 6-6 "if lucky."
The MSU game will show us a lot. MSU's win over Wiscy surprised me, and to me it means that either MSU is better than I thought, Wiscy is a lot oworse than I thought, or both. If Wiscy just has a bad team this year, then Michigan should beat both MSU and Wiscy. If Wiscy is good and MSU is actually better than Wiscy was projected to be, Michigan should lose to both of them.
I'm hoping MSU's win over Wiscy says more about Wiscy's ineptitude than MSU's ability. We'll have a lot better idea of where this year is going by Saturday night. I'm taking Michigan in yet another shootout. If Michigan does win on Saturday, then Illinois, Purdue, and Wiscy look like wins.
That would leave Michigan having to beat one out of PSU, Iowa, and OSU to get to ten wins. Looking more possible yet?
we have an (approx) 97% chance at 8 wins, a 88% chance at 9 wins, a 63% chance at 10 wins, a 22% chance at 11 wins and a 6% chance at 12-0?
Mathlete, did you do a similar-type analysis last year? If so, what did the numbers look like last year, and did they predict any sort of collapse after the initial start? I love looking at these numbers, but can't help but be a little nervous still given the state of the defense.
Seems like the database has sufficient observations to do some backtesting on, at least enough to figure out a straight-up win-loss record (as apposed to Against The Spread). For example, start with the conference schedule and see how the method does each year predicting the winners for that year.
It would also be interesting to plot the record by confidence level. For example, what is the win-loss record of the method for all games that were predicted to be win 90% of the time.
Those would be interesting exercises to see.
Don't have specifics on hand from last year but I do know that the team grades out significantly higher this year than last. Without pulling the specifics, the defense is probably going to be marginally worse, as are special teams. But this is currently the #2 rated offense in the country, last year's group couldn't touch these guys. I will dig and see how this year compares with last and maybe put a post up tomorrow.
Tell me exactly where the production is down/subpar for Wisco. Whats going on there as you see it? What are your numbers saying about their seemingly lackluster performances
Has there been that big a dropoff with Toon (who is stud) and Gilreath (who is painfully underused by Bielema) out of the lineup
I'll hit submit and read
I like our chances at a 8 win season. That Wisconsin number looks ridiculous.
Wow. Thanks again for sharing all this. And damn you for giving me so much hope.
And damn you for giving me so much hope.
I just said the same thing to my son. What would happen if UM did go 12-0? I could not imagine even conceptualizing this thought at the beginning of the year.
Of course, right now I'd just be happy with a win this weekend.
Thanks for the post. So you currently have OSU win likelihood at 37%. You also mentioned, that home field is a base 9% swing in the home team's favor. Am I correct in saying that if we were at home this year, we would be 55/45 to beat OSU this year?
Also, how does the ranking translate into win %?
The ranking doesn't translate to win percent, the PAN does. The simplest way to look at is the home team starts at 59% chance of winning and adds or subtracts 3 percentage points for every point difference in PAN. This ratio has been very consistent over the years.
I just added another friend to my pre-season bet of 1:15 that M makes it to the national championship (1 bet pre-season, 1 bet after the IU win.) Now I find out that the Mathlete gives M a 1:18 chance of finishing undefeated.
So you're telling me there's a chance...
Not sure if I like getting this hopeful this early in the year. I'll take a win over MSU and a healthy Denard going into Iowa for now.
are the reason I come to this site every day, I have my friend Russ to thank for this. I love stats and this is like heaven for me.
make a difference? Coaches almost always defer to the second half when they win the toss. Is there evidence that winning the toss has a measurable effect on wins and losses or on points scored or given up? Since you have found that being the home team has a 9% advantage, I wonder if there are stats on the effect of winning the coin toss. Does anyone even track this stuff? I posted this question on the board and people had very strong opinions about whether to take the ball or defer the choice. What got me thinking about this was how good our offense is and how bad our defense is. Given the likelihood of shootout games I think I want to score first if I can. Data beat opinion.
even though individual numbers (like wisconsin) don't pass the smell test, you do a great job at providing details and caveats.
if i take a more near term view where i can have more confidence in the data and look at the next three games your numbers tell me Michigan has a:
22% chance of being 8-0
43% chance of being 7-1 (so a 65% chance of at least 7 wins after 8 games)
29% chance of being 6-2
6% chance of being 5-3
those numbers probably do pass the smell test at least based on what we know now....definitely helps a lot that the two better teams play in ann arbor. then add the fact that purdue and illinois follow those three games...i'm getting ahead of myself...