I would contend that Wisconsin's win over NW (even w/ 70 pts) tells us nothing since NW played w/o Persa. Beating Illinois 26-6 is the most impressive win in that line IMO. Other than that, I'd agree with pretty much all your other assertions, including your conclusion that Wisconsin looks the best of these three.
Ranking the Big Ten: OSU-MSU-Wis '10 Comparison *Chart?* Chart.
Though we're not one of them, being one of the few teams that had to play all three Big Ten 2010 Champions, and since we generally hate all three, I figured Michigan bloggers might be in a good position to adjudicate the mess atop our conference this year.
Base comparisons are as follows. I would appreciate any comments, and would like to change it up based on your opinions.
|Loss||6-37 @ Iowa (-2)||18-31 @ Wis.||24-34 @ MSU|
|Ohio State's loss to Wisconsin was by more, but Wisconsin won the turnover battle by 3 and still lost to Michigan State by 10. They're pretty much even. Michigan State got beat much worse (-1) by a worse team (-1)|
|BCS OOC||34-31 ND||36-24 Miami (+1)||20-19 ASU (-1)|
|Notre Dame and Miami are both erratic, 7-5 teams against tough schedules but Ohio State didn't make it close, while MSU needed a fake punt conversion (that was covered!) to beat ND. I count both of those as better than ASU, who will finish 5-7 most likely a tough (-1) to Wisconsin, though they get the benefit of the doubt next close one.|
|Big Ten 1||34-24 Wis (+1)||20-17 @ Iowa (-1)||31-18 OSU (+1)|
|The Iowa game is Ohio State's biggest win, and it wasn't that great of a win -- as close as the 3-point spread looks (-1). MSU/Wis and OSU/Wis were dominating wins over Top 10 teams. (+1)|
|MICHIGAN||34-17 @ Mich||37-7 Mich||48-28 @ Mich (+1)|
|Easiest comparison to make. Ohio State and Michigan State both dominated thanks to Michigan mistakes, while Wisconsin made its trip to Ann Arbor a bloody affair (+1) from kickoff.|
|Purdue||35-31 Purdue (-1)||49-0 Purdue (+1)||34-13 @ Purdue|
|Ohio State murdered (+1), Wisconsin held serve, Michigan State (-1) needed a 4th quarter comeback to beat a worse Purdue team than either other one played|
|PSU/Iowa||28-22 @ Penn St||38-14 Penn St||31-30 @ Iowa|
|Iowa's a better 7-5 team than Penn State, but the close road win didn't tell us much. Ohio State got the Lions at home when they were worse, but they did better. 0s all around.|
|Minn||31-8 Minn||52-10 @ Minn (+1)||41-23 Minn|
|Pasting, bigger pasting on the road (+1), pasting.|
|Illini/NW||26-6 Illini||24-13 @ Illini||70-23 NW (+1)|
|Illinois is better than Northwestern. MSU came on late but came on. Ohio State made it a lot closer. But Wisconsin's 70-point finale against a worse Northwestern team (+1) is more impressive.|
|Ind/NW||35-27 @ NW (+1)||38-10 Ind.||83-20 Ind. (+1)|
|MSU looked to lose to Northwestern right up until the end, but they're a much better team than Indiana so (+1). Ohio State did what it was supposed to, but Wisconsin put up 83 (+1)|
|OOC||38-14 WMU||45-7 Marshall||41-21 @ UNLV|
|Pasting, pasting, slightly worse pasting but on the road.|
|OOC||30-17 Fl.Atl (-1)||43-7 Ohio||27-14 SJSt. (-1)|
|FL-Int. kind of made it close (-1) and so did SJ State (-1) while OSU rolled over Ohio|
|TomatoCan||45-7 N.Colo||73-20 EMU||70-3 Austin Peay|
|Doesn't count -- any FBS team but EMU might give Ohio State a|
It's not a perfect line-up, but it gets the job done, giving us some close and semi-close apples and oranges to compare. The +'s and -'s are simply numeric comparisons for how the teams did against each other on that line, i.e. they say how much each team disguished itself from its two conference competitors in that comparable.
You can argue a lot of my conclusions.
So Michigan State's resume, lined up as best as I can, is substantially behind that of Ohio State and Wisconsin. I wouldn't feel bad about ranking them several slots behind the other two if there are some other 1-loss teams. Remember above where I said Wisconsin gets the benefit of the doubt? There you are. I'd put them slightly over Ohio State, whom they defeated. The late-season murderous rampage worked.
Okay, bloggers. Fisk away.
I thought about that, but that 20-6 victory was a lot closer than it looks: Illinois made a lot of trips down the field and was unfortunate to come away with only a 6-0 lead by the half. MSU's lead was padded by a failed Illini comeback. I'd say that it might be a more impressive victory than Ohio State struggling against Illinois, but then I give the Buckeyes credit for fighting that one on the road, and really the home/road thing makes up the difference in MSU's slightly better performance. Neither impressed me as much as Wisconsin's 70 points on a team that largely had Michigan State beat -- whatever Persa did wouldn't have helped his defense from getting trampled, even when Bielema was trying to let off the gas.
Northwestern had 7 turnovers in that game... how would persa not have helped them?
Wisconsin knocked out the Indiana QB early in the game, and from that point forward it was no longer a competitive game but a practice session. Indiana pretty much gave up on the game once it was clear they had no hope of scoring again.
Brett Bielema is a huge jerk for calling any pass plays at all after that. I mean, I suppose it was worth it for his offense to get an extra practice session out of it, but the score does not really measure Wisconsin in that game.
For me it comes down to Wisconsin beat OSU. Yes Wisconsin did get beat by MSU, and made it close at ASU, but when it came down to a true "us against them" Wisconsin finished the job and OSU didn't.
MSU didn't get a chance to compete against OSU, which of course is the reason this post exists, but I have to say that the MSU performance against other teams like Iowa, Purdue and Penn State, make me confident in saying that MSU is the third best Big Ten Champion.
But let's keep in mind that we're comparing 3 teams that finished 11-1. Overall this is really splitting hairs.
That's my general impression as well. Wisco is the strongest team. ohio state is not far behind, slightly less consistent on O. MSU is pretty well-rounded, but a step behind the other 2 in terms of consistency.
In Sagarin's ELO-Chess (used for BCS), the rankings go Wisco (11), msu (14) and osu (15). The Predictor has osu (6), Wisco (19), msu (33) (and Iowa 22 and Illnois 34).
Could you analyze the teams based on how the Big Ten Conference will be split up next year when Nebraska is a member?
Does it happen to work out that two of these 11-1 teams would make it to the Big Ten Championship?
What's interesting to me is that OSU has played all of their future Division Foes.
Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin
Wisconsin unfortunately missed Penn State and Illinois.
MSU did face everyone in their division except for Nebraska.
Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern
Based on conference record, MSU clearly goes to the championship game.
Based on conference record Wisconsin goes, since they have the head to head tie breaker against OSU
So, the question you have to ask yourself is this, "was the Wisconsin vs. MSU game a true comparison to how teams would play at the end of the year in a neutral yet Championship arena?
If you can say yes, then MSU are the Big Ten Champions.
You can't really say that because you still play some teams in the other division. In 2012, for example, Michigan State will play Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Indiana from the "Woody Hayes" division plus its five divisional opponents (Mich, Neb, Minn, Iowa, NW).
Now, say MSU beat Nebraska instead of Wisconsin, and got incredibly lucky in missing both of Wisconsin and Ohio State in its cross-divisional games (this or something like it is likely to happen to them eventually since they get Indiana as a protected rivalry). Even so, you're still one Big Ten game short.
The scenario where Wisconsin-MSU is a de facto Big Ten Championship Game is theoretically possible, but hugely improbable. It would mean none of MSU's divisional opponents would be better than Michigan/Illinois this year, AND the Spartans would have lucked into skipping the proverbial Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Ohio State from the other division. In such a scenario, you have to imagine Michigan State played Indiana during the Wisconsin week, so their ultimate 2010 schedule is:
W-Florida Atlantic (@ FF)
[email protected] St
W-Wisconsin (@ Neutral)
More realistically, a hypothetcal 12-team Big Ten 2010 schedule for Michigan State would be something like this:
W-Florida Atlantic (@ FF)
[email protected] St
Big Ten Championship v. Wisconsin.
In this scenario they skip Purdue and Ohio State from the "Woody Hayes" conference. But they still have to play at least one top team during the regular season before meeting another in the conference final.
It doesn't really matter what the B10 decides to name the Bo & Woody divisions.
People are already using the unnamed period to refer to them as the "Michigan" and "Ohio State" conferences.
It would be too unfair for those names to be attached by the Big Ten -- they have to be representative of everyone after all -- but it's really the most organic naming convention I can think of. It's Michigan and its rivals in one group and Ohio State and its rivals in another group, and you immediately know which is which just by the name.
"The Big Ten" used to be a fan nickname because "The Intercollegiate Conference of Faculty Representatives" was too unwieldy and the "Western Conference" was getting progressively more and more geographically inaccurate (though not before "Champions of the West" was enshrined in the song).