Last week I tried to predict the final B1G standings accounting for the uneven schedule and placing all 12 teams into specific tiers.
After two weeks of play, we have a little more data and I think some of the assumptions are up for debate. The first is that I put Penn State as a tier 4 team along with Nebraska. After PSU failed to protect its home court against both Indiana and Minnesota (tier 3 teams), I think it's time to downgrade PSU to tier 5. Things look grim for them. So, going back to the beginning of the year, here is what the model predicted for final standings with the original and new assumptions.
|Initial Assumptions||With PSU Downgrade|
|Ohio State||15||3||Ohio State||15||3|
|Michigan State||14||4||Michigan State||14||4|
Basically, the difference is that PSU plummets and the mid range teams get an extra win by assuming they will now win at PSU.
Using the new (PSU downgraded model) there have been three games in the first two weeks that have broken the assumptions.
|2-Jan||Mich 63, @ Minn 60||Mich 11-7, Minn 8-10|
|12-Jan||Iowa 84, @OSU 74||Iowa 12-6, OSU 14-4|
|12-Jan||(@)NW 49, Illinois 43||NW 3-15, Illinois 7-11|
I think it's still up for debate where Michigan and Minnesota fall into things, but yesterday's two upsets were definitely surprising. Taking these results into account, my new projection for the final B1G standings is...
Some thoughts going forward.
- Someone is going to have to go into Madison and beat Wisconsin, or they are going to ride that schedule to a title. Hoping a tier 3 team (Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue) will be able to beat them is pretty wishful thinking.
- Nebraska may be in consideration to move up a tier at some point. A 10 point road loss at Iowa looks pretty good. They also hung with Purdue on the road and obviously almost beat UM. They are dangerous.
- Illinois is in danger of a downgrade. OT win at home against Indiana, demolished on the road by Wisconsin, and losing to NW is a dangerous way to start the league season.
- Michigan not getting road games at NW or PSU will make it hard to get to the top.