Evaluating the B1G after Week 8

Submitted by dnak438 on October 22nd, 2013 at 3:24 PM

In a past diary last week, I examined the advanced statistics published by Football Outsiders in their context within the B1G. The new statistics have been released for all games through October 19th, et voilà (click to embiggen):

Some tentative conclusions based on these statistics:

  1. Michigan's offense and defense are slightly better than they were last week, according to the advanced statistics. This has to do with a lot of things -- these statistics take into account strength of schedule, so things like a Notre Dame victory presumably affect how our offense and defense are judged. Presumably then, the awesomeness of Indiana's offense (best in the B1G!) doesn't adversely affect our defense despite the fact that they hung 47 on us. Likewise our record offensive performance isn't so impressive to the advanced statistics, because Indiana's defense is awful.
  2. Michigan and Wisconsin are the most balanced teams in the B1G, with good offenses and defenses. But there are many teams with a lot of variance between the two sides of the ball: Michigan State has a great defense and a below-average offense (duh), Indiana has a wonderful offense and a pitiful defense (duh), and Ohio State's offense is very good while its defense is barely above-average.
  3. Nebraska, Iowa and Northwestern are all pretty mediocre according to the advanced stats. This makes me feel better about this November.
  4. Michigan State and Ohio State are both excellent but have weaknesses (their offense and defense, respectively). According to the advanced stats, we are moderately better overall than Michigan State and Ohio State is much better overall.
  5. Purdue is very, very bad.

EDIT: I've also added a chart with all the B1G teams plus M's opponents in 2013:




October 22nd, 2013 at 5:08 PM ^

This is one of the reasons many of the BCS computers don't start running their algorithms until midseason--there isn't enough relevant data. I believe the Football Outsiders predicted doom and gloom for us, but that was based on pre-season data, which is a horrible data set to analyze for predictive purposes. Now that we are midway through the season, the data set is much, much better (but still not great due to the small sample size), and we should trust them a little more now.


October 23rd, 2013 at 11:17 AM ^

and found this article (http://www.footballoutsiders.com/varsity-numbers/2013/varsity-numbers-final-2013-projections) which projects Michigan to finish 24th in the nation, with an above-average offense (6.0) and defense (6.6). So far our ratings are 8.7 (offense) and 9.7 (defense) and they rank us 29th in the nation overall.



October 22nd, 2013 at 4:39 PM ^

Wisconsin is by far and away the best in that upcoming division. They also have the 2 worst teams in the big ten kick around each year. They will always be in the B1G championship game moving forward.


October 22nd, 2013 at 5:50 PM ^

Any chance you could add Notre Dame and maybe the other 3 teams we played. Would be interesting to see where they fall compared to who we still have to play.

Double Wolverine

October 22nd, 2013 at 6:26 PM ^

The fact that MSU's O is ranked the same as PSU's scares me a lot. If MSU puts up 34 in regulation like PSU did then we would definitely lose. I don't see our O scoring more than 24-28 on MSU.



October 22nd, 2013 at 6:52 PM ^

They tell you a lot about teams that you cant see in normal stats, (like if we combine yds/play and add it to points/play*10) then UM has the 12th best offense in the nation. It is only 47 in yds/game and is 11th in points for. However at the end of the day a team would rather have more points and be less efficient. I mean anyone would take 45 points on 95 plays over 28 points on 65 plays. Also, Penn State's offense did not really do that well vs us. They had 2 good drives vs us, one in which they no huddled us to the endzone and the last second hail mary one. 2 of their TD drives where like 30 yds thanks to 2 Devin picks. In OT our defense held them to 9 points on 4 drives. Throughout a regular game that is like 25 points. Also they only put up 24 on Indiana. MSU on the other hand had one impressive offensive game vs an average defensive team in Iowa. SOS is also a factor in this. 

SC Wolverine

October 23rd, 2013 at 11:15 AM ^

This argues the vast importance of the MSU game to our season.  If we beat them, then we only have one more game against a team that is not inferior to us (tsio).  If we lose to Sparty, then we face Ohio staring down the gun of three conference losses.  In short, if we want to get to the Big Ten championship game, we must beat Sparty.


October 25th, 2013 at 10:07 AM ^

We probably have to run the table on the remainder of our schedule to get to Indianapolis.  Losing to Penn State has left us with no margin for error.  Given MSU's remaining schedule, even if they lose to us, they have an excellent chance of finshing 7-1 in conference.

We all keep waiting for their offense to cost them a bad loss and have them turn back into a pumpkin, but they've proven to be frustratingly resistant to stubbing their toe this season.

I just don't see us winning the Legends with a 6-2 conference record, and running the table of our remaining schedule to finish 7-1 just seems so unlikely.

Oh man, I am depressing myself.