Big Ten Preview

After simulating the season 10,000 times, Ohio State enters the year with a Power Five best 16% chance of running the table and 26% chance of repeating as National Champions. Number Two in the Big Ten is Michigan State who themselves are the fourth most likely team across the nation to compete in the playoff.

All of this does not paint the Big Ten as a weak conference. 11 teams average a 6-6 record or better. But the Ohio State-Michigan State battle on November 21st is the game most likely to serve as a National Quarterfinal.

Wisconsin is the favorite out West, winning the division 60% of the time. Nebraska and Minnesota each clock in at 15% as next most likely. Following them as the next most likely Big Ten Champions are East teams Penn State, Rutgers, and Maryland with 1% chances. Harbaugh’s Wolverines finish 10th on the list behind the Fighting Illini.

With the Rose Bowl out of Semifinal position, the Big Ten has extra chances at reaching a New Years Six bowl game. OSU and MSU are more likely than not to play in one. Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Minnesota are next at 36%, 21%, and 16% respectively. Rutgers jumps ahead of Penn State for #6, showing that more wins can sometimes trump stronger schedule.

Odds for the playoff and National Championship follow the same pattern, with Penn State trumping Rutgers in both categories. Michigan State has a 24% chance of making the playoff, more than the other 12 teams combined. The computer favors Michigan State over Oregon in their early matchup, a win there will yield a relative cakewalk to the playoff, even with a loss to Ohio State.

Indiana and Purdue never won a National Championship in the 10,000 simulated years, but they were able to cobble nearly a dozen playoff appearances between the two, proving that at this point in the year anything is possible.

The Output

W-L (cW-cL) Team (NC/FF/NYS) (CC/DC) undefeated
10.3816-1.6184(6.7556-1.2444) Ohio St (2626/5634/8205)(5004/6654) 1655
9.1687-2.8313(6.0922-1.9078) Mich St (767/2411/5947)(1544/2251) 347
6.9625-5.0375(3.8142-4.1858) Penn State (31/140/694)(171/424) 12
7.0404-4.9596(3.6083-4.3917) Rutgers (20/118/745)(107/211) 22
6.2621-5.7379(3.3806-4.6194) Maryland (13/81/433)(134/302) 13
5.5744-6.4256(3.3386-4.6614) Michigan (11/62/351)(62/130) 6
4.6734-7.3266(2.2270-5.7730) Indiana (0/6/52)(9/28) 1

9.0644-2.9356(5.8938-2.1062) Wisconsin (209/1038/3646)(1933/6011) 162
8.0096-3.9904(4.9530-3.0470) Nebraska (80/474/2149)(453/1541) 46
7.4786-4.5214(4.7760-3.2240) Minnesota (58/301/1610)(408/1514) 19
6.0566-5.9434(3.1116-4.8884) Illinois (5/36/232)(74/318) 2
6.1403-5.8597(3.2117-4.7883) Iowa (4/20/148)(50/282) 5
5.0775-6.9225(2.8543-5.1457) N’western (2/9/103)(38/264) 2
3.6500-8.3500(1.9831-6.0169) Purdue (0/5/40)(13/70) 0

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