Remaining schedules for Big Ten contenders.

With the Big Ten season past the halfway point and with several games between the contenders in the next week (MSU at Purdue tonight; Wisconsin at IU tomorrow; MSU at IU on Saturday; Purdue at IU next Tuesday;), the Big Ten race will be much more predictable a week from tomorrow. This post includes a snapshot of what each of the four contenders faces for the rest of the season. For the purposes of this post, the top tier includes Purdue, IU, Wisconsin, and MSU; the middle tier includes Ohio State, Minnesota, and Iowa; and the basement includes Penn State, Michigan, Illinois, and Northwestern.
To clarify the two Pomeroy categories below: Pomeroy predicts (his model does, not Ken Pomeroy himself) each individual game, but also predicts an overall record (accounting for luck, etc.) that does not necessarily correspond to the individual predictions. For instance, Pomeroy predicts Wisconsin to finish with a 14-4 record, but the only specific loss predicted is the IU game.
Purdue
Current record: 10-1
Games remaining: 7
Top tier home games: 1 (MSU 2/12)
Top tier road games: 1 (IU 2/19)
Middle tier home games: 1 (Minnesota 2/27)
Middle tier road games: 1 (OSU 3/4)
Basement home games: 1 (Northwestern 3/1)
Basement road games: 2 (Northwestern 2/16; Michigan 3/9)
Pomeroy's projected conference record: 15-3
Pomeroy's game-by-game projected record: 15-3

Indiana
Current record: 9-1
Games remaining: 8
Top tier home games: 3 (Wisconsin 2/13; MSU 2/16; Purdue 2/19)
Top tier road games: 1 (MSU 3/2)
Middle tier home games: 2 (OSU 2/26; Minnesota 3/5)
Middle tier road games: 0
Basement home games: 0
Basement road games: 2 (Northwestern 2/23; Penn State 3/8)
Pomeroy's projected conference record: 15-3
Pomeroy's game-by-game projected record: 16-2

Wisconsin
Current record: 9-2
Games remaining: 7
Top tier home games: 1 (MSU 2/28)
Top tier road games: 1 (IU 2/13)
Middle tier home games: 1 (Minnesota 2/16)
Middle tier road games: 1 (OSU 2/24)
Basement home games: 1 (Penn State 3/5)
Basement road games: 2 (Illinios 3/20; Northwestern 3/8)
Pomeroy's projected conference record: 14-4
Pomeroy's game-by-game projected record: 15-3

Michigan State
Current record: 8-2
Games remaining: 8
Top tier home games:1 (IU 3/2)
Top tier road games: 3 (Purdue 2/12; IU 2/16; Wisconsin 2/28)
Middle tier home games: 1 (Iowa 2/23)
Middle tier road games: 1 (OSU 3/9)
Basement home games: 1 (Penn State 2/20)
Basement road games: 1 (Illinois 3/4)
Pomeroy's projected conference record: 12-6
Pomeroy's game-by-game projected record: 12-6
Random thoughts:
  • If Pomeroy's projected records hold up, IU and Purdue will tie for the conference title at 15-3, with the #1 seed dependent on whether IU's "unpredicted" loss is the home game against Purdue.
  • If Pomeroy's game-by-game predictions hold up, IU will win the conference with a record of 16-2, one game ahead of 15-3 Purdue.
  • I would never bet against an Izzo-coached team, but Pomeroy says the Spartans are done. MSU may decide the Big Ten race by beating Purdue, IU and/or Wisconsin on the road, but the Spartans will have to play amazingly well to grab a share for themselves.
  • If Ohio State doesn't make the tournament, it won't be for lack of late-season opportunity: MSU, Purdue, and Wisconsin all have to go to Columbus.
  • Purdue and Wisconsin have functionally identical schedules for the rest of the season. They play the same top and middle tier opponents home and away.
  • IU is the only team with empty categories, playing to middle tier road games (good) and no basement home games (too bad).


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