30 November 2015

Conference Projections: B1G-ACC Challenge Edition

Tonight the annual B1G-ACC Challenge tips off.  The season is now about a few weeks old.  Let's see how things are beginning to shake out in the B1G projections vis a vis the preseason projections.

For projected wins expectations have already shifted a fair amount.  The schools with the largest upward revisions are Purdue (+2.3 wins), Michigan State and Purdue (+2.0), Iowa (+1.6) and Maryland (+1.0).  Schools that have disappointed to date relative to preseason projections are Wisconsin (-2.7 wins), Ohio State (-2.0), Michigan and Penn State (-1.1), and Minnesota (-1.0).
The projected standings tell a similar story.  Michigan State has become the front runner for a first place finish (51.45% likelihood) followed by Purdue (38.1%).  In the title conversation at 11 to 12% likelihood are a trio of schools (Indiana, Iowa, and Maryland).  Both Wisconsin and Michigan were originally projected to be in the race but both have been significantly downgraded -- especially the badgers who are most likely to finish in 7th (including ties)!

The race to the bottom has seen less change with Rutgers still the odds on favorite to finish dead last (48.7%).  However that is a marginal improvement of the preseason projections for 14th place (54.4%) thanks to Penn State's drop in the rankings.  While Penn State is still most likely to finish in 13th (including ties) -- unfortunately for Nittany Lions fans, the odds of PSU finishing alone in the basement have materially worsened (11.4% preseason and 25.7% now).

Northwestern has moved up a couple of pecking spots for most likely finishing spot in the standings (was 10th, now 8th), but we don't read much into that since on a weighted average basis NU has improved by less than half a rung.