Week 11 Games

#1
Orange Krush Class of 2013
Stanford, CA
Over at The Champaign Room, they've been sharing scenarios where Illinois can still win the Big Ten West. It's been a good long while since an Illinois fan could sit down with a pen, a piece of paper, and ponder a manageable number of end-of-season scenarios involving Illinois as something other than a spoiler, so I figured I'd do just that to help our scoreboard-watching selves this weekend.

First of all, if you want Illinois to win the B1G West, there's only one non-negotiable: Illinois wins out. Then, one of two things needs to happen: 1) Minnesota loses 3 of 4, and Wisconsin loses exactly 1 game, or 2) Minnesota loses out and Wisconsin loses at least once. Scenario 1 is the fun world, where things get crazy and we make our way down the tiebreaker list. It probably won't happen, but it could — so why not cheer for things that would help us out if it does? Here's a chronological guide to how to watch the key (and maybe-possibly-key) matchups:

Penn State @ Minnesota, 11 AM Central, ABC
If Minnesota manages to win this game, they'll need to lose out to Iowa, Northwestern, and Wisconsin. That could happen, and the situation for Illinois if it does would actually be slightly better than if Minnesota loses to PSU but beats Northwestern — but given how unlikely a Northwestern > Minnesota result seems, take the safe route and root for Penn State.

Purdue @ Northwestern, 11 AM Central, BTN
Now for the fun part. Why would this game ever be relevant? One word: tiebreakers. Big Ten football tiebreakers for 3+ teams work like this: 1) head-to-head record, 2) record vs. division, 3) record vs next highest team (or group of tied teams) in division, working downward. We very rarely get to tiebreaker #3, but it's not out of the question in an "Illinois is 6-3, Minnesota has 3 losses" world — all it would take is a 3-way tie with Wisconsin as the 3rd team. Fun, right?

If that comes to pass, the 4th-place team is most likely Iowa alone at 5-4, which would give Illinois the tiebreaker over Minnesota (and then Wisconsin, since we beat them head to head). But there are a few very unlikely scenarios where Iowa slips, and in that case they could be tied (or even less likely, passed) by Purdue and/or Nebraska. Those scenarios are beyond pen-and-paper-on-a-weeknight in number, but since we beat Purdue and lost to Nebraska, my guess is it's to our (very minuscule) advantage to root for Purdue.

Iowa @ Wisconsin, 3 PM Central, BTN
Here's the big one of the afternoon for way-ahead-of-ourselves scoreboard watchers. We need Wisconsin to lose at least one more game, so we should root for Iowa, right? Well, maybe. That's the scenario envisioned in the TCR article — Iowa gives Wisconsin their 3rd loss, both teams win out, and there's a 4-way tie at the top. Point, Illinois. Or Iowa slips up, and it's just Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin — in that case we almost always come out ahead, too.

But what if Wisconsin loses to Iowa, and then slips up again in their last 3 games: say, a loss on the road to a Nebraska team coming off a bye week, or to a motivated Gopher team looking to redeem some dignity on Senior Day after a 3-game skid? Well, in that case, there's no scenario where Illinois wins the B1G West: we either tie with Minnesota alone, or Minnesota and Iowa (where Iowa wins by virtue of a 5-1 record in the West). Bummer.

So who to root for? Probably Iowa. But if you can't stomach the thought, or if you're not buying Wisconsin to finish 3-0 this year, root for them and hope they look past Nebraska or Purdue.
 
#2
Admin
Saturday, November 9th

Penn State at Minnesota
11:00am CT - ABC

Maryland at Ohio State
11:00am CT - FOX

Purdue at Northwestern
11:00am CT - BTN

LSU at Alabama
2:30pm CT - CBS

Iowa at Wisconsin
3:00pm CT - FOX
 
#5
Would love to see it, but as long as MINN loses I'll be happy. It'll be interesting to see how they play against a quality team. They've been smoking bottom half B1G teams 4 weeks in a row now.
Remember the second half of 2011 for the Illini? I'm thinking the same here. They will be exposed against good competition. This is a team that barely squeaked out wins against some average to below average competition (granted, they are still wins unlike Nebraska and EMU).
 
#7
Carbondale, IL
With the in-state schools today, you have EIU at Tennessee State, Missouri State at SIU, ISU at South Dakota State, and WIU at North Dakota State.
SIU and UI having oddly parallel seasons. Fourth-year coaches with bad records so far, start 2-4 then rip off three straight in conference looking to make the postseason for the first time in awhile.
 
#8
Over at The Champaign Room, they've been sharing scenarios where Illinois can still win the Big Ten West. It's been a good long while since an Illinois fan could sit down with a pen, a piece of paper, and ponder a manageable number of end-of-season scenarios involving Illinois as something other than a spoiler, so I figured I'd do just that to help our scoreboard-watching selves this weekend.

First of all, if you want Illinois to win the B1G West, there's only one non-negotiable: Illinois wins out. Then, one of two things needs to happen: 1) Minnesota loses 3 of 4, and Wisconsin loses exactly 1 game, or 2) Minnesota loses out and Wisconsin loses at least once. Scenario 1 is the fun world, where things get crazy and we make our way down the tiebreaker list. It probably won't happen, but it could — so why not cheer for things that would help us out if it does? Here's a chronological guide to how to watch the key (and maybe-possibly-key) matchups:

Penn State @ Minnesota, 11 AM Central, ABC
If Minnesota manages to win this game, they'll need to lose out to Iowa, Northwestern, and Wisconsin. That could happen, and the situation for Illinois if it does would actually be slightly better than if Minnesota loses to PSU but beats Northwestern — but given how unlikely a Northwestern > Minnesota result seems, take the safe route and root for Penn State.

Purdue @ Northwestern, 11 AM Central, BTN
Now for the fun part. Why would this game ever be relevant? One word: tiebreakers. Big Ten football tiebreakers for 3+ teams work like this: 1) head-to-head record, 2) record vs. division, 3) record vs next highest team (or group of tied teams) in division, working downward. We very rarely get to tiebreaker #3, but it's not out of the question in an "Illinois is 6-3, Minnesota has 3 losses" world — all it would take is a 3-way tie with Wisconsin as the 3rd team. Fun, right?

If that comes to pass, the 4th-place team is most likely Iowa alone at 5-4, which would give Illinois the tiebreaker over Minnesota (and then Wisconsin, since we beat them head to head). But there are a few very unlikely scenarios where Iowa slips, and in that case they could be tied (or even less likely, passed) by Purdue and/or Nebraska. Those scenarios are beyond pen-and-paper-on-a-weeknight in number, but since we beat Purdue and lost to Nebraska, my guess is it's to our (very minuscule) advantage to root for Purdue.

Iowa @ Wisconsin, 3 PM Central, BTN
Here's the big one of the afternoon for way-ahead-of-ourselves scoreboard watchers. We need Wisconsin to lose at least one more game, so we should root for Iowa, right? Well, maybe. That's the scenario envisioned in the TCR article — Iowa gives Wisconsin their 3rd loss, both teams win out, and there's a 4-way tie at the top. Point, Illinois. Or Iowa slips up, and it's just Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin — in that case we almost always come out ahead, too.

But what if Wisconsin loses to Iowa, and then slips up again in their last 3 games: say, a loss on the road to a Nebraska team coming off a bye week, or to a motivated Gopher team looking to redeem some dignity on Senior Day after a 3-game skid? Well, in that case, there's no scenario where Illinois wins the B1G West: we either tie with Minnesota alone, or Minnesota and Iowa (where Iowa wins by virtue of a 5-1 record in the West). Bummer.

So who to root for? Probably Iowa. But if you can't stomach the thought, or if you're not buying Wisconsin to finish 3-0 this year, root for them and hope they look past Nebraska or Purdue.
Great to see you posting more regularly again, danielb! You always bring good discussion to these forums. I especially like your statistical way of looking at things. Will we be fortunate enough to get a B1G final standings scenarios later this year for basketball? (I'm pretty sure you started a couple threads like that a few years ago)

Go PSU, Purdue, and Iowa.
 
Likes: Thaillini22
#10
I'm all about rooting for the scenarios that make the CFP process as messy as possible, in hopes that they will change.

So right now i want Oregon, Utah, and Oklahoma to keep winning. And I think it would be very interesting to see Georgia pick up another questionable loss but then beat Bama or LSU in the SEC championship.
 
Likes: Pillini
#11
Bonnaroo Land
Minnesota eating Dirt U's lunch so far.
 
#12
North Bethesda, Maryland
I don’t believe I could bring myself to root for the PSU football team...unless they could somehow play the Auburn basketball team.
 
#14
Minnesota up on P State, 24 - 10
But PSU has the ball at the Minnie 3 yard line with :03 to go.
Interesting play call situation for the pedophiles

Edit: Took the 3 points, so now boat rowers 24, others 13