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Friday, November 4, 2011

Statistical Breakdown of Spartans Chances...

So what happens if there is a tie in division?
What are the Spartans chances of winning out or Nebraska's chance of losing one or two? Are chUMps still a factor?
The Only Colors BLOG has calculated the statistics. Here is the section on MSU. For the full report on all division competitors, click here.
PS - the authors does not acknowledge official Big Ten names of the two divisions. I guess he does not like Leaders and Legends...

The division tiebreakers are as follows:
  1. Head-to-head
  2. Division record
  3. Record against the highest-placed team or teams in the division outside of the tie (ties not broken among these), on down to the bottom of the division
  4. Record against common conference opponents
  5. BCS standings, except that if the top two are one spot apart they are considered tied (and thus the winner of that game wins)
If after any step the tie is reduced to two teams, they revert to head-to-head.

West Division Race: The Contenders

Michigan State (6-2, 3-1, 22nd, 26th)
Division record: 1-1 (win over Michigan, loss to Nebraska)
Remaining games
OpponentNo-Margin ProbMargin-Aware ProbAvg Margin

Distribution of possible records:
If they win out: They need a Nebraska loss; they own the tiebreaker over Michigan.
If they lose one: The only way they can get by with just a Nebraska loss and a Michigan loss is if MSU loses to Indiana (the only non-divisional opponent left), Michigan loses to Illinois (the non-common division opponent), Nebraska loses to Michigan (to make head-to-head even), and the BCS favors MSU (by at least two spots over Nebraska) or puts them just one spot behind Michigan. Head-to-head, division, individual teams in the division, and common opponents would all be tied, forcing the BCS to break the tie. This is unlikely to favor MSU due to the non-conference loss (which neither Nebraska nor Michigan have), so realistically they need two Nebraska losses and a Michigan loss.
In addition, if the loss is to Iowa, Iowa must lose a game.
Probability of winning the division (assuming that two losses knocks them out): 51.17% no-margin / 44.37% margin-aware (assuming the BCS tiebreaker goes against MSU). They need help, but with the softest schedule remaining of all the contenders, the odds aren't bad.

For the full report on all division competitors, click here.

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