[Bumped. Miles to go before we sleep, but you've gotta like the way conference play has started. -KJ]
Well, we're not quite a quarter of the way through the Big Ten season yet, but I thought it would be interesting to look at efficiency margins so far. These are from Statsheet.com, so they have not been adjusted for strength of opponent. Below are offensive and defensive efficiencies for every team in the Big Ten along with the resulting efficiency margins. Stats are for conference games only.
We are clearly the cream of the conference right now, as we lead in both offensive and defensive efficiency. I would not say we've played the toughest schedule in the Big Ten to date, but we have played the second best team (Wisconsin) at full strength, and only one true doormat.
As Evan Turner rounds back into form, I expect OSU to make major improvements. Wisconsin may take a dip with Leuer out. Illinois would look worse if these numbers were adjusted for strength of opponents faced as they have played Indiana, Iowa, Penn State, and Northwestern to date - the four teams in the conference with the worst efficiency margins. Purdue is the opposite case, having played Wisconsin, Minnesota, and a full strength Ohio State. Iowa is the only cupcake they've played so far.
To put our performance in perspective, our efficiency margin for all conference games last year was 13, so we are actually exceeding last years impressive performance so far. Lets hope we don't come back down to earth. If I could figure out how to post a scatterplot, I would, but SB Nation and I haven't been able to come to an accomodation on that front yet. However, if you pictured said graph in your head (I have, and it's beautiful) we would be way up in the right upper quadrant of the graph, exactly where we want to be.