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Around the B1G: Football Week 6 Recap, Week 7 Preview

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Avert your eyes.

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Week 6 Results

BYU 31, Michigan State 14

206 yards of total offense simply won’t get it done. The defense looked fine early but eventually wore down, in part because the offense couldn’t stay on the field long enough to give them a rest. The good news is that this wasn’t a conference loss; the bad news is that it won’t matter unless the ship gets righted in a hurry.

Michigan 78, Rutgers 0

Really, there’s nothing I can say about this that the SBN main site hasn’t already said. For some reason Rutgers thinks this is a rivalry, to the general amusement of everyone else.

Ohio State 38, Indiana 17

Indiana might have to give up the #CHAOSTEAM label this year, as their results so far have been shockingly normal. The Hoosiers didn’t let Ohio State really pull away, but the last time they had the ball with a chance to tie was a drive starting near midfield midway through the second quarter. That drive lost 18 yards, and the Buckeyes extended the lead to 17-3 a few minutes later on a 5-yard Curtis Samuel run. Indiana got the lead back down to 7 twice, but OSU answered immediately both times.

Iowa 14, Minnesota 7

Hm. A sloppy (three turnovers each), low-scoring, grind-it-out game between the Hawkeyes and the Gophers. Who could have seen that coming? Iowa twice settled for field goals in red zone trips, and when the Gophers found the end zone on their first drive of the second half it appeared that the lack of finishing might cost them. But with under six minutes to go, Akrum Wadley broke a 54-yard touchdown run to put the Hawkeyes in front.

Penn State 38, Maryland 14

This one was gruesome by traditional stats; Penn State’s yardage margin was over 250 yards (524-270) and they also won the turnover battle 2-1. A blocked punt and plenty of wasted yards for Penn State (a red zone fumble and a Dumb Punt of the Week nominee - on 4th and 4 from the Maryland 36, with the game tied in the first quarter) kept the score from fully reflecting that. Most of the damage came from Saquon Barkley, who had 31 carries for 202 of PSU’s 372 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Purdue 34, Illinois 31 (OT)

Illinois’s first drive of the game quickly reached first and goal at the 6, then 2nd down at the 1. The result? Stuffed on 2nd, stuffed on 3rd, and the worst play in football (a 19-yard field goal, which on average is a net loss of nearly two points compared to going for it) on 4th. The Illini made a habit of settling for field goals in this game (three made and a potential game-winner missed as time expired), which was enough to negate their 40-yard advantage in total offense and 2-0 turnover advantage in regulation. After the missed field goal that could have prevented OT, a Chayce Crouch fumble ended their possession and J.D. Dellinger hit a chip shot to win it for the Boilers, who now have three road wins against Illinois since their last road win against anyone else (at Iowa in 2012).

Week 7 Games

All times ET. Odds are per my margin-aware ratings. Carryover from last season still exists but is gradually being removed as more games are played.

Illinois at Rutgers (Noon, ESPN News)

If you were wondering how bad a conference game in October has to be to get relegated to ESPN News, here’s your answer. On one hand, you have a team that just lost at home to a team that hasn’t beaten anyone else on the road in years. On the other, you have a team that allowed twice as many points as they had yards of offense last week. I have no idea what to expect out of this one except for gloriously bad football. The fact that the Scarlet Knights kept it close against Iowa (and that there are diminishing returns for complete annihilation in my method) actually has them favored by my ratings.

Odds: Rutgers 76% (projected margin: +8)

Minnesota at Maryland (Noon, ESPNU)

The Terps were riding high before being taken apart by the Nittany Lions; Minnesota kept it much closer against Penn State but hasn’t been as impressive in the other games. The Gophers have yet to have a game against an FBS opponent decided by more than seven points, while three of Maryland’s four were decided by 24 or more.

Odds: Maryland 77% (+8)

Iowa at Purdue (Noon, ESPN2)

If Purdue can build on their 3-2 start with a win here, they have a realistic (though, for now, unlikely) shot at a bowl game. Iowa needs this one to keep pace with Wisconsin and Nebraska at the top of the West.

Odds: Iowa 68% (+5.5)

Northwestern at Michigan State (3:30, BTN)

How the mighty have fallen. After combining for 21 regular-season wins last year, these two teams are both sitting at 2-3 and in real danger of missing out on the postseason entirely.

Odds: Michigan State 64% (+4)

Nebraska at Indiana (3:30, ABC/ESPN2)

The Huskers are off to a fine start (even if the win over Oregon has lost a bit of its shine as the Ducks have struggled to stop anyone at all on defense). Indiana has realistic bowl aspirations, and this could be a bit of a trap for Nebraska, though coming off a bye week makes that less likely.

Odds: Nebraska 64% (+4)

Ohio State at Wisconsin (8:00, ABC)

The last of Wisconsin’s Eastern gauntlet has major title implications in both divisions. For Ohio State, a loss would remove any margin for error (though they would still control their own destiny for Indianapolis); for Wisconsin, a second loss puts them in serious trouble (though since Nebraska also has to travel to Columbus later in the season, there’s a good chance winning out after this would be enough).

Odds: Ohio State 68% (+5)


Penn State and Michigan have the week off.

Conference Projections

Projected records are based on game-by-game odds (bowl odds assume a 6-6 record is the cutoff). Division title chances (outright or shared) are based on 100,000 season simulations; tiebreakers are not considered.

East Division

Team Avg wins 0-9 1-8 2-7 3-6 4-5 5-4 6-3 7-2 8-1 9-0 Bowl Outright Shared
Michigan 7.88 1 in 3.05M 1 in 19,200 0.21% 3.47% 23.01% 55.06% 18.24% Yes 33.36% 61.78%
Ohio State 7.82 1 in 1.20M 1 in 18,700 0.12% 1.31% 7.68% 24.65% 40.25% 26.00% >99.99% 37.08% 64.71%
Penn State 5.68 0.15% 2.07% 11.02% 28.48% 36.03% 19.35% 2.90% 97.78% 0.50% 4.01%
Indiana 4.31 0.43% 5.02% 18.69% 32.26% 28.53% 12.63% 2.36% 0.08% 75.86% 0.02% 0.27%
Maryland 4.22 0.23% 3.64% 18.77% 38.75% 29.28% 8.36% 0.94% 0.03% 96.13% 0.03% 0.27%
Michigan State 2.75 1.11% 10.05% 29.70% 36.25% 18.19% 4.22% 0.45% 0.02% 22.88% <0.01% 0.02%
Rutgers 1.94 5.91% 28.92% 37.92% 20.97% 5.55% 0.69% 0.03% 6.27% <0.01% <0.01%

Michigan edges out just in front on average projected wins, but really this race comes down to Thanksgiving weekend. The odds of anyone else getting through with just one loss to that point are poor, and an unbeaten champion is only a slight underdog (5-to-4 odds). Penn State and Maryland are very likely to reach bowl games, and Indiana is a favorite as well. MSU’s odds are way down after an ugly loss, and Rutgers has almost no shot.

West Division

Team Avg wins 0-9 1-8 2-7 3-6 4-5 5-4 6-3 7-2 8-1 9-0 Bowl Outright Shared
Nebraska 6.32 1 in 14,200 0.28% 3.43% 16.84% 35.51% 32.29% 10.78% 0.86% 99.99% 37.11% 63.63%
Wisconsin 5.98 1 in 77,400 0.07% 1.08% 7.23% 22.99% 36.10% 26.12% 6.41% 99.93% 26.32% 51.08%
Iowa 4.70 1.67% 11.77% 29.72% 33.58% 18.27% 4.58% 0.42% 86.56% 4.31% 14.66%
Northwestern 4.26 0.37% 4.99% 19.63% 33.70% 28.06% 11.33% 1.88% 0.05% 41.32% 1.28% 6.92%
Minnesota 3.41 0.20% 2.95% 15.29% 34.34% 33.51% 11.98% 1.64% 0.08% 81.56% 0.18% 1.40%
Purdue 2.41 19.37% 37.65% 28.92% 11.32% 2.43% 0.28% 0.02% 1 in 301k 14.05% 0.03% 0.26%
Illinois 1.34 20.70% 38.98% 28.41% 10.03% 1.74% 0.13% 1 in 29,400 1 in 4.61M 0.14% <0.01% 0.01%

Not much change at the top with both the Huskers and the Badgers on a bye. Iowa pulls into a moderately clear third as they reclaim Floyd of Rosedale, and the Boilers and Illini swap places at the bottom.