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Topic: B1G-W race

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medinabuckeye1

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B1G-W race
« on: November 03, 2020, 02:37:00 PM »
Wisconsin's game against Purdue has been cancelled.  If Wisconsin misses one more game they will be ineligible for the B1GCG (I'm not sure if that means they drop to the bottom and take on B1G-E #7 or what but they will be out for the CG if they miss another game).  

B1G-W teams/records:

  • 2-0 Northwestern:  IMHO, the Wildcats look like the best B1G-W team not named Wisconsin so if the Badgers are ineligible then I think the most likely beneficiary is Northwestern.  They are 1-0 in the Division with a road win over Iowa.  Assuming Wisconsin is back, they host the Badgers on November 21.  That matters a lot because if Wisconsin gets back after this weekend and finishes 6-0 or 5-1 the COVID rules state that 5-1 effectively equals 7-1 and the tiebreaker is H2H.  
  • 2-0 Purdue:  The Boilermakers are 2-0 in the division with wins over Iowa and Illinois.  Their B1G-E draw is very manageable (Vs RU, @ IU), and their game at Wisconsin has been cancelled so that probably saves them a loss.  Where things could get really interesting is if Purdue and Wisconsin both run the table.  Assuming no further cancellations they would finish 6-0 and 7-0 respectively with no H2H game to break the tie.  I'm pretty sure that would come down to who had the better B1G-E opponents so, as much as it will hurt, Purdue should be rooting for Indiana.  
  • 1-0 Wisconsin:  IMHO, the Badgers are the best B1G-W team by a wide margin.  If they can get back to playing and do so at full strength, they should be in good shape.  OTOH, after the cancelled home game against Purdue, the Badgers next two games are on the road at Michigan and at Northwestern.  If Wisconsin hits those games rusty and out of practice and/or missing some players while the Wolverines and Boilermakers are in mid-season form, those could both be losses.  
  • 0-1 Nebraska:  Despite being winless, the Cornhuskers are in pretty good shape because they haven't played a divisional game yet.  If they can win the battle of the NU's in Evanston this weekend they could be a serious contender.  
  • 0-2 Minnesota:  The Gophers are in a slightly better position than the two teams listed below them because one of their losses was non-divisional.  That said, they certainly haven't looked like a contender.   
  • 0-2 Iowa:  I think that Iowa is better than this record but it is what it is and both losses were in the division so they are eliminated for all practical purposes.  
  • 0-2 Illinois:  Not only are they 0-2, but both losses were in the division so they Illini are eliminated for all practical purposes.  


As a practical matter and while awaiting Wisconsin's return, Northwestern's next three games (vs UNL, @ PU, vs UW) determine who is in and who is out of the B1G-W race.  

betarhoalphadelta

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Re: B1G-W race
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2020, 04:13:46 PM »
  • 1-0 Wisconsin:  IMHO, the Badgers are the best B1G-W team by a wide margin.  If they can get back to playing and do so at full strength, they should be in good shape.  OTOH, after the cancelled home game against Purdue, the Badgers next two games are on the road at Michigan and at Northwestern.  If Wisconsin hits those games rusty and out of practice and/or missing some players while the Wolverines and Boilermakers are in mid-season form, those could both be losses. 
That's probably true. Wisconsin, like Ohio State, is king of the West until someone proves otherwise. 

However, let's look at the counterpoint...

  • Their frosh QB lit up the Illini. What, like it's hard? Purdue's QB was 29 of 35 (83%) against the Illini defense for two TDs and no INT. 
  • Badge was already complaining about their RB, who is not exactly playing up to typical Wisconsin RB levels. 
  • Their defense looks good, judging by holding the Illini to 7 points and a little over 200 yards while Purdue allowed 24 and 472. But it was a completely different offense and Purdue didn't have any game film with which to prepare for the Illini offense that took the field. 
  • Unlike OSU, Wisconsin's dominance of the West has been based on consistent good coaching and program management, NOT an overwhelming talent advantage. Hence when the chemistry doesn't come together, Wisconsin's down years are a lot lower than OSUs. 
  • Nebraska is 0-1 with a crushing loss to OSU. I didn't see anything from Wisconsin that makes me think they'd have fared all that much better against OSU. Northwestern is 2-0 with a blowout and a near win over decent teams. Purdue is 2-0 with near wins over a decent team and the same patsy that Wisconsin throttled. Iowa is 0-2 but maybe only a few plays away from 2-0. Only Minnesota and Illinois look truly bad right now. 

So again, they're probably the best B1G-W team, and probably by a wide margin. But all we have to go by is history on that, not really what we've seen on the field. If Mertz' offensive performance against potentially the worst pass defense in the West is fool's gold and they didn't get their typical dominant ypc on the ground against again a terrible Illini defense, maybe this is one of their down years?


Hawkinole

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Re: B1G-W race
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2020, 04:20:53 PM »
How good will Wisconsin be? Are the healthy players practicing? I believe teams improve throughout the season. I would guess this outbreak sets their preparation back 3-weeks. 

MaximumSam

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Re: B1G-W race
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2020, 06:02:55 PM »
How much gamesmanship can we practice here?  Say Northwestern beats Nebraska and Purdue and is undefeated heading into Wisconsin.  Could they claim COVID and scuttle the game?  

FearlessF

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Re: B1G-W race
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2020, 07:47:57 PM »
they could but, Fitz would never do it
"Courage; Generosity; Fairness; Honor; In these are the true awards of manly sport."

 

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