FanPost

Best Decade Ever? How Close are B1G Teams to their Best 10 Years


So I was doing my usual random playing around with game records and I came with something interesting (to me at least).  The question I was considering was "How many B1G teams are currently going through the best run that anyone can remember?"  

The answer is of course dependent on how you define "best run anyone can remember".  I looked at best 10 year periods over the last 50 and split it by conference and overall win totals.  

School Best 10 Year Win Total Best 10 Year Win Total (conference) Current 9 Year Win Total Current 9 Year Win Total (conference)
Illinois 69.5 (1981-1990) 56.5 (1981-1990) 37 21
Indiana 64.5 (1985-1994) 37.5 (1985-1994) 36 13
Iowa 85.5 (1982-1991) 58 (1982-1991) 78 46
Michigan 98.5 (1971-1980) 71.5 (1971-1980) 71 44
Michigan State 65.5 (1984-1993) 52 (1984-1993) 59 34
Minnesota 59 (1960-1969) 45.5 (1960-1969) 55 26
Nebraska 111 (1992-2001) 69 (1992-2001) 73 40
Northwestern 57 (1995-2004) 37 (1995-2004) 56 33
Ohio State 106* (2001-2010*) 70.5 (1972-1981) 99* 61*
Penn State 99 (1968-1977) 54 (1993-2002) 74 41
Purdue 75 (1997-2006) 48 (1997-2006) 57 33
Wisconsin 89 (1997-2006) 50 (1997-2006) 83 44

 

The big takeaway is that with their 2-0 start, Northwestern has its winningest decade ever.  5 conference wins (or 6 over the next two years) will make it the most wins they have ever had in the conference in a single decade.  Wisconsin needs 7 wins overall and 7 conference wins to set similar marks.  None of the other teams are within striking distance of their conference records, though Iowa (8 total needed), MSU (7), Minnesota (5), and Ohio* State* (8*) could all break their mark for most total wins.  Some of those are more likely than others.  

I ran the numbers for the record low win totals too.  Indiana needs 3 conference wins in order to avoid breaking their 1995-2004 "record", while Illinois would tie their 1997-2006 record with an 0-8 conference season.  Penn State needs 2 conference wins to avoid falling short of their 1998-2007 period.  The last 10 years were the worst decade in the last half century for both Michigan and Nebraska; they need 6 and 7 conference wins respectively to avoid lowering that mark even further.  

No team is at risk for finding a new low in overall wins, which probably says all that needs to be said about the rise of the cupcake non-conference game.

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