Big Ten FEI - Week 3

Better late than never!

Here is this week's FEI data for the Big Ten:

A few notes on the data:

  • Note that the third column is "FBS" wins/losses, not total wins/losses, so games against FCS chumps aren't even considered in the data.
  • The GE column is basically FEI without adjusting for opponent strength.  This is where blowout wins against cupcakes in the preseason look much better.  Not particularly noteworthy, since FEI is just an improved GE.
  • SOS is strength of schedule of course, but they calculate it a bit differently than you may be used to.  You can read more about that here.
  • FBS MW is the number of games in theory that the team is expected to win if it plays all it's games.  NOTE: This does NOT take existing results into consideration, it just compares FEI between all opponents, so at the end of the season a team's FBS MW can often be different than their actual number of wins.
  • FBS RMW is the number of remaining games they are expected to win.  If you trust FEI as a good metric, then you could estimate a team's expected wins as their current number of actual wins plus their number of expected remaining wins.  Like FBS MW, this seems to be a straight head-to-head comparison of FEI against the remaining teams on their schedule.

BEHOLD!  The data.

5 Wisconsin 3-0 .243 8 .707 2 .428 80 9.9 6.9
18 Ohio State 2-1 .160 12 .126 34 .210 39 8.8 6.5
19 Michigan 3-0 .155 18 .261 13 .346 73 9.3 6.7
28 Iowa 1-1 .130 31 .005 57 .457 85 8.2 6.8
34 Nebraska 2-0 .101 23 .128 33 .225 45 6.9 5.1
39 Illinois 2-0 .070 45 .155 29 .372 76 6.5 5.2
41 Penn State 1-1 .066 33 -.084 81 .154 19 5.7 5.0
44 Michigan State 1-1 .056 32 .114 37 .175 27 5.7 4.5
52 Northwestern 1-1 .005 49 .000 59 .379 77 5.3 4.1
75 Minnesota 1-2 -.062 70 -.013 63 .236 47 3.1 1.7
84 Purdue 1-1 -.092 84 .005 56 .200 36 3.0 1.7
97 Indiana 0-2 -.122 101 -.062 76 .214 42 2.6 1.8


I don't have as much time this week for analysis, but I'll mention a few things.

Wisconsin is DOMINATING the conference, as expected.  They are a full 80 points higher than second place Ohio State.  Why is Ohio State still so high?  They dropped quite a bit in rank this week, but just about everyone in the Big Ten is low so they remain at second place.

It's worth noting that the Big Ten has only THREE teams in the top 25 when ranked by FEI, and one of those three I believe to be a straw man (maybe two of them?).  It remains to be seen who is going to emerge as the division favorite in the Big Ten West, but the FEI data's suggestion that it's Michigan is... in my opinion unlikely.  But we shall see!

Minnesota, Purdue, and Indiana are all at negative FEI, which more or less just means they are in the bottom half of all FBS teams.

This awful week of cupcake games is unlikely to move the needle for any of these teams unless one of them takes a loss, which would hurt quite a bit.

Michigan State was absolutely punished by their loss to Notre Dame (who is currently ranked #26).  

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