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"We Deserve To Win" - Defending Fan Entitlement

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Don't you hate those entitled fans? The ones that always talk about how great their team is? Well sometimes, they deserve to brag...because some teams are just that good.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Everyone loves an underdog.

It seems there is something hardwired in us to love that kind of story...

Sadly, the truth is far different. If your team sucks, your chance of becoming that Cinderella story is low.

However, your love of school means that emotions rule your words. You talk shit...when you probably shouldn't. It isn't about loving your school and supporting your team. That's just what good fans do.

It's about how you do it. And not looking like an ass when you do it.

For the most part, if you see your team as Cinderella, you need to remember one important fact. Without her fairy godmother, she would still be scrubbing toilets. And your team doesn't have a fairy godmother.

I believe a good fan should spend some time with statistics, strictly for perspective. Some teams' fans are entitled to expect success. Others...not so much.

We can draw that conclusion from looking at betting spreads. If you are a heavy underdog, you really don't have much hope. Here are the data for ya (from Phil Steele's Blog):

Underdog by:

% Chance of Winning


31+ Points


Relegate Yourself

24.5 to 31 Points


Bad Football Team

17.5 to 24 Points


14.5 to 17 Points


10.5 to 14 Points


Hope...But Not Too Much

7.5 to 10 Points


3.5 to 7 Points


3 Points or less


We're In It!

What this table shows me is that bad teams usually lose and competitive teams always have a shot at winning. If your team is consistently more than a two- touchdown aren't a very good football team.

I broke down the spread data for each team in the conference. I used the last 30 conference games (no...the cupcakes don't count), because that's all the data I could get. Unfortunately, Rutgers and Maryland don't have 30 conference games, so I used what I could get.

The Mac is Calling...

I remain a fan of the relegation theory for college football. We should send bad teams down and elevate good ones. Those Mac teams that kick ass should get the chance to play in a big dollar league. And terrible football schools should be punished for bringing crap play to our stadiums...

In the Relegate Yourself category, it's nice to see that there are only a handful of conference games...five in total...with spreads that large.

The B1G shouldn't field teams that can be 31 point underdogs.I mean that sincerely. With all the money our conference generates, your college should be able to field a competitive team...or at least one that's only a two score dog. I mean, most of our defenses won't let you score 31 points...oh hi In_iana. Didn't see you there.

Thankfully this doesn't happen all that often. When it did, it's the usual suspects: Maryland, Purdue, Illinois, and Indiana. Indiana had two games with spreads over 31 points...for shame Hoosiers.

In the Bad Football Team category, we had four teams with more than ¼ of their games as more than two touchdown dogs:


% of Games as 14.5+ Point Underdogs









I guess this shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Purdue hasn't been good in a while.

But that's 13 games where the Boilers were huge underdogs. It's tough to claim "Sleeping Giant" status like that. Oh, hello Rutgers...over 1/3 of your games saw you as huge underdogs too. How does it feel to know that Vegas thinks you suck more than Indiana and Illinois do?

Hope...But Not Too Much

This is the group that actually has a statistical chance to win games. We see teams from this group win 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 games. There is hope for a win. Interestingly enough, the nerds are here 50% of the time.


% of Games as 3.5 to 14 Point Underdogs















Don't get me wrong, if Northwestern is a 14 point dog, I'm not taking the points...but hey, the butler is rooting for the win.

We're In It!

These are real football rivalry making football games. If you are a 3-point underdog, it's a slight! It's a slur! Get fired up!

I only had 17 Maryland games to work with, but they were the only team with more than 25% of their games as 3-point underdogs.


% of Games as 3 Point Underdogs



Legitimate Entitlement

So where are the rest of the teams?

They are over in the "We Aren't Usually Underdogs" column. These are the teams entitled to expect wins. Remember, these are compiled over the last 30 conference games. No cupcake non-con's were included. So if your team is on the list below, you can expect your team to win games.

You are allowed to crow about your "Long Legend". You can tell another team that its wrestling quarterback sucks. And you can expect to be the target of the wannabe's we discussed above. Because these teams are competitive.


% of Games as Favorites



Ohio State


Michigan State








Penn State


These teams are powers, today. They don't need to go back decades to find glory. These teams were favored more than half the time in their last 30 conference games. So if you are a fan of one of these teams, feel free to expect your team to win. Go ahead and talk smack...your team has your back.

And if your team isn't on here, talk shit at your own risk.

Your friend,