Your simplified, semi-predictive 2020-2021 B1G basketball standings

Detroit Free Press-USA TODAY NETWORK

Some of you are fans of advanced metrics, per possession stats, and the like from folks like KenPom, and some of you are wrong. But I realize that it can be frustrating to make heads or tails out of them, so last year I invented a simple revolutionary approach to comparing actual standings with what was likely to happen the rest of the way.

2019-2020 was easy because every non-NW, non-Neb B1G team had exactly three combined games against NW + Neb and exactly 18 against everybody else. With NW and Neb clearly the two worst teams last year, that made for a relatively balanced scheduled, and allowed for a simple set of rules:

  1. any road win other than @NW or @Neb counted as a win
  2. any home loss, and ANY loss to NW or Neb, counted as a loss
  3. home wins and and road losses, other than road losses to NW and Neb, were disregarded.

This elementary approach model consistently told you that UW was in better shape than they looked. Even at 6-6 in conference play last year, you could see that they were "projected" to finish 6-2. [In case you forgot, it was even more glorious; UW won 8 straight and grabbed a share of the conference title.]

It also let you know that, despite a 5-0 start, MSU was unlikely to run away with the conference. [They had a typical Sparty combination of befuddling home losses and uber-tough road wins, and finished 14-6 and in a three-way tie for the championship.]

You might have looked at Iowa surging from 1-3 to 6-3, but my half-assed proprietary model would have revealed that all five wins were expected, and the road loss to Nebraska wasn't coming off the record. (The loss @ Nebraska should have lessened the surprise when Iowa fell at home to Purdue, part of a 5-6 finish.)

So, despite the obviousness money-making potential of having built something so astonishingly basic predictive, I am foolishly still providing it to you for free. However, NW's fine play means I had to zealously single out Nebraska for mockery tweak my algorithm a bit, resulting in this year's rules.

  1. Road wins, other than Neb, = +1
  2. Home losses and road losses @Neb = -1
  3. All road losses, other than @Neb, and all home wins are disregarded
  4. Teams that play Neb twice are designated with a "(+)" prior to their name in the standings.

With no B1G games today, it is a good time to debut our first standings, which are as follows:

(+) Wisconsin +1

Northwestern +1


(+) Illinois 0

(+) Minnesota 0

(+) Penn State 0

(+) Purdue 0

Iowa 0

Michigan 0

Ohio State 0

(+) Maryland -1

(+) Michigan Sate -1

Indiana -1


Looking ahead, here are this week's games:

MON--MD @ UW, MSU @ Minn

TUE--Pur @ Rutgers, NW @ Iowa

WED--Neb @ OSU, PSU @ Ind

THURS--Minn @ UW, Mich @ MD

FRI--No games, football or something

SAT--Iowa @ Rutgers, Pur @ Illinois, MSU @ Neb

SUN--UW @ PSU, NW @ Mich, OSU @ Minn