Big Ten: Five-Year Ranking

    
October 22nd, 2008

 

BIG TEN FIVE-YEAR STANDINGS

 

This ranking tries to answer a simple question: Who has been the best team in the Big Ten over the last five years?

 

A heavy emphasis is put on league play & NCAA Tournament success. NIT wins are meaningless here, as are non-conference wins.  Also, league tournaments wins are not taken into account. An original trial-scoring system included points for conference tourney wins. But then I realized the flukish nature of those tourney's did more harm than hurt: ie, 2008 Georgia, 2006 Syracuse, and 2004 Maryland ended up getting too much credit despite the reality that they were mediocre to sub-par teams. As it is, I feel satisfied this simple system does a good job of ranking the teams recent performance.

 

100 total points is set up to be the equivalent of batting .300 in baseball.. anything above and beyond is all-world stuff. 50 points is mediocre and you only start to get bad below 40 points. Not surprisingly, Penn State and Northwestern, both under 30 points are about as bad as it gets for a BCS team. Unlike the previous rankings done for the ACC or Big 12, note that no team here breaks the 100 point mark. A sign perhaps of the league's parity.

 

The postseason scoring system is listed below, along with some related notes & thoughts. Check back next for the Pac-10 ranking..

 

 

                     
Pos. Team 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Wins Gms. Points  
                     
1 Wisconsin 12 11 9 13 16 61 82 74 Win %
    2nd Round Elite 8 1st Round 2nd Round Sweet 16     24 Post Pts.
              98  
                     
2 Michigan St 12 13 8 8 12 53 82 65 Win %
    1st Round Final Four 1st Round 2nd Round Sweet 16     24 Post Pts.
                  89  
                     
3 Illinois 13 15 11 9 5 53 82 65 Win %
    Sweet 16 Finals 2nd Round 1st Round X     23 Post Pts.
                  88  
                     
4 Ohio State 6 8 12 15 10 51 82 62 Win %
    X X 2nd Round Finals NIT     16 Post Pts.
                  78  
                     
5 Indiana 7 10 9 10 14 50 82 61 Win %
    X NIT 2nd Round 2nd Round 1st Round     11 Post Pts.
                  72  
                     
6 Iowa 9 7 11 9 6 42 82 51 Win %
    NIT 1st Round 1st Round X X     5 Post Pts.
                  56  
                     
6 Purdue 7 3 3 9 15 37 82 45 Win %
    NIT X X 2nd Round 2nd Round     9 Post Pts.
                  54  
                     
8 Michigan 8 4 8 8 5 33 82 40 Win %
    NIT X NIT NIT X     3 Post Pts.
                  43  
                     
9 Minnesota 3 10 5 3 8 29 82 35 Win %
    X 1st Round NIT X NIT     4 Post Pts.
                  39  
                     
10 N'Western 8 6 6 2 1 23 82 28 Win %
    X X X X X     0 Post Pts.
              28  
                     
11 Penn State 3 1 6 2 7 19 82 23 Win %
    X X NIT X X     1 Post Pts.
                24  
                     

 

-Ties are broken by favoring conference winning %

 

Thoughts

- Wisconsin has easily been the most consistent Big Ten team, winning 74% of league games, almost 10% higher than the next team.

- Looking at the league wins, you can get a good sense of what directions programs are going in. Illinois is spiraling downwards, while Ohio State is trending up.

- Five Big Ten teams haven't won an NCAA Tourney game in the past 5 years, while Northwestern hasn't even made the postseason. In the ACC, only 2 of the 12 teams haven't won a tourney game (Clemson & FSU).

- The Big Ten has a more concrete upper and lower table than most leagues. But yet in the upper table, the usual winners are very close to each other. As compred to the ACC & Big 12, who are dominated by 2 teams each (UNC/Duke & Texas/Kansas).

 

Postseason Points

NIT = 1

NCAA 1st Round = 2

NCAA 2nd Round = 4

Sweet = 6

Elite 8 = 8

Final Four = 10

Final = 11*

Champs = 12*

 

* I've stopped giving 2 points per win in the final games, to prevent one year wonder teams from getting too much of a boost (ie, Georgia Tech or Ohio State in the Big Ten). Also, CBI bids receive no credit.