Last week, inspired by one of the Big 12 Roundup questions, I took a shot at predicting how the Big 12 North will shake out. I figured teams needed 5 wins to win the division and calculated how likely each team was to get there based on my estimates of their chances to win each remaining game. Since I used probabilities for each remaining game, it's pretty easy to plug in each week's results and update the totals, and I didn't feel like letting all that effort go to waste. At any rate here's this week's set of guesses on who wins this thing.
20% = 50%(KU) * 50%(MU) * 80%(somebody besides OU beats NU and MU loses one)
tossups vs. KU and MU, underdog at NU, need NU and MU under 5 wins
Yep, they're for real. They didn't get the win, but they played Oklahoma tougher than anybody from the North has played any of the top South teams. I'm not increasing their chances in any remaining games just yet though, 'cause everybody from here on out will have their backs to the wall and be motivated to play hard.
20% = 50%(KU) * 50%(CU) * 80%(they beat KSU)
lose to OU, tossups at KU & CU, favorite over KSU, need ISU under 5 wins or KSU with 5 wins
Got the win, but in an unimpressive fashion. Allowing Baylor 10 unanswered points in the 3rd quarter (and the whole 2nd half) to get back in the game is not the way to hold on to a victory.
13% = 50%(KSU) * 50%(KU) * 67%(ISU) * 80%(somebody besides OU beats NU)
beat Baylor, tossups vs. KSU, KU, favorite over ISU, need NU under 5 wins
1 win down, 4 to go. They looked like they had their mojo back in the first half against Colorado, but went to sleep in the second half. If Colorado's offense had been even marginally effective in the first half this might have been a challenge. I certainly don't like the Tigers any less at this point, and while I'm not sure I like them any more just yet, I'm definitely coming around.
0% = chance of beating TU
lose to Texas, tossups vs. KSU, NU, MU
The loss to Texas Tech pretty much takes them out of contention for 5 conference wins, unless they get the upset of the year against Texas. They do still look good on tiebrakers at 4-4 and if they get the wins they need against Nebraska and Missouri they'll be able to keep both of them to 4-4 also, but first they need a win in Manhattan next week and that still won't be enough to gaurantee K-State stays under 5 wins.
0% = chance of beating OSU
beat CU, lose to OSU, underdog at MU
Needed to win at A&M to have a credible chance of 5 conference wins and 2 division losses hurt them in 4-4 tiebreakers. They'll probably get bowl elegible with a win against Colorado, but I think they're out of the hunt for the North.
0% = chance of CU winning two road games
lose road games, who knows at home?
Can't win on the road, but could upset Nebraska at home.
That leaves the chance that 4-4 wins this thing at 47%. That's a step up from last week's 35%, but it's mostly the result of Iowa State and Kansas pretty much ending their chances of 5 wins, and that Kansas State and Nebraska were playing games whose outcomes weren't seriously in doubt. I also didn't adjust the chances of winning any of the remaining games, not because I'm inherently loathe to do so, but because nobody really convinced me they were substantially better or worse than I thought they were going in.
I will take a small sip of the purple Kool-Aid and say that I now favor K-State over Nebraska. I haven't seen any evidince so far that any other North team can give one of the top south programs as good of a run for their money as Kansas State did to Oklahoma.
One thing I did notice this weekend was turnovers. Just about every team seemed to give up 2 or 3 of them and give up some serious points off turnovers, except in the Kansas State-Oklahoma game. The only turnover in that game was when Oklahoma intercepted a desperation pass with less than a minute left. If the Wildcats can keep that up and nobody else gets their act together they'll be a monster team down the stretch.