Handicapping the Big Ten title chase

Indiana (12-3)

Remaining schedule: Iowa, Ohio State, at Michigan

The Hoosiers, according to Pomeroy, have had the 2nd easiest conference schedule behind Michigan. It was rated 12th of 12 before their road trip to Minnesota. Now they have a difficult finish ahead of them, while both of the two teams who are one game back get to play one of the Nebraska/Northwestern/Penn State bottom feeders.

Their odds of winning each of the three remaining games are projected as 91% (Iowa), 82% (Ohio State), and 58% (at Michigan). So while they may be favored in all three games, they have a 43% chance of actually winning all three.

Wisconsin (11-4)

Remaining schedule: Purdue, at Michigan State, at Penn State.

The road trip against the Spartans is obviously huge, as the Badgers will be heavy favorites in the other two. Last year Wisconsin finished a game behind the regular season leaders (a 3-team pile up with Ohio State, Michigan State and Michigan).

I think Pomeroy has Wisconsin overrated in his model, but regardless the odds for the remaining games are 93% (Purdue), 46% (at Michigan State) and 91% (at Penn State). This gives them a 39% for the sweep (which seems a bit high), but the key is that Spartans game. Win that, and they have the tie breaker over the Hoosiers.

Michigan State (11-4)

Remaining schedule: at Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern

The Spartans have the toughest remaining schedule of the contenders and have also already played the No. 3 toughest schedule in the conference. Thanks, unbalanced schedules!  They haven't done themselves any favors by dropping two straight, but those games were Indiana and at Ohio State. True round robin schedules are a thing of the past in most conferences, and that's a shame for the Big Ten regular season race.

Their odds for the remaining games are currently 34% (at Michigan), 54% (Wisconsin), and 95% (Northwestern). This gives them a 17% chance for the sweep, and even then Indiana would still hold the tie breaker.