Sunday, January 18, 2009

Indiana picked the wrong year to be bad in the B10

Let me make an obvious point - Indiana's ability to win a game is based on two factors - #1. How good Indiana is, and #2. How good the opponent is. Clearly, we know the answer to #1 -- Indiana is the worst B10 team in recent memory. But let's look at #2.

Fortunately, Indiana fans usually don't have to concern ourselves with how good the bad teams in the B10 are. Whether they are kinda bad, pretty bad, or super bad, it usually just means a "W" for Indiana. This year it matters a lot. So how bad are the bad teams? Let's use Pomeroy's ratings of the bottom 4 teams in the B10 for the past six seasons (including this one):

63. Michigan
68. Iowa
77. Penn State
244. Indiana

108. Penn State
112. Michigan
116. Iowa
158. Northwestern

64. Iowa
112. Northwestern
119. Penn State
140. Minnesota

79. Minnesota
117. Penn State
123. Northwestern
159. Purdue

98. Purdue
107. Northwestern
109. Michigan
180. Penn State

94. Northwestern
109. Minnesota
117. Ohio State
210. Penn State

Two things jump out - first, sadly, Indiana is really, really bad. We know this, but the ratings knock that point out of the park. This isn't just a bad year by Indiana standards, this is a bad year by any standard. No team in 6 B10 seasons (as far back as Pomeroy goes) has been as bad as Indiana this season, and most seasons no team even comes close.

The other thing that jumps out is that the bad teams in the B10 (Indiana notwithstanding) are clearly better this season than any season in the last 6. Heck, Michigan is on the list of the 4 worst B10 teams and they are ranked in the Top 25!

Bottom line: Unlike most years, for Indiana to avoid going winless we're going to have to beat a pretty good team.

1 comment:

The Grands said...

My all time "mental toughness" team would be: Isiah @ point; alford @ s.g.; calbert @ s.f.; alan henderson @ p.f. and darryl thomas @ center. As I commented earlier, I didn't expect any of this years starting five to be starting next year (at least by February of 2010). Now that I have watched IU play several times, I think a few of them might prove me wrong. I am most surprised by the stats Tom Pritchard is producing...he looks like the atypical slow white guy but seems to be competing very well against the competition. I like the "length" of Verdell Jones...I agree with you that he has the potential of being a very good defender and I think he has excellent toughness. Finally, Nick Williams is becoming more agressive each game..I like the way he attacks the basket. At the start of the 2009/2010 season, these 3 will be giving the new recruits a run.