Nebraska Football: Odds and Expected Season Record

Not relative to the story - but everything looks better with photos!

This article was actually written by Steve R, a member of Mike Nolan's Husker email list. Nolan's email list celebrated its 20th birthday this month, making it the longest running Husker-based internet communication medium - the fact that it's still active is pretty amazing and a testament to Mike Nolan's work. 

The idea is determining Nebraska's odds of winning the remaining games on the schedule, which therefore leads to the expected season record. 

Bottom line - we'd better play damned good football the rest of the way out. 

Here's how Massey's odds have changed since I first looked at them before the Wisconsin game:

5 0.78 0.5 0.59 0.96 0.8 0.95 0.8 0.24
6 0.73 0.37 0.6 0.93 0.67 0.96 0.78  
7 0.83 0.31 0.49 0.93 0.67 0.97  


The odds of winning @Michigan have fallen dramatically, from 50% to less than 1/3. The odds of beating Michigan State have fallen from 4/5 to 2/3. The game at @Penn State has fallen from nearly 3/5 to less than 1/2. The odds of beating Iowa went down then up. The odds on Minnesota and Northwestern have remained about the same.

In the two games played in that time, Nebraska did not go undefeated (about 19% chance), avoided losing both (about 16% chance), and split (about 65% chance).

Here are the odds on records in the final 6 games:

0-6:  0.00%

1-5:  0.22%

2-4:  3.44%

3-3: 18.69%

4-2: 39.01%

5-1: 31.02%

6-0:  7.62%

For those worried about bowl eligibility, the odds appear to be better than 99.99%.  The expected record in the final 6 games is 4.2-1.8, for an overall record of 9.2-2.8.

As a point of comparison, Nebraska's expected conference record is 5.2-2.8, Michigan's expected conference record is 6.4-1.6, and Michigan State's is 5.33-2.67.  

Nebraska definitely is not the favorite to win the division, but one of those two teams will lose next week while Nebraska is idle.  Then, Nebraska likely gets a win at Minnesota while Michigan State likely gets beat by Wisconsin (80%, even at home) while Michigan has a bye week. Michigan doesn't have to play Wisconsin and Nebraska get's Michigan State at home, so I'll be rooting for MSU against Michigan next week.

Retrospectively, before Wisconsin:

0-8:  0.00%

1-7:  0.02%

2-6:  0.32%

3-5:  2.77%

4-4: 12.29%

5-3: 28.72%

6-2: 34.17%

7-1: 18.50%

8-0:  3.22%

Expected: 5.62-2.38 (9.62-2.38)

and before Ohio State:

0-7:  0.00%

1-6:  0.07%

2-5:  1.03%

3-4:  6.76%

4-3: 21.69%

5-2: 35.43%

6-1: 27.45%

7-0:  7.56%

Expected: 5.04-1.96 (9.04-2.96)

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