Iowa v. Northwestern

With Michigan idle during the bowl season, I’ll take a little closer of a look at the rest of the Big Ten. Let’s start today with Iowa v. Northwestern.

Lake the Posts, poster-blog for “hey give us respect, guys!” posting, has yet another issue with not getting what the Cats “deserve.” 8-4 Iowa has been selected to the Outback Bowl over the 9-3 Wildcats, who also hold a head-to-head victory on the season. Well, for once there may be a legitimate gripe here. Let’s take a look at the resumes:

Team #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12
Iowa 24-23 PSU 55-0 Minn 38-16 Wisc FIU 42-0 IU 45-9 Purdue 22-17 IaSt 17-5 Maine 46-3 21-20 Pitt 16-13 MSU 22-17 NU 27-24 Ill
Northwestern Minn 24-17 Iowa 22-17 Ill 27-10 Duke 24-20 Purdue 48-26 Mich 21-14 Ohio 16-8 Syr 30-10 SIU 33-7 45-10 OSU 37-20 MSU 21-19 IU

Neither resume is particularly impressive, and they’re fairly hard to differentiate at this point (aside form the head-to-head win). Let’s break it down further.

Resume Breakdown
Common Opponents Non-conference Other
Game Minn Purdue IU Ill MSU #1 #2 #3 #4 #1 #2
Iowa 55-0 22-17 45-9 27-24 16-13 42-0 FIU 17-5 IaSt 46-3 Maine 21-20 Pitt 24-23 PSU 38-16 Wisc
Northwestern 24-17 48-26 21-19 27-10 37-20 24-20 Duke 30-10 Syr 16-8 Ohio 33-7 SIU 21-14 Mich 45-10 OSU
Edge Iowa NU Iowa NU Iowa NU Push Iowa NU Iowa Iowa

Northwestern gets the non-conference nod, though it’s slightly skewed because they didn’t lose a non-conference game, whereas Iowa lost to the only legit opponent either team played. Northwestern’s crappy non-con schedule gets a bump of one spot at each position. If you were to sort just by quality of opposition, ignoring win/loss record, Iowa’s slate would take Northwestern’s behind the woodshed.

Overall, the resumes are very similar, but Iowa’s seems to be better on the whole, despite the head-to-head loss and the slightly worse record. The common opponents occupy a high slot on Northwestern’s resume, and their wins were eith
er comparable or not as impressive. In loss, Iowa was competitive in every game they played (and let’s not even get into how they should have beaten both Michigan State and Pitt), whereas Northwestern was either getting blown out by good teams, or losing to Indiana, of all teams.

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2 Comments so far

  1. UofMSnowboarder says...

    While beating Ohio by 8 isn’t THAT impressive, is curb stomping a D1-AA that came in 5th in it’s conference so much better than an Ohio team that’s kept it fairly close with OSU two years running?

  2. Tim says...

    Maine actually finished 4 spots AHEAD of Ohio in the final Sagarin ratings. So yeah, I’d say it’s a ton better than beating Ohio by 8.

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