Home > Bracketology, Conference News, Current Updates, S-Curve > Bracket Bits: Could the Big 10 reach double-digit bids?

Bracket Bits: Could the Big 10 reach double-digit bids?

Dave2015Could the Big Ten reach double-digits bids in 2020?

It’s a fair question given that 11 teams currently rank in the Top 50 of the NET ratings and 12 teams sit within the Top 60.

Why do those stats matter?  It’s simple math – even for non-analytical equation minds like mine.  With the exception of Northwestern and Nebraska (at least for now), nearly every league game provides an opportunity to add a beneficial NET victory to one’s Team Sheet.  High ratings also tend to minimize the impact of losses – margins not included – provided those losses remain within acceptable limits (more on that below). 

In other words, come Selection Sunday, it’s possible (if not likely) that upwards of a dozen Big Ten teams will have a variety of Quad 1 victories to present the Selection Committee.  Those types of resume marks will – if nothing else – put said teams on the at-large discussion board.

The caveat, of course, is that losses will mount, too.  And historically, the most losses for an at-large selection is 15 (Editor’s correction: this post originally listed 14 but was incorrect. Vanderbilt in 2017 and Alabama in 2018 both had 15 losses.  My apologies).  Many of the same teams presenting multiple Quad 1 wins will bring double-digit losses to the table.  How many losses is too many?  That’s a question we can’t yet answer.  We also can’t yet determine how win-loss ratios within the league will play out.
Quick look back: Last year’s Indiana team finished 8-12 in league play and 19-16 overall with six (6) Quad 1 wins and nine (9) Quad 1/2 wins (per Warran Nolan).  They were also 3-9 in road games.  Ultimately, the Hoosiers missed of the Field despite their collection of victories.  Keep that in mind.  Performance versus opportunity is important.  Given enough chances, especially at home, most teams will find a way to win a few high-level games.  That alone is not enough for inclusion.

Outlook: Put to a decision this morning, the Big Ten falls short of the double-digit mark, sending eight or nine teams to the NCAA tournament.  There are simply too many variables – including upsets during Championship Week – to feel confident that 10 teams will ultimately make the Field of 68.

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