Four Big Ten teams are still undefeated as we head toward the second Saturday in October:
- No. 2 Ohio State (4-0, 1-0 Big Ten)
- No. 4 Michigan (5-0, 2-0)
- No. 12 Nebraska (5-0, 2-0)
- Unranked Maryland (4-0, 1-0)
What are the teams’ chances of staying unbeaten? Where could each first slip up? ESPN’s Football Power Index offers a look.
First, Ohio State is favored to win each of its eight remaining regular season games, with at least an 89-percent likelihood to win in all but two of them: Wisconsin at 75 percent and then Michigan at 66.3 percent. Add it all up, and ESPN’s FPI says the Buckeyes have a 26.9-percent chance of winning out. That’s actually the third-best percentage for any team after Louisville (50.3) and Western Michigan (49.3).
Farther north, the Wolverines are favored to win every game up until that Nov. 26 season finale at Ohio State. FPI sees Michigan having a 16.5-percent chance of winning out, the Ohio State game the primary reason for the low number.
Nebraska’s chances of an undefeated season, however, are nowhere near those the other two ranked and unbeaten Big Ten teams according to FPI. The Huskers are seen as heavy underdogs against both Wisconsin (37.5-percent chance to win) and Ohio State (10.5). They don’t play Michigan this season.
FPI’s odds of Nebraska going 12-0? Only 0.1 percent, the same as teams such as Arizona, New Mexico and Temple.
But those are still better than Maryland’s. The Terrapins are 4-0 but FPI considers them underdogs this Saturday at Penn State (only a 43.4-percent chance of winning for Maryland) — and that is a far better shot than FPI gives the Terps against Michigan, Ohio State and Nebraska. That puts Maryland at a 0-percent chance at a 12-0 record, according to FPI.
However, you can’t get to 12-0 without first getting to 4-0 — and Maryland has already accomplished that.