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Minnesota Football Game Predictions: Purdue Boilermakers

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It's October 17th and the Minnesota Golden Gophers are undefeated in the Big Ten. Predictions for the upcoming battle against the Boilermakers, and a declaration we will not write about what we're all thinking.

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Mark Kolbe

Just another Friday of football prognostication and beer recs. I'll make every attempt to ensure this is a #TAKES free zone, though Chaos Theory applies in the comment section.

Models

The ranks, with a new king for the week.

Rank Team BayesianProb Delta Strict Model Rank Model Diff.
1 Mississippi .957 1 7 6
2 Baylor .953 -1 1 -1
3 Mississippi State .931 2 5 2
4 TCU .926 0 13 9
5 Oklahoma .900 1 8 3
6 Auburn .892 -3 2 -4
7 Texas A&M .887 0 9 2
8 Georgia .883 5 12 4
9 Alabama .881 -1 24 15
10 Stanford .871 4 10 0
11 Ohio State .867 -1 17 6
12 Michigan State .863 -1 15 3
13 Oregon .852 8 3 -10
14 Arkansas .851 2 34 20
15 Kansas State .842 3 41 26
16 LSU .840 7 4 -12
17 Florida State .833 3 6 -11
18 Notre Dame .823 -9 11 -7
19 Nebraska .817 3 31 12
20 Louisville .813 -5 20 0
21 Utah .812 3 30 9
22 Arizona .812 -5 21 -1
23 Clemson .808 4 25 2
24 Marshall .802 6 44 20
25 USC .796 8 14 -11
41 Minnesota .722 5 38 -3
73 Purdue .589 -3 81 8

Models and Bottles Refreshers!

Oh Bert, Arkansas might be the most hilarious team in the Top 25 since there's a fair chance you go winless in the SEC. Your ability to wreck two programs with one move is truly awe inspiring. Good to see the Thundering Herd enter the fray, though caveats galore because they play one of the weakest schedules ever.

Purdue? You may have heard they're not terrible this season. The rumors are true: they have evolved from a decomposing husk to a decidedly average team.

Flex Model Strict Model
Gopher Win Probability 64.6% 70.9%
Predicted Margin of Victory 5.95 8.91
Current Vegas Spread -14
Current Vegas Over/Under 48.5

I had no idea what Vegas was thinking when the line went on the board. Some of that "almost pulled a huge upset but failed and now have nothing left in the tank to prevent a steamrolling on the road" mojo? I think that's one of those ATS scenarios Dr. Bob uses.

It's not just Vegas though. Both of Bill Connelly's F/+ projection methods favor Minnesota by at least 17, with the new method spotting a margin of 26! I wish I held that same level of irrational confidence.

Purdue is undoubtedly playing better this season. Avoiding a total whitewash in Indy against Notre Dame, staying within two scores of Iowa and nearly clipping the Spartans are good signs, all things considered. Oh, and beating Illinois by 11. That was funny. So the Trains have some fight and will stay competitive, though they're not expected to win.

Gopher B1G Win Simulations
Flex M&B F/+ Strict M&B
Mean B1G Wins 5.05 5.72 5.24
Frequency of 3+ B1G Wins 99.0% 100% 99.3%
Freq. of 5+ B1G Wins 68.3% 89.2% 74.1%
Freq. of 6+ B1G Wins 35.0% 59.9% 41.7%
Freq. of 7+ B1G Wins 10.3% 21.7% 13.8%

F/+ is completely hammered. M&B managed to sneak into dad's liquor cabinet, take a few sips and is starting to feel a little funny. The flex model views Iowa with beer goggles, which explains much of the discrepancies between flex, strict and F/+; I'm guessing the hangover from one too many shots of the Indiana defense will be severe for the Hawkeyes.

Don't have performance against the spread, but M&B's flex model picks correctly tabbed 31 of 46 straight up winners last week, or 67.4%. By comparison, Brian Fremeau's FEI projections went 56.0% for the week. I'm quite pleased by this.

Visit Team Home Team Home Winning % Expected Margin
New Mexico Air Force 58.6% 3.48
Texas A&M Alabama 48.5% -0.61
Stanford Arizona St. 25% -10.97
Georgia Arkansas 42.9% -2.86
Nevada BYU 63.6% 5.6
Fresno St. Boise St. 72.3% 9.57
Clemson Boston College 34.6% -6.36
Western Mich. Bowling Green 52.4% 0.98
UCLA California 37.8% -4.97
Ball St. Central Mich. 74.4% 10.68
Utah St. Colorado St. 58.4% 3.41
Virginia Duke 44.7% -2.12
Marshall FIU 24.1% -11.5
Western Ky. Fla. Atlantic 34.5% -6.39
Missouri Florida 66.9% 7.05
Notre Dame Florida St. 51.7% 0.7
Temple Houston 46.6% -1.38
New Mexico St. Idaho 36.1% -5.7
Michigan St. Indiana 17% -15.86
Army Kent St. 35.9% -5.78
Kentucky LSU 59.3% 3.75
UTSA Louisiana Tech 62.8% 5.22
North Carolina St. Louisville 87.8% 19.78
Iowa Maryland 51% 0.39
Eastern Mich. Massachusetts 64.2% 5.84
UAB Middle Tenn. 24.8% -11.07
Purdue Minnesota 64.5% 5.95
Georgia Tech North Carolina 36.8% -5.41
Southern Miss. North Texas 63.7% 5.61
Miami (OH) Northern Ill. 68% 7.54
Nebraska Northwestern 26.5% -10.18
Akron Ohio 21.4% -13.03
Rutgers Ohio St. 77.2% 12.18
Kansas St. Oklahoma 62.9% 5.29
Tennessee Ole Miss 85.9% 18.1
Washington Oregon 64% 5.73
Utah Oregon St. 28.1% -9.41
Virginia Tech Pittsburgh 37.5% -5.12
Cincinnati SMU 31.5% -7.75
Hawaii San Diego St. 56.1% 2.44
Georgia St. South Ala. 92.7% 25.44
Colorado Southern California 78.3% 12.86
Oklahoma St. TCU 80.8% 14.36
Iowa St. Texas 68.2% 7.63
La.-Lafayette Texas St. 71.2% 9.07
Kansas Texas Tech 51.9% 0.75
Appalachian St. Troy 71.7% 9.32
South Fla. Tulsa 50.4% 0.15
Tulane UCF 82.4% 15.41
Syracuse Wake Forest 31.8% -7.62
Baylor West Virginia 12.7% -19.3
San Jose St. Wyoming 29.7% -8.6

Bottles

We survived the great Stats Blog War of 2014 and advance to a portion of the schedule known as the diffusion of fear. Purdue isn't bad but Illinois is, so all the Gophers have to do is avoid doing the thing every previous coach in a similar position to Kill managed to do. I don't know why this time feels different, but I'm rolling with it, partly because the belief train is a hell of a lot more enjoyable than the bowel obstruction of impending doom.

I won't mutter the words out loud, because I'm a Gopher fan and I've been down this road far too often. I'll let Bill C and other national scribes write the phrases I can not, since I really need the moment. Just win this next game, and then I'll worry about the implications later. For now, it's October 17th and Minnesota is undefeated in the Big Ten. They are a win away from securing access to something stupid like a December vacation to Detroit or Dallas, which each incremental victory thereafter pushing them up the bowl queue.

But I'd be remiss to point out something is happening here. Jerry Kill is 6-2 in his last 8 Big Ten games, and is 13-6 since the start of 2013. He has beaten Nebraska, Penn State and Michigan in that span. The only teams he hasn't defeated in four years are Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan State; he'll get a crack at the Buckeyes and Badgers this season. Rather than an irregular path, his program's ascendancy is following an exactly linear trajectory of progress. People in the state are starting to care: there are only 300 or so tickets available on StubHub for tomorrow, and at $50+ to boot. Fifty bucks a ticket, for 3-4 Purdue. There's a glitch in the Matrix.

So, while I'm not ready to write the thing I'm privately thinking, I love where our new alpha Gopher is taking us. That's why this week's bottle selection should surprise no one: 3 Floyds Alpha King.