The newest version of the Sagarin ratings projects the following lines for MSU’s remaining games:
- @Northwestern: -2.5
- Ohio State: Even
- @Michigan: +7.0
- Wisconsin: +5.5
- Purdue: +14.5
- @Penn State: -13.0
Those numbers make 10-2 appear plausible. I’m not sure I buy the OSU/UM*/Wisconsin projections, though, so you can’t rule out 6-6, either. Personally, I’d be happy to split the difference and finish 8-4.
*At this point, I can’t imagine a more difficult team to project than Michigan: solid defense, highly suspect offense, and you can’t know with any certainty whether their struggle with fumbles is a fundamental problem or a random abberation.
MSU is ranked 26th in the Sagarin ratings, slightly below their #23/#19 rankings in the two major polls. In all three rankings, they show up as the 3rd best team in the Big Ten. But the middle of the Big Ten is pretty muddled at this point, with five teams from the conference (MSU/NW/Wisc/Ill/Minn) ranked between #26 and #36 in the Sagarin ratings.
P.S. Keep your eyes out for the next round of Blogpoll results compiled by MGoBlog to be released later this week. Reports indicate a giant leap for the college sports blogdom will take place, with the poll results to appear on CBSSports.com.
Update: Here it is. MSU is #20.