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With the season coming to an end whom do you think has the best shot at winning the conference crown?


Best Shot at winning the conference title is?  

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Looking at the remaining schedule, Iowa's road to 30 wins is by far the easiest path. Personally I have them going 12-3 at worst over their last 15. Nebraska, Indiana and Michigan all have to play one another over the same stretch so I ask, who you believe wins the title and why?

 

Edit: I chose Michigan... as I believe their path is less daunting than Nebraska's or Indiana's and Iowa, even if they go 12-3 still is only at 30 wins. I think Michigan reaches 32 wins.

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NU has 17 games left, including 5 against Rutgers and 3 against NW. Even though Rutgers looks like they could be sneaky tough, I would think NU should come out of those 8 games with a winning record,

I think the reason for optimism is the starting pitching should be much improved next year. Lose Hroch but get back Gomes which I think is an upgrade. Povich and Schanaman should both improve. Bullpen

Looking at the remaining schedule, Iowa's road to 30 wins is by far the easiest path. Personally I have them going 12-3 at worst over their last 15. Nebraska, Indiana and Michigan all have to play one

2 hours ago, Loebarth said:

Looking at the remaining schedule, Iowa's road to 30 wins is by far the easiest path. Personally I have them going 12-3 at worst over their last 15. Nebraska, Indiana and Michigan all have to play one another over the same stretch so I ask, who you believe wins the title and why?

 

Edit: I chose Michigan... as I believe their path is less daunting than Nebraska's or Indiana's and Iowa, even if they go 12-3 still is only at 30 wins. I think Michigan reaches 32 wins.

I went Nebraska. I think Iowa has a tall task being 3 down to Nebraska and losing tiebreakers to us and Michigan. Nebraska has Indiana and Michigan but all 3 against Michigan in Lincoln, and only 2 against Indiana in Bloomington. 

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NU has 17 games left, including 5 against Rutgers and 3 against NW. Even though Rutgers looks like they could be sneaky tough, I would think NU should come out of those 8 games with a winning record, say 5-3. That means they need to go 5-4 against UM, IU, and OSU to get to 30 wins. To me 30 wins seems attainable, and 31-32 wins is a realistic stretch goal. The biggest challenge is that NU has to do two 4 game away split series (RU/IU and IU/OSU) with decent opponents; those two series will either bury IU or allow them to pull even with NU. Those 8 games will make or break NU's conference title hopes IMO. If NU sweeps RU this weekend then I think the stretch goal becomes the focus with a conference title being squarely in focus. 

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1 hour ago, caveman99 said:

NU has 17 games left, including 5 against Rutgers and 3 against NW. Even though Rutgers looks like they could be sneaky tough, I would think NU should come out of those 8 games with a winning record, say 5-3. That means they need to go 5-4 against UM, IU, and OSU to get to 30 wins. To me 30 wins seems attainable, and 31-32 wins is a realistic stretch goal. The biggest challenge is that NU has to do two 4 game away split series (RU/IU and IU/OSU) with decent opponents; those two series will either bury IU or allow them to pull even with NU. Those 8 games will make or break NU's conference title hopes IMO. If NU sweeps RU this weekend then I think the stretch goal becomes the focus with a conference title being squarely in focus. 

Your post above lays out perfectly the reasons i selected Michigan. I think the only way Nebraska wins the title is to win every remaining series and in at least 1 of the 2 pods they need to go 3-1 (the other a split at 2-2). However, if they go 2-2 in both pods and lose the series to Michigan to end the season, which is highly possible, than Michigan would win the title. Like you, the 3 game deficit Iowa faces is the reason I didn't chose them. I think Michigan reaches 33 wins, Nebraska 32 wins, Indiana and Iowa 30 wins. Additionally, I think Nebraska comes into the final weekend needing to sweep to clinch. The final stretch of our schedule is incredibly difficult. We'll need our bats to support our arms to have a shot at winning the title. 

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47 minutes ago, Loebarth said:

Your post above lays out perfectly the reasons i selected Michigan. I think the only way Nebraska wins the title is to win every remaining series and in at least 1 of the 2 pods they need to go 3-1 (the other a split at 2-2). However, if they go 2-2 in both pods and lose the series to Michigan to end the season, which is highly possible, than Michigan would win the title. Like you, the 3 game deficit Iowa faces is the reason I didn't chose them. I think Michigan reaches 33 wins, Nebraska 32 wins, Indiana and Iowa 30 wins. Additionally, I think Nebraska comes into the final weekend needing to sweep to clinch. The final stretch of our schedule is incredibly difficult. We'll need our bats to support our arms to have a shot at winning the title. 

On the plus side, NU gets all three standard weekend series (RU, NW, UM) at Haymarket Park. I would like to think NU has a good shot to go 5-1 in the first two vs. RU and NW at home. If they do that and split both 4 game road trips, they will be at 29 wins going into the Michigan series who has to come into Lincoln in front of what should be a large pumped up crowd as restrictions continue to lift. UM only has 16 games left and 6 of those games are against both IU and Maryland, both top 5 in the league, prior to coming to Lincoln. I am thinking UM will go either 9-4 or maybe 10-3 before coming to Lincoln, which would put them at 28 or 29 wins and in a tie with where I see NU being going into the season ending series. If that happens, I will take my chances at home in front of a raucous crowd. 

 

The wildcard in all of this is Indiana. They are also just 1.5 games back of NU and get 4 games with NU and 3 games with UM in their stretch run. The issue with IU is that arguably they have the toughest schedule between NU, UM, and IU. IU has 3 games with Iowa, 4 games with NU, 3 games with UM, 2 games with OSU, and 3 games with Maryland; that is 15 games all against teams in the top 6 of the conference. Conversely both NU and UM have 9 games against top 6 opponents remaining.  

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I put Nebraska—with their hitting and fielding, they’ll always have a puncher’s chance against anyone. 
 

But my head tells me Indiana—they and Michigan have better pitching IMO, and when we play them head to head, I think it will expose some of the deficiencies we have on the mound. But again, our hitting and fielding will always give us a chance in any game against anyone. 
 

Well, maybe not *everyone*…the Royals are doing pretty damn good so far. 

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1 hour ago, VectorVictor said:

I put Nebraska—with their hitting and fielding, they’ll always have a puncher’s chance against anyone. 
 

But my head tells me Indiana—they and Michigan have better pitching IMO, and when we play them head to head, I think it will expose some of the deficiencies we have on the mound. But again, our hitting and fielding will always give us a chance in any game against anyone. 
 

Well, maybe not *everyone*…the Royals are doing pretty damn good so far. 

IU has good pieces, but they have played a much softer schedule than NU and UM so far. They haven’t played Iowa, NU, UM, or Maryland yet, it is hard to tell how good they really are. They have a gauntlet to run over their last 16-17 games, they have had 2 postponed games that they will have to make up to play an even number of games with NU and UM. They get Iowa this weekend, then a road trip to NJ for a 4 game series against NU and RU, then an away series against UM. They also have 2 games left with OSU, who swept a 4 game series against IU earlier this year. I think IU will have trouble keeping up with NU and UM down the stretch. 

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northwestern pausing baseball activities due to covid 19. Michigan games postponed (likely canceled) so Illinois and Michigan are playing a doubleheader both Saturday and Sunday thereby leaving Michigan 2 games short. Will they get to make them up?

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2 hours ago, Loebarth said:

northwestern pausing baseball activities due to covid 19. Michigan games postponed (likely canceled) so Illinois and Michigan are playing a doubleheader both Saturday and Sunday thereby leaving Michigan 2 games short. Will they get to make them up?

Good question, Indiana also has 2 to make up I believe. Perhaps B1G will go to winning % instead.

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I cheated by waiting until today, but the start of this last stretch of playing teams with a pulse hasn't started well.  I picked Michigan since NU has now relinquished first place after 2 L's at home this weekend.. I think this team is still a year away from a tourney run.

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2 hours ago, runningblind said:

I cheated by waiting until today, but the start of this last stretch of playing teams with a pulse hasn't started well.  I picked Michigan since NU has now relinquished first place after 2 L's at home this weekend.. I think this team is still a year away from a tourney run.

i am curious as to why you think they will make a tourney run next year?  they will lose several key players (graduation/late round MLB draft picks of juniors).  i was thinking this year with the veterans and the influx of new talent (Anderson and Matthews) if they panned out would be their opportunity to make a run. 

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2 hours ago, Pasadena Husker said:

i am curious as to why you think they will make a tourney run next year?  they will lose several key players (graduation/late round MLB draft picks of juniors).  i was thinking this year with the veterans and the influx of new talent (Anderson and Matthews) if they panned out would be their opportunity to make a run. 

Time in system, the hope a few stay, and development of pitching.  The latter being number one.  Maybe I should have said at least a year.

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On 5/2/2021 at 2:45 PM, Pasadena Husker said:

i am curious as to why you think they will make a tourney run next year?  they will lose several key players (graduation/late round MLB draft picks of juniors).  i was thinking this year with the veterans and the influx of new talent (Anderson and Matthews) if they panned out would be their opportunity to make a run. 

I think the reason for optimism is the starting pitching should be much improved next year. Lose Hroch but get back Gomes which I think is an upgrade. Povich and Schanaman should both improve. Bullpen should also be improved overall despite losing Schwelly (who will be a big loss out of the bullpen). 

 

Replacing Hallmark and Acker will be tough. I think Banhoff, Chick, Foster are likely starting OF next year. Steil should continue to improve and take Roskam's spot at 1b full time. Likely see Cervantes full time at SS which will be a downgrade offensively but hopefully 2nd year at this level will help him figure some things out. 

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7 hours ago, bugeater17 said:

I think the reason for optimism is the starting pitching should be much improved next year. Lose Hroch but get back Gomes which I think is an upgrade. Povich and Schanaman should both improve. Bullpen should also be improved overall despite losing Schwelly (who will be a big loss out of the bullpen). 

 

Replacing Hallmark and Acker will be tough. I think Banhoff, Chick, Foster are likely starting OF next year. Steil should continue to improve and take Roskam's spot at 1b full time. Likely see Cervantes full time at SS which will be a downgrade offensively but hopefully 2nd year at this level will help him figure some things out. 

Don’t forget a strong recruiting class coming in, including Drew Christo. Bolt has done well on the trail and baseball is a sport where young bucks can make a difference quickly.

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9 hours ago, caveman99 said:

Don’t forget a strong recruiting class coming in, including Drew Christo. Bolt has done well on the trail and baseball is a sport where young bucks can make a difference quickly.

With his professional potential, I doubt if Christo ever reaches the campus.............

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