Illinois football reaction: Illini, surprisingly, not worst team in Big 10 history

Bradley Leeb-US PRESSWIRE

The Fighting Illini are not the worst historically, yet.

The Illinois Fighting Illini are 0-4 in a very weak Big Ten and 2-6 overall, and lost 31-17 last Saturday to an Indiana team that was previously winless in the conference. Illinois' performance thus far in the 2012 season led a fan to ask Illini blog The Champaign Room whether this is "the worst Big Ten team ever?"

Brian Cook at MGOBlog came through with the nerd work to spare Illinois partisans the pain of doing that research. It turns out that the 2012 Illinois squad still has lots of bad losing to do to "achieve" the dubious distinction of worst team in Big Ten history. Cook took all the winless teams in conference history and applied "scoring ratio" to their records – that's just a fancy term for taking the points a team scored and dividing them by the points the team both scored and allowed.

If Illinois remains winless in conference and finishes with a scoring ratio of 21 percent or above, it will join 1997 and 2005 Illinois as bad, but not the very worst. Finishing with a scoring ratio below 21 percent would put 2012 Illinois in company with 1981's Northwestern squad, which scored 75 points in nine conference games and allowed 425 to opponents.

The worst team in Big Ten history, by Cook's method? Michigan, 1934, which finished its year with a scoring ratio below 8.7 percent.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Chicago

You must be a member of SB Nation Chicago to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Chicago. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Chicago

You must be a member of SB Nation Chicago to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Chicago. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.