All of the probabilities are from Ken Pomeroy's site:
So, the Big 12 conference season is next on the platter for Iowa State, and everybody (myself included) wants to know how this team will do, and what they'd have to do to make some kind of postseason. In times like this, I go one of two routes: gut feel it or go to Ken Pomeroy. For today, I'm choosing the latter.
Below is the descending probability of victory for each game:
90%: Oklahoma onJanuary 29th
86%: Texas Tech on January 26th
77%: Colorado on March 2nd
60%: Nebraska on February 26th
56%: Kansas State on February 5th
51%: Baylor 68-67 on January 15th
48%: @Colorado on February 5th
46%: Missouri on February 19th
39%: @Oklahoma State on January 19th
29%: @Nebraska on January 8th
26%: @Kansas State on March 5th
25%: @Texas A&M on February 16th
20%: @Texas on February 22nd
19%: @Missouri on January 22nd
19%: Kansas on January 12th
6%: @Kansas on February 12th
In addition, Pomeroy has Iowa State winning 7 conference games, so even though we're currently projected to win 6 games individually, he has us winning 7 based on the cumulative probabilities. In other words, the model expects Iowa State to win a game in which they are currently not favored.
Some Thoughts About The Probabilities
First, it is not suprising that the team has a realistic chance of winning almost every home game, but has a good chance of losing every road game.
Next, I think it is very interesting that the game at Nebraska is going to be one of our harder games this year. It is a very important game for Iowa State, as they are playing a team of equal caliber as them on the road. But I do not buy Nebraska being this big of a favorite. They should be favored going into this, but something like 55-45 or 60-40 would make more sense to me.
Also I LOVE the idea of Baylor being a winnable game. As you may know, Baylor has never won a game at Hilton Coliseum, and I'd love to see that streak continue.
Lastly, a lot of the tougher games are right out the gate. We could easily be 0-5 to start the season, but it is my hope we can start 2-3.
But rule of thumb at this point in the season about the future: if it's a home game and NOT against Kansas, we've got a chance. If it is on the road and NOT at Colorado, chances are much more slim.
Thoughts About Postseason?
As it sits right now, Pomeroy has 5 Big 12 teams above .500, 2 teams at .500, and 2 teams just below .500. Since we played nobody in the non-conference, I have to think that in order to hope for any kind of postseason, they would have to go 8-8 in conference play. This would mean winning all of the games we'd be favored in (4) and 4 toss-up games. At least that is what my gut feel tells me. I do think if they went 7-9 or 6-10, there would be a chance, but it would be dependent on who they beat, and how they fared in the Big 12 tournament.
Everybody I see out there on messageboards seems to think they'd just need to hit 18 wins (5 conference wins) in order to make it, but I just feel like that's too low, given our non-conference SOS is in the 300 range.
Later this week, I am going to project Iowa State's RPI based on Pomeroy, and perhaps do another based on Sagarin to try to come up with a range as to how Iowa State would have to go if they had any hopes of playing in the postseason. Obviously that is dependent that every projection for all teams will be accurate, which it will not be, but once I get it setup to calculate, it will be easy to update based on actual results of other teams. The chances are not high to make the postseason, but it would be nice to come with a number that one could say "you need to hit x number of wins in order to make it".