In Pursuit of Perfection

I've had a lot of people ask me over the past few weeks, "What are the chances that Texas goes 16-0." So I set out to see exactly what that probability was, as best figured by pure statistics.

So just how likely is it that the Longhorns go undefeated in Big 12 play? Statistically speaking, it's less than a 50-50 shot. Using Ken Pomeroy's victory probabilities, which are forged entirely on a team's performance statistics, the Longhorns are more likely to pick up a loss in their last five games than they are to emerge unscathed.

Here's a look at the percentages, according to KenPom, as updated prior to the Oklahoma State game.

At Nebraska — 77 percent

Iowa State — 96 percent

At Colorado — 80 percent

Kansas State — 90 percent

At Baylor — 78 percent

Chance to win all five contests — 41.5 percent*

Sound low? Well, strictly statistically speaking, it's just about right. Consider that if Team A was given 75 percent probability to win each of four games, it's a statistical likelihood, then, that Team A will drop one of those four games.

That's not to say that Texas is considered a statistical long-shot. Anyone who watches college basketball knows that, for all the upsets, the favored team is often the one that wins out, and the Longhorns should be heavy favorites in each of their remaining games.

Beyond that, there's the subject of momentum, which isn't typically covered in statistical analysis.

The Longhorns are hot right now, riding an 11-game winning streak, and that should be factored in as well. They're less likely to lose the above games than if they were coming in off say a 4-2 span over their last six.

Nevertheless, that's a quick look at how likely the Longhorns are to run the table, from a purely statistical standpoint.

* Note, KenPom's likelihood of an undefeated season could be a little bit different because they don't use rounded off percentages. For instance, the 80 percent probability at Colorado could anything from 80.4 percent to 79.5 percent.

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