Category Archives: Pac-12

Pac-12 Team-by-Team Schedule Predictions

TL;DR – Stanford wins the conference and goes to the Playoff.

The predictions were based on the same advanced statistics ratings I use to rate each week’s games. I did give a slight increase in ratings to the home team of each game.

Bowl Predictions

Utah: ???*
Washington St.: Las Vegas
ASU: Cactus
UCLA: San Francisco
USC: Alamo
Washington: Holiday
Oregon: Sun
Stanford: Playoff (Rose/Sugar)

*Depends on other conferences

Projected Final Standings


North

Team Overall Conference
Stanford 11-1 8-1
Washington 11-1 8-1
Oregon 9-3 6-3
Washington St. 8-4 5-4
Cal 2-10 1-8
Oregon St. 3-9 1-8

South

Team Overall Conference
USC 12-0 9-0
UCLA 8-4 6-3
Utah 6-6 3-6
Arizona St. 6-6 3-6
Colorado 4-8 2-7
Baja 4-8 2-7

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP PREDICTION

Stanford OVER USC

PAC-12 NORTH


CAL

OVERALL: 2-10
CONFERENCE: 1-8 (5th in North)
BOWL: N/A

LOSS at North Carolina
WIN vs. Weber St.
LOSS vs. Ole Miss
LOSS vs. USC
LOSS at Oregon
LOSS at Washington
LOSS vs. Washington St.
LOSS vs. Arizona
LOSS at Colorado
WIN vs. Oregon State
LOSS at Stanford
LOSS at UCLA

OREGON

OVERALL: 9-3
CONFERENCE: 6-3 (3rd in North)
BOWL: Sun

WIN vs. Southern Utah
WIN vs. Nebraska
WIN at Wyoming
WIN at Arizona St.
WIN vs. Cal
WIN vs. Washington St.
LOSS at Stanford
LOSS at UCLA
WIN vs. Utah
LOSS at Washington
WIN vs. Arizona
WIN vs. Oregon St.

OREGON ST.

OVERALL: 3-9
CONFERENCE: 1-8 (6th in North)
BOWL: N/A

LOSS at Colorado St.
WIN vs. Portland St.
WIN vs. Minnesota
LOSS at Washington St.
LOSS vs. Washington
LOSS at USC
WIN vs. Colorado
LOSS vs. Stanford
LOSS at Cal
LOSS at Arizona
LOSS vs. Arizona St.
LOSS at Oregon

STANFORD

OVERALL: 11-1
CONFERENCE: 8-1 (1st in North)
BOWL: Rose/Sugar (Playoff)

WIN vs. Rice
LOSS at USC
WIN at San Diego St.
WIN vs. UCLA
WIN vs. Arizona St.
WIN at Utah
WIN vs. Oregon
WIN at Oregon St.
WIN at Washington St.
WIN vs. Washington
WIN vs. Cal
WIN vs. Notre Dame

WASHINGTON

OVERALL: 11-1
CONFERENCE: 8-1 (2nd in North)
BOWL: Holiday

WIN at Rutgers
WIN vs. Montana
WIN vs. Fresno St.
WIN at Colorado
WIN at Oregon St.
WIN vs. Cal
WIN at Arizona St.
WIN vs. UCLA
WIN vs. Oregon
LOSS at Stanford
WIN vs. Utah
WIN vs. Washington St.

WASHINGTON ST.

OVERALL: 8-4
CONFERENCE: 5-4 (4th in North)
BOWL: Las Vegas

WIN vs. Montana St.
WIN vs. Boise St.
WIN vs. Oregon St.
WIN vs. Nevada
LOSS vs. USC
LOSS at Oregon
WIN at Cal
WIN vs. Colorado
WIN at Arizona
LOSS vs. Stanford
WIN at Utah
LOSS at Washington

PAC-12 SOUTH


TUCSON

OVERALL: 4-8
CONFERENCE: 2-7 (6th in South)
BOWL: N/A

WIN vs. Northern Arizona
LOSS vs. Houston
WIN at UTEP
LOSS vs. Utah
LOSS at Colorado
LOSS vs. UCLA
WIN at California
LOSS vs. Washington St.
LOSS at USC
WIN vs. Oregon St.
LOSS at Oregon
LOSS at Arizona St.

ARIZONA ST.

OVERALL: 6-6
CONFERENCE: 3-6 (4th in South)
BOWL: Cactus

WIN vs. New Mexico St.
WIN vs. San Diego St.
WIN at Texas Tech
LOSS vs. Oregon
LOSS at Stanford
LOSS vs. Washington
LOSS at Utah
LOSS vs. USC
WIN vs. Colorado
LOSS at UCLA
WIN at Oregon St.
WIN vs. Arizona

COLORADO

OVERALL: 4-8
CONFERENCE: 2-7 (5th in South)
BOWL: N/A

LOSS vs. Colorado St.
WIN vs. Texas St.
WIN vs. Northern Colorado
LOSS vs. Washington
LOSS at UCLA
WIN vs. Arizona
LOSS at Oregon St.
LOSS at Washington St.
WIN vs. Cal
LOSS at Arizona St.
LOSS vs. USC
LOSS at Utah

UCLA

OVERALL: 8-4
CONFERENCE: 6-3 (2nd in South)
BOWL: San Francisco

LOSS vs. Texas A&M
WIN vs. Hawaii
WIN at Memphis
LOSS at Stanford
WIN vs. Colorado
WIN at Arizona
WIN vs. Oregon
LOSS at Washington
WIN at Utah
WIN vs. Arizona St.
LOSS at USC
WIN vs. Cal

USC

OVERALL: 12-0
CONFERENCE: 9-0 (1st in South)
BOWL: Alamo

WIN vs. Western Michigan
WIN vs. Stanford
WIN vs. Texas
WIN at Cal
WIN at Washington St.
WIN vs. Oregon St.
WIN vs. Utah
WIN at Notre Dame
WIN at Arizona St.
WIN vs. Arizona
WIN at Colorado
WIN vs. UCLA
WIN vs. Stanford

Utah

OVERALL: 6-6
CONFERENCE: 3-6 (3rd in South)
BOWL: ???

WIN vs. North Dakota
WIN at BYU
WIN vs. San Jose St.
WIN at Arizona
LOSS vs. Stanford
LOSS at USC
WIN vs. Arizona St.
LOSS at Oregon
LOSS vs. UCLA
LOSS vs. Washington St.
LOSS at Washington
WIN vs. Colorado

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Arizona State Football Schedule Ranked Using Advanced Stats

Using Brian Fremeau‘s, Bill Connelly‘s, and ESPN‘s advanced stats rating systems, I have ranked ASU’s 2015 games from worst to best in terms of the projected quality of the opponent and the closeness of the matchup. In other words, the games are ranked by projecting which ones are going to be the most exciting to watch. ASU’s rating is added to the opponent’s rating to get an idea of the overall quality of the two teams. Then, the ratings are subtracted from each other to show how well the two teams match up.

This is not a ranking of ASU’s opponents. This is a ranking of game quality using opponent strength with how well ASU matches up with each team. A good team that ASU matches up well with will get a high ranking. A good team that outmatches ASU significantly will get a lower ranking, and vice versa.

The advanced stats ratings and nation-wide rankings are given for each team. Also, rating sums and differences (ASU’s rating plus/minus the opponent’s) are ranked 1-12 based on where they fall in ASU’s schedule.

Here are ASU’s projected advanced stat ratings.

FEI (Fremeau) FEI Nat’l Rk S&P+ (Connelly) S&P+ Nat’l Rk FPI (ESPN) FPI Nat’l Rk
.170 #14 12.7 #23 13.4 #22

12. Cal Poly

Duh.

11. New Mexico

FEI FEI Nat’l Rk S&P+ S&P+ Nat’l Rk FPI FPI Nat’l Rk
-0.143 #110 -10.1 #98 -10.8 #110

Game Data

Sum – Overall Quality of the Teams

System Rating Sum Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.027 #11
S&P+ 2.6 #11
FPI 2.6 #11

Difference – Closeness of the Matchup

System Rating Difference Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.313 #11
S&P+ 22.8 #11
FPI 24.2 #11

10. Colorado

FEI FEI Nat’l Rk S&P+ S&P+ Nat’l Rk FPI FPI Nat’l Rk
-0.085 #94 -2.5 #69 0.5 #66

Game Data

Sum – Overall Quality of the Teams

System Rating Sum Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.085 #10
S&P+ 10.2 #10
FPI 13.9 #10

Difference – Closeness of the Matchup

System Rating Difference Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.255 #10
S&P+ 15.2 #10
FPI 12.9 #10

9. Washington State – 2-Star Game

FEI FEI Nat’l Rk S&P+ S&P+ Nat’l Rk FPI FPI Nat’l Rk
-0.047 #79 -1.2 #64 2.5 #55

Game Data

Sum – Overall Quality of the Teams

System Rating Sum Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.123 #9
S&P+ 11.5 #9
FPI 15.9 #9

Difference – Closeness of the Matchup

System Rating Difference Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.217 #9
S&P+ 13.9 #9
FPI 10.9 #9

8. Washington – 2-Star Game

FEI FEI Nat’l Rk S&P+ S&P+ Nat’l Rk FPI FPI Nat’l Rk
0.025 #53 0.9 #56 3.7 #49

Game Data

Sum – Overall Quality of the Teams

System Rating Sum Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.195 #7
S&P+ 13.6 #8
FPI 17.1 #8

Difference – Closeness of the Matchup

System Rating Difference Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.145 #7
S&P+ 11.8 #8
FPI 9.7 #8

7. Cal – 2-Star Game

FEI FEI Nat’l Rk S&P+ S&P+ Nat’l Rk FPI FPI Nat’l Rk
-0.02 #71 3.6 #50 11.3 #32

Game Data

Sum – Overall Quality of the Teams

System Rating Sum Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.150 #8
S&P+ 16.3 #7
FPI 24.7 #6

Difference – Closeness of the Matchup

System Rating Difference Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.190 #8
S&P+ 9.1 #7
FPI 2.1 #2

6. Utah – 3-Star Game

FEI FEI Nat’l Rk S&P+ S&P+ Nat’l Rk FPI FPI Nat’l Rk
0.114 #27 6.5 #41 9.1 #41

Game Data

Sum – Overall Quality of the Teams

System Rating Sum Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.284 #5
S&P+ 19.2 #6
FPI 22.5 #7

Difference – Closeness of the Matchup

System Rating Difference Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.056 #4
S&P+ 6.2 #4
FPI 4.3 #4

5. Tucson – 3-Star Game

FEI FEI Nat’l Rk S&P+ S&P+ Nat’l Rk FPI FPI Nat’l Rk
0.095 #31 8.3 #36 11.8 #29

Game Data

Sum – Overall Quality of the Teams

System Rating Sum Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.265 #6
S&P+ 21.0 #5
FPI 25.2 #5

Difference – Closeness of the Matchup

System Rating Difference Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.075 #5
S&P+ 4.4 #3
FPI 1.6 #1

4. Oregon – 4-Star Game

FEI FEI Nat’l Rk S&P+ S&P+ Nat’l Rk FPI FPI Nat’l Rk
#3 20.9 #4 20.8 #8 #3

Game Data

Sum – Overall Quality of the Teams

System Rating Sum Rank in Sched.
FEI .416 #1
S&P+ 33.6 #1
FPI 34.2 #2

Difference – Closeness of the Matchup

System Rating Difference Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.076 #6
S&P+ 8.2 #6
FPI 7.4 #6

3. Texas A&M – 4-Star Game

FEI FEI Nat’l Rk S&P+ S&P+ Nat’l Rk FPI FPI Nat’l Rk
0.119 #26 14.1 #21 22.5 #6

Game Data

Sum – Overall Quality of the Teams

System Rating Sum Rank in Sched.
FEI .289 #4
S&P+ 26.8 #4
FPI 35.9 #1

Difference – Closeness of the Matchup

System Rating Difference Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.051 #3
S&P+ 1.4 #1
FPI 9.1 #7

2. UCLA – 4-Star Game

FEI FEI Nat’l Rk S&P+ S&P+ Nat’l Rk FPI FPI Nat’l Rk
0.203 #6 19.6 #6 20 #12

Game Data

Sum – Overall Quality of the Teams

System Rating Sum Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.373 #2
S&P+ 32.3 #2
FPI 33.4 #4

Difference – Closeness of the Matchup

System Rating Difference Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.033 #2
S&P+ 6.9 #5
FPI 6.6 #4

1. USC – 5-Star Game

FEI FEI Nat’l Rk S&P+ S&P+ Nat’l Rk FPI FPI Nat’l Rk
0.166 #15 16.5 #12 20.5 #9

Game Data

Sum – Overall Quality of the Teams

System Rating Sum Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.336 #3
S&P+ 29.2 #3
FPI 33.9 #3

Difference – Closeness of the Matchup

System Rating Difference Rank in Sched.
FEI 0.004 #1
S&P+ 3.8 #2
FPI 7.1 #5

The Big Ten’s bad. And the Pac-12 might be right behind them.

I’ve heard a lot about the Big Ten’s poor performance last weekend. And while I agree, I haven’t heard much about the Pac-12’s rough weekend.

  1. Arizona got lucky to beat UTSA.
  2. Washington St loses by two scores to Nevada.
  3. Colorado squeaks by after giving up 38 points to UMASS!
  4. Washington barely holds on to beat a DI-AA team in Eastern Washington AT HOME!
  5. Stanford and USC did not look good against each other.
  6. UCLA gives up 35 points to Memphis and only wins by one score.
  7. Oregon St survives a scare vs Hawaii.

I’m not saying the Big Ten doesn’t deserve the heat they’re taking, but a few plays here and there, and the Pac-12 is in the same boat.

Thank You Notes

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, I wanted to show my gratitude. So I decided to write a few thank you notes.

Thank you, Utah Utes, for playing really well at home this year and somehow beating Stanford.

Thank you, Stanford Cardinal eight-and-nine-offensive-linemen formations, for playing old-school football and beating Oregon…again.

Thank you, Andre Heidari, for kicking the game winning field goal against the Cardinal, giving them their second conference loss.

Thank you, Josh Huff, for bagging on the Granddaddy of Them All and setting your team up for what is to follow.

Thank you, un-named players from the team in Baja Arizona, for obliterating and humbling an Oregon team that may have thought too highly of themselves (and for giving them their second conference loss).

Thank you, Carl Bradford, for your pick six that ended up being the difference maker in the Sun Devils Pac-12-South-Division-title-clinching victory over the UCLA Bruins.

Scoring Offenses and Defenses Ranked Better 2.0 – Pac-12 Edition

As I have thought more about how to better rank offenses and defenses other than just total yards or average points per game, I began to look at percentage of opponents average points scored and given up. I have two issues with my original method of calculating the expected points percentages: 1. the points per game number being used included defensive and special teams scores and 2. it did not take into account the number of plays used to score those points.

Regarding the second problem, if both the blue team and the red team average 45 points per game and their opponents give up an average of 30 points, they both will have an expected offensive scoring percentage of 150%. However, if the blue team runs an average of 85 plays per game and the red team delivers the same results while only running an average of 75 plays per game, we can now see that the red team has a more productive (i.e. better) offense.

Therefore, I have made two major changes to the calculations. First, only offensive points will be figured into the calculations (no defensive or special teams scores). That should have already been done; I just failed to realize it until now. Secondly, the figure will now be an expected percentage of points per play.

By figuring in the number of plays run in addition to the points scored, we’ll get a better idea of actual offensive production regardless of the style of offense. By nature, the fast-paced offenses being played today are going to run more plays and have more opportunities to score points (e.g. Arizona St. ranks 9th in the nation running average of 84 plays per game) while the more power-oriented, ground-and-pound offenses will not run as many plays, but can still be just as effective (e.g. Stanford ranks 115th out of 125 in number of plays run per game with 65).

Considering plays per game also adjusts for blowout wins. Many times, in very lopsided games, the winning team will score most of its points in the first half, then run a significantly fewer number of plays in the second half as they run the ball more often attempting to keep from running up the score.

Without further ado:

Percentage of Expected Points Scored Per Play (SCORING OFFENSE)

TEAM % OF EXP PTS/PLAY OLD METHOD CHANGE IN RK
1 Arizona St 150% 162%
2 Oregon 148% 149%
3 Stanford 123% 108% +6
4 UCLA 113% 115% -1
5 Utah 111% 110% +2
6 Oregon St 110% 112% -2
7 USC 108% 95% +4
8 Washington 104% 112% -3
9 Arizona 102% 110% -1
10 Washington St 92% 112% -4
11 Cal 81% 97% -1
12 Colorado 79% 76%

Percentage of Expected Points Given Up Per Play (SCORING DEFENSE)

TEAM % OF EXP PTS/PLAY OLD METHOD CHANGE IN RK
1 Stanford 60% 58%
2 USC 66% 61%
3 Oregon 71% 76%
4 Washington 74% 76%
5 Utah 78% 78%
6 UCLA 79% 81%
7 Arizona 94% 94%
8 Washington St 100% 103% +2
9 Arizona St 102% 99%
10 Oregon St 107% 99% -2
11 Colorado 121% 121%
12 Cal 122% 122%

I’m assuming that the reason there wasn’t as much change in the defensive numbers is that teams are facing different styles of offense and varying play counts which, by this point in the season, begin to balance each other out.

Combined Difference

TEAM % OF EXP PTS/PLAY OLD METHOD CHANGE IN RK
1 Oregon 77% 73%
2 Stanford 63% 50% +1
3 Arizona St 47% 63% -1
4 USC 42% 34% +2
5 UCLA 35% 35%
6 Utah 33% 32% +1
7 Washington 30% 37% -3
8 Arizona 8% 16%
9 Oregon St 3% 12%
10 Washington St -8% -5% -2
11 Cal -41% -25%
12 Colorado -42% -45%

Updated Scoring Offenses and Defenses by Percentage of Expected Points (Pac-12)

I went back through the data and removed all games against DI-AA teams and I feel like that paints a more accurate picture. Here are the updated results. For the explanations of what this is, please read the original post.

SCORING OFFENSE

TEAM % OF EXPECTED POINTS FOR
1 Arizona St 170%
2 Oregon 156%
3 Utah 118%
4 Arizona 114%
5 Oregon St 114%
6 UCLA 112%
7 Washington 112%
8 Stanford 111%
9 Washington St 98%
10 USC 91%
11 Colorado 83%
12 Cal 83%

SCORING DEFENSE

TEAM % OF EXPECTED POINTS AGAINST
1 Stanford 60%
2 USC 62%
3 Oregon 73%
4 UCLA 74%
5 Washington 75%
6 Utah 86%
7 Arizona 88%
8 Oregon St 95%
9 Arizona St 102%
10 Washington St 107%
11 Colorado 108%
12 Cal 124%

COMBINED DIFFERENCE

TEAM COMBINED DIFFERENCE
1 Oregon 83%
2 Arizona St 69%
3 Stanford 51%
4 UCLA 38%
5 Washington 37%
6 Utah 32%
7 USC 28%
8 Arizona 26%
9 Oregon St 19%
10 Washington St -9%
11 Colorado -25%
12 Cal -41%

Ranking Scoring Offenses and Defenses Better (Pac-12 Edition)

These rankings were inspired by Paul Dalen‘s take on ranking total offenses and defenses. Instead of looking at total yards generated per game offensively or total yards given up defensively (statistics which do not account for the strength or weakness of opponents), he compared a team’s yards gained or given up to the team’s opponents’ average number of yards given up or gained. This number resulted in a percentage of expected yards gained or given up.

For example, if the blue team averages 400 yards per game and the red team holds them to 350 yards, the red team gave up 87.5% of expected yardage. Apply this concept to the season as a whole and you have a better way to rank total offense and defense by now accounting for the quality of the opponent.

I decided to take this same principle and apply it to points for and points against. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to compare all 125 teams, so I chose to just look at the Pac-12.

Here are the average points for and against for the Pac-12 as of week 9 games.

TEAM AVG PTS FOR TEAM AVG PTS AGAINST
1 Oregon 55.6 1 Oregon 16.9
2 Arizona St 45.4 2 USC 19.3
3 Oregon St 40.1 3 Stanford 19.4
4 Arizona 36.3 4 Arizona 19.9
5 UCLA 36.1 5 UCLA 22.4
6 Washington 34.5 6 Washington 23.6
7 Stanford 32.6 7 Utah 25.8
8 Utah 31.1 8 Arizona St 26.7
9 Washington St 30.9 9 Oregon St 27.4
10 Colorado 26.9 10 Washington St 29.9
11 USC 24.6 11 Colorado 37.1
12 Cal 22.9 12 Cal 44

Based on the above data, if you were an Oregon State fan, let’s say, you might say that Oregon State has the third-best scoring offense in the conference. I would argue that you are wrong. The numbers above do not account for quality of opponent at all. Colorado, for example, has played two I-AA teams while Stanford hasn’t played any.

Following Paul Dalen’s example, we’ll take the points scored and given up and compare them to teams’ opponents’ average points given up and scored for an expected points percentage. For example, if the green team scores 35 points against the yellow team and the yellow team is giving up on average 28 points a game, the green team’s expected points percentage would be 125% (they scored 125% of the number of points they were expected to score based on their opponent’s average). Apply that concept to the whole season and these percentages will give a better representation of scoring offense and defense.

EXPECTED POINTS FOR % (SCORING OFFENSE)

TEAM % OF EXPECTED POINTS FOR
1 Arizona St 192%
2 Oregon 172%
3 Washington 130%
4 Arizona 128%
5 Oregon St 127%
6 Utah 127%
7 Stanford 121%
8 UCLA 119%
9 Washington St 116%
10 Colorado 113%
11 Cal 97%
12 USC 95%

The above table shows that, on average, Arizona State is scoring 192% of expected points (i.e. 192% of their opponents’ average points given up per game) while USC is scoring only 95% of expected points (making opposing defenses look better than they have all season). I would now say to the Oregon State fan that his team has the fifth-best scoring offense in the conference.

If you just look at points per game, Arizona is fourth in the conference while Washington is sixth. What that doesn’t factor in is the fact that Washington has played the top two teams in the conference, while Arizona has not. By looking at percentage of expected points, we get a better comparison with Washington now at third and Arizona behind them.

EXPECTED POINTS AGAINST % (SCORING DEFENSE)

TEAM % OF EXPECTED POINTS AGAINST
1 Stanford 57%
2 Oregon 59%
3 USC 61%
4 Washington 67%
5 UCLA 69%
6 Arizona 71%
7 Utah 82%
8 Arizona St 87%
9 Oregon St 94%
10 Washington St 96%
11 Colorado 96%
12 Cal 116%

On average, Stanford on defense is holding teams to 57% of their average points scored per game while Cal is giving up 116% of teams’ average PPG.

With these two expected points percentages (offense and defense), we can now add the differences from 100% (e.g. ASU offense: 192% – 100% = 92%, ASU defense: 100% – 87% = 13%, ASU overall: 92% + 13% = 105%) for an interesting way to get an overall ranking of the teams in the conference.

COMBINED DIFFERENCES (EXPECTED POINTS FOR + EXPECTED POINTS AGAINST)

TEAM COMBINED DIFFERENCE
1 Oregon 113%
2 Arizona St 105%
3 Stanford 64%
4 Washington 64%
5 Arizona 57%
6 UCLA 50%
7 Utah 45%
8 USC 35%
9 Oregon St 33%
10 Washington St 20%
11 Colorado 17%
12 Cal -19%