Category Archives: Arizona State

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
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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.

Wisconsin @ ASU: Whose Fault?

It has taken me four days to process what happened and come to a final resolution on how I feel.

  1. Wisconsin made a really poor choice by placing the ball on the ground instead of handing it to the official responsible for doing that. I don’t care if your intentions were to spot the ball “quicker and cleaner,” it allowed for more room for error by the officials. Furthermore, it caused confusion for the defense who jumped on the ball. I would have done the same thing as a defensive player.
  2. The officials screwed up by not getting things moving more quickly. However, it’s my opinion that the umpire wasn’t sure if it was a downed ball (just like every other person in the stadium) because of his view. Stave was behind a lineman when he took the knee and the umpire most likely couldn’t see. This was exacerbated by the fact that Stave didn’t give the umpire the ball.
  3. While the officials were reprimanded for not displaying “appropriate urgency,” almost none of the Wisconsin players had any sort of a sense of urgency either. In a situation like that, every player has to get back to the line of scrimmage and get set as fast as humanly possible. Even when Stave finally recognizes the fact that the clock has almost expired and snaps the ball, the offense still isn’t set.
  4. And maybe, it’s just that what goes around, comes around.

    …Let me tell you a little story from long, long ago. Sept. 18, 2010, to be exact.

    We are in Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. On a third-and-3 play from the Wisconsin 18 in the third quarter, Arizona State QB Steven Threet sees T.J. Simpson open in the end zone. Wisconsin defensive back Niles Brinkley knows he’s beat. So before the ball arrives, he shoves Simpson out of the end zone.

    The side judge, a Big Ten official, is standing there staring at the play. It is textbook pass interference. No judgment is required. There is zero ambiguity. And there is no flag.

    …Wisconsin went on to win 20-19 when it blocked the Sun Devils’ game-tying PAT attempt.

    Wisconsin won in 2010 by cheating. ASU won in 2013 primarily because of mistakes made by Wisconsin. I can feel good about that.

Here’s a great write up with pictures showing the weirdest 18 seconds of football I’ve ever been a part of: Film Study: What went wrong in the final seconds of Wisconsin-Arizona State