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Strength of schedule and some sour stats
Rich Linde, 24 September 2008

Iím not so sure that the Huskiesí early schedule was as tough as some people are saying. Oregon lost to Boise State last Saturday, and UW did play BYU close to the vest with a late opportunity to win. (BTW, Oklahoma uses the SEC formula for winning, as do the Trojans. Think, defensive front four, with its ability to stop the run and garner some sacks.)

Would the Cougars be in the top 25 if the Huskies had beaten them, say with a two-point conversion? If so, the statistics we're quoting would be practically the same and BYU would be considered a "mini me" when looking back at the opposition.

Remember the old days when Oregon and BYU were considered winnable games.

With this question of strength of schedule in mind, the Huskiesí statistics are an abomination, assuming the worst case, that is, that their first two foes weren't as strong as they were made out to be. 

Of the 17 statistics listed on the NCAA website, 11 of the Huskies' stats are at 100 and beyond in national ranking. Seven of those 11 are in the 116 to 119 category, this out of 119 teams. See Table 1 below for some specific data and notice the last three teams and their separation from the rest of the Pac-10.

The Huskies have yet to be intercepted this season, yet they are tied for 80th in turnover margin.

The Huskies rank 119th in punt returns, with an average of -1 yard per return.

But if the conference is weak, duh, it figures the Dawgs will pick up some wins when they play the conference teams. Right?

The stats say no. The Dawgs rank last in the conference in 8 out of the 17 NCAA categories, next to last in 3 categories, 8th in three, 7th in two and the beat goes on. The statistics are so bad that games against UCLA and WSU appear to be the only winnable ones.

The non-conference game against Notre Dame is a long shot.

So, will the Huskies beat Stanford this Saturday? Yep, if they can stop RB Toby Gerhart, while improving their rushing defense number, which, currently, ranks 100th in the nation. Also, some sacks are in order. (See "SF" below).

Table 1. 11-stat comparator.

In our 11-stat comparator, Washington has an average national ranking of 106.8, out of 119 Division I-A teams, where TO=Total Offense, TD=Total Defense, RO=Rushing Offense, RD=Rushing Defense, PEO=Pass Efficiency Offense, PED=Pass Efficiency Defense, SO=Scoring Offense, SD=Scoring Defense, SF=Sacks For, SA=Sacks allowed, and TM=Turnover Margin.

 

Team

TO TD RO RD PEO PED SO SD SF SA TM Avg

USC

18 2 39 6 10 9 10 1 6 9 6 10.6

Cal

14 28 21 24 52 20 9 64 39 68 18 32.5

UA

36 6 70 49 26 5 14 29 56 52 57 36.4

UO

7 59 4 36 77 58 10 71 8 22 101 41.2

OSU

27 49 83 88 56 31 54 92 98 44 80 63.8

ASU

60 56 107 70 16 46 72 48 88 85 84 66.6

SU

111 84 68 55 116 88 79 82 10 68 75 76

WSU

82 97 84 117 108 34 92 114 88 109 116 94.6

UCLA

117 92 117 82 113 93 114 109 98 68 111 101.3
UW 99 118 100 111 90 118 107 116 118 118 80 106.8

Richard Linde, aka Malamute can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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