Hello Followers. Hope you’re having a great week. Well, today marks another Filibuster Thursday, the day that we gather all relevant and non-relevant items from the World of Sports, grind ‘em up into a meaty paste, and cram it all into a giant cyber tube-steak that just might be good enough to eat!
Last week, I told you that this week’s episode would include a quick look at Cougar Hoops. But, in view of the hot action that took part at America’s favorite Cougar Blog a few days ago, I thought I’d take the discussion in a different direction. Specifically, I am going to tell all of you, once and for all, the ONLY statistic you need to worry about for the 2012 Cougar Football Season.
Feel intrigued? Well, then click on after the jjjjjjjjuuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhhmmmmp…
++++ Followers, I don’t know about you all, but I’m just not a very good numbers guy. You see, at the compound, I am constantly bombarded by all of these so-called “novel” statistical methods that the Khan uses as a part of his purported day job as a university professor. And so, given that the Khan thinks, talks, and writes about numbers all the day—and even worse, claims to understand their meaning—neither of us care to use them much with sports. They’re just too slippery (when wet).
But occasionally, I buck that trend on this blog, especially when I can present figures that I can count using my fingers, toes, and occasionally, my nose. And last year provided a good example of that exception. Specifically, sometime in August last year, I gave you the key to winning games in 2011. And that key was?
SCORING 30 OR MORE POINTS A GAME!!!!
You see, l, like other Zen Masters of the Universe, knew that last year’s defense was going to struggle. And boy did it ever! Of course, part of the defense’s on-going struggles could be traced to special teams play, as special teams errors cost us between 10 and 14 points a game in our last three games last year. Of course, this is not to say that the defense didn’t have any strengths. After all, the 2011 Cougars were pretty decent against the run, finishing around the middle in the conference in rushing defense. What’s more, the defensive philosophy brought forth by the worst Defensive Coordinator of all time, Chris Ball, was of the bend, bend, bend, bend, bend, then BREAK variety; which, among other “benefits” actually helped to keep the score down from time to time.
Now, what does this have to do with this year?
Well, while it’s a bit too early to tell how improved our defense might be, it doesn’t seem too far-fetched to think we’re going to struggle. While our pass defense figures to be much improved, serious questions remain, at least in my mind, regarding our ability to stop the run this year—especially since we don’t practice against a good ground game very often (And did I mention that we still don’t really have a Nose Guard?). What’s more, the aggressive blitzing style of Breske’s defense, while potentially effective AND exciting, figures to give up the Big Play from time to time.
On top of that, when you also figure that Leach will go for—and probably miss—a few 4th down and 5’s from our 36 yard line every other game or so, well, the potential is there for our high-risk/high-reward offensive philosophy to erase any special teams improvements we might witness in the punting game. (But praise the lord that our return game figures to be better, if not legit!) +++++ Ultimately, when you put all of this “bippity-bobbity-boo” together, here’s what you’ve got:
WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO SCORE AT LEAST 30 POINTS A GAME IN ORDER TO WIN IN 2012
And truly, if you want to talk about wins and losses, that is the only question and stat you all need to worry about.
And so, as we look forward toward the rest of spring and the spring game, you can see for yourselves whether or not you think we can exceed that magic plateau on a regular basis.
Oh yeah: Our record last year when scoring 30 points or more a game?
Our record last year when scoring less than 30 points a game?
All for now. Go Cougs.
30 is sooooooooo, soooooooo, soooooo, uhhhhh, sooo "even."
Go out on a limb with 29 or 31. Or at least 30.5.
One more quick thing - in the Paul Wulff era, WSU scored 30 or more points in seven games. Our record in those games? 7-0. Wulff won 9 games total, and 7 of those were when we scored 30 or more. The only two wins he had where we were under 30 were Montana State and the '08 Apple Cup.
"I'll tell ya what - you score more points than the other guys, you will win!" -- Ron Fairly
Good work Sutra, and you are right. You preached the 30+ line in the sand before the start of the season last year, and you were right every time. 4-0 scoring 30 or more, 0-8 scoring less than 30. In all our Pac-12 games last year, we only "held" three conference opponents under 30 points - UCLA with 28, and Colorado and ASU with 27 each. We won two of those three, and sure as hell COULD have won vs UCLA! Frustrating, to say the least.
@ragtopman funny! I am going to withhold judgement until after the BYU game (I am VERY hopeful that the incomings are going to add depth as well as a starter or two), but if Leach's history is predictive of what the future might bring, we might win a fair amount of games THIS year. But, if we still are hovering around that 28 point mark, we could be in big trouble.
@SeanHawkins Ah....the wisdom of the redhead...
@SeanHawkins Love that quote from Big Red!
@SeanHawkins solid take, Big Red. Solid, take!!!!
@Longball I thought only the S&P+ analysis could be used to predict football games. Somebody had me fooled!
@Sutra I think the BYU game will be a great indicator. The Mormon defense will be stronger than in the past but the offense not so much (I think they kept the wrong QB). If we can score 30+ and win, it would mean that that the offense is in high gear already, the defense is solid and we could go on to win 9 plus a bowl. If we're not quite ready then we probably win 6 or 7. Either way, much better than the last 8 or so years.
@ragtopman Its a huge swing game, no doubt. What we saw last year is that when you go 2-1 in non conference, it means that you have to go 4-5 in league to become bowl eligible (see what I was talking about re: being a math/stats genius?). And that's a tough task when you won four games total the year prior. Win at BYU and 4-0 is there just staring at us. And that makes a Las Vegas or Sun Bowl invitation right stinking there for the taking!
I told Sean the other day that BYU represents a NIGHTMARE matchup for a team like UW that runs a pro-style offense, because they tend to be so darn gritty and well prepared. But, playing against the Athletes we have at the skill positions all spread out all over the fricking place represents a tall order for them and their depth, unless we aren't prepared to be physical on the outside (Marquess) and if Tuel isn't making his reads.
My biggest concern in this one is not whether we'll score, but whether we'll get run over. BYU will try to run all over us, and it will be really interesting to see whether or not we can keep them off the field with our blitz packages.
It is such a huge stinking game! I can't wait!