3-0 on predicting the spread for Oregon! YAY SCIENCE! YAY LUCK! I'm fairly certain this was exactly the sort of victory and glory that Brian Fremeau and Bill Connelly envisioned when doing all this statistical work and analysis - a way for a random Oregon fan to bet on games.
While I don't get a game for Oregon this week, I can go over some interesting notes from prior weeks about how FEI and S+P saw the games. This might even have some info that other fanbases will be able to use as some happy bits too. Or possibly to be used as motivation to get their fanbases even more riled up against Oregon depending on their glass half empty/full/filled with bitter bile.
Currently: 2nd overall (284.0). 3rd on offense (134.7), 3rd on defense (149.3)
Last week: 2nd overall (293.4). 11th on offense (124.1), 2nd on defense (169.2)
Yeah, we're trending down. Our offense improved significantly from last week (10.6 points) but our defense drop was almost twice that (19.9). S+P doesn't like Washington's offense all that much, and us giving up a few long drives punctuated by either scores or by turnovers doesn't look good for S+P. We are, however, the only team by S&P that has a top 5 offense and a top 5 defense. Or top 10 offense and defense, for that matter.
On offense, we're still high on rushing S&P (4th), passing (11th), standard downs( 4th), raw S&P (3rd), raw Success rate (6th) and explosiveness (3rd). We're still low on passing down success (62nd). This shouldn't surprise anyone and wasn't that surprising against the Huskies; if we failed to get good yards early in the down we petered out a bit against Washington - and basically everyone else. The big jump here is in our success at passing, which we saw more of against Washington.
On defense, we're very good on rushing S&P(7th), great on passing S&P (4th), passing downs (11th), and overall raw value (3rd on success rate, 4th on explosiveness). We got better on rushing downs but that is still our weakness (37th). These are all actually a bit worse than last week, especially our rushing down value - likely because we gave up so many successful runs against Washington.
And...that's all I have for S+P this week, but that's okay - FEI is way more interesting.
Currently Oregon is ranked the following: 11th overall (.206). .367 in game efficiency (2nd), 43rd in strength of schedule (.259), 12th in offensive efficiency (.514), 6th in defensive efficiency (-.624), 34th in field position (.535).
last week: 8th overall (.249), 3rd in game efficiency (.343), 54th in strength of schedule (.196), 25th in offensive efficiency (.399), 8th in defensive efficiency (-.674), field position 49th
Wow, that's quite the drop in overall value. And looking at it right away this doesn't make a ton of sense. it's not that other teams are now much better; Oregon actually dropped quite a bit. Game efficiency (which is basically the unweighted value) went up. Strength of schedule went up. Offensive efficiency went way up. Defensive efficiency dropped a bit. Field position advantage went up. Why is this looking so meh for Oregon?
Well, two things as I understand it. The first is this wonderful advanced set of metrics for FEI at the bcftoys page. What this has are splits for every single game every team has played against other FBS teams. And right here you can see a big scary reason why Oregon's win wasn't quite so impressive.
Non-Garbage time final: 52-14
Offensive expected points: 26.7
Defense expected points: 7.0
Special Teams expected points; 2.3
Field position points: 12.2
Turnover points: 16.4
Yep, that's right - Oregon had 28.6 points of point value based on where they started drives and how many turnovers they had. And while field position comes into play when looking at the value of the special teams, turnovers don't do that at all; FEI looks at turnovers as descriptive but not nearly as predictive. Especially on things like fumbles, where Oregon recovered more fumbles than average.
So as far as FEI is concerned, Oregon was pretty lucky in the Washington game, and Washington was very, very unlucky, and the game was significantly closer than what the score might indicate. In particular FEI indicates that oregon should have been more dominant than they were in that game given all the other results.
The other reason we're dropping a bit is that FEI is phasing out their preseason projections for Oregon - and those had Oregon even more favorably than we've performed. Expect us to drop a bit next week as well, even before the game.
The bcf toy link allows us to also see other breakdowns for other games and see how Oregon under or overperformed. An example: the WSU game only scored 10.4 expected points via offense - and 11.3 via defense! The Fresno State shows what happens when we don't get lucky; Oregon had -8.8 points of field position disadvantage and -11.7 points from the turnover margin. In the Arizona game our offense did a measly 0.1 value - but the defense scored 25 points of expected value. Specifically this means the Oregon offense did very well last Saturday, the defense didn't do as well, and we got lucky. We saw that reflected in the S+P rankings as well.
This should also be a concern of sorts for us; Oregon has played really inconsistently as far as our splits go. Our offense seems to be trending up somewhat, but our defense is all over the place. If you compare this to Alabama, which has had a rock-sold defensive performance basically every week save one AND a rock solid offensive performance every week, period, it's somewhat disheartening. That being said Oregon is very different than its future opponents in that it has scored a positive expected value on offense and on defense in every single game played so far (albeit barely against Arizona)
I also love West Virginia's split against Baylor : 53 points for expected value on offense, -45.5 on defense. Yikes.
What the future holds:
Now that we've looked a bit at our previous splits and games, let's take a look at what our future opponents look like - at least right this second. Things are going to change quite a bit as we get closer to the game, of course. I'm also doing this only for FEI right now on the more intricate breakdown, as S+P is a bit more involved than I want to go into (and a bit more volatile).
Arizona State: currently #18. .152 FEI overall, 20th game efficiency (.168) 47th SoS, 42nd offensive efficiency (.183), 13th defense efficiency (-.535), 19th in field position. F/+ 18th. S+P 22nd.
As I've stated a couple times, Arizona State is the model of a balanced team. They're similar to Oregon on offense vs. defense splits, are a bit better at special teams, and are pretty strong on defense. Their offense has been solid to very good every game save one (the bad game against Missouri) and they haven't had significantly amazing turnover luck, one way or another. Their defense has been consistently good but not great in any game. They are going to be by far Oregon's toughest test this year, at least so far.
Colorado: 117th overall (-.227), 115th GE (-.218), 36th SoS, 109th offensive efficiency (-.501), 84th defensive efficiency (.190) , 102nd field position (.456). F/+ 118th, S+P 120th
There's nothing really of note here. They've had one positive offensive game (against WSU). two massive meltdowns on defense, done poorly on special teams, done eh on turnovers and in general have had a really tough life.
USC: #17 overall (.154), game efficiency #11 (.206), 31st SoS, 48th offensive efficiency (.148), 17th defensive efficiency (-.476), 27th in field position (.540). F/+ 16th. S+P 18th
Yes, that's right - USC looks eerily similar to ASU. Both are better on defense so far than offense. Both are good in field position. Both have a decently hard schedule. We'll not know a lot more about this after this weekend, but chances are ASU and USC are going to be about the same degree of difficulty for Oregon. I'll leave that to you to start panicking or not. In particular USC's defense may be overrated; they did amazingly great against Hawaii and haven't duplicated that result or anything close to it since. Their offense is probably underrated; it did poorly against Stanford and Cal but otherwise was gangbusters. Not super strong on field position, and aside from Hawaii have not had a lot of luck with turnovers. What's especially interesting to me is that they did so poorly on defense against Stanford; we know how meh they looked on offense, but on defense they were really bad.
California: #48 overall. 75th game efficiency(-.051), 26th SoS, 84th on offensive efficiency (-.177), 79th on defensive efficiency (.139), 42nd in field position(.525). F/+ 30th, S+P 27th
The Cal thing is as always their massive inconsistency from game to game. The UCLA game was the only game where they had both a positive offense and defense. Every other game they've had a positive offense but negative defense (Nevada, OSU), or negative on both (USC, ASU). They've had meh luck on turnovers - nothing special. They just really have not gelled yet to any degree. Even their games at home haven't made them more or less consistent. The one really interesting thing that I'll get into when we do their coverage is that this (along with Oregon) is one of the big disagreements of FEI vs. S+P in valuation between the two systems.
Stanford: #26 overall. 36th game efficiency (.111), 21st SoS. 57th offensive efficiency (.058), 34th defensive efficiency (-.254), 12th field position (.560). F/+ 19th, S+P 16th
I was a bit surprised to see them that low in defensive skill and that high in offense, but that's what you get when playing Arizona the way they did. In that game they had a higher offensive expected point total than the rest of their games combined (36.6) - which is, by the way, higher than anything Oregon's done either. They also had a lower defensive score than almost all of their other games combined (-27.9). Take out that game and their offense has been solid but not good at any point (and really bad against Washington), their defense has been good to great (the best game by far coming against...Duke) and they've been almost precisely neutral in all their turnover luck. With a team as young as Stanford is it's tough to say what trends are like; is Nunes turning a corner? Is the Arizona game a fluke or a trend?
This would also be another team that is a difference between FEI and S+P, and like most of the Pac-12 teams it appears FEI values them as a collection worse than S+P does.
Oregon State: #21 overall (.138). 48th in game efficiency (.072), 50th SoS. 68th offensive efficiency (-.068), 26th on defense efficiency (-.400), 64th in field position (.498). F/+ 27th, S+P 35th
This is why I say that Oregon will likely lose 2 or more games - we have three games against teams that are all very similar, all very similarly good, none of which we are particularly amazing compared to, and all of which are on the road. That's not a fun schedule no matter how you slice it. Oregon State is (currently) the worst of the lot and chances are with Mannion injured they will decline in overall value, but they are still quite good. They have been very inconsistent on offense; they had one amazing performance against Arizona and then a bunch of meh to poor against the rest of their schedule. Their defense is, if anything, even more inconsistent, scoring over 20 expected points against WSU and being -20.7 against Arizona. Their special teams have been not special and they've not been especially lucky in turnovers. Of the three really hard road games against top 25 teams this is the most likely to be won, but they have the highest values on both sides of the ball of any of those three teams; if they could get both their offense and defense to click at the same time, they'd be pretty scary.
And of our future opponents, this is the only team that is rated significantly higher in FEI compared to S+P.