Sunday, November 7, 2010

Reassessing Stanford's Schedule Part Ten Of Many

I probably cannot abase myself enough for the comprehensive wrongness of my prediction for this week’s game, and if I can rescue my reputation just a little bit here—please?—could I note that Anthony Wilkerson’s emergence has been predicted here for a while? Oh, you say this was obvious to just about anyone with two eyes? Fine.

The mediocrity of Stanford’s opponents, past and future, continued: Wake Forest was soundly defeated by Boston College, USC only just edged Arizona State…on the other hand, UCLA, oddly enough, beat Oregon State, and I’ve given up trying to figure out anything about UCLA beyond the fact that Stanford is much better than they.

Let’s examine the remaining schedule, such as it is:

Week One, Sacramento State, Home: WIN, 1.
Week Two, UCLA, Away: WIN, 2.
Week Three, Wake Forest, Home: WIN, 3.
Week Four, Notre Dame, Away: WIN, 4.
Week Five, Oregon, Away: LOSS, 1.
Week Six, USC, Home: WIN, 5.
Week Seven, Washington State, Home: WIN, 6.
Week Eight, Washington, Away: WIN, 7.
Week Nine, Arizona, Home: WIN, 8.

Week Ten, Arizona State, Away: Arizona State just isn’t very good. They’ve played some good teams tough—they were a converted extra point away from sending Wisconsin to overtime—but ultimately if Steven Threet is your quarterback, you’re not going to be good. The main difficulty here is: avoiding a trap game (not something I’m particularly worried about) and making sure Vontaze Burfict doesn’t accidentally kill a Stanford player (something opponents should always be worried about).
Chances of Victory, Same As Before: 80%.

Week Eleven, California, Away: If you have substantial trouble dispatching Washington State—and by “trouble” I don’t mean something like “oh, they didn’t win with enough style”, I mean, “they were at risk of losing the game”—then you’re not good. We actually knew this already—or should know it, if you’ve seen any of their numerous massacres inflicted upon them—but it’s worth repeating. The problems here are these: it is a rivalry game, and it is in Berkeley. Last year’s upset was powered by the unfamiliarity of the 3-4 lined up against Stanford, but given that the team has faced a 3-4 every day in practice, the offense should be far more familiar with the scheme (additionally, both Andrew Luck and the offensive line are a year more mature and a year better). Anything can happen, but probably won’t.
Chances of Victory: 75%
Previously-Assessed Chances of Victory: 65%

Week Twelve, Oregon State, Home: Still wary about this game, despite the loss to UCLA. There are weapons on this team, and I worry about a team with weapons. I still think Oregon State is the Provincial Team of Mystery.
Chances of Victory: 60%
Previously-Assessed Chances of Victory: 50%

Expected Wins: 10.15
Previously-Assessed Expected Wins: 9.45 (DELTA: +.7)

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