Friday, May 25, 2007

APP Breakdown: The Pac 10

APP, or Adjusted Performance Percentage, is a statistic that I created this offseason that expresses a team's conference performance with regards to their conference schedule. If you look at just the straight raw data from conference games, you can rank the offenses, defenses, etc., but it doesn't take into account what kind of competition they faced. With a conference like the Pac 10 and the Big East, while every team plays each other, round robin style, the rankings do change somewhat in APP. For the SEC APP Breakdown, visit my other blog, The Power T. The way to read these numbers is easy. If a team has a 105.4 ROAPP (Rush Offense Adjusted Performance Percentage), it means they performed 5.4% better in rush offense than what the defenses they faced allowed. Or 5.4% better than average.

First, let's have a look at the Total Offense Adjusted Performance Percentage:

1. Oregon 129.1
2. California 119.9
3. Washington State 114.4
4. USC 110.8
5. Oregon State 104.3
6. Arizona State 100.7
7. Washington 92.2
8. UCLA 92.1
9. Arizona 75.7
10. Stanford 60.4

Poor Stanford. They performed almost 40% lower than they should have, and this was with an experienced, senior QB in Trent Edwards who was drafted! The Pac 10 might not be as offensively explosive as the rest of the nation thinks. Only half of the teams performed well offensively, even though we all think of the Pac 10 as some sort of offensive juggernaut of a conference. Washington State at #3 surprises me a bit, as well.

Best Rush Offense (Best ROAPP):

I guess I was a little surprised that Cal didn't take the #1 ROAPP spot with 1st round draft pick Marshawn Lynch and capable back-up Justin Forsett. It wasn't just Jonathan Stewart that helped provide such a healthy rush attack, either. QB Dennis Dixon provided a running threat on every snap, and back-up tailback Jeremiah Johnson averaged more yards per carry than Stewart! Oregon's top 2 backs only carried the ball 286 times over the course of 13 games. Compare that to 342 for Cal, and you might be able to find out why Oregon didn't win more games. I fully expect Oregon to run the ball more in 2007, because if their three-headed attack gets more touches, Oregon will win more ballgames. With a 164.3 ROAPP, they were 26% better than the closest competition, Arizona State.

Worst Rush Offense (Worst ROAPP):

Poor, poor Stanford. The scored a 43.3 for their ROAPP. That means they were around 57% worse than they should have been. That's freaking awful! Their top 2 backs, Anthony Kimble and Toby Gerhart combined for 2 touchdowns on the season - TWO! That's pathetically bad. Jim Harbaugh has his work cut out for him.

Best Pass Offense (Best POAPP):

I was shocked to see this. It really wasn't all that close, either. The Cougars were 11.4% better than the 2nd place pass offense, USC. State scored 127.6, so is the Pac 10 really a pass happy conference? Again, only half of the teams had better than average passing attacks. WR Jason Hill is gone, but he was actually only 3rd in receptions in 2006. Brandon Gibson and Michael Bumpus return with over 1200 yards receiving from last season, so State should be able to continue to play well in the air.

Worst Pass Offense (Worst POAPP):

For Christ's sake, Stanford! You had a freaking draft pick at quarterback and you couldn't do better than this? 69.6%. 30% worse than being average. You suck, terribly. Jim Mora was talking about you back in the day. "We couldn't do diddly-poo offensively. We couldn't make a first down. We couldn't run the ball, we didn't try to run the ball. We couldn't complete a pass. We sucked." Kudos to you Jim Mora, for your precognition abilities.

We've seen the offensive breakdowns for APP. Here is Total Defense Adjusted Performance Percentage:

1. USC 113.1
2. Arizona State 109.3
3. Oregon 107.7
4. UCLA 106.7
5. Arizona 104.9
6. Oregon State 103.5
7. Stanford 94.9
8. Washington State 91.1
9. Washington 88.5
10. California 88.4

The biggest surprise has to be Arizona State at #2. The Sun Devils have never been known for defense, and they did pretty well for themselves. Oregon at #3 gives me the same feeling. I'm also shocked to see Cal at #10. They had 3 highly regarded seniors who were drafted on that squad - Mebane, Hughes, and Bishop, yet they finish a hair behind Washington. Some Cal fans will be quick to point out that a portion of the yards against Cal were garbage yards. While that might be true, Cal's games weren't the only games with garbage yard. APP is not perfect, and I openly admit that. However, your defense in the Pac 10 stunk. Eat my shorts.

Best Rush Defense (Best RDAPP):

USC had a hell of a defensive line in 2006, and I can almost guarantee you that the 2007 USC line will do as much damage as the 2006 Florida Gator line. The front 7 for USC probably has 2-3 1st and 2nd round picks: DT Sedrick Ellis, DE Lawrence Jackson, and LB Keith Rivers are all in the top 5 at their positions. Add in very capable starters in Brian Cushing and Ray Maualuga and you've got a killer Trojan curtain. Pac 10 running backs are very comparable to sperm, apparently. Yuck.

Worst Rush Defense (Worst RDAPP): Stanford? Again? I knew they were bad, but this is getting a little ridiculous. Cardinal fans - your team was the worst in the Pac 10 in 3 of 4 important areas. As Jim Mora said earlier, you can't run the ball, and you can't stop the run. If games are won in the trenches, then we should be expecting a medical HVAC unit pronto (is that even right?). Stanford also lost their best defensive player to the draft. Poor Harbaugh.

Best Pass Defense (Best PDAPP):

Another little surprise here. I thought maybe USC or Arizona, but they didn't even crack the top 3. The Ducks didn't lose anyone to the draft from the pass defense, either. Jackie Bates could be poised for a breakout year at corner. The Ducks are only 1 run stuffing NT away from having the best defense in the Pac 10. I bet they miss Haloti Ngata.

Worst Pass Defense (Worst PDAPP):

What what what? Cal fans love Daymeion Hughes (except when they have to type his ridiculously spelled first name), but their secondary was awful. Tim Mixon going down nano-seconds before the Tennessee game didn't help, either. He wouldn't have made the pass defense worlds better, but he could have provided study time for Syd'Quan Thompson, but instead, SQT was thrown to the wolves. Maybe it was safety play from uninspiring Decoud and Hampton, but something wasn't working. And before you call "garbage yards," these games are 40 minutes long. If I wanted to, I could say Tennessee beat Cal 35-0, but I don't. It was 35-18, and Cal's Pac 10 pass defense was porous.

At the end of this insane amount of information, I end with the most important aspect of this breakdown, Complete Adjusted Performance Percentage (CAPP). I take each team's TOAPP and TDAPP and average them out. This tells us the statistically best team from the prior season, and shows us which teams over and underperformed.

1. Oregon 118.2
2. USC 112.0
3. Arizona State 105.0
4. California 104.2
5. Oregon State 103.9
6. Washington State 102.8
7. UCLA 99.4
8. Washington 90.4
9. Arizona 90.3
10. Stanford 77.7

Bite your tongue. This is all about performance. Wins and losses are achievement, and for us as fans, achievement is all that matters. 100% of teams who score more points - win. I get that. However, I like to see how teams performed on the field. Sometimes you can find things that will help you sound like a genius to your friends before the season starts. For instance, as we get closer to September, I'll call for Oregon and Arizona State to be much improved in 2007 while I might call for Washington to drop off big time. Are there other factors involved in predicting the next season? Sure - Close Game Variance Ratio (CGVR), draft losses, and returning starters are all important, too. As we get closer to the season, I will create tables for every conference outlining these 4 aspects, and we'll find out who you can expect to improve and who you can expect to decline. From the CAPP standpoint, the Ducks and the Sun Devils should make some huge Pac 10 noise.

No comments: