clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Roundtable: Assessing WSU football’s win probabilities in 2017

New, 44 comments

ESPN.com used its FPI rating system to predict the outcomes of WSU’s games this fall. How much of this do we believe?

NCAA Football: Holiday Bowl-Minnesota vs Washington State Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

How many wins will WSU football rack up this fall? Step into our Slack chat room to see what we think ...

sherwood (aka Kyle Sherwood)

I'd take 8-4 in a heartbeat next year, but some of those percentages are way off. 82% chance of beating Boise! 99% chance beating the FCS team! 46% chance beating SC! 26% chance beating UW!

cassino (aka Jesse Cassino)

Yeah, that's way high for SC. I think @ Utah is closer to 50 as well.

goldenthroat (aka Michael Preston)

Only a 40% chance of beating Oregon? Screw that.

jeffnusser (aka Jeff Nusser)

their low ranking of BSU and high ranking of Oregon are definitely the weirdest things on there

goldenthroat

I'm with @sherwood though, offer me 8-4 now and I'm taking it

sherwood

Oregon has a QB this year. they aren't gonna suck

jeffnusser

yeah, FPI shouldn't really know that

bkransford (aka Britton Ransford)

oregon will win 6 games. no more, maybe less. I had to Google this, by the way.

goldenthroat

Justin Herbert! (Right?)

bkransford

Apparently! "Only if he makes strides in his leadership and communication skills" per Taggart

goldenthroat

He's all they have, he'll do it

sherwood

they dropped 33 on us last year with a sentient scotch egg at qb

jeffnusser

eh ... some of that was late.

bkransford

That was a Mike Leach special.

goldenthroat

We are not going to lose to Oregon.

jeffnusser

jeffnusser

@sherwood you're really going to try and be like "they scored 33 on us"?

sherwood

that number is a 33 at the bottom, yes?

jeffnusser

the game was 44-20 with 8 minutes to go until a kickoff return and a garbage time TD against the backups

sherwood

i accept your apology

jeffnusser

Forgive me if I'm not trembling with fear at Mighty Oregon right now

goldenthroat

Not to the tune of "2nd most likely to lose behind Washington"

sherwood

FPI says we have a 40% shot! that's not tremble-worthy.

pjkendall (aka PJ Kendall)

Bullish on Oregon, compared to last year. Biggest limfac is a new system. They'll win at least 7.

brian_anderson (aka Brian Anderson)

Oregon will be markedly better on defense overall, since they aren't trying to run a B1G 4-3 defense in a spread league with under-sized fast guys at every position and Leavitt is pretty damn good. I wouldn't expect their offense to be fire off the bat, that usually takes more time to adjust to a coaching change. They'll ride Royce, that's probably good for 6-7 wins.

sherwood

I like how all this came from me saying "Oregon isn't gonna suck this year.” Now apparently I said they're winning a Natty.

goldenthroat

You did?

pjkendall

UW will still beat Oregon by 45.

jeffnusser

@sherwood that's how I read it

goldenthroat

Oregon will be better. I don't think so much better that we only stand a 40% chance of winning

pjkendall

It took a miracle to beat Oregon with Jeff Lockie.

goldenthroat

I'm a lot more worried about Colorado, defensive losses be damned, and Utah in SLC

jeffnusser

I'm just not sure how a data-driven model that's designed to be predictive looked at last year's Oregon tire fire and spit out a number that said "21st best team in the country"

goldenthroat

Stanford too for that matter

brian_anderson

How in the world is Oregon that much more comparatively favored against WSU than Boise State? I mean, if the Cougs play BSU in the middle of the season last year that game probably isn't within 10 but still. 82% is pretty big.

pjkendall

And that was with a much better team than WSU will have this year.

jeffnusser

Well, I think that's the crux — ESPN's FPI thinks more of us than we apparently do

sherwood

NCAA Football: Oregon at California
Justin Herbert: Does not scare us.
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

fun fact: Oregon has won a game more recently than WSU. Damn, I forgot UW piled 70 on them last year

pjkendall

Yeah but that was Utah in November which is like beating a D2 team.

goldenthroat

12 years of getting your skull beat in by them will make you want to pour it on, I guess

sherwood

I'll remember how easy it is to beat Utah in November when we're down 30 this November. I kid.

pjkendall

Easy for MOST teams

goldenthroat

We lost by 43 last time we played there in November. Go team!

sherwood

46% chance against USC seems like the most charitable number on the board as far as I can tell.

goldenthroat

Agreed

sherwood

or 26% against UW

goldenthroat

Historically that's about dead on!

sherwood

and for the record, I do think that Oregon number is out of whack; I think we can win there, but I think it's closer to 50/50 than a guaranteed W.

jeffnusser

Are we in agreement that our chances against UW are zero percent? I mean, let's just get it on the table

sherwood

does it go less than zero?

goldenthroat

How healthy is Jake Browning's arm?

jeffnusser

@sherwood I don't think that's how probability works. @brian_anderson can probably explain it to us. Also, it's much easier to live my life day to day if I just accept we're never beating UW again in my lifetime

sherwood

UW has beaten WSU senseless in 7 of the last 8 games and it took an act of God to keep us in that 8th one. If there's any case for over 0% I'd love to hear it.

goldenthroat

College kickers help

brian_anderson

@jeffnusser Probability no, those can't be negative but quasiprobabilities can account for unobservable events

goldenthroat

I'll give it 2% just on the off chance everyone on the team gets food poisoning the night before and the only healthy guys on defense are Vita Vea and a walk-on from Marysville-Pilchuck

sherwood

This FPI prediction is shaping up to be peak Leach. We'll win eight games but lose all four games the fans care about.

brian_anderson

I like WSU's chances in a shootout against this year's UW team. Get the scores in the 50s and 60s and there's a good chance some weirdness happens.

sherwood

oh Brian, no

jeffnusser

If USC was actually a coin flip, I'd take that all day

brian_anderson

No I'm saying that's the only way I see them being able to win

jeffnusser

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl Game-Penn State vs Southern California
Bring it on, Sam Darnold.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

And I think there's a chance USC, coming on the road for a Friday night game, doesn't play its best game -- of course, FPI isn't taking that into account, but whatever

sherwood

I'm really looking forward to that game!

brian_anderson

That USC game has the potential to be real interesting. Especially if they manage to not lose to an FCS team and beat Boise State.

sherwood

I like how our rationale for beating USC is "anything can happen" and I totally believe it

goldenthroat

If they get out of that month 5-0, you won't be able to make me put pants back on

jeffnusser

hence, why I'm going to pack the family up and trek over the mountains for that one.

sherwood

Speaking of 5-0, 83% of beating Boise?

brian_anderson

Yeah that's weird. Also, I think it's more if they run the table that month at home we'll know a lot more about the defense than we do now. Offense is probably not going to look very different than it did a year ago.

goldenthroat

No way on Boise

sherwood

i think that's a tossup and we probably win, but 83% is crazy talk. Are the Beavs still gonna be bad this year?

goldenthroat

They'll be better. HOT TAEK: Better than Oregon

brian_anderson

Maybe a little bit better, I don't see them doing a Colorado yet.

Poll

Which probability is most out of whack?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Boise State
    (173 votes)
  • 30%
    Oregon
    (176 votes)
  • 12%
    USC
    (69 votes)
  • 20%
    Washington
    (120 votes)
  • 6%
    Other
    (37 votes)
575 votes total Vote Now

sherwood

So also not 82% chance of winning? Does FPI just flip whatever Bill C says about us?

goldenthroat

Lower than that but not a ton since the game is at home

jeffnusser

what is it that FPI sees that has it think Boise State is merely an average FBS team next year? Loss of the running back? Who else?

goldenthroat

Sperbeck gone too. Second-leading receiver only had 100 or so less yards and he's back. Anyone else surprised at how low the Arizona number is? Ore are they going to be any better than last year and I don't know anything?

jeffnusser

FPI seems to weight home/road at around 14% impact on the probability given that Boise State and Arizona are nearly identical in their rankings. That seems to pass the smell test to me.

sherwood

99% against Montana St proves we are nowhere near the singularity. A sentient computer would've dropped us to about 12%

pjkendall

Given the percentages, I'm curious to see where Vegas will put the total. Was thinking 6.5 but it could crawl up to 7. Also the only way WSU wins the Apple Cup is if UW is down to Trey Adams at quarterback and the entire defense gets cholera the day before.

sherwood

even then, they're favored by 3

bkransford

hello i agree with all of this

sherwood

All right, so here's the money question: If the Cougs go 8-4 but their wins are FCS, Boise, Nevada, Beavs, Cal, Zona, Colorado and Utah, are you fired up? We won eight games, but we won the eight games nobody really cares about.....

There are no wrong answers

jeffnusser

Yes, I'm still fired up. Winning is still fun.

goldenthroat

Three straight eight win seasons, three straight bowl games? Yes, I'd be fired up

jeffnusser

I hope we get so much winning I get tired of winning

sherwood

I listed eight wins. But those eight wins would also classify under "WSU AIN'T BEAT NOBODY"

pjkendall

Fired up? No. Just fine? Yes. Can't forget where this program came from. It only matters who you beat if you're in the playoff hunt.

sherwood

Wulff is still the bar!

jeffnusser

For a little while longer. But even in that, 25 wins in three years is approaching our best ever stretch. I'm pretty good with that.

pjkendall

You know that's not what I meant @sherwood

sherwood

ha, i'm an enigma.

bkransford

if we win eight games against bad teams do we get to go to vegas

sherwood

I can see both sides. I can see being thrilled with winning 8 games; that probably gets us back to el paso-ish. but it also means we're a paper tiger that DIDN'T BEAT NOBODY.

pjkendall

So like last year

sherwood

you can go to vegas no matter how many games the Cougs win. We beat Stanford last year.

pjkendall

I've seen you throw about 46 caveats in front of that one before.

sherwood

it would be if like last year only we lost to Stanford and beat Eastern.

jeffnusser

I just honestly don't care that much what other people think.

goldenthroat

He got the final score exactly right tho

pjkendall

@jeffnusser Bingo

jeffnusser

That's probably because I have to listen to all the Jack Huskies after every Apple Cup. I just don't care. My own enjoyment is really all I care about.

sherwood

now who's lying? lolol

goldenthroat

Wait, do we have to go to El Paso if we go 8-4?

sherwood

We can just go to Vegas and watch the game there

pjkendall

This is America. You don't have to go anywhere.

goldenthroat

Eh, it's the day before my birthday. I'll eat more tamales than is medically advisable to celebrate 30.

pjkendall

So more than zero?

goldenthroat

That number has to exist somewhere. Like ... 10ish? As long as CBS doesn't push the start of the game back again for a meaningless regular season college basketball game (not that the bowl game is any more meaningful) SUN BOWL IT IS

bkransford

it's definitely zero

goldenthroat

I bet he died happy

bkransford

he probably didn't get to eat them because he was on fire

goldenthroat

Well now there's a small detail I needed