By those same numbers, Cal is a neutral field nine-point favorite over Oregon State; the Beavers' home-field advantage reduces that (statistically speaking) to a predicted 5.6 point win for Cal.
Arizona State came into its game against Cal with some gaudy statistics, including Pac-10 league leading 18 sacks against opposing quarterbacks, the second best turnover margin, the second-best pass efficiency, and the third best total offense. Their total defense was 4th in the Pac.
Then they played Cal.
A key difficulty with stats is that until late in the season when everything has had a chance to average out, one must always ask - "yes, but against whom?"
Coming in to the Cal game, Arizona State's average opponent ranked 63.4 on Sagarin's scale - while Cal has an 88.8 rating. Which means (roughly) that Cal is 25.4 points better than ASU's opponents prior to playing Cal. Which in turn means that ASU's "respectable" numbers meant little - because they were achieved against lower quality opponents - a conclusion that was ratified by their play against Cal.
Oregon State is in much the same circumstance as they approach the Cal game in Corvallis. Not only is their team rating quite similar to ASU's, their "average" opponent to date rates 61.7 points, - 1.7 points less than ASU's opponents.
Using Sagarin's numbers liberally, here's a brief history of Oregon State's season so far. Favored by 30 points over Eastern Washington, OSU won by 39. Favored by 33 points over Idaho, OSU won by 38. But when rated an underdog by 5 points against Boise State, the Beavers lost by 28 points. Cal would be favored today by 7 or 8 points against the Boise State squad that trounced the Beavers.
This does not bode well for the eager Beavers who think they want to tangle with hungry Bears.
With that background, and really just for the record, here are a few comparative
stats going into Saturday's game in Corvallis: (others, not quoted here, are
close enough to be of less interest.)
|Pass Efficiency (O)||153.7||1||138.7||5|
|Pass Efficiency (D)||132||7||83.5||1|
|Red Zone Offense||11-12, 91%||1||10 of 13, 76.9%||7|
|Sacks For Yards||10-49||4||11-83||3|
Notes on Individual Stats
- Marshawn Lynch is the #2 running back in the Pac-10, averaging 112.2
ypg, compared to 121.3 ypg by UCLA running back Chris Markey.
- Nate Longshore is 4th in Pac-10 passing and DeSean Jackson is 4th in Pac-10
receiving. Nate is first ranked in "efficiency", however,
a rating that takes into account interceptions and TDs. Number 2 in efficiency
is freshman Sean Canfield of Oregon State - who has less than one-third the
passing attempts that Longshore has.
- DeSean Jackson leads the league in scoring with 10.5 points per game.
- Daymeion Hughes leads the league with interceptions with 5 in 4 games,
almost twice the per-game average of his closest contender.
- Andrew Larson is 3rd in Pac-10 punting with a 43.9-yard average; Oregon State punter Kyle Loomis is 10th with a 34.5-yard average.
©Copyright 2006, BearInsider.com and Scout.com. All rights reserved.
If you haven't done so already, subscribe to The Bear Insider so you can participate in this active online Cal community and get access to the members-only content from the nation-wide Scout.com network.
Bear Insider staff writers visit the Insider discussion board regularly, and are available to discuss questions you may have about this article and Cal Athletics.