Monday, December 18, 2006

Regular Season Wrap-Up

Finishing things up with the WAC and the Independents.


Boise State
Record: 12-0
Conference Record: 8-0
Pythagorean Record: 10.80-1.20
Grade: A
Not a bad start for Chris Peterson. Another WAC Championship and the schools first BCS bid. I for one am very anxious to see running back Ian Johnson go up against the stout Oklahoma defense.

Fresno State
Record: 4-8
Conference Record: 4-4
Pythagorean Record: 4.57-7.43
Grade: C-
2006 was a lost season for Pat Hill and the Bulldogs, but there is a silver lining. 5 of the losses came to bowl teams, including two in non-conference play against Oregon and LSU. Also lost to Washington on a missed extra point outside WAC play. Bulldogs continued to play hard despite their struggles, winning 3 of their last 4.

Record: 10-3
Conference Record: 7-1
Pythagorean Record: 10.82-2.18
Grade: A
The best Hawaii team ever? Warriors had not only the best offense of the June Jones-era (47.3 points per game), but also the best defense (24.1 points allowed per game). Every loss was by 8 points or fewer.

Record: 4-8
Conference Record: 3-5
Pythagorean Record: 1.84-10.16
Grade: C
The Vandals did post their most wins since 2000 (when they went 5-6), but were not competitive down the stretch, losing their last 5 by 32.2 points per game. To make matters worse, head coach Dennis Erickson got out of Moscow faster than the Anastasia.

Louisiana Tech
Record: 3-10
Conference Record: 1-7
Pythagorean Record: 1.68-11.32
Grade: D+
A year after going 6-2 in conference play, the bottom fell out for Terry Bradshaw’s alma mater. 3 wins were over Utah State (1-11), North Texas (3-9), and Nicholls State (IAA).

Record: 8-4
Conference Record: 5-3
Pythagorean Record: 9.12-2.88
Grade: A-
The Wolfpack just keep on rolling in Chris Ault’s second stint with the team. The ‘Pistol’ offense gets all the press, but the story was the defense with a WAC best 17.8 points allowed per game in conference play.

New Mexico State
Record: 4-8
Conference Record: 2-6
Pythagorean Record: 6.10-5.90
Grade: B+
After Mumme got some of his recruits in, the Aggies offense improved dramatically (31.2 points per game versus 16.5 last season). Aggies were a tough luck 0-4 in close games. Expect them to head to a bowl game in 2007.

San Jose State
Record: 8-4
Conference Record: 5-3
Pythagorean Record: 7.15-4.85
Grade: A+
To you a New Mexico bowl bid may not mean much. But to the Spartans and Tomey, it means a ton. Dick Tomey has worked wonders in his second season at San Jose. The Spartans improved from 3-8 to 8-4 and are going to their first bowl game since 1990.

Utah State
Record: 1-11
Conference Record: 1-7
Pythagorean Record: 0.57-11.43
Grade: D-
Bad year all around for the Aggies. Their lone victory was a 13-12 decision over Fresno State.


Record: 3-9
Pythagorean Record: 3.54-8.46
Grade: C-
Bobby Ross has certainly improved the Black Knights since arriving in 2004. However, he can’t seem to get over the hump and have a winning season or beat their rivals in Annapolis.

Record: 9-3
Pythagorean Record: 8.50-3.50
Grade: A
Paul Johnson continues to work his magic for the Midshipmen. Navy only went 1-3 against bowl-bound teams (win over East Carolina and losses to Notre Dame, Tulsa, and Rutgers), but that’s a small quibble. Navy actually went 5-0 in true road games. For all the credit Johnson gets for neutralizing the talent disparity with his unique option offense, the defense is the unit that has actually improved the most since he took over in 2002. In 2002, the Naval Academy scored 24.2 points per game. In 2006, they scored 28.6 per game (an increase of a little more than 18%). In 2002, they allowed 36.3 points per game. In 2006, they allowed 19.7 per game (nearly 46% fewer points per game).

Notre Dame
Record: 10-2
Pythagorean Record: 8.47-3.53
Grade: B+
As much as I hate the Irish and Charlie Weiss, he has done wonders for Brady Quinn. In 2004, the year before Weiss arrived; Quinn completed 54% of his passes, averaged 7.3 yards per pass, and threw 17 touchdowns versus 10 interceptions. In 2005, Weiss’ first season, Quinn completed 65% of his passes, averaged 8.7 yards per pass, and threw 32 touchdowns versus 7 interceptions. This past season, Quinn completed 63% of his passes, averaged 7.6 yards per pass, and threw 35 touchdowns against 5 interceptions. Irish parlaying 4 decent wins (Georgia Tech, Penn State, Purdue, and UCLA) and 2 blowout losses (Michigan and So Cal) into a BCS berth.

Record: 1-11
Pythagorean Record: 0.49-11.51
Grade: C
At Temple, progress is measured in baby steps. Owls won one more game than in 2005, averaged a little over a point more per game, and held opponents to about 4 points less per game.

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