Last week we looked at how Mountain West teams fared in terms of yards per play. This week, we turn our attention to how the season played out in terms of the Adjusted Pythagorean Record, or APR. For an in-depth look at APR, click here. If you didn’t feel like clicking, here is the Reader’s Digest version. APR looks at how well a team scores and prevents touchdowns. Non-offensive touchdowns, field goals, extra points, and safeties are excluded. The ratio of offensive touchdowns to touchdowns allowed is converted into a winning percentage. Pretty simple actually.
Once again, here are the 2018 Mountain West standings.
Hawaii’s appearance in the 2018 postseason was shocking. The Warriors entered 2018 fresh off a 3-9 season where they won just a single time in Mountain West play. Yet the Warriors opened the season by winning a road game for the first time in nearly a calendar year. They followed that road upset with a pair of home wins, and following a body-clock loss at Army won three in a row to stand 6-1. Their wins were a little fluky, and the Warriors came back to earth over the second half of the season, losing four of six to finish the regular season 8-5. Still, eight wins was a massive improvement and the Warriors ended up finishing 5-3 in the improved Mountain West. However, perhaps it shouldn’t have been so shocking. Two years previous, the Warriors were starting the 2016 campaign fresh off a winless conference season with a first-year head coach. They managed to grind out four conference wins and a surprise bowl appearance (and victory). In fact, the Warriors have been treating (torturing?) their fans with a year-to-year roller coaster ride for the past decade or so. Based on year-to-year differences in conference victories, Hawaii has been the most inconsistent mid-major team since 2007. To illustrate this, I have charted their number of conference wins below.
1998. Nevada has consistently finished within one game of .500 in conference play with a few exceptions sprinkled in when Colin Kaepernick was under center (or more precisely in The Pistol). Heading into 2019, expect Boise State and Nevada to finish within about a game of their 2018 conference record. As for Hawaii, they should either go undefeated and challenge for a playoff spot or finish winless and be in the market for a new head coach.