Mountain West Football: On the Numbers

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The season is two-thirds finished, and teams have established certain patterns. Offensively, defensively, on turnovers, etc., teams have taken on an identity. One way of analyzing these patterns and identities is through statistics. On the Numbers gives a glimpse into what the future may hold for our MWC teams, based strictly on what they've done in the past.

The season is two-thirds finished, and teams have established certain patterns. Offensively, defensively, on turnovers, etc., teams have taken on an identity. One way of analyzing these patterns and identities is through statistics. Now, before anyone raises the warning bell and calls for torches and pitchforks to chase me out of town, let me clearly state: I know that stats are an imperfect way of viewing the past or predicting the future. They (usually) don't take into account very influential parts of sports events such as momentum, injuries, coaching changes, fan presence, wind direction or speed, turf materials, uniform design schemes, dew point, or astronomic alignments.

That being said, stats are the most accurate way of assessing what a team actually has done in the past, and what it is likely to do in the future. My statistical analyses are very superficial, and do not, for example, factor in a full strength of schedule algorithm. Surprisingly, with all their flaws, they have frequently predicted outcomes in frighteningly accurate ways. Keeping all of this in mind, here are my numerical prognostications for the MWC games this week (Week 11), listed alphabetically by the projected winning team:

Colorado State 44 - Nevada 31

Fresno State 55 - Wyoming 39

Navy 39 - Hawaii 10

New Mexico 45 - Air Force 38

San Jose State 38 - San Diego State 33

Utah State 48 - UNLV 13

Highs and Lows:

Best Offensive Differential: Fresno State (+12.5)

Best Defensive Differential: Utah State (-10.0)

Worst Offensive Differential: Hawaii (-8.0)

Worst Defensive Differential: New Mexico (+10.0)

Key:

*Offensive Differential (OD): the points per game scored over or under opponents' average allowed points

*Defensive Differential (DD): the points per game allowed over or under opponents' average scored points

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