USC Stanford

What a great game, made all the sweeter by its extraordinary MCC ramifications. USC will have a hard time winning the cup. But it is possible if they beat UCLA and get some help. Perhaps this early dashing of MCC hopes will be the final straw for Clay Helton’s coaching job. (Update: It was!) Stanford can dream, but they still also have to face UCLA.

San José State 7 at USC 30 on Sep 04, 2021
Cal Poly 10 at Fresno State 63 on Sep 12, 2021
Stanford 42 at USC 28 on Sep 12, 2021
Sacramento State at California on Sep 18, 2021
Fresno State at UCLA on Sep 19, 2021
UCLA at Stanford on Sep 25, 2021
San Diego State at San José State on Oct 16, 2021
Fresno State at San Diego State on Oct 31, 2021
USC at California on Nov 13, 2021
California at Stanford on Nov 20, 2021
UCLA at USC on Nov 20, 2021
Fresno State at San José State on Nov 25, 2021
California at UCLA on Nov 27, 2021

Fresno State            1-0
Stanford                1-0
USC                     1-1
Cal Poly                0-1
San José State          0-1

There are still those FCS games counted in with everything else. I haven’t fixed that in code yet but I think the most sensible thing is to drop them, but allow FCS teams to play “spoiler” — if you lose to an FCS team you should be disqualified from that year’s cup standings.

Right now Cal, Fresno State, UCLA and Stanford control their own destiny. Is Cal any good? They had a lead at TCU late but lost a demoralizing game.

Another major code initiative that would be really fun is 538-style simulation of the rest of the schedule, totaling up cumulative outcomes for a probability table of who’s likely to end up on top. We can do the rough math using 538 or Feng power rankings. Or we could plug in all three and just run the head-to-heads without trying to exhaustively simulate lots of games.

Current power rankings on Sagarin’s classic power rank:

UCLA 79.92
Stanford 78.98
USC 78.66
Cal 74.27
San Diego St 71.12
Fresno State 71.65
San Jose State 68.60

This suggests as does the gut that UCLA is a strong favorite but probably only on the order of 65%.