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Season grade - BostonCard - 01-13-2021

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2021/01/13/college-football-season-grades-alabama-ohio-state-arizona/6591466002/

USA Today gives us a B.  Colorado the only team graded higher (B+).  Oregon and USC also got B's.

BC


RE: Season grade - Phogge - 01-13-2021

A bogus year and bogus rankings.

What would count is the ranking from this board. Given expectations I would say B+.


RE: Season grade - Papa John - 01-14-2021

Well, Phogge, our CardBoard preseason poll asked "How many Pac-12 wins will Stanford football have in 2020?"

Here are the results...
7 wins-Pac-12 champs: 7.3%
6 wins-Pac-12 champs: 7.3%
6 wins-Pac-12 North champs/conference runner-up: 2.4%
5 wins: 19.5%
4 wins: 31.7%
3 wins: 19.5%
2 wins: 7.3%
1 win: 2.4%
Season will not be completed: 2.4%

The poll was based on a 7-game season and our team only played 6. But I would say that it met expectations for most folks. I'd like to think that we would have defeated WSU, but I've been fooled on that front plenty of times. But overall, the offense, once Mills was back in form, was solid, the special teams had more ups than downs, and the defense was bad.

Median grade at Stanford used to be a B-, but with grade inflation I'd give the season a B. And, although I think Boulder, CO is a great town, I'm really tired of losing to the Buffaloes.


RE: Season grade - Phogge - 01-14-2021

I'd say something about Boulder but it would leak into politics.

Off of last year I would have picked UCLA, Washington, Cal and Oregon to beat Stanford with Colorado and Wazzu as tossups so yep I still say they exceeded expectations. Especially since your evidence was Cardboard predictions which, ahem, could in some circles be considered biased.


RE: Season grade - Papa John - 01-14-2021

Phogge, CU is a great public university in a beautiful setting. And I've experienced some good eats on or near Pearl Street. Nothing else matters.

It's a great road trip for visiting fans, IMO. The only bad experience I've had was Bienemy's 4th-down plunge in September 1990.


RE: Season grade - Snorlax94 - 01-14-2021

We’ve discussed how to grade a season before. I mentioned then, I remember the second time Bill Walsh coached and he said his goal, given Stanford’s admission requirements and its commitment not to compromise its vision as a university for athletic expedience, was to have a consistently nationally competitive program that was ranked most years and, sometimes when things lined up, could make a run for things.

So that kind of mindset and framing — from Bill Walsh — sets my expectations for how to grade seasons.

For me, it starts with winning The Big Game. Check.
Then, you want a winning season.  Check.
Then, you want to end the season ranked, which they didn’t accomplish, but Sagarin had the team around #22 which I agree with.
Then, you want to win a Bowl Game, which is N/A.
After that are the A/A+ goals, like conference championships, NY6, and the great granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl (which this year had higher TV ratings than the national championship game).

So by these criteria this year would be about a B+, but that’s before you consider the BS Stanford had with the bogus test results, and the extra constraints Stanford had by being in SCC (being homeless, going without access to your world-class facilities, and at times practicing at a high school in Woodside or a public park across the street from your hotel in Seattle!)

And I don’t think enough praise has been given to the most important stat that Coach Shaw was very proud of that I am super proud of as a fan of the team: 0.

That’s the number of football players who caught Covid-19 during football, after activities began on campus (and on the road).

We still don’t know all the long-term consequences for people’s health for young people, even if they show mild or no symptoms. And we know campus spread leads to community spread and family spread (like players traveling back home). But 0 Stanford football players will have their long term health affected by Covid during the season, 0 football players contributed to community spread during the season, and 0 players will be getting their families sick from Covid caught during the season.

This year, Stanford gave me some football to look forward to on weekends, it provided some thrilling wins with fantastic plays, and they brought back The Axe. They did this while continuing to do things the right way, keeping their student athletes and their families, and the community safe, staying true to their values and vision as a world class research university.

To me, a great season, and a special one I will remember. That is my grade.


RE: Season grade - Phogge - 01-14-2021

Yep. Great setting. Great coffee. But in 52 years in the film business not including riot coverage I have been harassed by cops three times. All in Colorado. I prefer rural Utah and anywhere in Idaho.


RE: Season grade - cctop - 01-14-2021

I'd give it a B+, very close to an A- and to a C-.

The Washington game was a joy.  The UCLA game was the most exciting in years.

But the biggest story is that the O-line gelled and we had a solid running game.  Watching them this year was like getting a drink of water after being lost in the desert.


RE: Season grade - Mick - 01-14-2021

I enjoyed the hell out of this season. I thought we would have two wins. And we won a lot of close games and would have gone to a good Bowl game.  It’s a B+ for me.


RE: Season grade - Treebound - 01-14-2021

I enjoyed the season as well.  I give the Pac12 testing in Oregon an F.  I will always wonder how we would have done with our full team, including Mills at the helm for the full season.   I'm sorry to see Mills make the jump and think he still need another season on The Farm.


RE: Season grade - JohnR34231 - 01-15-2021

The season went pretty much as I expected it to.
We had one win I didn't expect (Washington) and one loss I didn't expect (Colorado).
I thought Big Game was a tossup. Nice victory.
I'd give us a B.
Definitely sorry to lose Mills. When we signed him I thought we had the next great Stanford QB. He showed flashes of it, but due to injuries and the pandemic his tenure was way too short.


RE: Season grade - BigJohn043 - 01-15-2021

I would give us a C.

The only good thing about this season was that 4-2 looks pretty good on paper and it was fun to see us win some close games.  The reality is that we squeaked by with 4 very close wins against mediocre to bad teams to end the season. I guess this is better than losing those games but we just didn't look like a very good team.

We ended the season with literally anyone who could getting out of dodge.

The reality is we are on a sharp downward trajectory.  Does anyone really think we will have a winning season next year?


RE: Season grade - Phogge - 01-15-2021

Good chance for a winning season because the conference is crappy. The leagues rep, by default in the championship game, is talent rich but doesn’t play up to its recruiting rankings. SC is losing some key pieces of its defense. UCLA can be passed upon, Washington lacks a big time QB (three QB’s transferred out) and Utah has tragically lost the conference’s most dynamic freshman. Cal regressed, WSU hardly played. Going into next season ASU might be the best team. Stanford has a chance in the North but there are huuuuuuge questions.


RE: Season grade - BostonCard - 01-15-2021

(Yesterday, 09:26 AM)BigJohn043 Wrote:  The reality is we are on a sharp downward trajectory.

How does going from 4-8 to 4-2 qualify as a "sharp downward trajectory"?  Even if you are viewing things more broadly and say that the period of 2016-2020 wasn't as good as the period from 2011 to 2015 (which I agree is true), how is a shift that happened over a half decade "sharp"?

BC


RE: Season grade - martyup - 01-15-2021

I would give our offense an A- and our defense a C-.  I will cut the offense slack for the two losses due to the Mills' Covid test debacle.  The only reason those wins were close was our weak defense.  

A good defense needs a solid leader, like we had in Skov, Martinez, and Thomas.  Guys like that set the tone and motivate other players to overachieve.


RE: Season grade - winflop - 01-15-2021

I'll give them a B. The four-game road win streak was amazing, but the flub at Colorado prevents me from giving them an A - especially Shaw for the clock management in Q4. He's been a head coach for 10 years. Those kinds of mistakes are inexcusably bad.


RE: Season grade - BigJohn043 - 01-15-2021

(Yesterday, 09:58 AM)BostonCard Wrote:  
(Yesterday, 09:26 AM)BigJohn043 Wrote:  The reality is we are on a sharp downward trajectory.

How does going from 4-8 to 4-2 qualify as a "sharp downward trajectory"?  Even if you are viewing things more broadly and say that the period of 2016-2020 wasn't as good as the period from 2011 to 2015 (which I agree is true), how is a shift that happened over a half decade "sharp"?

BC

If you just look at the records I agree with you.  If you look at the performance on the field, I don't think this years team was any better than last.  And we lost a of immense proportions chunk of our best players that had us being mediocre.....


RE: Season grade - BostonCard - 01-15-2021

(Yesterday, 02:58 PM)BigJohn043 Wrote:  If you just look at the records I agree with you.  If you look at the performance on the field, I don't think this years team was any better than last.  And we lost a of immense proportions chunk of our best players that had us being mediocre.....

Even beyond record we were a better team this year than last.
Net points per drive: -0.16 (#73); last year -0.82 (#106)
FEI (net points per drive adjusted for opponent): -0.13 (#74); last year -0.24 (#91)

Offensive points per drive: 2.84 (#24); last year 1.82 (#99)
Offensive FEI: 0.92 (#20); last year -0.1 (#81)

Defensive points per drive:3.0 (#105); last year 2.64 (#95)
Defensive FEI: -1.1 (#112); -0.44 (#90)

The offense, especially, improved from one of the bottom offenses in the country to a top 25 offense.  The defense, which was bad last year, was a bit worse this year, but the improvement in offense more than made up for the drop in defense.

BC


RE: Season grade - CowboyIndian - 01-15-2021

I give them a grade with which I am intimately familiar: Incomplete