Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Pac-12 all-sports standings

If you remember my column last year with the State Press, I introduced the Pac-12 all-sports standings. The premise behind the metric is that success can be defined by how well an athletic department fares against its primary competitors. I rated ASU in its peer group, the Pac-12, and found out that it was generally in the middle of the pack.

The scoring for the metric is as follows: The first-place team in a 12-team league earns 12/12 points, second place 11/12, all the way to last place earning 1/12. In a 10-team league, the winner would get 10/10 points, last place 1/10 and so on. The overall final number is the points earned divided by points possible. Ties were not broken, so a two-team tie for first would result in 11.5/12 points.

Anyway, here's the results for the past year (and also the four before that).


  • Stanford won the 2015-16 Pac-12 all-sports crown and has won three of the five seasons tracked, which is surprisingly low considering it has won every Directors' Cup since the first one. The reason for this result is that the metric is an efficiency metric, with no reward for competing in more sports, and Stanford competes in more sports than other schools.
  • The main reason for the five-year cutoff was to include all of Colorado and Utah's seasons in the conference. Predictably, the two have struggled to adapt, and are ranked No. 9 and No. 11 respectively, in the five-year average.
  • Colorado has the fewest potential points and doesn't compete in nine of the 23 sports the Pac-12 sponsors, including baseball. 
  • Utah, Washington, Colorado and USC all had their best season in 2015-16, while Arizona, UCLA and Oregon State endured their worst.
  • Washington State is considerably worse than any other Pac-12 school, finishing last in four of the five years, and is more than 7 percentage points behind Utah in the five-year average.
  • Oregon State (+.1897) and Oregon (+.1730) are both significantly stronger in men's sports relative to women's sports, while Stanford (+.0865) and Utah (+.0822) are the highest performing in women's sports relative to men's.

Note: The following sports used regular season standings for awarding points: football, men's basketball, women's basketball, baseball, softball, women's tennis, men's tennis, men's soccer, women's soccer and volleyball.

The following sports used the conference tournament/competition: beach volleyball, wrestling, men's golf, women's golf, men's swimming, women's swimming, men's cross country, men's outdoor track and field, women's cross country, women's outdoor track and field, gymnastics, men's rowing and women's rowing.