Monday, September 21, 2009

Sun Devils versus History this weekend

I'm not a big fan of examining historical records in college sports, because the kids playing today were not responsible for most of the results.

However, here is a stunning fact about Sun Devil football that cannot be overlooked in the build-up to the game at Georgia this weekend: ASU has never won an out-of-conference road game against a team that is currently in the BCS which finished its season above .500.

Never, as in never, ever.

The closest we got was in 2004, when we beat a Northwestern team that finished 6-6.

Since joining the Pac-10 in 1978, ASU has gone 0-8 in road games versus "BCS +.500" teams, and 5-4 in road games against BCS teams that finished .500 or worse. In road games versus non-BCS schools, we are 4-1 in that timespan. However, the streak goes back through ASU's entire history -- Coach Kush never even played a winning Pac-8 team on the road whilst ASU was a member of the WAC.

Of course, there is no guarantee that Georgia will finish above .500 this season. But if we do win in Athens on Saturday, and if Georgia goes on to finish with 7 or more wins, then the streak will end.

If anyone would like to double-check my research, please feel free and note any corrections in the comments. Here is a good site. For the purposes of my research, I counted our 2002 game against Nebraska as a road game, since it was played in Lincoln, even though technically it was a neutral-site game.  I ignored Bowl games.

Updated 12/6/09: Now that Georgia has finished their 2009 season at 7-5, the streak continues. We are now 0-10 all-time in road games versus "BCS +.500" teams.


Anonymous said...

What a horrible stat and it is a clear statement of how badly we fare in games against good opponents.

Scott Jones said...

Oh my, that's a horrendous stat - puts Koetter's "oh-for-california" stat to shame.

phillydevil said...

Just to complete my notes, I have us at 0-8 in these games in school history, with 3 of the losses coming at Nebraska (1995, 1992, 1988). The other losses were at Iowa (2003), Louisville (1993), Michigan State (1985), Ohio State (1980) and Missouri (1974).

phillydevil said...

May need to change this to 0-9 all-time, and 0-8 as a member of the Pac-10. The loss to Nebraska in 2002 should probably be counted. The Huskers ended the regular season 7-6 and then lost their bowl game, but since I am excluding bowls from these statistics it seems to make sense to treat Nebraska as a +.500 team for 2002. Also, although this game was technically a neutral-site game (it was the Black Coaches Association Classic) it was played in Lincoln and so I think it is fair to trat it as a road game.

SBSDEVIL said...

Oregon in 2002 at 7-6 does not count? Or is this only regular season..


phillydevil said...

Replying to SBSDEVIL: this article is related to out-of-conference road games only. I'm sure we've had many Pac-10 road victories over winning teams.