29.Sep.2010 Analysis: Arizona State @ Oregon State
If you flip a coin 3 times with the results being 1 heads and 2 tails, you'd probably expect the 4th flip would be heads, correct? However, since the 4th flip is independent of prior events, the probability is, like all other coin flips, 50/50.
"Angry, why bring up esoteric crap like math? This is football!"
Basically, to point out a fact that we fans sometimes forget: football games are independent events.
It would be easy to reason that since Arizona State has put up 500 yards a game in hanging with the big boys, and Oregon State has looked abysmal even in victory against a rebuilding little guy, that the Sun Devils will win the game.
Well, for me this game comes down to psychology (what else is new?). On one hand we have the Beavers, who are absolutely desperate for a win. On the other, Arizona State, who are feeling like world beaters after playing well enough to beat two top 25 teams.
Here's an analogy: the Beavers are the bum who hasn't eaten (or had a "drink") in two weeks and sees you strolling down the street, whistling Dixie, and carrying a sack of leftovers from the Peacock. Arizona State, in this analogy, would be "you". Fat…satiated…not exactly looking for a meal. Who do you think wins a battle over them scraps?
The home crowd will be booing the Beavers' every failure, which should stoke the fire.
So I'm picking the Beavers, right?
I saw ASU, and their mobile QB, stalemate Wisconsin and have their way with Oregon (until the 7 turnovers were too much to overcome). Could the Beavs compete with either of those teams? No, I don't believe so, but football unlike mathematics is not transitive. Independent events, my friends, just like the coins.
Sure, ASU is bigger, stronger, and faster. The eyeball test tells me the game's ledger will read "L", but until the "psychological edge" argument fails me, I'm sticking with it. Now chant with me, Beavlettes: PSYCHOLOGICAL EDGE AND INDEPENDENT EVENTS, PSYCHOLOGICAL EDGE AND INDEPENDENT EVENTS! You can probably sense how much confidence I have in this one.
Beavs by the skin of their teeth.