YPPy-cay-yay…

So I picked up my copy of Steele’s 2010 Preview yesterday.  As per my usual routine, I wade through it looking for some weird insights about Georgia and as usual, Phil doesn’t let me down.

First of all, you need to know that he is incredibly bullish on Georgia’s offense this season.  He projects the Dawgs to have the eighth-most prolific scoring offense in D-1, leading the SEC with 37.4 ppg (which is good, because he also sees the defense yielding a still-way-too-much 22.4 ppg).  So where is this coming from, you may ask?

To get an idea, take a look at this chart I put together of certain stats Steele compiled from the results of all 2009 in-conference games.

Team Off. YPP Rank Def. YPP Rank TO Marg. ST TDs
Alabama 14.1 6 25.5 1 9 0
Arkansas 13.1 2 14.4 7 12 0
Auburn 15.1 8 12.4 11 1 1
Florida 13.6 5 19.6 2 6 1
Georgia 12.3 1 12 12 -12 2
Kentucky 13.5 4 14.2 8 0 0
LSU 13.3 3 17.5 3 4 2
Ole Miss 17.2 10 14.5 6 -13 1
MSU 15.2 9 12.4 11 -6 1
S. Carolina 19.3 11 13.5 10 -6 0
Tennessee 14.6 7 15.4 5 6 0
Vanderbilt 26.4 12 16.2 4 1 1

Steele makes a very big deal out of yards per point (YPP).  You can read a breakdown of it here.  Essentially, it’s a measure of offensive and defensive efficiency – the lower a team’s offensive YPP is, the more efficient it is at scoring and the higher a team’s defensive YPP is, the better it is at making its opponents less efficient on offense.  Last year the average YPP for a D-1 team was 15.65 and the median was 14.38.

So, yeah, what you’re seeing in that chart is that Georgia was by far the most efficient scorer in SEC games last season, despite (1) having a QB that hemorrhaged interceptions; (2) didn’t settle on its best running backs rotation until mid-season; (3) shuffled offensive linemen for much of the year; and (4) lost its most dynamic playmaker for the last few games.

Like it or not, these pesky stats keep suggesting that Mike Bobo can coach a little.

Now there are a few things to point out here.  As you can see from the last column in the chart, I also added special teams scores (via cfbstats.com), since those are counted in the overall scoring numbers and don’t involve offensive plays.  Georgia did lead in SEC games with two of those, but six other schools scored touchdowns on special teams, so I don’t believe those had a dramatic impact on the YPP rankings.  I didn’t count defensive scores because Steele doesn’t track those, but I think it’s safe to say that based on turnover margin Georgia wouldn’t be getting any breaks there either.

But it’s turnover margin that really makes Georgia’s 2009 offensive YPP so remarkable.  Ordinarily teams with a low offensive YPP raise a red flag for Steele.  As he says on page 299 of the Preview, “(t)eams that had an extremely low ypp the previous year usually have a weaker record the next season.” Since 1990, teams with a YPP less than 13.56 have a 67.2% chance of compiling a weaker or same record in the next year.  But then he goes on to note that the probabilities aren’t as dominant as they are for teams with a high offensive ypp to improve “…  because there are some teams like USC that benefit from turnovers on a yearly basis, keeping their ypp low.”

Good turnover margin = lower offensive YPP.  Bad turnover margin = higher offensive YPP.  Georgia was 11th in TO margin in SEC games last year, yet still led the conference in scoring efficiency.  What does that suggest if Richt and Bobo manage to find a way to stop the bleeding?  Steele seems to be pointing at a boatload of scoring for the men in red and black; we’ll soon see if he’s on to something here.

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25 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

25 responses to “YPPy-cay-yay…

  1. Bulldog Bry

    Stop it. You’re making me giddy.

  2. kckd

    Outside of UTK, OSU and LSU, wasn’t really a game last year that I wasn’t pleased with how our offense played.

    i think the OSU game had a lot to do with Cox sickness.

    UTK, I just don’t know what happened. It was as if we brought a high school team in there. About as severe a beating in all facets of any game in the MR era.

  3. James Stephenson

    I get tired of people bitching about Bobo. The LSU game sucked, but really LSU had a good defense last year. And if that early shot down the field find AJ Green, we blow them out cause they back up and allow more running room. But Cox missed him by a bit and the O never got going.

  4. Derek

    I have a name for this statistical anomaly: A. J. Green.

    • ugalaw

      Very interesting. I still am a little bearish on this offense. Please convince me otherwise. Watching from last season, I don’t see the hype on our OL this season. I don’t once remember against a quality opponent, our OL taking over a game and dominating. I could be wrong but I simply can’t remember that. AJ is a beast and accounts for our entire WR corps by himself. I would like to see someone else really assert themselves (but this probably isn’t necessary). I like Ealey but apart from that, I am overly confident in our RB’s. I actually think Murray is a great fit and look forward to seeing him mature. But I think our TE’s are our greatest weapon of consistent ball movement this year.

        • ugalaw

          Somehow that game completely slipped my mind.

          Do you think we will be able to move the ball when teams stack the box and dare Murray to be able to complete a pass to AJ to make them step back?

          Heck, if I was an opposing DC, I would take my lumps with AJ and make Murray shoulder it all, blitzing left and right.

          This is where Charles and our TE’s are integral to our success this year.

          • Prov

            I think stacking the box is certainly a concern early on (Gamecocks). But once a team or two gets burned doing it they will have to play a balanced more D.

      • hailtogeorgia

        You don’t see the hype on the O-Line? We possess the most starts of any O-Line in the country (155, if I’m correct). Don’t recall a game where our line took over a game and dominated? You must’ve gorged yourself on too much turkey and cranberry sauce and completely missed the game against the nerds. Go back and watch it, our O-Line absolutely destroyed them…our first 13 plays were all runs.

        AJ is a beast and certainly is a major factor in our WR corps, but he’s certainly not the only one. Tavarres King became a pretty good option for him last year and Rantavious Wooten is fast, quick, has good hands, and plays very well out of the slot. Add in the fact that Durham is coming back and we have one of the better receiving corps in the nation (including the TE’s).

        I’m not sure how you’re not overly confident in our running backs. Once we settled on the rotation of King and Ealey, our running game exploded. Again, go back and watch the Georgia Tech game. If you can name a running back duo in the SEC better than King and Ealey (other than Richardson and Ingram), I’ll buy you a spicy chicken sandwich from Chick-Fil-A.

    • AJ Green

      As I said on here after the Arizona State game…

      I play for Georgia. My success = Georgia’s success. Why Dawg fans want to discount good things on the field just because it’s me doing a lot of them is beyond me. I guess the Bulls should give up those titles because, after all, it was just Jordan doing stuff.

      • hailtogeorgia

        Don’t misunderstand it, A.J. No one has a problem with the great things you do on the field…in fact, we all love them. However, a lot of people would just like to know that we can still win without you, just in case you get hurt…you know, not putting all your eggs in one basket and such. After all, you and I both know that you’re not exactly the Iron Man when it comes to withstanding injuries…just sayin.

        On top of that, Jordan didn’t do it all by himself. Sure, he was the deciding factor, but he had great players like Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr, Tony Kukoc, Scottie Pippen, and a coach like Phil Jackson to help him out.

  5. hailtogeorgia

    If we score 37.4 ppg, we will be playing in Atlanta in December (and I don’t mean for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl).

  6. Derek

    My point about AJ and the statistical anomaly that we see in these numbers is this: Does anyone think we beat USC, Arizona State or Arkansas without AJ? Personally I don’t. Guess where that would have put us going in to the Vandy game: 0-6. In the second half vs. Vandy we started to become a more complete team and but for a total meltdown vs. UK we would have won 9 games. We were AJ and nothing for 6 and a half games and he nearly had us to 4-2 but for the celebration call vs. LSU. CMR can thank God that he got AJ because if it hadn’t been for him we wouldn’t be shrugging off the hot seat BS, it would be a reality.

    I don’t think the 2010 team is close to how we opened last year. We are loaded at OL, TE and have enough guys at WR’s that have made plays other than AJ that we will be fine there. If Caleb and Ealey start the year like they fininshed it, we are going to be a very good offensive team.

    BTW: Steele is close on the defensive PPG, but I think it will be a little closer to 20. I think we will really frustrate some of the weaker teams on our schedule but we will be in shoot outs with some of the better offensive teams we play and we play several that have potential to be very good offensive teams. Its going to take a little while to get back to the low teens where we’d like to be.

    • D.N. Nation

      Does anyone think we beat USC, Arizona State or Arkansas without AJ?

      Arizona State, probably not. AJ was a man among boys that night.

      South Carolina? Yeah, I think so. AJ had a teeder and some big catches, but that was a shootout no matter what. Same goes for Arkansas. Cox threw *five* TDs. You could have put me against the Hawgs’ disaster of a secondary and I might have hauled in some balls.

      • Derek

        Even if AJ didn’t have big games vs. USC and Arky you are not appreciating what his presence does to a defense. His ability opens up opportunities for other players to make plays that might not be there if AJ was on the bench. As bad as our running game was AJ was the only reason opposing defenses didn’t send the house on every play. I’m telling you if AJ hadn’t been out there it would have gotten UGLY. Cox may have big killed, Logan would have been broken in two and Murray may have left town. If you want a good picture of where Georgia would have been in 2009 w/o AJ think 1993 w/ Cox instead of Zeier at QB. I think we got 4 wins that year w/ Zeier.

  7. 69Dawg

    I’m sorry but lets not forget the first half of the Texas A&M game, our OL was being handled. As great as they looked against GT, a lot of that was GT’s DL. I’ll settle for an OL that just opens holes and picks up blitzes. Too many good DL’s to blow them out.

    • Dawg93

      In that A&M game, we didn’t have Josh Davis at RT due to injury. When he was plugged into the starting lineup midseason, it made a big difference in our OL. I don’t recall his replacement in the bowl game, but whoever it was (Vance maybe?) was replaced around halftime and the OL played a lot better after that.

      However, you’re right about Tech’s DL. Not exactly the same as facing UF, LSU, etc. Then again, no one really expects us to rush for 300+ against those teams. Get 150+ on the ground and 250+ thru the air along with limiting turnovers and we’ve got a fighting chance against the better defenses on our schedule.

      • hailtogeorgia

        I’m pretty sure you’re right with Vince Vance in the A&M game. I remember him having two awful plays inside our own ten yard line in the first half where their line just went straight past him. He had no idea who he was supposed to block, and he was jumping offsides.

  8. Bryant Denny

    Don’t those stats also point out how bad the UGA defense stunk?

    Your offense should be very good this year pending a couple of obvious things, e.g. QB play, reducing turnovers, injuries, etc.

    In terms of the offensive coaching, not figuring out the RB rotation and not playing to Cox’s strengths raise question marks in my mind.

    Case in point related to Cox: Bama’s QB had pretty good numbers in 2007, but struggled with some well-placed and well-timed turnovers and voila 7-6 record. One year later, the coaches put the reins on him, stats go down, turnovers go down, but wins go up (also aided in a big way by a good defense).

    You very well may have a better offense in ’10, though the QB’s stats look pale compared to ’09.

    Have a good day dawgs,

    BD