Daily Archives: July 15, 2010

Thursday afternoon buffet

If you’re hot and bored, you could do worse.

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13 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football, The NCAA, Tommy Tuberville - Mythical National Champ, Whoa, oh, Alabama

A test

The latest post at Phil Steele’s site is entitled “Coaches on the Hot Seat”.  It’s a perfect opportunity to see how much you’ve swallowed the media narrative.

Before you click on it, ask yourself if you think Mark Richt’s name appears there (thirteen names listed, if that helps).

LINK

Now, how do you feel after you’ve seen the list?

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water

They make excellent doorstops.

Oh, well.

Georgia plans to reprint about 14,000 football media guides to replace references to ousted athletics director Damon Evans.

The Bulldogs’ annual media guide, which is distributed to donors and recruits as well as the media, was printed shortly before Evans’ June 30 DUI arrest and subsequent resignation.

“The timing made it a very unusual circumstance,” Georgia associate athletics director Claude Felton told the AJC. “After discussions among Alan Thomas in the development office, [interim AD] Frank Crumley and myself, we felt like the best thing under the circumstances would be to do a partial reprint.”

Approximately 21,000 media guides were in the original printing, Felton said. Although some have been distributed, mostly to media and recruits, the majority remain in boxes.

Georgia hasn’t decided what to do with the thousands of guides that will go unused from the original printing.

It’s good they waited.  They can redo the roster while they’re at it.

2 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Getting Johnsoned.

Pretty good question:  in the last two seasons, did Bobby Johnson have a bigger impact on Auburn’s program or on his own?

1 Comment

Filed under SEC Football, Tony Franklin - Misunderstood Genius

“… and has vowed to change the culture of the Volunteer program.”

As I sit here in my glass house, I only mention today’s Derek Dooley story in a limited context.

… Last week’s arrests weren’t the first major discipline problems in the past year or even during this offseason. Myles was arrested at a nightclub in April and charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Under former coach Lane Kiffin, three players were arrested after being accused of an attempted aggravated robbery at a Knoxville convenience store. Two of them – freshmen Nu’Keese Richardson and Mike Edwards – were dismissed from the team, pleaded guilty to lesser charges and were put on probation.

Kiffin’s predecessor, Phillip Fulmer, also struggled with discipline issues before being fired in November 2008. Players were arrested throughout Fulmer’s 16-year tenure, and eight were either arrested or disciplined in 2008 for violating team rules.

Assuming that this “culture” really matters to the UT fan base (admittedly, that’s not a given), how in the world does Mike Hamilton still draw a pay check from the University of Tennessee?  It’s at a point where all I can do is sit back and marvel at that.  And wish Mr. Dooley the best of luck.

8 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

FPA: another reason why Georgia is doomed in 2010

I’ve really been digging into the statistical analysis that Football Outsiders‘ Bill Connelly and Brian Fremeau have done with their 2010 College Football Almanac (a bargain that you can download for a mere five bucks, by the way).

One metric they’ve devised that’s gotten my attention – and you’ll see why in a minute – is something they call Field Position Advantage (FPA).  Basically, they’ve determined the scoring value of every yard line on the field (how much an average offense can be expected to score against an average defense from that place).  They then take a measure of a team’s entire set of offensive series for each game over the season and factor in non-offensive scoring.  For a particular game, the sum of each team’s scoring value is combined and the ratio of one team’s scoring value to the total is FPA.

As they put it,

… FPA is a description of which team controlled field position in the game and by how much.  Two teams that face equal team position over the course of a game will each have an FPA of .500.  Winning the field position battle is quite valuable.  College football teams that play with an FPA over .500 win two-thirds of the time.  Teams that play with an FPA over .600 win ninety percent of the time.

You can see where I’m heading with this, can’t you, Dawg fans?  Here’s a stat that quantifies a lot of stuff that drove us nuts last year:  turnover margin, penalties, directional kicking, Logan Gray fair catches… you name it.  It’s kind of like a Unified Theory of Mediocrity.  (It’s also going to account for positives like Boykin’s returns and Butler’s net punting work.)

And when you look at the FPA rankings for the SEC last season, it confirms your worst suspicions.  [Note:  Numbers in parenthesis are national standings.]

  • Florida, 0.547 (11)
  • LSU, 0.537 (15)
  • Alabama, 0.527 (23)
  • Arkansas, 0.523 (29)
  • Kentucky, 0.517 (35)
  • Tennessee, 0.509 (45)
  • Vanderbilt, 0.509 (45)
  • Mississippi State, 0.504 (56)
  • Auburn, 0.499 (62)
  • Mississippi, 0.494 (65)
  • South Carolina, 0.476 (89)
  • Georgia, 0.466 (104)

Not pretty.  But not in the least bit surprising, either.

I pestered Bill for some specific context on Georgia’s FPA.  He was kind enough to respond by e-mail with this:

Here’s a little chart showing how teams in different FPA ranges tend to fare in terms of win percentage:

FPA Range BCS  Teams Non-BCS ALL
.400 to .429 0.226 0.205 0.212
.430 to .459 0.303 0.285 0.293
.460 to .489 0.473 0.378 0.421
.490 to .519 0.559 0.484 0.526
.520 to .549 0.695 0.615 0.672
.550 to .589 0.730 0.750 0.738

Extremely linear, which is always what you want to see when talking about the legitimacy of a measure.  Basically BCS teams falling into Georgia’s range (.460 to .489) usually have about a .473 win percentage, which is about 5.6 wins over a 12-game season. [Emphasis added.] Of the ten BCS teams who have had an FPA between .460 and .470 in the last three years, only two had winning records (Georgia 2009 and NC State 2007) and six went 4-8 or worse (Colorado 2009, Purdue 2008, Iowa State 2007, Indiana 2008, Syracuse 2009, Texas A&M 2008).  It is VERY rare for a good team to be that bad in terms of Field Position Advantage.

You can look at this data in one of two ways:  either the Dawgs overachieved last season, or they were a talented bunch that dragged themselves down because they didn’t do a lot of the little things well (or did some of them stupidly, if you prefer).  I lean towards the latter, not because I’m being a homer, but because I have a hard time putting a Martinez-coached defense and overachievement in the same thought pattern.

Now, Bill is careful to warn that you can’t read too much into FPA – specifically, that it’s not a very predictive tool going from one season to the next.  Given that turnover margin is generated fairly randomly year to year, that makes a good deal of sense.

Even so, if you think about a few things going for Georgia in 2010, such as swapping Jon Fabris for Warren Belin on special teams, an easier schedule and our old buddy regression to the mean, it’s hard not to see an improvement coming in FPA.  If the offense and defense do no better than hold their ground from last season, that would still indicate a decent possibility that better days lie ahead in the won/loss department.  At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it for now.

23 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!