Sometimes, when matters more than how many.

Here’s a statistical tale for you to ponder.  Georgia finished last season +10 in turnover margin.  Not surprisingly, the Dawgs were better in that metric in their wins (+15) than in their losses (minus-5).

But here’s the strange part:  in both cases, they ranked quite well in comparison with their conference peers.  Georgia finished first in the SEC in turnover margin in wins – with a big gap between them and the rest of the SEC when you measure on a per game basis – and fourth in losses (third on a per game basis).  So on a quantitative basis, you might think turnovers mattered more last season in helping the team win than in contributing to the losing.  Yet, if you’re like me, it’s the key turnovers in the losses that stick in your brain.  The Florida game was the only one where the sheer number of times Georgia flipped the ball was the controlling factor.  To the extent that turnovers negatively affected the outcome, the rest came more from bad timing than the numbers.

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19 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

19 responses to “Sometimes, when matters more than how many.

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    2008: Weak defense is the problem
    2009: Weak defense and too many turnovers are the problem
    2010: New defense and untimely turnovers are the problem

    Talent has never been the problem. I’m not criticising you or bloggers in general. Looking for keys is a fan’s delight. However, sooner or later, if things don’t improve, somebody is gonna have to step up and admit that coaching, leadership, and motivation are the problem.

    • I’m not really pointing to this as a key. In fact, I’d say it’s more a case that I’m surprised TO margin wasn’t more of a key.

      • Spence

        Nothing about our w/l record last year makes sense in light of our almost across the board improved statistics.

        • I agree. I made a point a while back that once we got past the disappointment, we’d be left scratching our heads trying to figure out how things turned out as they did.

          • fuelk2

            My question is where does this leave us. On one hand, one could argue that we were a few timely plays away from being 9-3. On the other, statistics indicate that we played pretty darn well (thus incremental improvement may be more difficult than we think). Plus, we’ve lost our best playmaker.

            The 2011 season will be the third straight in which I go into the season having no clue how good we’ll be. And that hasn’t turned out well so far.

          • Spence

            Some stat geek somewhere needs to use our season as a model to come up with some new stats that explain our performance. That said, I’d like to see how our confererence stats compare to our overall stats cause i think out blowouts must have skewed things more this year than usual.

  2. jim

    lets see – the turnover and penalty issues werent issues.

    our biggest question mark turned into our biggest strength.

    off field problems continued to plague us.

    strength and conditioning was poor (as evidenced by changes that have been made since).

    Our stats, except win loss were pretty good

    Injuries weren’t an issue

    that leaves coaching.

    I read somewhere the other day that mcgarity is trying to eliminate every variable possible. I like his approach so far

    If the staff can’t keep our boys out of trouble and put a dramatically improved product on the field (in terms of both how we play and win/loss) they really have no excuse and the reason/solution is obvious.

    God knows they won’t be able to blame our schedule either which, after the first 2 weeks, is pretty favorable

    • Toom

      I couldn’t agree more with this!

    • Hackerdog

      You think AJ selling his jersey was Richt’s fault?

      You think King not paying his ticket was Richt’s fault?

      You think Ealey getting his helmet knocked off in the Florida game was Richt’s fault?

      You think underage college kids drinking beer in Athens was Richt’s fault?

      Was the Japan earthquake Richt’s fault too? It was 9.0 on the RICHTER scale!

  3. lrgk9

    And one bonehead jersey sale by your 1st round draft choice getting himself kicked off the field by the manic/depressive NCAA to start the season when your newbie QB is at his, dare i say, ‘greenest’.

    • Joe

      Again, it wasn’t the sale, it was who and when and where he sold it. Had it been to a drug dealer under Federal Investigation with a coach willing to look the other way if not actually assist to hide the transgression and lie to the world, he would have played!! Timing.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        I don’t want to be negative but the suspension of AJ Green was as a direct result of UGA as an institution mishandling the situation. AJ was being questioned about a party in Miami thrown by supposed agents (or their runners) where activities occurred that violated NCAA rules. AJ wasn’t there. The NCAA investigators were misinformed that AJ was there. The university should have provided legal counsel to AJ during the NCAA interview. As soon as AJ established his alibi the interview should have been over. When the NCAA investigator started asking questions about AJ’s finances, bank accounts, sales of anything, etc. the lawyer should have terminated the interview, instructed AJ to say nothing further and alleged violation of privacy. This was not supposed to be a witchhunt. Either UGA botched the interview by not having a lawyer present or the lawyer (or the university pulling the strings of the lawyer) blew it. This is yet another example of UGA going “the extra mile” to please these NCAA assholes and it being used against us.

  4. Joe

    Absolutely. Being turned down by 100 girls is one thing, being dumped by the ONE, is heartbreaking for years. A key turnover or misstep (Colorado, UK last year, Failure to convert 3rd and 4 vs Ark., UF OT, etc.) can kill future drives, games etc.

    Ask Bill Buckner how it feels to make the error at the WRONG time!

  5. Bad M

    On one level, Coaching is the problem for 119 of the 120 teams out there. (Or however many there are) You saying that coaching is the problem isn’t some great insight. AND it’s not an answer to anything. Most fans who read these posts in the off season want actual answers and insight. You are just a grump who’s complaining only creates division and brings down a program. If just firing the coach was the answer…we’d have a dozen National Championships by now.
    But a bad coaching job one year doesn’t mean it will be bad the next. There are just too many variables. Otherwise, why don’t all the teams who win MNC just keep winning every year? Coach R winning ten games a year for all those years was not a fluke. It takes a special coach. Winning 13 is a fluke! Even the Urbanator needs the right mix of players and luck.
    If you think any coach can go without ever having a couple of down years, then you are …well, I won’t use that language. Unfortunately, perception is a big part of this game. Saban won quickly because of hype. He used it to perfection. And it starts with the fans (selling out the stadium for a spring game?!). Alabama gets recruits because of the “hype” of a legendary program. There’s no reality in it. These 85 kids are completely different from those that won under the Bear. If you are a fan, stop bringing down the program. If your Hot Seat meme costs us one recruit…then you need to stop. We all know what just one recruit can do for a program.

  6. Prov

    “If your Hot Seat meme costs us one recruit…then you need to stop.”
    Damn, I didn’t know so many recruits read this blog.

  7. shane#1

    I would be more inclined to point at the coaching staff if the turnovers and penalties had not improved. Like when the D coaches were let go, problems were identified and addressed. The team faded in the fourth quarter in several games so the S&C program was completely overhauled. Coach Richt may not be moving at the speed that we fans would like, but he is wise to use caution. His career depends on these changes working.

  8. Bad M

    Really? You think the recruits didn’t hear about all the Hot Seat talk last year? You think that may be why so many are locking in to Alabama so early this year and are probably “wait and see” with us? You don’t think that maybe, “whether a coach will be there next year” might be in the top three things a kid thinks about.
    Plus, what good does it do? It won’t change the season and that’s what will determine what happens to the coach. Crap, write to the AD if that’s what you want, but “keep it in the locker room”!