Statistics? We don’t need no stinkin’ statistics.

Matt Hinton makes the case for a strong correlation between passer efficiency and winning.

The top eight teams in the nation in terms of pass efficiency started arguably the eight best quarterbacks, and (with the notable exception of Oregon) were arguably the eight best teams, period:

1. Auburn (Cam Newton). 14-0, SEC champion, BCS Championship, No. 1 in final AP poll.
2. Boise State (Kellen Moore). 12-1, WAC co-champion, No. 10 in final AP poll.
3. Stanford (Andrew Luck). 12-1, Orange Bowl, No. 3 in final AP poll.
4. Wisconsin (Scott Tolzien). 11-2, Big Ten co-champion, Rose Bowl, No. 7 in final AP poll.
5. Alabama (Greg McElroy). 10-3, No. 9 in final AP poll.
6. TCU (Andy Dalton). 13-0, Mountain West champion, Rose Bowl, No. 2 in final AP poll.
7. Arkansas (Ryan Mallett). 10-3, Sugar Bowl, No. 12 in final AP poll.
8. Ohio State (Terrelle Pryor). 12-1, Big Ten co-champion, Sugar Bowl, No. 5 in final AP poll.

Three more schools that played in BCS games finished in the top 25 in passer efficiency.  It’s no wonder that it leads Hinton to conclude

… In other words, pass efficiency is the statistic that may best reflect not only a good quarterback but a good offense that keeps in position to succeed as a result of its overall balance. Somewhere in that idea is the secret sweet spot in the age of the postmodern offense: Yes, you have to be able to throw, but it’s still a matter of quality over quantity.

Well, except at one place.

… Sixteen of the top 20 teams in terms of pass efficiency rating finished with at least 10 wins, significantly more than any in any other major stat category. Only one of the top-20 pass efficiency teams (Georgia, at 6-7) finished worse than three games over .500… [Emphasis added.]

I keep saying it – once you get past the disappointment, all that’s left from the smoking crater of last year’s season is a genuine sense of puzzlement about how things turned out so badly.

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15 Comments

Filed under College Football, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

15 responses to “Statistics? We don’t need no stinkin’ statistics.

  1. zdub

    For the most part it was turnovers at the absolute worst times in the majority of the early season football games:

    Don’t fumble in the SCe red zone? The score turns out differently (but we still most likely don’t win).

    Don’t fumble in the red zone at MSU? The score turns out differently and perhaps we win.

    Don’t fumble on the final drive against Colorado? Blair most likely makes that kick and we win the game.

    Don’t commit those early turnovers against Florida? We win the game (hell, we almost won despite all the turnovers at the beginning anyway).

    Don’t throw 2 INTs against UCF? Perhaps we win that game (50/50 though considering the players didn’t seem to give a damn the whole game).

    Blame the Arkansas and Auburn games on poor defense (for the most part). Add a dash of a nearly non-existent running game (against the better teams) with a pinch of AJ suspended for the first 4 games and there you have it, the recipe for 6-7.

    I’m not trolling or anything like that Senator (I love this blog!) so I would like to ask you, legitimately, what exactly puzzles you about the way things went last season?

    • dudetheplayer

      It’s mainly the fact that almost every stat would indicate that we were an improved team in 2010 from 2009, yet the record went in the opposite direction.

      Football games are not played in vacuum, though, like you pointed out.

      For me it, it came down to poor line play on both sides of the ball. We had other problems, obviously, but the poor line play was the root of all evil. The defensive line was understandable because we didn’t have the right personnel, but the O-line remains a bit of a mystery to me. I’m praying Friend can make significant progress with those gentlemen.

      • Wonderful-Ohio-on-the-Gulf Dog

        Both lines were pretty much shoved around by the good teams we played last year, especially as it got later in the game.

        Line play is foundational. Football teams do not excel without it.

        Herschel came in to an outstanding existing O line in 1980 and Herschel enjoyed great O lines his three years in Athens. Not taking anything away from Herschel, but even he wouldn’t have been the Greatest College Football Player Ever without a great O line.

        Strength and conditioning is not the panacea, but Georgia’s historic success was built not so much on having the better atheletes, but rather on having the stronger and more fit players in the game when it counted. CMR seems routinely to sign better prospects than Coach Dooley generally had, but Dooley seemed more able to put players who could bring it in the second half.

        I’m optomistic Coach Friend can take clearly talented players and make them winners on the field for Georgia.

  2. In close games last year, despite Murray’s overall performance, he seem to suffer from some nerves on top of some questionable offensive calls. These factors are not reflected in these statistics as but one bad throw in an otherwise good day can lose the game.

  3. I am being optimistic that Murray control some of his nerves. I think as most likely will agree the first two games of the 2011 season will dictate the rest of the year as well as much of the coaches fates. It is a heavy burden and therefore this is where he needs to show up. The burden is not on Crowell, but ultimately on the field general.

    A great RB like Lattimore but a QB like Garcia sure did reach some success but I do not think they actually achieved their potential.

    Same during the era of H. Walker, without a wiser QB, I do not think UGA could have achieved greatness.

    • 69Dawg

      You had me up until the wiser QB. Buck was a average QB that had the greatest college RB of all times to hand off to. He had one great play that year and nobody can take that away the scramble and pass to Scott will forever stand as a great play. That said he completed 1 pass in the Sugar Bowl. We could have gotten 1 pass completion if we had let HW throw it form the Shotgun. Even Buck will admit the only thing he really had to do was not fumble the snap or the hand off to HW.

      • Zdawg

        Just goes to show average ability (at best) can take you far if you are in the right place at the right time. I would say the same about his sports talk ability if I thought it was average. But it ain’t even that. He needs a Hershel to hand off in sports talk, but all he got is a Jasper Sanks.

      • Biggus Rickus

        Georgia’s offense was different back then. By the standards of Georgia QBs throughtout the ’70s and ’80s, Buck was good.

  4. dudetheplayer

    Some of the guys that rip on Murray for not being a “winner” remind me of the arguments some baseball fans use to disparage great pitchers with poor W-L records.

    QBs and pitchers are the most important players on their respective fields, but they’re not responsible for everything.

    • QBs and pitchers are the most important players on their respective fields, but they’re not responsible for everything.

      That line of thinking would make too much sense, though. Clearly not good enough for the unabashed Murray haters that troll here.

  5. Scott

    7 posts in and not one “FIRE BOBO” comment???? Y’all are slipping. :)

  6. Hobnail_Boot

    Last season felt like we kept calling heads and it kept falling tails.