Monthly Archives: November 2011

It’s just a flesh wound.

If you love the Tennessee football program as much as I do, you’ll get a chuckle out of John Pennington’s post about the Knoxville natives getting restless with Son of Dooley.  The best part of all is Pennington’s advice that comes after a lengthy list of (rumored) examples of how things are slowly sliding out of control:

… a long-term view suggests that UT’s best bet is to stick with Dooley for at least one more season and allow him to further stabilize the program from a roster standpoint.

One can only hope.  In fact, I would argue that he needs more than one short season to try to right the ship.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Second year’s the charm

When it comes to stats, I always prefer it when somebody else does the heavy lifting for me.

Such is the case with Year2’s look at the Georgia defense under Todd Grantham’s second year of direction.  It’s pretty frickin’ impressive:

… Here is how Georgia’s BCS conference opponents (plus Boise State) did against Grantham’s crew this season. The points are offensive points only; I did not include special teams scores, defensive scores, or safeties. Also, I did not include any stats accumulated against I-AA opponents.

Opponent Points PPG Diff. Yards YPG Diff.
Boise State 35 41.82 -6.82 390 477.6 -87.6
South Carolina 24 24.62 -0.62 395 366.5 28.5
Ole Miss 7 12.55 -5.55 183 277.6 -94.6
Mississippi State 3 20.73 -17.73 213 335.5 -122.5
Tennessee 12 17.82 -5.82 270 323 -53.0
Vanderbilt 21 22.55 -1.55 349 345.8 3.2
Florida 13 20.91 -7.91 226 323.4 -97.4
Auburn 7 19.27 -12.27 195 320.3 -125.3
Kentucky 10 13.82 -3.82 142 242.9 -100.9
Georgia Tech 17 31.00 -14.00 355 441.2 -86.2

Average Point Differential: -7.61

Average Yard Differential: -73.58

Grantham’s crew held every offense below its season average to some extent. He held eight of the ten under their yardage averages as well.

Actually, Year2 understates the case in one respect.  68 of South Carolina’s rushing yards came on that bloody Melvin Ingram fake punt (that if I hadn’t seen with my own eyes still wouldn’t believe had happened) and not against Grantham’s defense.  Take that out of the equation and only one team finished with a total offensive yardage amount over its season average against the Dawgs’ defense, Vanderbilt – and that was barely above.

That being said, I think Vandy was the one team this season which caught Grantham unprepared in one area, although to be fair, nobody saw Jordan Rodgers’ success as a runner coming that day.  Hell, he wasn’t even the starter.

So maybe one question we ought to be asking is whether LSU plays it straight on offense or whether the Tigers decide to throw Grantham a curve ball.  The stats suggest that the more they stick to the script, the better Georgia’s chances are to slow them down.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Rematch, redux

Sounds like Mike Gundy could stand a few lessons in BCS politicking from Mack  Brown:

Gundy is not a voter in this season’s USA Today/Coaches poll. But he said if he did fill out a ballot, right now he would put 11-1 Alabama ahead of 10-1 OSU after comparing each team’s loss.

“If somebody sat me down and said (I) had to make a decision,” Gundy said, “with where we’re at right now, Alabama lost to what would be the No. 1 team in the country (LSU), and Oklahoma State lost to Iowa State.

“In our situation, if I was doing it fair, I don’t know how I could put us in front of (Alabama) right now.”

Fair?  Screw fair!

Somewhere in this great land of ours, T. Boone Pickens is blowing a gasket right now.


Filed under College Football

Over 9 Million and counting

The last million hits at the site came in less than three months.  November is already a record month in that regard at GTP, with a day and a half to go.  It’s getting well over fifteen thousand hits a day now.  Wow.

And that’s without nudity or a football program in disarray.

Thanks for coming, folks.


Filed under GTP Stuff

Does Georgia have the horses?, part one

I think my favorite national statistic right now is defensive passer rating.  Georgia ranks fourth in that.

The Dawgs are also fourth in the SEC in defensive passer rating.  That’s right – the four best teams in the country at shutting down opponents’ passing attacks (all four with ratings under 100) all play in the same conference.  And you wonder why there aren’t many good quarterbacks in the SEC this season.

Anyway, LSU ranks third.  The Tigers are going to be a huge challenge for the second best passing attack in the conference.  Can Georgia cope?

The comparison that’s already being made is with the one SEC team ranked higher in passing offense than Georgia.

… The challenge for LSU is a wide array of receivers that are nearly a match for the Arkansas group, plus perhaps the best tight end in the SEC, Orson Charles, who has 40 receptions for 530 yards and five touchdowns.

“They’re very talented and a very fast group,” LSU safety Brandon Taylor said. “A lot of people say Arkansas receivers are the fastest group in the SEC, but Georgia, they are very fast. I know (Tavarres King), I played against him my sophomore year, and he actually kind of got away from me that year, too. They actually have the most talented tight end in the SEC.”

If that’s valid, there’s good reason to hope that the Dawgs can be effective throwing the ball.  Arkansas had by far the best showing against LSU’s defense from a passer rating standpoint this season.  And somewhat surprisingly, it was only the fifth lowest passer rating the Hogs compiled in 2011.

If there’s something which gives me pause for thought about the comparison, though, it’s that Georgia’s passer rating has fluctuated much more than Arkansas’ has this year.  The Hogs’ low point came against Alabama (110.39) and their high against Southwest Missouri State (195.64).  Georgia’s passer rating has run from 99.41 (Florida) to an otherworldly 255.64 in the Auburn game.  (And, yes, that was by far the worst showing Auburn’s defense had this season.)

So Georgia can throw the ball on LSU.  But Aaron Murray and his receivers need to be having one of their “on” days for that to happen.  Easier said than done, but it’s something LSU has to be legitimately concerned about.

And while I’m on the subject of pause for thought, I sure hope somebody in the Georgia offensive brain trust is working on a way to give Justin Anderson some help handling Barkevious Mingo.  That is one scary match up if you’re trying to keep Aaron Murray upright.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

My Week Thirteen Mumme Poll ballot

This isn’t getting any easier, people.

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Boise State
  • LSU*
  • Oklahoma
  • Oklahoma State
  • Oregon
  • Southern Cal
  • Stanford
  • Wisconsin


  • I swear, I feel like I’ve changed this list at least four times in the last day.  I can’t imagine how much time I’d need to compose a top 25 ballot in order.
  • I dumped Michigan and Kansas State this week.  Michigan, because I don’t think a top ten team struggles with Ohio State’s offense like it did.  Kansas State, because I grow less convinced each week that the Big 12 is as strong as everyone insists and because that Miami win shrinks in value week by week.
  • I think Wisconsin is the best team in the Big Ten right now.  The Badgers are playing good ball.  And as much as it pains me to say it, so are Junior’s Trojans.
  • Virginia Tech is out because the Hokies don’t have a win over an upper tier opponent.  And if I exclude them on that basis, Georgia stays out, too.  Georgia is a better team right now than South Carolina.
  • Houston… yeah, they keep winning.  But the best wins the Cougars have are over UCLA and Tulsa.  That ain’t much at all.  It’s an undefeated team with a great quarterback that ranks 60th in total defense playing Sagarin’s 111th rated strength of schedule.  A slightly shinier version of 2007 Hawaii, in other words.  I can’t buy in.


Filed under Mumme Poll

Cooler heads prevail.

There’s a name missing from the list of Broyles Award finalists that kinda surprises me:

… The award’s 10-member panel – Broyles, former Georgia Coach Vince Dooley, former Washington Coach Don James, former Syracuse Coach Dick MacPherson, former Baylor Coach Grant Teaff, former Brigham Young Coach LaVell Edwards, former Iowa Coach Hayden Fry, former Oklahoma Coach Barry Switzer, former Tennessee and Pittsburgh Coach Johnny Majors, and former Florida State University Coach Bobby Bowden — announced earlier Monday the finalists for the 2011 version of the Broyles, which consists of three coaches from the SEC and two from the Big Ten:

  • John Chavis, Louisiana State University, Defensive Coordinator
  • Paul Chryst, University of Wisconsin, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
  • Greg Mattison, Michigan, Defensive Coordinator
  • Garrick McGee, University of Arkansas, Offensive Coordinator/QBs
  • Sal Sunseri, Alabama, Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers

I don’t quibble a bit with the first three names there, but McGee and Sunseri ahead of Todd Grantham?  Makes you wonder if somebody’s paying a price for being a bit too public with his temper.

For the record, my vote would go to Mattison, even if Grantham were on the list.  The turnaround he’s worked with the Michigan defense this year has been remarkable.


Filed under College Football

Reality check

Suddenly, the situation dawned on Bacarri Rambo:

Georgia is keeping its regular schedule this week, and so that meant a run-through on Monday night – despite the near-freezing temperature and occasional rain.

But safety Bacarri Rambo said he didn’t mind that at all.

“I just realized that football season is over with for some teams,” he said. “Last year at this time we’d be just chilling, going to school right now. But we’re preparing for the SEC championship. I just realized that the other 10 teams in the SEC, they’re just chilling, going to school. I didn’t even realize that. Until today that didn’t hit me.”

That’s okay, man.  It’s been a while since you guys have had to change your routine.  Hopefully it won’t be a surprise next year.


Filed under Georgia Football

Perseverance pays: first SECCG week thoughts

I really, really like Groo’s take on what the winning streak means.

… As Saturday wound down, this was the question on my mind: was South Carolina’s 16-13 loss to Auburn the most shocking SEC regular season outcome in 2011? The Tigers lost to Alabama, LSU, Georgia, and Arkansas by a combined 170-45. None of those teams scored fewer than 38 points, none gave up more than 14 points, and none won by fewer than 24 points. South Carolina picked a bad time to have a poor game against a team that was a whipping boy for the rest of the top of the league. What’s more, they flopped at home and with Lattimore and Garcia in the lineup.

That Gamecock performance against Auburn is a good illustration why it’s so hard for any team to sustain winning over the course of a season. On any day, your starting quarterback can go 9-for-23, or your stout defense can give up 141 yards to a good tailback that didn’t manage but 67 YPG against the top four teams in the league. If Georgia had one of those games against, say, Florida, they were able to find a way to overcome it and still win. That’s why Georgia is representing the East this week, and they deserve to do so.

Was Georgia fortunate to avoid the big dogs of the West?  No doubt.  But that’s not the same thing as saying it was lucky to win the East.  Luck doesn’t account for 10-game winning streaks.  Not in this conference.  This team put in the work and ground it out week after week.  This trip to Atlanta has been fully paid for.

Okay, that’s the uplifting part.  The reward for all that is playing the best team in the country.  You don’t have to check the stats to confirm that, just the schedule.  LSU is the only team in the country with three wins over Sagarin’s top ten ranked schools.  No other team in the country has more than one.  But, yeah, since I mentioned the stats, consider this:  the SEC keeps a statistical ranking comparison at its official site of fifteen key stats and LSU leads Georgia in eleven of them.

More sobering information – Georgia is the fifth biggest underdog in the history of the SECCG.  As Marc Weiszer notes, “(t)he favorite has a 15-4 overall record is 8-9-2 against the spread…”

So it’s fair to say that I approach this game with a certain amount of trepidation.  But that’s just me.  The one huge advantage these Dawgs have going into this game is that they can afford to play without an ounce of fear in their hearts.  They have nothing left to prove at this point other than being deserving of sharing the field with the Western Division champs.

I don’t mean that in the sense that LSU is going to be burdened in some way by what’s at stake.  If there’s any team in the country which has proven its big game mettle this season, it’s LSU.

What I mean is that this is a game in which Georgia shouldn’t be burdened by timidity and uncertainty.  There’s no reason to wave Logan Gray out there to fair catch punts.  Richt doesn’t have to send a message to his team that they have to be tougher on third-and-short if they don’t want him calling for a field goal early against a CUSA squad in a meaningless bowl game.  No, they’ve proved themselves by regrouping and clawing their way into the title game.  They’ve accomplished their primary preseason goal.  In a sense, they’re playing with house money now.  They can afford to be a little loose.

That’s not the same thing as being reckless.  There’s nothing wrong with a bit of prudence when you’re playing a Miles-coached team.  Given Georgia’s special teams’ issues, guarding against a little trickeration in a tight game seems a wise move.  But that’s far from the same thing as trying to avoid the worst possible outcome of every play instead of trusting your players and coaches to make the right move and execute it.  This team has learned a lot about itself over the last ten games.  Now’s the time to apply those lessons.

It wouldn’t hurt if Isaiah Crowell were healthy for the entire game, either.


Filed under Georgia Football

“If it’s what Urban wants, I’m happy for him.”

I strongly doubt this has even a snowball’s chance in hell of happening, but damn, would I love it if it did.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Urban Meyer Points and Stares