Daily Archives: December 31, 2011

30-27 is Chantastic!

I love it when Georgia Tech goes bowling.

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UPDATE:  Needless to say, StingTalk is every bit the schadenfreude-fest you’d expect it to be.

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Filed under Georgia Tech Football

The potential for a banner year on the Plains

Lou Holtz, of all people, dug up this hoary chestnut:  if Auburn loses today’s Chick-fil-A Bowl, it will become the first defending national champion to lose six games the following season since the 1943 Ohio State Buckeyes.  And as Granny put it, that happened during WWII, when you had entire team rosters that didn’t return the next season.

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Throwing a few numbers against the Outback Bowl wall and seeing what sticks

I just thought I’d mention in a very preliminary sort of way some stats and such to start getting ready for Tuesday’s Monday’s game.  In no particular order, here goes:

  • The computers see the game as a pretty even match up. Sagarin has Georgia 18th and Michigan State 19th (although he likes MSU more when you factor margin of victory into the equation).  Smart Football’s SRS has the Spartans at 15 and the Dawgs at 16.  The F+ ratings at Football Outsiders have a little more spread, but not much:  MSU ranks 10th and Georgia 14th.
  • The defenses are even; Georgia has a slight advantage in the offensive yardage stats.  In total defense, you’re looking at the third and fifth best teams in the country.  But Georgia ranks 37th in total offense, quite a bit higher than MSU’s showing at 60th.
  • However…  Despite the spread in total offense, when it comes to scoring offense, the teams are quite close, with only three spots in the rankings separating the two.  How come?  Patrick Garbin is happy to give you an answer to that question.  This in particular should make you uneasy about Georgia’s chances:  “This season, Michigan State has averaged 24.3 yards per kickoff return (15th in the FBS), 11.2 yards per punt return (25th), and has scored SIX touchdowns via return.”
  • No edge in turnover margin.  Interestingly, both schools are tied in that statistical category.

More thoughts to come…

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

At least one thing’s settled.

Both Michigan State and Georgia agree on one thing – Georgia’s defense is impressive.

Per Sparty,

… the Spartans seem to have a healthy respect for Georgia, especially the Bulldogs’ defense.

“We’re excited because a lot of us have aspirations to play in the NFL and a lot of us have aspirations to move Michigan State into one of the top teams in the country,” said quarterback Kirk Cousins, a senior and an NFL prospect. “And to do that you’ve gotta be able to line up against NFL-type talent, you’ve gotta be able to play big-time teams like Georgia and prove that you belong.”

Michigan State’s defense is actually ranked fifth nationally, two spots behind Georgia. And there are plenty of other good defenses in the Big Ten. But Cousins said the Bulldogs would have “one of the best, if not the best defense in the Big Ten.”

Cousins got a few snaps in the 2009 Capital One Bowl, but he granted that this Georgia defense is on a different level than the one he faced back then.

“When you look at their team they’re big, they’re fast, they’re everything you look for in a defense,” Cousins said. “Obviously the headliner is No. 29 with the way he’s played on the edge all year. What’s impressive about him is he wasn’t really a big name starting the season. So when you don’t even have the hype to start and you finish with all the accolades and the attention he’s received, it shows how good of a player he really is. He’s as good a player as we’ve played all year, and he’ll be a whale to contain.”

Aaron Murray agrees.

“There’s no conference like it when it comes to speed,” Murray said of the SEC. “(Michigan State) is one of the best defenses in the country, so I’m excited to see what they have to offer. But I think definitely playing in the SEC helps you when it comes to adjusting to the speed of the game.”

It doesn’t hurt, either, that the Bulldogs’ defense also ranks among the country’s best, Murray said.

“I think the hardest defense we face is every day in practice,” Murray said. “Our guys are unbelievable. (Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham) brings some blitzes I don’t even think are possible with 11 guys on the field. I don’t know how he does it. But our guys are able to think of anything just by facing our guys every day in practice.”

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Filed under Georgia Football