An ESPN narrative we should enjoy

You know, I’m really digging this “SEC East’s struggles this year, outside of resurgent Georgia” line the WWL has wrapped its head around lately.

Of course, it would help immensely if the Dawgs would beat Auburn in a few weeks.

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49 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football

About the nine-game conference schedule

Welp, he’s right about this.

But that’s just the polls.  What happens if/when the selection committee goes another way and hints or outright states the eight-game conference schedule was a factor in the decision?  Besides Mike Slive’s head exploding, I mean.

I’m not predicting here.  Just wondering.

23 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, SEC Football

He sure could pick ‘em.

Forget about sneaking out of Knoxville like a thief in the night.  Were I a Vols fan, this is why I’d be pissed at Junior:

What’s all this have to do with Kiffin?

Upon taking the Tennessee job, he sent word to a couple of quarterbacks the Vols had committed under the previous regime that they needed to look elsewhere — and they did.

Their names? Tajh Boyd and Bryce Petty.

As a Georgia fan, though, let me take this opportunity to thank Mike Hamilton again for the fine job he did.

40 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin

Random panicky thought

Does it concern anyone else that bye week always gives Georgia its best shot?

37 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Focused on focus

From Marc Weiszer’s mid-season stock taking piece:

1. Turnover margin

No area on the team has seen as dramatic rise than this key category. Georgia leads the nation after ranking 102nd last season. The Bulldogs are plus-13 now and have improved from 12th in the SEC in turnovers gained to second and from 11th in turnovers lost to first (with only four).

2. Kickoff returns/punt returns

From 108th in the nation last year on kickoff returns at 18.6 yards per return to 20th at 24.4. The Bulldogs now rank 34th in the nation in punt returns at 11.05 after a dismal 122nd last year at 2.9.

 

Bonus: Rush offense/rush defense

Take your pick. The Bulldogs went from 11th in the SEC last year in rushing to first (from 169.9 to 265.9). The Bulldogs improved from 148.2 yards per game in run defense to 105.1 (from 41st nationally to 16th).

Gee, it’s almost as if Richt sat down with his staff and noted the statistical areas that had to be shored up for Georgia to be competing for titles again.  Better yet, everybody’s paid attention.

I’ve long maintained that 2003 was Richt’s coaching masterpiece.  I know that year’s defense was great, but to take a team with the worst offensive line of his tenure (47 sacks!) and a no-name running back group to the SECCG was mighty impressive.  Well, if you think about the areas he had to see fixed and the way they’ve managed the quarterback succession, he’s got a chance to better that effort in 2014.

10 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Defense is getting buttah and buttah.

Giving the devil his due, it’s fair to say that Todd Grantham is having a helluva year as Louisville’s defensive coordinator.  Just because I’m surprised doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve credit.  (In fact, you could make a good case that he’s earned his million dollar paycheck more than his boss has.)

But as a Georgia fan, that’s not very important to me.  What is important is how the job Jeremy Pruitt is doing this year compares to what Grantham turned in on that front last season.  And from that perspective, it’s no contest.  Pruitt is crushing Grantham.

… Below are the major defensive categories with their averages as well as their national ranking. The first number is the 2013 Grantham defense and the second is the 2014 Pruitt Defense. I have placed the better statistic in bold.

  • Points Per Game: 29 (79th) / 20 (19th)

  • Yards Allowed Per Game: 375 (45th) / 320 (16th)

  • Rush Yards Allowed Per Game: 148 (43rd) / 105 (16th)

  • Pass Yards Allowed Per Game: 227 (59th) / 215 (46th)

  • Interceptions: 7 ALL YEAR (109th) / 10 THROUGH 7 GAMES (13th)

  • Fumbles Forced: 10 ALL YEAR (75th) / 6 THOUGH 7 GAMES (52nd)

  • Turnover Margin: -7 (101st) / +13 (1st)

  • Tackles for Loss: 81 ALL YEAR (45th) / 45 THROUGH 7 GAMES (45th)

  • Sacks: 33 ALL YEAR (29th) / 18 THROUGH 7 GAMES (33rd)

  • Passes Broken Up: 55 ALL YEAR (62nd) / 32 THROUGH 7 GAMES (60th) 

  • 3rd Down Conversion %: 39.49% (64th) / 30.61% (18th)

The first item on that list is the most important, of course.  And that nine-point difference is huge.  How huge?  This huge:

Georgia is 9 points better on defense than it was in 2013. If you take 9 points off of all 5 Georgia losses in 2013, Georgia wins against Clemson, Vandy, Auburn, and Nebraska. That is pretty significant when you look at it from that perspective. What that really means is that Georgia is 2 scoring possessions better than 2013 and that is pretty impressive.

Again, to be fair, I don’t think you can chalk all of that up to a change in defensive coordinators.  Shoring up special teams play has also contributed to that swing in defensive scoring.  But in any event, I think it’s okay to be happy with the switch from Grantham to Pruitt now.

34 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Friday morning buffet

Some pre-weekend nibbles for your reading pleasure:

17 Comments

Filed under 'Cock Envy, Big 12 Football, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football, The NCAA, Wit And Wisdom From The Hat