Although the obvious thrust of this piece is Jacob Coker’s potential season as the starter at Alabama, there’s a little something in it that may bode well for Georgia’s chances with Mason:
Pete Roussel of CoachingSearch.com and 247Sports charted every starting quarterback who has led a team in that finished in the top 10 over the last five years, and found that only five quarterbacks during that time were in their first year in their respective offensive systems.
… Eight other quarterbacks were in their second year in a system. The majority had three or more years in a system — 11 had three, 10 had four and four even had five. That last number includes AJ McCarron last year although Doug Nussmeier replaced Jim McElwain as the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator between McCarron’s first and second seasons as a starter.
The upshot according to the chart: Teams with quarterbacks in their first or second years in a system are 20 percent less likely to finish in the top 10 than those with three or more years in the same system.
In that regard, Missouri and South Carolina are in the same boat as Georgia. But that may be another statistical obstacle for Florida to overcome this season.
Need something to get over the World Cup elimination blues? The buffet’s here for you.
Have some football.
- Herschel Walker thinks the college football playoff format should be bigger than four teams to accommodate the SEC.
- I heard a lot of talk from some of the NCAA’s witnesses at O’Bannon that paying players could harm the integration between them and the rest of the student body. I wonder how they feel about this.
- The arrests of seven athletes over a three-month span at Missouri led the athletic director to the conclusion that he doesn’t believe the spate of arrests was indicative of a cultural problem. Isn’t that what they always think?
- More academic speculation on what the Northwestern unionization effort might lead to. Nobody knows, really.
- Statistical comfort for Auburn: Allowing big passing numbers is no indicator of a team’s success. Except when it is: “Four of the top five teams in the country in passing yardage — Florida State, Florida Atlantic, Michigan State and Louisville — held the top four spots in opponents’ passer rating, and they were the only four teams to hold teams under a 100 rating.”
- If you’re interested in some inside ball, Shakin the Southland, which has been an excellent Clemson blog, has lost two of its major contributors. Their story is here.
- Auburn wants to do something about limiting opponents’ explosive plays, although if the problem really goes back to Tuberville’s time, I’m not sure why that really matters now.
Just because it’s June doesn’t mean I can’t fill a few chafing dishes for you.
- I’ll go into detail later this summer about it, but perhaps this is the best thing Georgia’s secondary has going for it this season.
- Bitcoin is going to sponsor a bowl game. Will it hand out a virtual trophy?
- The Supreme Court’s ruling in the Aereo case may impact how we watch the NFL, but keep in mind what’s written in this piece could also apply to CBS and its contract with the SEC.
- Here’s the Post and Courier’s preview of the Clemson-Georgia game. And here’s the preview of the South Carolina-Georgia game.
- One reason the schools fear Jeffrey Kessler’s lawsuit: one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys used to be an associate director of enforcement for the NCAA.
- Believe it or not, ESPN preseason rankings have Georgia’s secondary as seventh best in the conference.
- Gene Chizik predicts a 10-2 season for Auburn, with losses to South Carolina and Alabama.
- Vanderbilt checks in at #74 in Paul Myerberg’s preseason roundup.
- College coaches try to figure out the best way to utilize the new rules on summer supervision. (Brian Kelly knows what to do, but if he told you, then he’d have to kill you.)
- “We’re guessing that many people would agree that college president or medical school dean is slightly more beneficial to humanity than being a football coach.” Depends whom you ask, I suspect.
- Bill Connelly looks at this year’s Clemson Tigers team and comes away impressed, particularly with that defensive line.
The Golden Nugget has published lines on its 2014 college football games of the year. Here’s where Georgia starts out:
- Clemson, +9
- South Carolina, -3
- Tennessee, +17
- Vanderbilt, +24
- Missouri, +7
- Arkansas, +14.5
- Florida, +9
- Auburn, +1
- Georgia Tech, +14
One game as a dog, and that’s basically chalked up to home field advantage. The other three games are Kentucky and two cupcakes, so if Georgia lives up to the lines, you’re looking at an 11-1 regular season there. Takers?
Chase Stuart plugs all 200 games into his SRS formula to come up with a set of preliminary rankings, and spits Georgia out as a number seven. (That leaves Georgia as the best team in the East, but only fourth best in the conference.) I’d probably argue that’s a little low for a team that only loses once and beats Auburn, but what do I know?
Obviously, take this for what’s it’s worth, but if you think Vegas is pretty good making these kinds of assessments, well, then…
To read much of the national media, you’d think Todd Gurley has struggled with injuries throughout his Georgia career. That’s not entirely accurate, but you can tell Mark Richt is sensitive to that perception when he discusses how he’ll use Gurley in the running game this season.
“So are we gonna give it to (Gurley) 30 times a game and wear him to a nub, no. But there may be a game or two where he’s feeling in, and we’ve got momentum, and he’s pounding, we’re gonna let him pound. But Douglas pounds pretty good too. Keith Marshall can hit a home run at any moment. So we’ll use all those guys.”
The thing is, that’s not really a departure from how he’s been deployed so far. Looking at Gurley’s career rushing stats, here’s how his number of carries per game breaks down (he was out three games last season):
- Less than 10: 3
- 10-19: 13
- 20-29: 7
- 30 or more: 1
As those numbers indicate, Keith Marshall’s made it pretty easy for Richt and Bobo to manage Gurley’s workload. With Chubb and Michel being added to the mix this season, there’s no reason to think that won’t continue.
Interestingly, there is one area of Gurley’s workload that’s increased dramatically. He has 53 career receptions. 26 of those came in his last four games. (Ten versus Auburn.) I don’t know whether Richt counts that as part of the pounding or not.
Enjoy the morning’s offerings.
At his site, College Football by the Numbers, Scott Albrecht’s done some stat crunching I found of interest.
You’ll find a table here that breaks down a bunch of offensive information per possession. Here’s the story on Georgia:
- 16th nationally in points per possession
- 17th nationally in plays per possession
- 13th nationally in yards per possession
- 86th nationally in starting field position
- 25th nationally in touchdowns per possession
- 8th nationally in field goals per possession
- 78th nationally in possessions per game
- 61st nationally in points per red zone trip
Basically, outside the red zone, this was an offense that was quite effective when the rest of the team managed to stay out of its way. The problem was, as indicated by the starting field position and possessions per game stats, that didn’t happen as much as it needed to.
The most impressive part of that, of course, is how much Georgia was able to do on offense despite all the injuries. With the walking wounded hopefully returning to full strength, it lends support to the argument that the most important part of Hutson Mason’s role this season is to be a good game manager. Now if something can be done about that whole rest of the team staying out of the offense’s way thing…
Before we get all wrapped up in that “Murray Deficit” ESPN’s stats department cooked up, it’s worth noting that any outfit coming up with a statistical model that ranks Georgia’s preseason defense higher than its offense and shows the Dawgs’ special teams as the 18th best in the country might want to go back and refine the model a little more.