About strength of schedule and nuance

While strength of schedule is certainly a valid metric useful in evaluating how good a team is, it’s not a be all and end all.  By that, I mean you shouldn’t confuse a team playing a weaker schedule in and of itself with being lesser.

The perfect example of that this season is (duh) Alabama.  Allow Bill Connelly to explain.

Alabama is an easy 11-0 so far, having won its games by an average margin of 35.6 points (35.2 with a 50-point cap on each game). Per their statistical profile, they have finished each game with a 100 percent post-game win expectancy, which is either unprecedented or nearly so.

Screenshot_2018-11-20 Résumé S P+, a better CFB strength of schedule ranking

Have the Crimson Tide played a rigorous schedule? Not really. If the average top-five team — by which, I mean literally the average of Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, and Oklahoma, the top five teams per S&P+ — played Alabama’s 11 opponents a countless number of times, it would have won about 89 percent of those games.

In other words, 100% > 89%.

Regardless, Bama continues to have done more with its ain’t-played-nobody schedule than anyone else. Even with the 50-point cap, and even with a lackluster performance against The Citadel, the Crimson Tide have still defeated their opponents by an average scoring margin that is 10.3 points per game higher than the nameless, faceless top-fiver would expect.

Notwithstanding the schedule, Alabama is not just good, but better.  Granted, come playoff field time, that likely won’t matter if the Tide run the table all the way through the SECCG, but it’ll be interesting to see if folks try to throw shade on Alabama’s SOS if Georgia finds a way to win the conference title again.  (You know Danny Kannell will.)

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Stats Geek!

Another day, another metric

Why do all these stats keep showing Georgia as one of the best teams in the country?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Plug and play

Georgia’s offensive line has been injury-prone this season, to say the least.  Despite that, it really hasn’t missed much of a beat.  Latest example of that?

That was Salyer’s most extensive time on the line this season and he kicked some ass.  Just ask his head coach.

“The kid that has really gotten better the last two weeks is Jamaree (Salyer),” Smart said. “He’s a heckuva good player at either guard spot.”

As the article notes, Trey Hill got a start at guard against UMass.  Pittman has built some solid depth on the o-line in a relatively short period of time.  I know it’s relatively short because I keep pinching myself to make sure it’s real.

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Today, in sweating the small stuff

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, a tower of rectitude, demanded a public apology from a Texas player.  Why?  Because he acted like a fan.

Hager was told that Kansas put up 40 points and 524 yards on the No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners while the Longhorns were playing, to which Hager quipped: “Hey, OU has no defense.”

He followed that up by pointing at a clock and saying: “And what time is it? It’s 11:12, and OU still sucks.”

First off, let me just say as a Georgia fan that a Texas player making a clock reference like that is both ironic and hilarious.  But I digress.

Where I really want to go is wishing that Bowlsby had been half as huffy about the Baylor situation as he’s been about some kid poking a little fun at a rival.  Of course, there’s no money involved with Hager, so I guess it’s easier for Big Bob.

The Big 12 still sucks, in other words.

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Against all odds

I’m not sure there’s any better evidence of how disruptive a force Tua Tagovailoa has been this season than that it took Vegas weeks to figure out how to set a line for Alabama games without losing money on it.

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Filed under Alabama, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

Undefeated

It’s only Tuesday, but I’m pretty sure this is going down as my favorite story of the week.

Arkansas defensive backs Ryan Pulley and Kamren Curl have been suspended and are not expected to play in the Razorbacks’ game at Missouri on Friday.

Pulley and Curl were identified as the Arkansas players who were socializing with members of Mississippi State’s dance team prior to the Razorbacks’ 52-6 loss to the Bulldogs in Starkville, Miss., last Saturday.

According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Pulley and Curl were seen taking pictures with and talking to female members of the MSU squad prior to warmups.

“They will not be here today or yesterday or any part of this week for unacceptable behavior – actions that are completely unacceptable to anything we’re about,” Arkansas coach Chad Morris said Monday without specifically referencing the event at Mississippi State.

Classic.  Also, a handy excuse for the ass whipping Arky took from Mississippi State.

Asked about the incident following the game, Arkansas senior linebacker Dre Greenlaw said he was not aware of players talking with cheerleaders, but added, “That’s not something I would do. I surely wasn’t doing it.

“Some people have got different focuses. Obviously, you could see this game we weren’t in the right mindset.”

I’m sure suspending two starters in the secondary just in time to face Drew Lock will get your minds right, Dre.

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Filed under Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, General Idiocy

Paranoia strikes deep.

Corch is one weird dude, ‘ya know?

During Dan Mullen’s Monday press conference, a reporter shared that former Florida DB Ahmad Black told her that Meyer refused to eat the food in Tallahassee because he worried it might be poisoned. Mullen, who was Meyer’s offensive coordinator at Florida from 2005-08, confirmed that to be true.

I don’t understand how somebody like that gets any pleasure out of coaching, but I’m obviously wired in a very different way from Urban Meyer.  Fortunately for me, I think.

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Filed under Urban Meyer Points and Stares