Per today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “Reggie Ball spent the past three seasons throwing to Calvin Johnson. Now the ex-Tech QB hopes to join Johnson with the Detroit Lions.”
(photos courtesy AJC)
I’ve mentioned previously that this is a somewhat overlooked statistical area. Georgia’s turnover margin fell from +11 in 2005 to -1 in 2006. Georgia’s win total fell from 10 in 2005 to 9 in 2006; in the same time period, the Dawgs went from winning the SECCG to finishing 4-4 in the conference. I don’t think those matters are completely unrelated.
Over at USC Trojan Football Analysis, he’s got more to say on this topic, certainly with a good bit more detail than I can muster. Writing about the fallout from a decline in turnover margin at Southern Cal that’s similar to Georgia’s, he notes the following:
The 2003 squad was among the nation’s leaders in turnover margin at +20 for the season. This give the Trojans an additional 20 drives on offense and took away 20 drives from the opposition which is a huge total. The 2006 squad was a good defensive team but produced no where near the same level of turnovers. In fact the team was a mere +4 for the season in this category.
Head coach Pete Carroll always comments on the importance of this key category in football and yet I doubt most fans or commentators really grasp its significance. What is the value of a +20 turnover margin? I can extrapolate using some historic data. For starters the average field position for USC after forcing a turnover the past few years has been the opponents 40 yard line. From inside the 40 yard line the USC offense is very aggressive and tends to score about 70% of the time with three quarters of those scores being touchdowns and the rest being field goals. 70% x 20 extra drives results in 14 more scores per season. Converting this to points (.75 x 7 x 14) + (.25 x 3 x 14) = 84 points per season. Turning this into a per game number requires simply dividing 84/13 = 6.5 points per game. Tacking this onto the 30.5 points per game in 2006 results in an average of 37.0 points per game. The average points scored for USC since 2001 is 37 points per game since Pete Carroll arrived. Fix the turnover shortfall in 2007 and the offense will produce the average number of points in past seasons.
The fans will always clamor for more big plays especially in the passing department but my guess is that the coaches are far more interested in instructing proper technique and forcing more turnovers in 2007 than last year… [Emphasis added.]
Let’s hope that’s the mantra this year in Athens, too.
Let’s see – Houston Nutt is exchanging text messages with a female TV reporter like they were lust-struck teenagers and Dennis Dodd thinks he has the perfect suggestion for the replacement for Frank Broyles.
Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton. I kid you not:
Suggestion for Arkansas’ next athletic director: Bill Clinton.
I’m serious. He’s a native son. He’s certainly experienced and he’s a lawyer. That should come in handy with the school’s president and chancellor being sued by a fan this week.
There are worse candidates for an athletic department in total turmoil.
Now that’s a list from Dodd I’d like to see.
From Tony Barnhart’s article today:
RIVALRY WEEKEND SET
Last spring the SEC mandated that all of its teams must finish the regular season on Thanksgiving weekend. That means that a couple of big rivalries – Alabama vs. Auburn and Clemson vs. South Carolina – will be played a week later than normal.
As a result, Saturday, Nov. 24 became pretty crowded with Florida-Florida State, Georgia-Georgia Tech, Clemson-South Carolina and Auburn-Alabama. So the Ole Miss-Mississippi State game in Starkville will move to Friday where it will be televised regionally at 1 p.m. CBS will televise the Friday Arkansas-LSU game in Baton Rouge.
CBS is considering a double header of Alabama-Auburn and Florida-Florida State on Nov. 24, starting at noon.
RIVARLY WEEKEND (Times, TV TBD)
Friday, Nov. 23
Ole Miss at Miss. State
Arkansas at LSU
Saturday, Nov. 24
Florida State at Florida
Georgia at Georgia Tech
Alabama at Auburn
Clemson at South Carolina
Tennessee at Kentucky
As much as it pains me to say it, I think that proponents of a playoff for D-1 football have good reason to be optimistic that it’s coming. The BCS powers that be didn’t make any moves this year, but it’s becoming apparent that there is some general sentiment building towards the implementation of a “plus-one” playoff formula.
The Fiesta Bowl president thinks so.
Mike Slive says they’ll talk about it next year.
Probably most important – the networks want it and are willing to pony up to get it.
Nevertheless, there are still plenty of issues to address.
Sure, it settles the 2003 and 2004 BCS “problems”. But it creates others. For example, check out Dennis Dodd’s playoff matchups from last season, using the “plus-one” set up:
• Rose: USC vs. Ohio State
• Fiesta: Oklahoma vs. Boise State
• Orange: Wake Forest vs. Louisville
• Chick-Fil-A in Atlanta (previously Sugar Bowl): Florida vs. Michigan
• Cotton Bowl: LSU vs. Notre Dame
For the sake of argument, let’s say that Ohio State, Boise State and Florida all emerged victorious from their games. Is there any combination of two schools that would be selected for the national title game that wouldn’t prove controversial? So what’s been gained here with a “plus-one”, other than a different dispute?
I suspect that with a pool of ten that isn’t seeded and from which only one game emerges afterwards this wouldn’t be an infrequent occurrence. Which means that the “plus-one” won’t be stable enough to be a final solution.
Which means we’ll wind up with an extended playoff when the dust settles.
Paul Westerdawg and Ching link to an interview Mark Richt did with the Thomasville Times-Enterprise in which the coach freely discusses the link between his faith in God and the way he conducts the management of the program. I can’t help but be impressed by his sincerity, but I’d sure like to have seen Mike Bobo’s reaction to being told he was calling plays before the Tech game last year:
I called Mike in on the Thursday of the game and he had to call the game on Saturday. I told him, ‘I don’t care what happens in the game, but all I know is if I don’t have you take over, I’m in direct disobedience to the Lord.’