Yesterday I took a look at how Hawaii fared against BCS conference schools over the past three seasons. Today I wanted to see how Georgia fared against schools like Hawaii – that is, D-1 schools that don’t play in a BCS conference.
The big problem with this approach is that the sample size is necessarily small due to scheduling constraints. Georgia plays an eight game conference schedule plus Georgia Tech each year. There’s often one 1-AA school on the slate, and Damon has made a serious effort lately to make sure there’s an additional BCS conference opponent each year. The end result is that even going back four years, there are only five games against schools with similar backgrounds to the Warriors that we can analyze.
Here they are (all five are home games, of course):
- 2007: Troy 44-34
- 2006: UAB 34-0
- 2005: Boise State 48-13; Louisiana-Monroe 44-7
- 2004: Marshall 13-3
The average margin of victory in those five games is over 25 points.
Given the small sample size, I don’t want to read too much into the statistics generated from these games (as usual, taken from the excellent cfbstats.com) , but there are still a few noteworthy items worth mentioning.
- Only one of these five teams (Boise State) rushed for more yardage than it threw for.
- Only one of these five teams (Troy) gained more than 300 total yards. Troy was also the only one of the five to throw for more than 125 yards in a game, and was the only school of these five to outgain Georgia in total yardage.
- The Dawgs were held under 300 yards on offense on one occasion (UAB). UAB was the only one of these schools to keep Georgia under 200 yards passing.
A couple of other things that should be factored into the analysis: first, in four of these five games Georgia was able to run up a sufficient lead that enabled Richt to substitute liberally late (Troy scored its last TD in the final minute of the game against a number of kids not on the two deep defense, for example); second, for obvious reasons, Georgia didn’t spend as much time game planning for these teams as it has against Hawaii, with one exception (Boise State).
The bottom line from this is apparent. The talent gap matters.