Daily Archives: January 31, 2008

That does not compute.

I posted a couple of days ago about Sunday Morning Quarterback’s initial analysis of stats and how they correlated to wins in the 2007-8 season.  Specifically, I was curious to see how Georgia’s statistical performance stacked up in light of the 10 win season and lofty ranking after the Sugar Bowl.

My initial conclusion was that, while Georgia’s statistical performance in the top eight categories that SMQ found most closely correlated to wins and losses wasn’t bad, it wasn’t as impressive as the stats from some other schools that finished with similar records.   (I suspect there’s more to the story, but I haven’t figured out what that might be yet.)

Anyway, SMQ has posted his second installment on the matter and it seems to confirm my initial impression.  He charts the statistical rankings in nine categories of every D-1 team that finished with at least 10 wins last season and takes an average.  Georgia’s average of 41.7 is fourth worst among the sixteen teams listed that are in BCS conferences.  (As a comparison, LSU’s 17.9 is second best.)

More damning is the chart he compiles that matches the AP top 20 against each schools statistical average.  Georgia, ranked second, but carrying a 14th ranked statistical average, has one of the biggest negative spreads on the list.  Which in turn leads to this telling comment:

Is it significant that the three teams that finished much better in the polls than on paper (Georgia, Tennessee and Auburn) are all from the SEC? Probably, though for different reasons depending on your perspective: either pollsters are so blinded in favor of the mythical speeeeeeed in the conference they chronically overrate its members, or the SEC is just too tough to compare to other girlie conferences. They’re probably both right.

I do think that one thing that is lacking in this analysis is factoring in something for strength of schedule.  But even were that included, it wouldn’t explain the significant disparity in the results for LSU and Georgia, would it?  Everything I’m seeing in this analysis reinforces my opinion that LSU was the best team in the country last season.  The numbers just tell me that it really wasn’t that close.



Filed under College Football, Stats Geek!