Tough row to hoe?

Maybe I haven’t been giving this schedule thing the proper amount of credit after all.

The Money Line Journal has taken a different approach to evaluating the potential won-loss records of D-1 football teams in 2008.  Essentially, he’s taking power ratings and running them through point spreads from each week’s games to calculate the probability of a given team’s record.

You can find the odds he’s calculated on sixteen teams to go undefeated here (h/t EDSBS). It’s not good news if you’re a Dawg fan – and it’s due to one reason.

The primary set of power numbers* that I used in coming up with the lines had Georgia rated as the 2nd best team in the nation yet they only have the 10th best shot of going 12-0. It just goes to show how brutal that schedule really is.

*Phil Steele’s. Don’t even think about calling me biased.

Here are the specifics behind his analysis of Georgia.


Spread Range

Min W%

Mid W%

Max W%
vs. Georgia Southern 35-42 .99 .995 .9975
vs. Central Michigan 28-35 .98 .985 .99
at South Carolina 3-10 .5744 .6771 .7736
at Arizona St -1.5-5.5 .4752 .5336 .6513
vs. Alabama 6-13 .6642 .7547 .8303
vs. Tennessee 5-12 .6414 .7464 .8159
vs. Vanderbilt 24-31 .96 .9755 .985
at LSU -2.5-4.5 .4575 .5124 .6314
Neutral vs. Florida -3.5-3.5 .3937 .5 .6063
at Kentucky 13-20 .8303 .8905 .93
at Auburn -2.5-4.5 .4575 .5124 .6314
vs. Ga Tech 10-17 .7736 .835 .91
Average Spread -13
Underdogs 4
Undefeated Prob. .5% 1.9% 6.7%
Undefeated Conf Prob. 4.3%
One Loss Prob. 4.2% 10% 22.2%

As you can see, he projects four games where Georgia could face being an underdog.  Obviously, with the season being five weeks out, he’s using projected ranges instead of final numbers, but that doesn’t make his analysis completely out of whack.

And it’s not necessarily a knock on Georgia’s ability.

I don’t even know if 2001 Miami or 2004 USC could make it through this schedule undefeated. It is brutal.

I will say this:  a similar review of Georgia’s chances to run the table after the Vanderbilt game last year would have probably induced many of us to consider slitting our wrists.  Still, it’s food for thought.

If you’re interested in finding out a little more about his methodology, you might want to visit this link.



Filed under Georgia Football, The Blogosphere

3 responses to “Tough row to hoe?

  1. “Neutral vs. Florida -3.5-3.5 .3937 .5 . 6063 ”

    So the mid win% is fifty-fifty.

    Sounds about right.


  2. chefboyardee

    Decent benchmark numbers, sure, but that’s all they are. Take last year:

    UGA’s losses: S. Carolina, Tenn.
    USC’s losses: Stanford, Oregon
    Oklahoma’s losses: Colorado, Texas Tech.
    LSU’s losses: Arkansas and Kentucky.

    Every case involves at least one game that, before the season, the “numbers” would predict a win. So in the end, all these stats just say is that going undefeated is really hard, no matter who you play.


  3. Sam

    I feel this is a valid way to look at the season, albeit premature like all other pre-season predictions. I would have UGA as a higher probability to win versus TN, UF, and Arizona State, but I overall I like the methodology. If each game were a season, I would have UGA going unbeaten, but if you look at the percentages over the totality of the year, one to two losses seem a certainty…..and that is before a possible rematch with the best from the West, and possibly the best team from the rest of the country. Two losses is the mostlikely case, three may be worst case, and one loss would be truly exceptional. Odds to me of making it through 14 games unbeaten are less than 5%. So while it is possible, it would take all the stars aligning, imo.