Monthly Archives: July 2008

Res ipsa loquitur.

All I can say is that any list like this that includes Woody McCorvey (at #40!) and omits Stacey Searels isn’t worth the bandwidth it consumes.

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Filed under The Blogosphere

Sack story

Sometimes you can look at statistics in a different way and gain some new insight about a team’s performance that you may not have considered before.  Along those lines, here’s something to ponder from

Basically, despite all of the hype, defensive sacks created on its own is a pretty meaningless number, and only takes on real meaning when you put it into the context of pass attempts. Long story short, a team that piles up a lot of sacks can be a relatively poor pass rushing team, and a team that has only a relatively few sacks can in fact be a good pass rushing team, depending on how many passes they have thrown against them.

So, what I have done is taken the total number of sacks created by a particular team in SEC play in 2007, and divided that by the total number of pass attempts against the same team. That division yields a percentage of passing plays that I call Adjusted Sack Rate, which of course is the percentage of passes that resulted in a sack. Bottom line, by looking at rates instead of raw numbers, we get a more accurate picture of which teams actually rushed the passer the best in 2007.

Georgia, which led the SEC in total sacks, also winds up first in the conference under this metric.  The Dawgs were third in the conference in average yards lost per sack.

But here’s the really interesting part.  If you’re looking for a reason you hadn’t thought of before as to what changed mid-season to set Georgia on its seven game winning streak, there’s this:

… The interesting thing about the Dawgs, however, is that they are the ultimate tale of two seasons. In the first four SEC games, they couldn’t get to the quarterback at all, getting only four sacks on 124 passing attempts (3.2% ASR). In the final four conference games, however, UGA went on an absolute tear, racking up 17 sacks on only 108 passing attempts, giving them a whopping ASR of over 15%. And then, of course, they racked up 13 more sacks against Georgia Tech and Hawai’i on only 89 passing attempts. Bottom line, the way that we (sic) UGA rushed the quarterback in the second half of the season was simply done at a level that I have not seen before.

My math says that’s 30 sacks on 197 passing attempts – an ASR of 15.23%.  For comparison’s sake, consider that Georgia Tech, last year’s national leader in sacks under blitz maven Jon Tenuta, had 48 sacks on 389 passing attempts, for an ASR of 12.34%.

That’s pretty impressive stuff, especially considering that Martinez isn’t exactly known for being a blitz happy defensive coordinator.

Of course, we all know how differently this would have turned out if the GPOOE™ hadn’t been injured in J’ville.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

It’s a miracle!

It is, brothers and sisters!

Stephen Garcia could return sooner than expected!  Praise the Lord Evil Genius!

Never underestimate the power of prayer, repentence and clean living in Columbia, South Carolina, friends.  And Tommy Beecher – don’t get too comfortable.

You tell me if a picture is worth a thousand words.  (Photo courtesy Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

You tell me if a picture is worth a thousand words. (Photo courtesy Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

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UPDATE: Evidently it’s possible to repent without being modest.

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UPDATE #2: Good publicity, bad publicity.  At least you hope they spell his name right. (h/t The Wizard of Odds)

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Filed under The Evil Genius

Mack Brown’s new math

I had no idea an eight team D-1 playoff would be this much of a money gusher:

“We’re leaving money on the table,” Brown said. “Only 16 schools made money in the athletic departments with Division IA football teams last year. That means 104 had to get money reimbursed from the university to have an athletic program. So we’re going to have to find more money…”

So the goal is to get 104 athletic programs out of the red with a football playoff.  Good luck with that one, Mack.

Then again, that might actually make more sense than this.

“And I’d like to have fans who are excited about the FInal Four, excited about the NFL playoffs and excited about high school playoffs to be excited about the BCS playoffs instead of just having two teams who might have won a conference with eight wins show up in a BCS game…”

I have no clue what he’s getting at there.  Ol’ Mack might want to go back and count the number of regular season games the reigning Super Bowl champs lost, though.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs

The unified theory

The national media loves Georgia, as we’ve seen with several publications and sites blessing the Dawgs with a preseason #1 ranking.  Yet the SEC media didn’t even see fit to anoint Georgia as the preseason favorite to win the SEC East.

Tony Barnhart gives us his theory as to why that’s happened here.  He lists five reasons (mind you, they’re not his thoughts personally, just his explanation for the disparity):

1. A lot of national media saw Georgia beat Hawaii-and fell in love.

2. The SEC media knows how tough this league really is.

3. The Tebow factor.

4. Florida’s SEC road schedule.

5. Gators will have mental edge.

Barnhart rightly dismissed the last item, but finds #2 and #4 compelling.  I don’t get the respect for the SEC media on this – it’s only gotten the conference champ right twice in the last fourteen years.  What makes its insight any better than the national media’s?

Judging from the preseason All-SEC teams, I think that #3 deserves more credence than he’s giving it.  Plenty of people are buying into the “even better Florida offense and the defense is bound to improve” line.

This is far from the last we’ll hear on this, but it’s the kind of debate that’s bound to keep Georgia in the minds of people nationally.  That’s a good thing – unless it can’t handle the pressure from the attention and pulls off an 8-4 season.  Then we’ll be hearing a very different narrative.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

The Quad looks at South Carolina.

There’s always one little fact the writers at The Quad come up with in their college football countdown that makes my day, and they don’t disappoint with their look at #31 South Carolina.

While most of us look at the Spurrier era in Columbia with a sense of some disappointment – not with regard to the OBC’s quipping, which is as funny as ever, but as to results – The Quad manages to put things in perspective.  Which, since we’re talking about South Carolina after all, means mediocrity is about to rear its ugly head.  Again.

Head coach: Steve Spurrier (’67 Florida), 21-16 with the Gamecocks since taking over in 2005. He has a career record of 163-56-2. Though some may have been expecting more out of Spurrier’s start, his 21 wins are the most by a South Carolina coach in his first three seasons, besting Joe Morrison’s 20-win total from 1983-85. [Emphasis added.]

Rejoice, Gamecock fans.  These are the glory years.

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UPDATE: Inspiration from the OBC.

“With the schedule we play, it isn’t going to be easy,” says Spurrier. “But it can be done. I keep telling everybody if Wake Forest can sneak in there and win an ACC championship, certainly South Carolina can sneak in there and win an SEC.”

What does it say when your head coach is looking up to Wake Forest?

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Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, The Evil Genius

Opening the floodgates?

After three years, the SEC has finally cleared Ole Miss recruit Jerrell Powe and will let him see the field of play.  This comes as a result of the recent change in the conference’s partial qualifier admission rules.  It will, of course, be interesting to see what happens with the next candidate… and the one after that.

And if you think this is something the conference wants to direct much attention to, ask yourself why it waited until after SEC Media Days wrapped up to make the announcement.  Although with the craziness of last week, maybe less notice would have been paid than was likely expected.

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Filed under Academics? Academics., Recruiting, SEC Football

Thoughts from a meeting

So I’m at the Cobb Galleria last night to take in the meeting of the Greater Atlanta Bulldog Club, and in the middle of it all I can’t help but notice the mood of the crowd with regard to the Florida game – not exactly giddy, but certainly confident.  And Richt played into it, both with a little humor and some feistiness (the “it’s not the Celebration, it’s the fact that we won” line plays well, trust me).

I daresay the mood in Gator Country on the game is somewhat grimmer right now.  Just ask Franz Beard.  Or Phil Trautwein.

As for the substance of what Coach Richt had to say, if you’re a regular on Georgia boards and blogs, there wasn’t really anything new or shocking.  I thought the best Q & A of the night was about the new clock rules.  Richt downplayed the effect of the new 40-second clock, based on his belief that there have always been 10-15 seconds between plays in addition to the running of the old 25-second play clock.  But he feels that the new rule related to out of bounds plays will have a significant impact, because the game clock will start with the 40-second play clock.

All of which took me back to a realization I had during the G-Day game.  Sometime during the action, I looked at the clock and was struck by how much game time had run.  My initial feeling was that time was being bled off purposefully to lessen the possibility of players getting hurt.  But it dawned on me as I watched the officials:  they’re playing with the new clock rules.

The more I think about it, the more I believe it’s likely that we’re in for a decline in the number of plays run this season as a result of this.  And not as much of that will be the result of coaching strategies as we may want to credit.

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Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

The shocking truth

The LA Times’ Chris Dufresne is a funny guy.  From his “Looking Ahead” column today:

* Dec. 7: Final BCS standings release.

Aftermath: National sports columnist from hometown team left out of title game discovers the sport is controversial.

Aftermath II: President of school that finished No. 3 in standings calls news conference to unveil his eight-team playoff plan.

Aftermath III would have something to do with an over the top John Feinstein piece, but we’ll leave that for another time – like when Feinstein writes it.

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Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Media Punditry/Foibles

Don’t be a hata, Jim Rome.

Damn… Florida’s got the better gameplanner, the superior program, superior athletes and the superior system.

So how in the hell did Meyer’s boys lose last year?

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles