This is the kind of post I usually put together in the offseason, but Year2 has saved me the trouble and I thank him. In looking at what kind of difference Grantham made this season, he compiled this chart.
Season UGA PPG All. Avg. SEC PPG All. Difference Coordinator 2003 15.11 24.29 -9.17 VanGorder 2004 16.63 23.15 -6.53 VanGorder 2002 16.33 22.59 -6.26 VanGorder 2007 21.40 26.95 -5.55 Martinez 2005 16.44 21.72 -5.27 Martinez 2001 20.88 25.70 -4.83 VanGorder 2010 25.00 26.65 -1.65 Grantham 2006 21.00 21.10 -0.10 Martinez 2008 26.80 22.77 +4.03 Martinez 2009 31.50 23.20 +8.30 Martinez
Even when you factor better special teams play and a quarterback that didn’t hand the ball over to the opposition on a regular basis into the equation, that’s still a significant improvement. Besides, Grantham had to grapple with installing a new scheme and the accompanying personnel issues that went with that, so the side factors offset to some extent. Those numbers aren’t everything we want them to be, obviously, but that’s a long way from not seeing them as an improvement over the last two years of Martinez, both as an absolute and also relative to the conference.
And if you’re wondering why the criticism of the coordinators seems stacked towards Bobo lately, here’s an explanation for some of that:
… Georgia’s eight SEC opponents in 2009 averaged 22.15 PPG in conference play; Georgia’s eight SEC opponents in 2010 averaged 26.61 PPG in conference play. The only top-half of the conference offenses Georgia missed in either season were Alabama’s and its own.
While a simple points per game measure isn’t enough to judge a defensive coordinator by, you can do similar things with the yardage numbers in conference play. Georgia’s 2009 defense allowed 5.65 yards per play (0.38 above league average) and 379.38 yards per game (33.29 above league average). Georgia’s 2010 defense allowed 5.64 yards per play (0.05 yards below league average) and 355.75 yards per game (20.89 below league average). While it looks like Georgia’s defense only improved by 0.01 yards per play and 23.63 yards per game, relative to the conference average, Georgia’s defense improved by 0.43 yards per play and 54.19 yards per game.
By remaining at around 29 points per game, the Georgia offense did regress by about a field goal against the league average. [Emphasis added.] However, Georgia overall improved by about seven points per game when compared to the conference averages.
All that being said, even with the scoring improvement, Georgia finished with a worse conference record this season than it did in 2009. A lot of that was due to not being able to finish a single close game with a win. How much of that was due to Grantham and Bobo and how much of that was due to other factors is a question that Mark Richt had best find the answer to this offseason.