The Sporting News’ Dave Curtis notes something that most of the top teams in college football had in common last season.
Almost all of college football’s championship teams in 2010 thrived on third down, according to a study of NCAA statistics from the season.
All five BCS bowl winners ranked among the nation’s top 13 teams in third-down differential. The differential statistic, not officially computed by the NCAA, takes a team’s third-down conversion rate on offense and subtracts its opponents’ third-down conversion rate…
… Of the 57 teams to finish with positive ratings, 51 reached bowl games, and nine went to BCS games…
As you may have guessed, Georgia wasn’t one of those 57 teams. Per the always invaluable cfbstats.com, the Dawgs finished last season with a conversion rate of minus-1.37.
The interesting thing about Georgia’s conversion rate comes in the breakdown of home/away games on the defensive side of the ball. At home, the defense held opponents’ third down conversions to 29.86%, which is outstanding. On the road, though, that ballooned to 51.58%. As the offense was much more consistent, the conversion rates broke down to +10.40 at home and minus-10.88 away.
Georgia was 5-1 in Sanford Stadium last year and 1-6 everywhere else.