ACC 2010, by the numbers

Regular readers here know I’m a fan of Matt Melton’s SDPI metric, which he summarizes as follows:  “The basic idea is to look at how far above or below average (by standard deviations) a specific team is relative to their conference brethren.”

His analysis of the ACC’s SDPI for last season is posted, and as usual it’s a fun read. A few highlights:

  • Jacory Harris, league MVP. That’s not meant as a compliment.  Miami on paper was the best team in the ACC in 2010.  On the field, not so much.  And the reason was turnover margin:  the Hurricanes managed the neat trick of tying for the conference lead in turnovers lost and gained, for a net +1.  Division champ Virginia Tech finished +17.  The good news for Al Golden is that if he can stop the bleeding, his team has a decent chance to move on up.
  • Who knew? “Clemson has ranked either first or second in the ACC in defense each of the past five seasons.” So much for the axiom that defense wins championships.
  • How ’bout that Al Groh? In regressing from 7-1 in conference play to 4-4, Georgia Tech’s defense slid from fourth in the ACC in 2009 to ninth last season.  (Tech’s offense, believe it or not, improved from fourth to third.)
  • Epitaph for mediocrity. This is as good a summary of the 2010 ACC football season as you’ll find:  “For the first time since 2000, the ACC champion managed to navigate through the conference season without a loss. However, unfortunately for the reputation of the league, its champion also lost a non-conference game to James Madison.”


Filed under ACC Football, Stats Geek!

10 responses to “ACC 2010, by the numbers

  1. heyberto

    Senator, how do you think Tech’s 3-4 will do in year 2 under Groh? Did they get the prototypical nose tackle they need to run that defense? Do they run a different flavor of it to make up for personnel they don’t have?


    • Jimmie Kitchen is the only defensive lineman they signed in this year’s class, so I don’t expect their defensive front to improve much in the short run.

      I do like Tech’s 2011 linebacker class, though. It’s just that I’m not sure how much good they can do if the guys up front don’t help.


  2. Macallanlover

    Not a big fan of Groh but I doubt he “slipped” five spots in his personal ranking as a defensive coach during the off season. He had 2-3 dominent players on that 2009 defense that weren’t there in 2010. In a team game, it can be just one significant loss to injury or graduation to dramatically impact performance. I feel UGA fans skew way too far on the blame scale toward coaches and don’t hold players accountable, or even expect falloff when key players aren’t available. Not disputing there isn’t a difference in coaching talent, nor that coaches should not have accountability, just that evaluations need to be viewed with all factors considered. Vince Lombardi would have a losing record at Vandy.


    • Well, the Georgia Tech message boards were giving Groh all the credit in the world for improving the defense before last season’s start, so I figure this is only fair. 😉


    • W Cobb Dawg

      “He had 2-3 dominent players on that 2009 defense that weren’t there in 2010.”

      I thought 2010 was Groh’s first year at gtu. Wasn’t Wommack the DC in 2009, and wasn’t he fired by pj for the D’s poor play? Looks like Mark Bradley’s genius coach screws up again.


      • Macallanlover

        Oops, my mistake. I readily admit to not being very interested in GT except one week per year. I stand by my premise that coaches get both too much blame and credit. Often a key piece is missing for a stretch, or critical game and fans underrate that. Career, or multi-season, stats are the only reliable indicator for those of us who view from afar.


  3. Bulldog Joe

    …and to top off this stellar ACC season, another BCS bowl beatdown 40-12.


  4. D.N. Nation

    Mark Richt = 2 BCS wins
    Any human being who has ever coached an ACC team during the existence
    of the BCS = 2 BCS wins