No surprises if you’re a Georgia fan in kleph’s post about SEC 3rd down defensive conversion rates, I’m afraid.
Check out that Auburn graph, though. Ted Roof’s been working his magic.
Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!
I hope Grantham posts this on every defensive player’s locker.
Boy, that’s welcome mat territory.
We used to call a defensive 3rd and long play: “3rd and Willie”. Hopefully last year was just a hangover from those days.
Willie gets canned in ’09, Florida goes undefeated in the regular season in ’09, but both teams had the same 3rd-down conversion rate.
You may now note that it didn’t take opponents three tries to get 10 yards against William’s D.
“….the Dawgs were pretty good stopping third down conversions in Sanford Stadium but simply gawdawful on the road.” So much for the notion that it doesn’t matter where the Dawgs play under CMR. A myth has existed for years that the Dawgs play as well or better on the road as they do at home and proponents of keeping the WLOCP in Jacksonville have exploited that myth for years. Hopefully this data will put that BS to rest permanently.
So what you’re saying is that defensive 3rd down conversion percentage is a better indication of a team’s record than wins and losses.
No. What I’m saying is that, at least defensively, this data proves that the Dawgs play better at home than anywhere else. Big surprise. Even 10 year old kids know that a team usually plays better at home. That is why having lots of home games is an advantage (Auburn had 8 home games last season). That is why the entire NFL season is about getting home field advantage in the playoffs. That simple fact appears to befuddle certain UGA fans though.
The won-loss record doesn’t bear that out, Mayor. At least not up until last season.
The problem with only looking at wins and losses is that it is too simplistic. For example, suppose UGA beats UK on the road by a score of 35-21. If that game had taken place in Athens the score may have been 35-14, yet the results would be the same either way–a win for the Dawgs. The fact that during the earlier CMR years UGA was winning all the time obscured the obvious–that the Dawgs play better at home. When the program slipped the “playing worse on the road” business caught up to the Dawgs and the differential between being at home and on the road became the difference between winning and losing.
first off, it seems clear looking at last season’s schedule that the bulldog’s easier games were at sanford stadium. the bulldogs got victories over ULL, tennessee, vandy and idaho state in athens. they won a nailbiter against georgia tech with a +2 turnover margin but dropped an even closer contest versus the hogs with a -1 TO margin.
it’s difficult to simply conclude the bulldogs are better at home with that skewed an opponent list and the fact the road offered a slate of much more challenging opponents.
and even if you concede that home contests offer a specific point advantage, why is georgia playing so many of these contests within that margin of error? or, to put it another way, shouldn’t a team with the talent and skill the bulldogs possess be using the home field advantage to win more decisively in athens?
To answer the specific questions posed by your intelligent post, the answers are: “Coaching” and “Yep.”
first off, thanks for the link love, senator.
and while i’m not convinced there is a specific predictive quality to this particular stat, i do believe there is valuable insights to be gleaned from them. my personal impression was that the more i broke it down the more georgia’s 2010 campaign, the more it reminded me of the godawful 2007 crimson tide season.
in the first year of nick saban’s 3-4 defense, alabama rolled up a 6-6 regular season record just like georgia last year, but pulled out the victory in the bowl game. the tide was horrible on the road and had one epic collapse at home. bottom line, the defense couldn’t get the opposing teams off the field all season long. the result was a pile of close losses.
things got better in 2008. a LOT better.
based on that experience, i believe georgia will see a rebound in 2011. there are two big factors working in the bulldogs favor. 1) the team now has a season under the scheme and that seems to matter with this particular defense 2) grantham has a season to work with. he can now target specific areas of improvement rather than trying to overhaul the whole damned defense.
add to that georgia has brought in a number of key players specifically to address weaknesses on that side of the ball and it’s hard to see how last year’s woeful total will be replicated this season.
I’ve had similar thoughts/hopes. It’s something I’ll try to address in a post during the dog days of next month.
what i would love to have is better stats for first and second down. according to the venerable folks over at football outsiders “Defenses which are weak on first and second down, but strong on third down, will tend to decline the following year.” and vice versa, of course.
all i’ve got at hand are the third down conversion rates but no detailed numbers on “success” for first and second down. but if i did, i’d be willing to bet you that the results would be a perfect fit for the bulldogs.
You can pick your way through the situational stats at cfbstats.com for some of that, but not all.
the FO numbers create a specific metric for “success” for every play in every season for every team and then extrapolate the data by downs to reach their conclusion. as much as i love the accessibility of info on cfbstats (which is why i rely on them to create these posts), there really isn’t anything in their lists that can provide that robust a data set to evaluate.
What happened to the miscegregation thread? Sic Ole Miss spelling.
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