Daily Archives: July 19, 2011

Todd Grantham, the option. The option, Todd Grantham.

A gentle reminder from Year2 that last year’s spotty run defense wasn’t totally due to personnel issues.  Unless by that you mean not having enough personnel in the right place.


Filed under Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Stats say the darndest things.

More fun with statistics from Georgia’s inexplicable (metrically speaking) 2010 season –

Start with this chart from kleph’s latest analysis.

2010 Total Allowed Sacks and Allowed Tackles for Loss

Despite not having a single running back with what I’d call Moreno-esque ability to escape negative-yardage rushing plays, Georgia managed to lead the conference in avoiding tackles for loss.  Some credit should go to Aaron Murray for that, but perhaps some should go to the oft-maligned offensive line.  Although I don’t want to go too far in the credit department, because the Dawgs were strictly middle of the pack in sacks allowed.

If you find that muddled message slightly amusing, you’ll split your sides over something Bill Connelly posted today.  Bill explores the whole “plays good against bad teams, not so good against good teams” theme that many of us have pointed to in a generic sense to explain why Georgia’s stats for the season shed so little light on how those Dawgs wound up 6-7.

For those of you who buy into that explanation, you won’t be surprised to find out that Bill’s results support that; indeed, Georgia ranked third on his overall list correlating team play with opponent strength.  But here’s the funny part – on offense, Georgia actually held its own against its better opponents, relatively speaking.  It’s just that the defensive correlation was so strongly off the charts it skewed the overall results.  As for what that bodes this season, your guess is a good as mine (or Bill’s).



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Calibrating Mark Richt’s future

There’s a part of Seth Emerson’s premise about Richt’s situation with which I wholeheartedly agree:

… When Richt walks to the podium Thursday at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala., the Georgia head football coach will know what awaits. There may be a thousand credentialed media members at the SEC Media Days, and a lot of them will be thinking of nice ways to ask the hard-hitting question: Is he on the hot seat?

The short answer is yes. But anyone looking at a certain number of wins Richt needs to get this year is being too simplistic…

Obvious scenarios aside (10+ wins or less than six, it’ll be obvious what will happen) there’s a lot more that’ll go into the calculation of Richt’s survival than merely counting the number of wins it would take to get him over the threshold.  But I hope this isn’t part of the math, at least not in the way that Emerson describes:

… If Georgia changes coaches, Richt will argue — and his bosses will be very well aware — then commitments become de-commitments. Theus would in all likelihood re-open his recruitment, with Florida and Texas ready to pounce. Other highly rated commitments, such as defensive tackle Jonathan Taylor and defensive end Leonard Floyd, will be preyed on by rival schools while Georgia looks for a new coach.

By itself, is that enough to convince Georgia’s administration not to change coaches? Of course not, if the school’s leaders feel strongly enough about the on-field product.

But let’s say it’s a tough call: If Georgia starts 0-2 — a very real possibility — the obituaries on Richt’s tenure at Georgia will be written like no one has ever seen. But it will in all probability still be way too premature.

This Georgia administration is going to give Richt all the rope he needs. And his success on the recruiting trail, adding to his goodwill within the Bulldogs fan base, is providing Richt with a lot of rope. He’ll be able to withstand a couple of early losses. At least that’s the smart bet.

Now if the Bulldogs are sitting later at something like 2-6, with losses to say, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Tennessee, and the like, yes, a change will in all likelihood come.

But athletics director Greg McGarity and president Michael Adams will weigh everything, including recruiting. And they will know that if they oust Richt, they’ll in all likelihood lose Theus and Henry and perhaps Ramsey and others.

Coaching transitions are never easy. Sometimes they’re necessary. Richt and his defenders will argue that the risks in this case would outweigh any benefits.

That’s awfully shortsighted.  You can’t keep chasing your tail.  Using possible recruiting defections as a crutch to justify the retention of a coaching staff that isn’t succeeding on the field is a fool’s mission, especially if you’re going to use recruits from two classes out as part of that justification.

Certainly recruiting is the lifeblood of any successful college football program.  And what’s reassuring about the results from Dawg Night is that Coach Richt hasn’t lost his credibility in the eyes of recruits and their families.  But at some point, success on the recruiting trail has to translate into success on the field if a head coach expects to be retained over the long haul.  As much as I want him to do well and run the show as long as he wants, I hardly think Richt is the only man who can consistently recruit top ten classes to Athens.  Worrying about a one year dip in recruiting shouldn’t be a reason to refuse to make a change if the program’s performance otherwise requires it.


Filed under Georgia Football

They sure can pick ’em.

Chris Low lays out the media’s pathetic record at predicting the conference champ at SEC Media Days.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles, SEC Football

Using up my annual quota of saying something nice about Tennessee fans…

I get the point Jerry Hinnen is making here, but honestly, after what Vol fans have been put through over the last couple of seasons (Battered Vol Syndrome?), I kind of find that level of support admirable.

Put it this way:  Georgia Tech would kill for that kind of season ticket renewal number.


Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange

Sometimes you make it hard for me to care.

I know I take my share of potshots at the AJ-C, but that being said, unlike many of you, I remain a regular reader.  There should be an honored place in the world for newsprint journalism; I’m realistic enough to know that its reporters have resources and access that a lowly blogger like me doesn’t have but counts on accessing.  So my reaction when I see the paper get embarrassed in completely missing a story like the one about Georgia Tech’s recent NCAA sanctions isn’t satisfaction.  It’s sadness.

But that’s not how I feel after reading one little dung nugget in Mark Bradley’s latest attempt at passive-aggressive observation of the world that helps pay his bills.

… College football has long been a dirty business, but it’s bigger and dirtier than ever. The strange spectacle of recruiting has become a sport unto itself. (Esteemed colleague Michael Carvell offers the best description I’ve heard: “A lot of fans would rather see their team get a big commitment than score a touchdown on Saturday.”)

How arrogant can you get?  This is a readership that the AJ-C courts hard (Carvell is the recruiting beat reporter) and yet is dismissed with contempt by the very people whose job it is to win their loyalty.  I’m certainly not obsessed with recruiting like some are, but I would never characterize those people’s enthusiasm in such an obnoxious way.  Carvell’s comment reads like something you’d see on a Florida message board dissing Georgia fans.

I could be wrong, but dumping on the very people you count on for survival doesn’t strike me as the best long-term marketing plan.


Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

CFN’s Georgia preview

Pete Fiutak really pushes the 2010 Auburn/2011 Georgia comparison as hard as he can, bless his heart, in his preseason preview of the Dawgs, even to the point of including three players  who weren’t even on the field last season in his list of Georgia’s five best (with John Jenkins ranked ahead of Aaron Murray!) just so you’d get his point about what Fairley and Newton contributed out of the blue last year, but it’s hard to take any preview seriously that completely fails to mention Ken Malcome.

It’s not as if it’s hard to keep track of Georgia’s tailbacks right now.

Here’s his look at the defense, if you’re interested.


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles