Daily Archives: January 18, 2012

How slobber evolves.

Is there anyone out there who, after reading this chain of e-mails between various members of the media and Auburn’s PR guy during Cam Newton’s rise to glory, wouldn’t answer Dennis Dodd’s rhetorical questions (“Am I sick? Are we all sick?“) in the affirmative?

Gah.  (Especially Joe Schad.)



Filed under Media Punditry/Foibles

You don’t always need familiarity to breed contempt.

The most recent poll for the Texas Senate race reveals Craig James with a whopping support figure of 4 percent.  The succinct explanation?

The former SMU Mustang and New England Patriot running back is struggling to overcome two liabilities: he’s largely unknown and he’s unpopular among those who know him.

That’ll pretty much do it.  The question is whether any of this registers at the WWL after James’ political ship inevitably sinks.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Political Wankery

Better running, better quarterback?

Mike Bobo haz a revelation.

The key to Aaron Murray becoming a better quarterback, according to Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, is for the Georgia Bulldogs to develop a more productive running game.

Murray closed the season with two of his shakier performances — totaling 451 passing yards, three touchdowns, two lost fumbles and four interceptions, including two for touchdowns — in losses to LSU and Michigan State.

The common thread in those two games was that Georgia’s battered backfield was completely ineffective at moving the ball on the ground.

Actually, I thought the common thread in those two games was that Georgia faced two top-ten defensive units.  But I digress.  Let’s instead see if we can test Bobo’s hypothesis.

Georgia averaged 3.95 yards per rush this past season.  Aaron Murray’s average passer rating in 2011 was 146.41.  If you separate the games on the basis of those in which Georgia exceeded the rushing average from those in which it didn’t, here’s how that looks, in handy chart form.

BSU 4.42 139.39
SC 4.95 175.98
CC 4.13 168.05
NMSU 6.97 236.92
AUB 5.43 255.64
GT 4.57 177.14
AVG 5.078333 192.1867
MISS 3.7 169.67
MISS ST 3.16 108.16
UT 3.66 136.27
VANDY 3.44 150.75
UF 3.78 99.41
UK 3.37 106.57
LSU 2.29 72.48
MICH ST 1.31 146.23
AVG 3.08875 123.6925

So, yeah, there’s a certain truth to the stats as they relate to Bobo’s point.  Murray’s average passer rating in games when the rushing attack was better than average was certainly above his average in the games when the Dawgs were under the 3.95 ypr season average.

But there are several exceptions to the rule you can find when you look at each game, particularly with some of the ones in which the rushing lagged (Murray had three games among those with higher passer ratings than in the Boise State game).  And note that in the bowl game, when Georgia’s running game was essentially non-existent, Murray managed to pull off an average game by his standards.

Would a better ground game help Murray? The numbers suggest that it would.  But is that because it would make him a better quarterback, or because it would make Bobo a better play caller?  Who is more comfortable when Murray doesn’t have to try to carry the offense on his shoulders?


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Why I welcome our playoff overlords.

This is what “settling it on the field” is really about:

… A boiled-down, no-bowls, championship-only BCS appeals to many including the Big Ten and Pacific 12, which could count on their traditional matchup in the Rose Bowl every year. But it will be interesting to see if that format can survive arguments for the greater good. Middle-echelon conferences that now occasionally crack the BCS lineup fear being squeezed out of the Orange, Sugar and Fiesta bowls if those games are unbound by BCS guidelines and free to take the bigger-name, more TV-friendly teams they want.

Assuming the other 34 postseason games stay in business, that option also would create two new games – the BCS semifinals – and raise the number of postseason berths to 74. That’s approaching two of every three teams in the NCAA’s 120-member bowl subdivision, creating a demand for inventory that may exceed the supply of eligible teams.

ESPN, ftw!

Once the deed is done, I’m not sure yet which Bill Hancock observation will amuse me more – that the new postseason format is a vast improvement over what we’ve got now, or that the new format is one “for the long haul”.

In any event, expect the bitching to resume once the novelty has worn off.


Filed under BCS/Playoffs

Oxymoron of the day

That would be “NCAA no-brainer“.

Though if you take that expression literally


Filed under The NCAA