Daily Archives: November 20, 2012

We’re from the Hive and we’re here to help.

A Tech fan posts that he’s planning on attending Saturday’s game, asks for advice on how to cope and the results are both predictable and amusing.

Actually, the tales they spin are a little… well, bland.  Where are the stories about Georgia people putting ground glass in the drinks of Tech fans when they’re not looking (probably because they’re worried about getting cold-cocked from behind)?  How about the times Dawg partisans tossed Molotov cocktails into open vehicles driven by Jacket supporters?

I mean, I don’t know about you, but I personally can think of at least three times while I was tailgating on North Campus when I held a weapon to the head of an adorable muppet wearing white and gold until I forced the child’s parents into shouting “Tech sux!”.  And made ‘em do it twice for good measure!

I suppose I should feel quite badly about that, given how kindly I’m treated by the locals every time I visit good ol’ Bobby Dodd Stadium, but there you go.  I’m evil like that.

Please feel free to share your stories of terror in Athens in the comments.  Don’t hold back any details, real or otherwise.  It’s called Hate Week for a reason, you know.

122 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

Staying off the field

In the comments, Brandon wants to know something:  “I’d be interested to see a first half of the season defensive breakdown vs. second half of the season when its all said and done.”

Well, I may not have all the answers to that, but you can always count on Marty having at least a few.

If you take a look at Georgia’s split defensive stats, you’ll see a steady decline in yardage yielded as the season’s progressed.  But the real key there comes when you look at the average number of defensive plays per game.  In August/September, it was 73.4.  October showed a drop to 64.33.  This month’s number is even better:  56.  Less plays should mean less yardage.  It should also mean that your defenders are staying fresher come the fourth quarter.

If you’re looking for the reason within the reason for the improvement, the place to start for that is with opponent third-down conversion rates.  If you will recall, that was an area Georgia excelled in last season, posting a stout 28.93% rate.  This year’s rate is higher at 35.58%, but there’s good news.  After a decidedly mediocre October (42.86%), the defense has done a much better job this month getting off the field, turning in an impressive 29.73% conversion rate.

That will be a key to stopping Georgia Tech, so keep an eye on it.

17 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

For a fat program, you sure don’t sweat much.

Jim Delany’s not even bothering to try to sell Maryland as anything other than a television move.

“This is a long-term play,” Delany said. “There’s no reason that Maryland can’t be a prominent football program. They have great recruiting and great markets. And good competition makes everybody better.”

Baby, you sure have some great markets there.  Hubba hubba!

Andy Staples tells the fans stupid sentimentalists to get a life.

So why does everyone hate Maryland’s move to the Big Ten?

The answer is simple. College sports are built on nostalgia. Everyone wants everything to be exactly as it was when they attended Old State U. That way, every Saturday is a trip back to the best time of their lives. When they flip on the television and see Utah playing USC in a conference game, it wrecks that nostalgia. Most people either can’t or won’t accept what big-time college athletics actually is. It is a big business that happens to be attached to mostly publicly funded universities. That attachment brings with it a number of complications. Taxpayers are schools’ shareholders, and administrators have a fiduciary duty to them. In other words, if you’re in charge at the University of Maryland and the Big Ten invites you and you say no, you should be fired immediately for breaching that fiduciary duty.

Funny, I thought you should be fired for exercising sufficient incompetence in running the athletic department to put it at financial risk in the first place.

I think what really bugs me about this more than the rest of the realignment games college football has played for the last few years put together is how profoundly mediocre the end result is.  As Ivan Maisel put it, “Taking Maryland and Rutgers isn’t innovative. The Big Ten could have taken them last week, last month, or five years ago.”

This is Staples’ blessing of the situation:

None of us grew up with Ohio State-Maryland or Michigan-Rutgers. This is different, and different is always scary. But the Big Ten saw a chance to add value, and Maryland saw a chance to make more money in a time of economic uncertainty. This marriage may not square with your idea of which teams should or shouldn’t play in the Big Ten, but in this economy, none of us should be criticizing a school for making a sound fiscal choice.

It’s not that it’s scary.  It’s that it’s boring.  It’s like shopping for an insurance policy instead of a new car.  We’re fans.  We don’t give a rat’s ass about our schools making sound fiscal choices.  (Just ask Tennessee fans about that right now.)

This is soul-numbing.  And it’s been done in such an in-your-face way that it won’t even be worth making an effort to laugh the next time Delany has the stones to invoke tradition when he talks about the television programming he schedules, er… conference he leads.

I don’t even want to ponder whether this is the new template for conference expansion elsewhere.  If it is, I’m gonna need a lot more bourbon.

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UPDATE:  Nate Silver, as only Nate Silver can, weighs in.

It is probably no coincidence that the two most popular college football conferences – the Southeastern and the Big Ten – have until now been the most conservative about expansion. The most recent additions to the Big Ten, Penn State and the University of Nebraska, ranked as the 3rd and 18th most popular football programs in the country. The newest additions to the Southeastern Conference, Texas A&M and Missouri, were ranked 6th and 23rd.

Rutgers and Maryland are outstanding public universities – but they are just not in the same league in terms of football.

36 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness

GATA, Hate Week style

Headers like this never fail to warm the cockles of my withered old heart.

Or quotes like this:

“We haven’t had much success, especially lately,” Johnson said Monday on Atlanta’s 680 The Fan. “We’ve had close games. Last year’s game was the first game since I’ve been here that really you can say didn’t go down to the last possession or so. For it to be a real rivalry, we need to uphold our end. We haven’t done that lately.”

FIAR, B!

11 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football

Dawg stat watch, Week 12

Without any further ado, let’s jump straight to the numbers (via cfbstats.com).

  1. Hold opponents under 18 points per game.  As a team, Georgia is yielding 18.4 ppg.
  2. Finish at least +8 in turnover margin.  Georgia’s turnover margin is +7.
  3. Average better than 380 yards per game on offense.  Georgia’s offense is averaging 471.4 ypg.
  4. Finish in the top five in total defensive yardage.  Georgia’s defense ranks sixth in total defense.
  5. Finish in the top three in first downs.  Georgia is fourth in first downs.
  6. Finish no worse than third in passing yardage.  Georgia is fourth in passing yardage.
  7. Finish no worse than third in sacks.  Georgia is ninth in sacks.

As expected, playing a triple-option offense didn’t do the Dawgs any statistical favors on the defensive side of the ball.

I think at this point, there’s a conclusion to be drawn about this 2012 squad compared to its predecessors who played in Atlanta and that is that the offense is playing a bigger role in Georgia’s success this season than in previous years when it played for a conference title.  It’s not hugely so – the defensive scoring and yardage numbers are steadily moving into traditional territory – but it’s there.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!