# Monthly Archives: February 2013

## Factoid of the day

… comes via Athlon:

Auburn and Georgia are the only two schools in the SEC with at least five winning conference seasons in each of the past four decades.

That’s the kind of stuff you run into when you acknowledge there’s life before 1990, Gator fans.

Filed under SEC Football

## He’s probably still got his old hat.

Good news, everyone!  Trooper Taylor’s name surfaces in Tennessee’s hunt for a replacement for Jay Graham.

## Don’t cry for me, FCS athletic directors.

Despite the hand wringing over this, it seems there’s still an appetite for cupcakes in Texas, thank you very much.

Filed under It's Just Bidness

## Another statistical vote of confidence for Aaron Murray

I’ve been a fan of Chase Stuart’s blog for a while now.  My only quibble is that he spends a lot more time delving into the statistical universe of the pro game than he does college football.  But thanks to Marty (who deserves a lot more attention for the work he does at cfbstats.com than he gets, by the way), it sounds like I’m about to get a lot happier.

A few weeks ago, I discovered cfbstats.com, which has made available for download an incredible amount of college football statistics from the last eight seasons. Thanks to them, I plan to apply some of the same techniques I’ve used on NFL numbers over the years to college statistics. If you’re a fan of college football, you’re probably already reading talented writers like Bill Connelly and Brian Fremeau, but hopefully I can bring something new to the table for you to enjoy.

Since that’s the start of a piece on the best passing college quarterbacks from last season, I’d say he’s already succeeded.

You can read about the metric he employs to rate quarterbacks here.  (Short explanation:  “ANY/A is calculated by starting with passing yards per attempt, adding 20 yards for each touchdown and subtracting 45 yards for each interception, and subtracting sack yards lost from the numerator and adding sacks to the denominator.”)  He then describes the tweaks he made for the college game:

There’s a small problem, however, if you want to calculate ANY/A at the college level: the NCAA counts sacks as rush attempts and sack yards lost as negative rushing yards. I manually overrode2 that decision in my data set, so going forward, all rushing and passing data will include sack data in the preferred manner (keep this in mind when you compare the statistics I present to the “official” ones).

But calculating each quarterback’s ANY/A isn’t enough, as the varying strengths of schedule faced by college quarterbacks are too significant to ignore. So using the method described here, I came up with SOS-adjusted ANY/A for each quarterback in each game last year. This method involves an iterative process, so each quarterback’s performance is adjusted for the strength of the opposing defense, which has a rating that is adjusted for the quarterbacks it faced (including the quarterback in question), and so on, until the ratings converge. The usual caveats apply about defenses and quarterbacks that change in ability level over the course of the year.

Adjusted for defensive strength, Aaron Murray tops his list.

Let’s use Georgia’s Aaron Murray as an example. He averaged 3.88 ANY/A over average against a schedule that was 0.68 ANY/A tougher than average; that means he gets credit for being 4.56 ANY/A over average against a neutral schedule. Since he had 412 dropbacks last year (386 passes, 26 sacks), we multiply 4.56 by 412 to get his value added over average.

Honestly, I’m not that surprised, given Murray’s statistical dominance in the generic ypa stat last season.  What is a little more surprising is the presence of SEC quarterbacks high on Chase’s list – five of the top ten.  Some of that can be chalked up to the strength of the defenses they saw – six of the top ten SOS numbers belong to SEC quarterbacks, and another, Ole Miss’ Bo Wallace, ranked eleventh – but those players still had to perform well.

One other thing that caught my eye was his list of top 25 quarterback games of 2012.  Murray’s was the only name to appear on that list three times.  And it’s the third one, against Kentucky, that made me go back and think about something.  Murray gets his fair share of criticism for not winning the big game, but does Georgia win that game if he doesn’t pick the team up and put it on his back?

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

## “Just think of how creative people can be when there are no restrictions on it.”

I keep trying to walk away from the Greg McGarity vs. the new NCAA recruiting rules story, but he keeps pulling me back in.  Does anybody really think this is what’s keeping him up at night?

“We have the resources, to a certain level,” McGarity said. “But what level is that? The rule would let each institution make that decision. But for the good of the game, if you take a step back, our institution, and what’s for the best for college athletics in general, then basically with the approval of this legislation you would be furthering the separation of the haves and haves not. And right now you would say there are probably 22 haves, and the rest of the programs in the country operate in the red already. I don’t think that’s good for the whole.”

I mean, if he’s that concerned about the programs not operating in the black, perhaps he’s willing to consider some form of revenue sharing… Riiiiight.

This isn’t about not sticking it to the little guy further.  It’s about Alabama and other SEC schools making Georgia spend money McGarity doesn’t want to spend.

(As a side note for those of you who don’t think Mark Richt has learned from experience to read which way the winds blow at Butts-Mehre, you might want to check out this interview.)

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, The NCAA

## Yeah, he’s gonna have some normal teen years.

Nor is it that LSU has already offered the kid.

It’s not even that he’s attended LSU’s last five youth camps.

Nah, it’s this comment from his dad:  “I don’t think he feels any need to rush his decision.”

It’s times like this I really, really wish college football would adopt Andy Staples’ proposal.

Filed under Recruiting

## Setting up for 2013: SEC East

I’m sort of curious what the group’s impression of which schools have the toughest and easiest rebuilding jobs in the SEC East this season.  That’s not the same thing as assessing which schools will win the most or least games; rather, I’m just looking at last season as a baseline and trying to figure out who’s got the most work cut out for them merely in terms of not falling back.

Edward Aschoff’s spring preview is as good a place to start as any, I figure.  With the losses on defense, I know Georgia’s the popular pick in terms of which program in the division took the biggest hits, but looking at his list, is there any school starting farther behind last year’s eight-ball than Tennessee?  New staff, a completely nuked passing attack and a third defensive scheme in three years suggest that the Vols will have personnel issues all over the field.

On the other side of the coin, dare I say it, Vanderbilt looks like it has the most manageable job of regrouping in the East.  Stacy and Rodgers are gone, but there’s talent at running back and Jordan Matthews’ return should make the next quarterback’s job a little easier.  Aschoff doesn’t mention it, but the ‘Dores only lose five starters on defense.

What do y’all think?