If every quarterback is above average, then no defense is. Or something like that.

Bernie follows up on yesterday’s post here about SEC defenses and quarterbacks with a look at the current passer ratings of every quarterback Georgia faces this season.  Remarkably (insert disclaimer about small sample size here), there’s not a number lower than 138.1 on his list.

Why is that remarkable?  Well, when the NCAA adopted the metric in 1980, based on data from the previous fifteen seasons, the numeric goal was to make the average QB rating 100.  Rule changes and offensive philosophies having significantly changed in the period since then have seen the average adjust up to 130, approximately.  In other words, you can say that if those numbers roughly hold up (I know, I know), Georgia won’t defend a single below average passer this season.

The bottom line here is that we’ve never seen an era in college football with a passing game as robust as we’re seeing now.  And my guess is that with the new targeting rule, the trend line will continue to climb.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

26 responses to “If every quarterback is above average, then no defense is. Or something like that.

  1. JasonC

    Juiced-ball Era?

  2. Lrgk9

    Now, instead of dresses just on the QB, the WR’s get to wear them too.

    Am not sure whether these are the good old days or not. Have always been a fan of passionate defense.

  3. Scorpio Jones, III

    Both Mettenberger and Marshall get better (Marshall dramatically) every game. Mettenberger has a far superior supporting cast and should win the “I was a Bad Boy in Athens” award. But Marshall’s numbers on the game-winning drive (which is of some import to Uncle Roscoe) were promising.
    The view from the moral high ground is still excellent, however, and I can almost see over Mett’s hat.

    Did John Dewberry ever beat Georgia….inquiring minds and all?

    The voodoo is heavy on this stuff.

    • uglydawg

      I remember a photo of Dewberry with a piece of the Georgia hedges in his mouth after a rare Nerd victory.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        Yeah, I thought I remembered that, didn’t trust it….can you imagine the WWL gush-puke over Mett and Murray on GameDay?

  4. Russ

    Just imagine what Mason will do!

  5. Cosmic Dawg

    I agree with your premise, and I bet you’re right, that the average is likely well over 100, but will it be this high?

    Since that list is *mostly* SEC QB’s, I think you have to account that their passer rating is almost always going to be higher than average, just like every other unit on an SEC team, because they play SEC defenses (equals) and out-of-conference games (generally way inferior).

    Also, I think even the cupcakes on that list have probably played more cupcakes than what will be the average for their season (and UNT apparently has a pretty good QB).

    It would be interesting to see where the average QB rating for DIV 1 fell at the end of the season each season – do defenses improve more than QB’s as the season progresses?

    I’d do it myself, but I probably ought to get to work…:)

    • Cosmic Dawg

      Actually, none of the above holds water if Driskel is at 143 after his first two games – the stat seems ridiculous in light of this easily digestible sample:

      Driskel’s passer rating against Toledo with 77% completion percentage, 1 TD and 0 INT is 150.

      His passer rating against Miami with 66% percent completion percentage, 1 TD and 2 INT is 138.

      Even if it accounts for superior competition – your completion percentage drops 10% plus you toss two picks and it only drops you 12 points, or roughly 10% overall?!

  6. Mayor of Dawgtown

    A friend of mine used to play for Bama. He and I were talking football last weekend and he came up with the best explanation I have heard to explain this phenomenon. It’s simple, really. NCAA rules changes to protect the “defenseless player” have all been one-sided, specifically against the defense. You couldn’t go low, now you can’t go high. There is only an area between the shoulders and the thighs where a D-player can hit an O-player, and that is with both guys running full speed. Plus all the “hit out of bounds” stuff that creates a PF penalty when the runner steps out an instant before being hit makes tackling on the boundary problematic. It’s all cumulative. As he puts it: “It’s awfully tough to play defense right now.”

    • mdcgtp

      I think the notion that is tough to play defense right now is clearly correct, but I am not sure that it is simply a function of trying to take the violence out of the game. I don’t really know what the answer is for defensive coordinators is. All I can say is despite popularity seemingly being at an all time high at both the NFL and college levels, I have never found the “game” to be less appealing. I ABHOR watching these zone read spread teams play. it is truly painful to watch teams basically line up and run the same 3-4 base plays over and over and over and over again. I totally respect the strategy and rationale for why the coaches that run these offense run them. They are easy to teach and effective under most circumstances. Similarly, watching Brady and Manning play dump off to Wes Welker could not be less interesting to me.

      I don’t know what the response is. Baseball faced a similar crisis toward the latter part of the steroid crisis, and long tossing and the cut fastball reversed the trend to give pitchers the advantage. I don’t know if we need to allow more bump and run contact or modify the rules of holding, or if coaches need to go back into the football lab to figure out a new stunt or technique to revolutionize defensive play, but I hope it happens sooner rather than later

      • Biggus Rickus

        I think baseball quietly deadened the ball. The football equivalent would be to allow more physical coverage from DBs. However, most people like offense, so I don’t see why the NFL or college would enact a policy to get less of it.

    • uglydawg

      I agree with that with the exception that chop blocking is better defined and more closely watched now. I’d like to see some balance…maybe outlaw the way GT blocks.

    • Just Chuck (The Other One)

      If somebody’s got the time, it might be interesting to look at injuries both before and after some of these rule changes. I understand that the goal is to protect players but do we know how well or even if some of these changes do that?

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Since you brought up injuries, that same former Bama player was talking about the up-tempo O that so many teams are using now (including Georgia to some extent) and the effect it may have on injuries. Putting aside the fatigue issue for a moment (which he thinks really does exist), logically it would make sense that if hypothetically a college O had 45 snaps before but with the hurry-up now gets 90 snaps and that applies to both teams, haven’t we doubled the number of snaps in a game? Over the course of a 12 game regular season, haven’t we effectively increased the season from 12 games to 24 games, as far as number of plays? There would have to be more injuries, just logically.

        • Just Chuck (The Other One)

          You make a good point and any sort of analysis would have to consider number of plays. It would result in some very small numbers but you could look at injuries per play or, to make the numbers a little larger, injuries per 10 or 20 plays. As someone who teaches research skills to undergraduates (or attempts to) I also feel compelled to mention that we still couldn’t be sure that a rule change caused a change in the injury rate if the pre and post change numbes were different. But, it would shed a little light on the subject.

        • AusDawg85

          Well there’s a thought. If you’ve doubled the number of plays, and figure the avg YPP is not going significantly down, the field is the same size, etc., then you would figure scoring is going up…got to end those drives somehow.

          So the hypothesis is…increased number of plays = more scoring. Running a no-huddle offense is faster and leads to increased number of plays.

          And all these years we mocked our girlfriends/wives/children when they watched teams during the 2-minute drill score quickly and ask “why don’t we just do that all the time?” Remember our answers? I do, and they sound pretty foolish now.

  7. uglydawg

    What has happened to Cojones..Mac..and a few other of our favorite sapient posters? Anybody know? I missum. I pray there’s no health issues.

    • Dog in Fla

      Otherwise how could anyone(s) so wise, thoughtful, accurate, acute, astute, calculating, cunning, campfire sing-a-long loving, careful, cautious, circumspect, clear-sighted, considerate, considerable, considered, diplomatic, discerning, discreet, discrete, discriminating, efficacious, enlightened, expedient, far-sighted, gumbaya gestalt, hang ’em if you’ve got ’em, hard-assed, informed, ill-informed, Johnny Football ® loving, judicial, non-judicial, keen, misinformed, near-sighted, non-discriminating, opinionated, perceptive, perspicacious, polite, politic, profound, prudent, quick-witted, rational, reasonable, sagacious, sebaceous, sage, sane, seasonable, seemly, sensible, sharp, shoot-first, shrewd, skillful, smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em, sober, Scotched-up, sophisticated, sound, thorough, underestimated, wary, well-advised, well-judged, not well-judged and worldly-wise with a good football IQ™ go MIA without permission

      • Just Chuck (The Other One)

        You’ve got a really good command of adjectives. English major?

        • uglydawg

          They all apply….Maybe he’s on a cruise..or it’s harvest time. Maybe he’s off with Joy? Getting worried.

          • Dog in Fla

            Mac has been renditioned to Junction, Texas by Manziel Family Enterprises operatives for re-education by waterboarding ™ on the transcendence of Johnny Football ®. Mac will be a changed man when and if he is blended back into society.

            It was harvest time for Balls. He, his wife, or Joy, or both, have adjacent lower-level hull cabins on the Carnival ship Triumph®™ at the Alabama Cruise Terminal after its refurbishment and hose down at the Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company in Mobile because why not take a cruise to Mexico when nothing is happening until the LSU game.

        • Dog in Fla

          No. I’d like to take credit for having command of anything. In fact, I don’t even know whether they’re adjectives or verbs. However, I do highly regard myself as one of the foremost cut-and-paste experts in the 101st Chairborne Rangers even though I was the anchor man in the class.

          For this mission, the word ugly used, sapient, perplexed me. I looked it up. I first thought it had something to do with homo sapients. Alas, no Joy when I read what it meant and then wondered if ugly knew what it meant or if he was just random like me. Then, knowing that the enemy of my mind was bearing down on me, I quickly highlighted the sapient synonyms, cut, pasted, added some antonyms and Mission Accomplished!

  8. uglydawg

    Dog in Fla…you scared me .I have been known to throw out the wrong word….and amazingly enough, I went and looked it up and “smoke’em if you’ve got’em” is a more than appropriate synonym. Antonyms?…well Cojones is at least one of the most interesting men in the world. He once parallel parked a train.

    • Dog in Fla

      He also says he helped stage the moon landing at a strip club on Orange Blossom Trail. They called it the Selma to Montgomery Project because its + or – 50 miles from there to the Cape

      • shane#1

        Big’uns and Fayva walk to a pink 1969 VW Beetle convertable in the back lot of The Doll House. “You drive baby, pull next to that red F-150.” Balls takes a bottle of brown whiskey and a zippered pouch from the truck. “I know this little place in the country, just drive and I’ll navagate.” Fayva’s long blond hair blows as she drives through the warm Florida night. Balls takes a swig of rye and chases it with a cold beer. Taking a doobie from the pouch he says, “take a hit honey and I’ll show you how I earned my nickname.”