Seriously, WTF is the matter with some people?
It’s just a game, assholes.
Shorter Jeff Schultz: Sure Paul Johnson can’t beat Georgia or win a bowl game, but no head coach Georgia Tech could hire could do any better, so give that man a raise!
Damn, I love this week.
Here’s your handy chart summarizing Bill’s and Brian’s rankings for the Dawgs and Jackets:
Georgia and Georgia Tech Rankings
Measurement Georgia Georgia Tech F+ Overall 6 (30.3%) 12 (24.6%) F+ Offense 7 (16.5%) 1 (21.7%) F+ Defense 23 (9.4%) 61 (0.3%) F+ Special Teams 6 (4.4%) 17 (2.6%) FEI Overall 3 6 S&P+ Overall 14 27 S&P+ Rushing Offense 1 7 S&P+ Rushing Defense 74 108 S&P+ Passing Offense 12 4 S&P+ Passing Defense 18 84
TSK says that indicates two fairly evenly matched teams, and I suppose there is something to that, with a couple of exceptions. One is that while Tech’s rankings are good, Georgia’s, for the most part, are better. And then there’s this…
Something interesting is how much better Georgia’s secondary has gotten in the last few weeks. A unit previously rated in the 70’s has risen up to 18th, after limiting Nick Marshall and Patrick Towles to 150 and 140 yards throwing respectively (Auburn’s ranked first and Kentucky 54th in S&P Passing Offense). That improvement will serve them well against Georgia Tech’s fourth rated S&P+ Passing Offense.
Tech’s passing defense, by comparison, is pretty bad. Could Hutson Mason turn out to be a key to a game? One good thing you can say about him is that he’s got experience as a starter beating Georgia Tech.
Still, what gives me the most hope for SIAR, B! is what Georgia’s defense did against Auburn. If Pruitt is able to match that game plan and effort on Saturday, I’m liking my chances to walk out of Sanford Stadium a most happy camper.
First off, please pay attention to this week’s pool including a Thursday game and two Friday games. Make sure to get all your picks in on time.
Second, this is the last week of the pool in the regular season, as there aren’t ten games being played next week. So, we’ll crown our seasonal champ next week.
I assume everyone wants a bowl pool as we’ve done the last couple of seasons. I’ll get that up once the matchups and spreads are announced.
As Brandon Larrabee notes, Stewart Mandel has done a good job of tracking the comments of selection committee chairman Jeff Long as he tries to explain the weekly results coming out of his group. Unfortunately, all that winds up doing is setting off everyone’s bullshit detectors.
Most of the controversy this week came not from the rankings themselves, but how Arkansas AD and selection committee chairman Jeff Long explained those rankings — in particular, his explanation for Mississippi State remaining at No. 4. To be clear: I personally would love Mississippi State in the playoffs, because as a South Carolina fan, I have a soft spot for non-traditional powers. And there are some defensible cases you can make for Mississippi State being in the Top 4. This is not one of them.Jeff Long just said the committee takes into account that some of Mississippi State’s wins came agains teams previously ranked.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 26, 2014
We can have a dispute about how bad an idea it is to take rankings at the time into account — I happen to think very — but that’s not the biggest problem here. The biggest problem here is that, aside from Alabama (which beat Mississippi State), the Bulldogs have not played a formerly ranked team since the first playoff rankings came out. That means that the only way rankings at the time could count would be if the committee were considering someone else’s rankings. Which means that this …
Long: “To clarify, when I refer to ‘ranked,’ I mean CFP-ranked.” So, nothing pre-Oct. 28.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 26, 2014
… is either a lie or irrelevant to the discussion of Mississippi State’s strength of schedule. Of course, you might also want to consider another statement from the committee.
Long specifics that they consider a “bad” loss as one to a sub-.500 team. Said doesn’t necessarily agree with Ohio St-Va Tech as an example.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 26, 2014
Hoo, boy. I guess some bad losses aren’t as bad as others. Jim Delany is no doubt relieved to hear that.
Then there’s the way the committee evaluates strength of schedule. Let Dave Bartoo explain, again, with a little help from Mandel:
However, the committee notes that they use their SOS to rank teams. It is not any of the public SOS ranks folks reference, in fact, as it would turn out, they do not use an SOS ranking. They just call their averaging an SOS ranking.
Noted Selection Committee expert, Stewart Mandel tweeted out the following below today about the committee’s ‘SOS rankings’. This is basically an in-season version of the commonly referred to NCAA pre-season strength of schedule rankings. The committee takes it a step further and considers the winning percentage of the opponents of a team’s opponents on their schedule. An example of this, for Auburn. is in the little chart to the right.
Committee doesn’t use an SOS ranking. It looks at opponents’ record and opponents’ opponents record.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 12, 2014
Stewart further advised me that for FCS teams, only the loses count against the composite opponent record. So if Presbyterian has four loses and four wins, only the losses are added to the composite record of opponents for Ole Miss. So if you end up beating an FCS team that goes 11-1, you are only dinged for the one loss by that FCS opponent. That is weak and a minor penalty at best. These FCS games are locks, cupcakes, gimmes, body bag games. There is no strength in any of these games so I took it upon myself to count each game played by an FCS opponent against the FBS team that put it on the schedule. If you want to make a change and truly account for the ease of these games, hit it hard.
There are, I suppose, a couple of ways of looking at this. One is that the selection committee is simply fumbling around with stats and analysis for which it really doesn’t have a grasp of their relevance. The other is that you’ve got a bunch of monkeys flinging poo against the wall with the expectation that we’ll be so distracted by the exercise that we won’t pay attention to how they arrive at the final destination of the semi-finals pool.
Either way, it’s not a confidence builder. And if we’re not confident in how the committee decides which schools are in, there’s only going to be one way to cure that fever.
More cowbell Bracket creep. Lather. Rinse. Repeat… as long as there’s shampoo in the bottle, anyway.
Mark Bradley looks back at the last quarter century of Georgia-Georgia Tech football and wistfully acknowledges that it hasn’t been as promising for the Jackets as he once foresaw.
While Georgia remains the biggest game of every year for the Jackets, Tech is the biggest game for the Bulldogs only those years when Georgia fans are afraid their team will lose. Only a couple of times since Mark Richt arrived and George O’Leary left have Bulldog backers had cause to fret — in 2006, when Tech won the ACC Coastal and Georgia had four games, and again in 2009, when the Jackets were ranked No. 7 and the Bulldogs were 7-4.
Tech’s 2006 loss in Athens was the beginning of the end for Chan Gailey. (The wretched 9-6 flop the next week against Wake Forest in the ACC championship game hastened the flow.) It marked Gailey’s fifth consecutive loss to Georgia; on Nov. 26, 2007, two days after Loss No. 6, he was fired.
Paul Johnson arrived from Navy talking big and, sure enough, he beat the hated Mutts in his first try. A Georgia team that began 2008 ranked No. 1 led Tech 28-12 at the half. Seven minutes and five seconds into the third quarter, the Jackets led 35-28. (This astonishing surge came without benefit of the forward pass; Tech’s one completion of the rainy day came on its first snap.)
And Tech was even better in 2009. For 364 days, a rivalry gone cold saw Georgia fans get all hot and bothered. Those folks might deny it now, but back then Bulldog Nation lived in fear of what Tech and Johnson might become.
Oh, yes. We lived in fear of a new era, Dawgnation. And what was the result? “We run this state.”
It’s been all downhill since then for Bradley.
When a rivalry gets skewed, we start believing the dominant side will lose only after it has actually lost. I’m convinced Tech will stand a very good chance against Florida State, unbeaten over two calendar years and the reigning national champion, in Charlotte on Dec. 6, but I have a hard time thinking the Jackets can beat a Georgia team that will be playing without Todd Gurley and was, only this month, overwhelmed by Florida, which has since fired its coach.
If you’d never seen a Tech-Georgia game in person, that wouldn’t make much sense. But I’ve seen 25.
Here’s my theory for the last thirteen years. It’s not about Dawgnation’s fear. Or Bradley’s (failed) hope that Paul Johnson’s genius would turn the series after the 2008 game. It’s something simpler that all that: Mark Richt wants to win this game more than Paul Johnson does. As long as that’s the case, well, Georgia may not win 12 of every 13 games played, but the Dawgs will win a damned sight more than the Jackets ever will. I’m okay with that.
Look at this as a little pre-Thanksgiving football tapas.