The year of living frustratedly

So I read Michael Elkon’s “how could everybody get the SEC West wrong?” piece and suddenly it dawned on me – Georgia was simply ahead of the curve on the conference’s season of disappointment.

I mean, think about it.  Here’s where Elkon’s coming from:

In the regular season, the SEC West was a perfect 28-0 in non-conference games. When the league was en route to its flawless out-of-conference performance, some numbskull was using the Simple Rating System to ask whether the division was the best since conferences started splitting in half.

Georgia, too, was an advanced stats darling.  The Dawgs are fifth in Football Outsiders F/+ rankings.  Seventh in regular season SRSSagarin has them fifth.  And they’re fifth in CFBMatrix’ scoring efficiency rankings.  (There are more out there, but you get the gist.)

So how is this a team that wound up not even winning its division, let alone playing for a slot in the inaugural college football playoff?  Welp, I think I’m going to outsource the answer to that question to Bill Connelly, who had this to say in the wake of Georgia’s win in the Belk Bowl:

Georgia lost to South Carolina, lost badly to Florida, lost the best running back in college football midway through the season, lost the SEC East to a team it beat by 34 points on the road … and finished fifth in the F/+ rankings. And I can totally justify it. Play for play, drive for drive, the Dawgs’ brilliant moments outnumbered their mediocre ones. It’s just that quite a few of those mediocre moments happened on two specific Saturdays in Jacksonville and Columbia East. Spread out those bad moments, and you go 12-1. Or better.

Not a lot of derp, in other words, but just enough, and concentrated in just the right moments to maximize its effect.  And that’s how you negate so much good coaching work that got done this season, on special teams, on turnover margin, on managing field position, on maximizing offensive skill position talent… hell, you get the idea.

43 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

43 responses to “The year of living frustratedly

  1. ugafidelis

    22 minutes of Hell.

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  2. Bulldog Joe

    Telling the team its best player was coming back for its biggest rivalry game of the year, knowing you just admitted he took over 5x the money allowed for a two-game suspension was just dumb.

    Dumber than the squib kick.

    We got what we deserved.

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    • That one’s not on the coaches.

      As the saying goes, garbage in, garbage out.

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      • Macallanlover

        And the ESPN Power Index, updated through the bowl games played to date, also has UGA at #5. I don’t feel the FU game was so much a result of disappointment about Gurley as about losing David Andrews for the two middle quarters of that game and a couple of momentum changing plays. The UGA team showed up motivated and ready to roll as evidenced by the 1st Quarter.

        It isn’t just the UGA team that has inexplicable moments during a football season, the best team simply doesn’t always win on a given Saturday. Fans want to assign blame and find a victim for every result, I feel if you throw out the worst of every teams’ performance of every year and evaluate them on the remainder you come much closer to how that team compares. Another reason for playoffs over the old method which just crushed teams for one loss. UGA was a very dangerous team in 2014, not perfect, but at its peak better than I thought we would be. Based on talent we have coming back, there is much to look forward to in 2015.

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        • Debby Balcer

          When Andrews went down I knew we were in trouble.

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          • Macallanlover

            More about him calling the blocking assignments against a good front 7 than just his blocking or snapping the ball I think. Murray did that the past two years and guess they didn’t want to put that on a one year starter at QB when they had a senior center. It was certainly more than that because the defense let a bad FU offense run over them but that and GT were our worst offensive games by far.

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      • I really don’t know the best way that it should have been handled, but the way it went down, it was almost like Gurley got suspended twice. They let the perception hang out there that it was gonna be a 2 game deal, so when the reality came out, it was a 2nd kick in the nuts. If a realistic expectation had been set from the start, I think the team would have been in a better mindset in Jax. But by the same token, the second the school said “it’s probably gonna be 4 games”, any chance of it being less than that go out the window. But again, like many people said, I’m still not sure why anyone in B-M, knowing the results of the investigation, actually thought there was any chance of anything less than 4 games.

        Not using this is an excuse for laying the egg in jax. Lots of things went into that. But the Gurley news was definitely one of those things.

        If McGarity really is confused why people think he has poor PR skills, that whole scenario would be Exhibit A for me. And ironically, behind the scenes, they did a lot of things right – quick & thorough investigation, got Gurley the best available legal representation, etc……..but letting that perception of the expected timeline hang out there really ended up taking the wind out of EVERYONE, team and fans included.

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  3. Turd Ferguson

    “Not a lot of derp, in other words, but just enough, and concentrated in just the right moments to maximize its effect.”

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

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  4. watcher16

    As the official UGA fan motto goes: Maybe next year…

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    • Russ

      Wouldn’t that be the motto of ~140 teams every year?

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      • Uglydawg

        Yes, Russ. For those expecting perfection there will almost always be misery. Georgia won 10 games and should have won 13, but the other teams happened to show up and played a little bit of football. It’s a competition and there are very few perfect seasons.

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  5. GoldToe

    South Carolina & Florida:
    Lost because you don’t give up 38 points on defense to both SEC East rivals.
    Spurrier won throwing it well, he picked on the lb’s over the middle in 1 on 1 coverage, completed 70% for 9 yards per pass for 270 yards and 3 td’s.
    Florida won running it well, ran 60 times for 418 yards and 7 yards a carry.

    GT:
    Lost because you don’t lose 2 fumbles on the opponents 1 yardline and throw an INT in OT and win.
    Offense blew that game.

    Other note:
    Depth at running back hurt too, if Gurley & Chubb stay healthy, 13-0.

    Looking ahead to 2015:
    Depth at rb & wr a concern.
    Chubb & Michel need to stay healthy, not much behind them if one goes down for a few games.
    Same for starting receivers.
    Key offensive injuries at rb and wr have been a recurring problem.

    Mark Richt needs to peak at the right time:
    SEC East games are priority #1. Especially South Carolina, Florida and Missouri. Watch out for Tennessee. Kent & Vand won’t contend in 2015.

    The 2015 goal needs to be get to the SEC Championship by beating up the East.
    I don’t care if you go 9-5 and lose by 30 in the SEC Championship, just show progress. Get to that game.
    Learn how to beat up on the East.
    Learn how to prioritize games and peak at the right time.

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  6. @gatriguy

    I will somewhat disagree about UF game. Two headslapping coaching decisions turned that one completely around: 1.) Richt’s decision to kick a FG on 4th and 1 despite a) a 35 mph wind, b) the fact that UGA hasn’t kicked well in Jax. in 20 years, and c) the fact that UGA has never beaten UF by kicking FGs, but rather by being bold and aggressive, 2.) being caught flat footed on a fake FG despite having just seen what the wind did you your attempt kicking into the same endzone and playing against a lame duck coach with nothing to lose that had never won in the series.

    For the uptenth time: I’m not calling for Richt to go. But it’s moments like that, where he seems so completely detached from the momentum or feel for the game that makes me think he’s won his last title of any kind at UGA.

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    • Jeff Sanchez

      +1

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    • paul

      As Turd pointed out, lather, rinse, repeat. It’s not so much that things like this happen occasionally, that’s inevitable. It’s that similar lapses seem to occur with regularity. Clock management or special teams anyone? How can we still be struggling with these issues? How many times can we completely miss the fake punt or field goal that is obvious to everyone in the stadium? At least make an effort to make different mistakes. I’m tired of complaining about the same stuff. I need new material.

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      • Olddawg 55

        You need a new team or better yet, go into coaching so you can put all that knowledge to work and win championships. LMAO at football geniuses.

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  7. diving duck

    It was a weird season for sure. However, I think we saw a dominance this year that I haven’t seen in my limited years as a Dawg fan. I didn’t understand all the calls for Richt’s head at the end of the season when all signs (save Bobo’s departure) point to this team heading in the right direction.

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  8. Michael

    This ought to be a really encouraging conclusion for Georgia fans. If you have a really good team and you were just unlucky to cluster the bad moments in certain spots, then that’s a much better place to be than a team that got to 9-3 by being good on far fewer drives, but being lucky in terms of when their good drives happened.

    Unless, there is some endemic issue that causes Georgia to lose their cool in games, in which case they would continue to underperform. It would be interesting to look at the entire Richt era to see if Georgia’s won-loss records were in tune with what the advanced rankings say about them.

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  9. JAX

    Play for play, drive for drive, the Dawgs’ brilliant moments outnumbered their mediocre ones. It’s just that quite a few of those mediocre moments happened on two specific Saturdays……………

    How many times have we heard this over the 14 seasons? How many times do you have to watch the same movie and wonder about its outcome?

    The only reason that I haven’t completely thrown in the Richt towel is that we finally have a solid defensive coordinator. With the right OC hire, we might actually get over the hump and win another SEC. Of course you have to consider that Richt is still the HC and will make a few inexplicably bad calls each year, probably in the most critical of times.

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    • Uglydawg

      If we get the right OC hire we might get over the hump? Since we still behind the “hump” this year with Pruitt, are you saying Bobo was the cause?

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      • JAX

        You misunderstood me. To be clear, our offense was not and has rarely been our problem, the defense has, so I’m not blaming Bobo. Assuming we have the right man running the D, perhaps we can replace Bobo with a competent OC and knock the lid off again. Capeesh?

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  10. Uglydawg

    Some of you on here are like the guy in the news this week…you know..the thirty-something year old billionaire’s son that shot his father in the head because he cut his allowance. There are a lot of teams that didn’t win many games at all last year..and won’t ever get a shot at any kind of a championship. Here Georgia is, one of the very best programs (and respected) in the country..bringing in a top recruiting class on top of a ten win season and all you can do is whine about three losses. Yeah..Georgia could have won those games, but it takes a hell of a lot of things to go right, (and if you want to blame someone for the SC loss…try the refs) and it only happens for one team a year.
    You’re getting sickening with your constant whining. Come up with a coach who’s available, afforadable, has a better record in the toughest conference than CMR, who’s as good a recruiter, who’s as good a MAN, and that you will personally guarantee that he will win the NC in three years and I’ll give you some credit. But you can’t because there aren’t any.
    I think some of you just don’t know how to do anything but complain because you expect instant gratification. Go play a computer football game..you can win them all in that fantasy land.

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    • @gatriguy

      You’re right, I can’t name one. Luckily for me , it’s not my fucking job to be able to name one. I’m not qualified, but the fact that I (or as a larger extension, the regular posters here), can’t name a replacement that meets your criteria isn’t evidence of the fact that one doesn’t exist. It’s simply an easy, lazy ad hominem argument to throw back in people’s faces that since they can’t name someone rightthisverysecond then their opinions are without merit. I don’t know who it would be, and honestly I’m not sure if McGarity does or is skilled enough to land him anyway. But to simply dismiss the possibility that a better fit exists simply because people, whose livelihood doesn’t depend on being in this know on this matters, can’t provide an example is bad logic.

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      • JRDP

        So can’t point to a better coach a readily admit you aren’t qualified to name a better coach – but nevertheless want one and believe there’s one out there. Ladies and gentlemen – this is a high quality of example of 21st Century microwave culture.

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        • @gatriguy

          Dude, did you actually bother to read my earlier post where I clearly stated: “I am not calling for Richt’s head”. Before you start in on other people’s intelligence, maybe you should consider brushing up on your own reading skillz there champ. But what the hell, I’ll also play your game, even though, once again: I am not callin for Richt’s head….I think Brent Venables is a great coach and a good man and will be a good coach for a program that cares about the same things UGA does.

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    • Olddawg 55

      +1000….couldn’t have expressed it better!

      Like

  11. www

    Bad timing. Happens to everyone.

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  12. Dawg19

    This past season reminds me somewhat of 2001. Close loss to South Carolina, pounded by Florida, and a loss at the end ofh the season when Richt makes an awful call. Exception: we won the bowl game.

    Hopefully, next year will be like 2002, without the awful Florida result.

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  13. No One Knows You're a Dawg

    My issue isn’t so much about a particular game or season or coach or athletic director, but about the performance of our football program over the span of decades. One national championship since WWII is unacceptable for a program with Georgia’s advantages. There’s always a good reason we fall just short, but fall short we do, time after time after time after time.

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  14. Dudemankind

    I find it revealing that after reading the posts on this website for YEARS now, that the vast majority of of insults and name calling comes from the pro-Richt crowd and is directed towards anyone who challenges the idea that he isn’t as great of a coach as many think. You guys might support the man, but not a damn one of you name-callers measure up to his character, I can tell you that. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

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    • I find it revealing that after reading the posts on this website for YEARS now, that the vast majority of of insults and name calling comes from the pro-Richt crowd…

      Bullshit. The insults fly equally both ways, man. And that comes from somebody who’s read a lot more comments at GTP than you’ll ever read.

      You believe what you want to believe… and why should it matter to you anyway?

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      • Dudemankind

        That is not what I have been seeing. Maybe I should keep a count and provide you with the metrics at a later date. Stats are popular on this site.

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        • Cojones

          Listen, shitbreath. I’m pro-Richt and I don’t go around insulting asswipes like you. Your %$&#ing troll ass doesn’t even know what mother&%@#%$! are in one camp or another, numbnuts.

          I’ve read a lot of comments here as well, but perhaps not with the same level of comprehension as some. You don’t see anyone calling attention to that, do you? Some people don’t even talk condescendingly here.

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  15. Big Al

    Leave all the efficiency rankings and sabermetric approaches to old baseball farts. This is too easy. Its called “Underachieving, not mentally prepared, pooch kicks, squib kicks, out coached, out of shape (minus chubb), token transfers, WR/RB position changes, never developing players no matter how many stars, committing to the G but AD not inve$ting in it. Bold 2015 prediction: 10-2 and 2d place in SECE. Yawwwwwn.

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  16. Chuck

    I really like Pruitt, think we’re headed in the right direction on D, anybody that could take Quincy Mauger and make him more than a servicable safety must be on the ball, but…

    SC and UF were our worst 2 defensive games. And we lost them.

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