For this year’s preview series, I began using percentiles as a way to communicate how well a team played in each of its games last year. It is a useful concept — most of us understand percentiles thanks to standardized testing — and it gives us some clues to how a team’s final ratings came to pass.
Only five teams put together 90th-percentile performances in at least 60 percent of their games last year.
Percentage of 2014 games in the 90th percentile or better
1. Ohio State (73%)
2. Alabama (71%)
3. Ole Miss (69%)
4. Oregon (67%)
5. Georgia (61%)
That’s some pretty rarefied air there. Ole Miss, besides its performance dropping precipitously towards the end of the season, had the misfortune of playing in the same division as Alabama, so it’s understandable that the Black Bear Rebels didn’t show up in the postseason. But, damn, Georgia, what’s your excuse?
Of course, this is entirely consistent with Connelly’s lofty projection of Georgia’s quality entering into this season. And none of us are going to be surprised if 2015 turns out to be another case of lather, rinse and repeat when it comes to the tale advanced stats tell about a season of Georgia football. At some point, this team, players and coaches both, has to quit whiffing at the most inopportune moments and simply play in a manner consistent with the sum of its parts.
As to when that time may come, your guess is as good as mine.