I’ve said on more than one occasion that Georgia is a program that believes itself to be better than it is, historically speaking. What do I mean by that, exactly?
Well, here’s an example. The Massey College Football Ranking Composite
is a composite of more than 100 college football rating systems compiled to produce a consensus ranking order of teams. Brian Fremeau has gone back and looked at the last ten years of Massey rankings and grouped teams on the basis of how they’ve finished over that period.
He’s grouped team types as Elite (1-5 composite average), Very Good (6-15 composite average), Good (16-30 composite average), Above Average (31-50 composite average), and so forth. So here’s the test for you: off the top of your head, without wading back through the Massey archives, which group would you place Georgia in?
If you’ve chosen, then you can see the answer:
- 2015 — 25
- 2014 — 6
- 2013 — 23
- 2012 — 5
- 2011 — 18
- 2010 — 50
- 2009 — 27
- 2008 — 13
- 2007 — 6
- 2006 — 23
The average of those ten seasons? 20th. That puts Georgia firmly in the ranks of the Good over the past decade. Take a look at how Good teams have performed against other team types in Brian’s analysis, and you’ll get a pretty good picture of how Georgia has fared during that time.
To be fair, if you go past the ten-year point and take in all of the Richt era, there’s a definite bump upwards in the rankings.
- 2005 — 9
- 2004 — 10
- 2003 — 4
- 2002 — 4
- 2001 — 17
The Massey average over Richt’s first five years was 8.8, or Very Good, according to Fremeau’s breakdown. Remember how excited we were about Richt and the program’s future at that time? It still wasn’t elite by Fremeau’s definition.
Further, if you average the entire fifteen-year period, you get a result of 16, still within the Good team type grouping, which doesn’t really change my point. And this result comes from one who I would say is no worse than Georgia’s second-best head coach in the program’s football history.
You can talk all you want about the natural advantages the program has in terms of resources. The reality is that over time, it’s never delivered on that promise. Which means that either we’ve been unrealistic about those, or we’re expecting Kirby Smart to do something we’ve never seen before, despite those natural advantages – elevate the program to an elite level and sustain that.