Never could win the big one.

Bill Connelly updates his look at how coaches did in actual wins versus expected wins…

Last offseason, I tinkered with a measure called second-order wins. It is basically my version of the Pythagorean Wins concept, where you look at a certain component (usually points or runs scored and allowed) and determine what a team’s record probably should be as opposed to what it actually is. If you’re losing a ton of close games but winning a bunch of blowouts, that’s probably a sign that, on average, you would be faring better than you are.

My second-order wins concept looks at the single-game win expectancy figures you see in the 2015 Schedule & Results chart below. The idea behind win expectancy is simple: It takes the key stats from a given game (success rates, explosiveness, field position factors, and other factors that end up going into the S&P+ ratings), mashes them together, and says, “With these stats, you probably could have expected to win this game X percent of the time.” Add those figures up over the course of a season, and you get a glimpse of what a given team probably could have expected its record to be.

… and finds that Mark Richt finished right about in the middle, along with the likes of Steve Spurrier.  Surprised, or not?


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

23 responses to “Never could win the big one.

  1. Hardcoredawg 93

    I think if you compared Richt versus Spurrier when he was at UF there would be a big separation.

    Also, the tag on Richt for most is that he “never could win the big one”. If you look at Richts entire GA career, we obviously never played for a National Championship.

    Hell, we only played in one game (2012 SECC) where winning meant we would have played in a National Championship game. If you look at it that way, we were never in many “big ones” – at least nationally .

    PS- even the Sugar Bowls we played in we always had the crappiest opponent that went to a BCS game that season


  2. JCDAWG83

    I’m assuming being near the top is a good thing on this list. Since Gus and Mack Brown are ranked near the top, I’d say this offseason statistical exercise proves the old saying “a tortured number will say anything”.



    In my mind, CMR won big games in 2002 and 2005…we had some great wins in other years, but nothing that lead to a championship of any meaningful kind.

    Maybe the SEC is just harder to win now. With the “all in” of our Western partners. UGA is not the only East team with struggles in that game lately…i.e. basically since Saban arrived and brought up the raises all boats you know.


  4. New Lexicon entry:
    Big game – any game lost by Georgia


    • AusDawg85

      Any game lost by Richt. FIFY


    • PTC DAWG

      I didn’t read the linked article…but in my mind a BIG game is a championship game. I suppose all the games won that lead up to a championship game are big games in their own way, one reason I referenced some great wins in other years.


      • Rivalry games are big games. Consequential conference games are big games. High-profile OOC games are big games. Championship games are big games. I considered Clemson ’13 as a “big” game. We lost. I considered both USCe ’13 and LSU ’13 as “big” games. We won.

        Using your criteria, we only played in 5 big games in the last 15 years – 5 SEC championship games. Before that, we didn’t play in a big game since 1983 (13-7 loss to Auburn at home in a virtual SEC championship game).


        • PTC DAWG

          It is OK to disagree in my book.


        • Greg

          RIcht’s record in big conference games – versus teams with a conference record above .500 – was abysmal over his last several years. I believe that record was 5 wins and 17 losses in the last 22 such games at some point last season. That’s not a small sample size and there is no defending it.


          • Did I defend it or is someone trying to troll in a comments section? My comment had zero to do with CMR and only was a question to PTC about what defined a “big game.”


  5. Dawgphan

    I saw it last night and tried reading through it and I couldnt really figure out what the point was.

    Coaches that win the games where their team has produced the stats that would indicate they should win?

    Coaches at the top are lucky to win games they should not have won.

    Coaches at the bottom or losing games they should have won based on their stats?


  6. WarD Eagle

    Over the course of time, all coaches will move toward the center.