I’ve got some good news for you and I’ve got some bad news for you.

Per Bill Connelly, advanced stats suggest the typical coach sees a big bump up in S&P+ ratings in his second year.  (Yay!)

Unfortunately, things flatline from there.

No matter how good you’ve been, you’re likely to improve in your coach’s second year. But outside of that second-year window, your fortunes depend as much on recent fortune as tenure. To some degree, everybody regresses or progresses toward the mean.

Now, this is an overly gloomy assessment in any individual coach’s case, of course.  (Not to mention Bill hedges on whether the data is statistically significant.)  But it’s probably worth keeping in mind that a positive move in Georgia’s fortunes next season wouldn’t be a shock.



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

23 responses to “I’ve got some good news for you and I’ve got some bad news for you.

  1. stoopnagle

    Positive move? We better damn well beat the likes of Vandy and Tech.


  2. DawgPhan

    seems like this has been talked about on here before. if he doesnt win next year, he will likely never win at UGA.


  3. sniffer

    How about improvement for its own sake? I think that’s the goal of the Process. If you continue to improve, wins take care of themselves.


    • In the aggregate, there are many reasons teams improve from one season to the next.

      I think all you can take from Bill’s research at this point is that at least Kirby should have the wind at his back next season. It’s still up to him to steer the boat.


      • Comin' Down The Track

        Wait. Does that mean the boat is turned now? Were we leeward before? Windward? Starboard? Port? (Yes, please). I’m so confused…


  4. DawgPhan

    “From 2011-15, teams with first-year head coaches saw their S&P+ ratings change by an average of minus-0.2 adjusted points per game from the previous year. ”

    2016 UGA
    Off S&P+ 24.9
    Def S&P+ 24.6
    S&P+ .3

    2015 UGA
    Off S&P+ 28.5
    Def S&P+ 18.4
    S&P+ 10.1

    So the staff that Smart put together was significantly worse than the average first year coaching staff from all 1st year staffs from 2011-2015. On offense bad but not nearly as bad as they were on defense. Which is a little troubling since that was supposed to be his bread and butter.

    Even for a coach taking over an elite program Kirby didnt do well. The average was a -6 decline, Smart’s staff came in @ -9.8

    But the upside.
    “The second year appears to be the sweet spot, though. On average, teams with a sophomore head coach improved by 3 adjusted points per game.”

    A little confused about this part, is it a 3 point improvement over the 3 year avg, or a 3 point improvement over the previous season’s S&P+. But let’s just assume it is improvement over the 3 year average.

    2013 16.4
    2014 22.6
    2015 10.1
    3 year average 16.4.

    And let’s assume that Smart’s recruiting makes him smarter than the average bear….so a 4 point bump over the average. Hell 5 points. 16.4 + 5 = 21.4 which would be a pretty good year. Top 10, in the playoff picture until late in the year. Not bad. But still not playoffs or SEC Championship good. And the numbers then suggest that it doesnt get better from there. If the 3 point bump is over the previous season’s S&P+ rating then things look very bleak.

    **Also please dont go look at see who is currently @ 16.1 in the S&P+ ratings


  5. Junkyardawg41

    S&P+ is all about performance and not about winning games. Having said that, higher S&P+ should equate to more wins. What I found the most disheartening is the drop vs preseason rankings. Only Oregon saw as big a drop as UGA. Whether that is talent or coaching is debatable. The real question will be a comparison next year to 2015. Not because it is a comparison to CMR but rather to what us fans have come to expect vs what CKS can deliver. Consider that since 2009, we never were ranked below 32 and this year we are at 66. We have some ground to make up. The good thing is statistics are on our side.


  6. CB

    Guys next year is another throwaway year remember?


  7. CB

    In all seriousness, I really question the whole S&P+ method of evaluation. Granted, I’m not a numbers guy. But, when I look at Bobo up at CSU and how they had the largest S&P+ improvement in the country yet still only managed another 7-6 season, and a blowout loss in the Potato Bowl, I start to question whether how much S&P+ really tells us.


    • daphne95

      Analytics are a nice thing to look at but they aren’t the only story of the game.


    • I don’t think they are valuable when you look at the results of one game. I think they are very valuable to look for trends and outliers just like any analytic. The preseason S&P should be a fairly accurate depiction of expected performance and a good benchmark for under or over performing when compared to actual performance. That’s how I look at it. You can look at the percentile performance for a single game and get some useful information from it, but that’s about it for me as a game performance measure.


      • CB

        My point is I’m not sure if they valuable over the course of a season


        • I think we’re saying the same thing. The individual game performance does indicate outliers. For example, after the Nicholls game, I was concerned about whether that game was a aberration or the canary in the coal mine. The percentile performance clearly indicated it was the canary in the coal mine as the season progressed. The team continued to turn in performance that didn’t mean expectations (50th percentile) and S&P continued to drop. For me, these analytics either confirm or reject what the eye test would indicate. YMMV of course.


  8. Pingback: Pythagoras ain’t played Alabama, PAWWWLLL. | Get The Picture