Georgia football is like a box of chocolates.

At least, writes Patrick Garbin, that’s the case when it comes to meeting preseason expectations.

… I decided to see how strong of a positive relationship—if positive at all—there has been between the preseason AP poll and the final AP rankings in regard to Georgia, and several neighboring schools of interest. Beginning in 1950, the initial year of the preseason AP poll, through 2016, the preseason and final rankings of Georgia and eight other often nationally-ranked teams from the South were correlated annually to reveal their correlation coefficient, or r. Simply, think of “r” as how efficient the Associated Press has been at preseason ranking each team in association to where it finishes in the AP’s final poll (whereby if r is between 0 and .200, there is a very weak positive relationship between the AP’s preseason and final polls; .200 and .400 is weak; .400 and .600 is moderate; .600 and .800 is strong; and .800 and 1 is very strong).

Ranked according to r, each team is also listed with the number of 67 seasons (63 seasons for Florida State) whereby it appeared in the AP’s preseason poll (followed by, of those appearances, the number of seasons ranked and not ranked in final poll), and number of seasons appearing in the AP’s final poll (followed by, of those, number of seasons ranked and not ranked in preseason poll).

(For example, Georgia, although borderline moderate, has had a weak relationship at .395 since 1950 in regards to what the AP ranks the Bulldogs in the preseason as it relates to where they finish in the final poll. In the last 67 years, Georgia has been preseason ranked on 35 occasions: 22 times it finished in the final poll, 13 times it finished unranked. In the last 67 years, the Bulldogs finished ranked on 30 occasions: 22 times they had been preseason ranked, 8 times they had not.

Of the nine schools he looked at, only Auburn had a worse correlation than Georgia’s, which, when you think about it, makes a lot of sense.  In fact, if you shorten the term under analysis to the last ten seasons, the effect is consistent, and, with regard to Auburn, even more intensified.

I next figured the exact same as above, but for just the last 10 seasons (2007-2016) and, interestingly, found somewhat similar results with Clemson, Alabama, and Florida State all having strong relationships, Tennessee at nearly strong (.587), and Georgia (.313) and Auburn (minus-.263) again in the weak zone. This should be no surprise considering the Bulldogs were preseason ranked each of the last eight years (with an average ranking of approximately No. 13), yet finished ranked in the final poll just three times.

In Georgia’s case, I’m not too sure what that says about 2017.  The Dawgs are ranked in most preseason discussions I’ve seen, but the consensus seems to relegate Georgia to somewhere in the high teens to low twenties, which is lower than the average from the past ten years, but still means the Dawgs are ranked.  It’s not exactly a traditional vote of confidence, so you can draw all sorts of conclusions about what sort of omen that might be for how things turn out this season.  On the other hand, we’ve seen that Vegas has shown a stronger degree of confidence in Georgia’s chances than the pundits have, so who knows where the AP goes?  Take your chances, in other words.

Now that I think about it, that randomness is pretty much Patrick’s point.

(Now what that says about Auburn’s chances this season… well…)



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

16 responses to “Georgia football is like a box of chocolates.

  1. Russ

    So we’re contrarians? I guess that makes sense, as we never seem to do what the pollsters think we’re going to do. Hopefully that holds true this year as well and we surprise everyone.

    BTW, I’ve been granted an audience with Smart and Fox this evening (for a mere $35). Anything you want me to ask?


    • Ask? Nah.

      Just thank them for their service in making the reserve fund the best that it can be.


      • Russ

        I’ll pick up my 2016 Reserve Fund Champions t-shirt while I’m there. I forgot that Morehead will be there. I actually might say something to him.


        • The Georgia Way

          Thank you, Russ.

          We sincerely appreciate your interest and your #COMMITMENTTOTHEG.

          We are offering this friendly reminder to have your check made out to “The William C. Hartman Jr. Fund” in hand before approaching any of our associates.

          Also be sure to wear the 2016 shirt with justifiable Bulldog pride. With the support of you and others like you, we can fulfill our dreams of rolling out the 2017 shirt in the rich, green color of our English privets.


        • Sherlock

          On a serious note, please ask Morehead about his strategy on getting an invitation to join the AAU and any idea on an expected timeline or identified metrics.


  2. Granthams replacement

    Patrick’s analysis shows Kirk and Desmond are not very good at ranking teams other than Alabama.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    How about a third table: Preseason unranked/ending ranked?


    • Uglydawg

      I actually think Georgia would look pretty good in that one.


      • Uglydawg

        Which kind of leaves me with the belief that UGA is usually put in too extreme of a preseason condition, either low or high and then drifting to the mean by season’s end. But there has been many times when Georgia got “Dawg-graded” in the final polls, IMHO, but probably all schools have fans that think the same.


  4. Cojones

    Personally, ranking for the yards gained (or lost for the D) by running and passing the ball with a statistical analysis having less than 8 degrees of freedom as to those categories translating into a win would be my cup of tea. QBR, YAC and YAT plus field goals and ST runbacks also would be used to describe the actual chance we had in the game as presented in write-ups after victory or defeat.

    What? We already are doing that? Why are we looking at another warped crystal ball for prediction of those activities this morning? Don’t we already have a collection of those around here somewhere? Sheesh!


  5. AusDawg85

    Lots of math today. I thought school was out?


  6. richdawgbhillz

    Totally true with Mark Richt, he almost always underperformed. I had Kirby at 8-4 preseason, he came in right at expectations. One season is too small a sample size, I think he will win more games this season for sure.


  7. Cousin Eddie

    I didn’t need math to know that UGA football has “failed to meet expectations for decades.” Or is it just me?