Daily Archives: October 12, 2017

“I’d rather us run the ball all the time and win than throw the ball all the time and lose.”

It’s good that Javon Wims feels that way, because if there’s one thing you can say with authority about this year’s Georgia offense, it’s that they’re not gonna throw the ball all the time.

Wims leads the team with 13 catches for 217 yards. That would project out to 30 catches for 14 games if Georgia played in the SEC title game and a bowl game. That would match Martrez Milner’s 30 catches in 2006 as fewest for the team’s leading receiver since 1990.



Filed under Georgia Football

They’re starting to lose it in Gainesville.

I honestly have no idea what this means.

Points don’t matter as long as you get up early enough?  Wut?

I’m beginning to think this is going to be one of the weirder Cocktail Parties I’ve attended.


Filed under Gators, Gators...

Checking in with Mr. Conventional Wisdom

Yep.  Tony’s still got game.


Filed under Mr. Conventional Wisdom

Passing completions and first downs

This may be turn out to be nothing more than one of those amusing little statistical matters I occasionally allow myself to be sidetracked by, but this Chase Stuart post comparing overall completion percentage to completion for first down percentage got me to thinking (dangerous, I know).  If the quarterback’s primary responsibility is to see to it that the offense doesn’t come off the field until it posts a score, then his role in moving the chains rather than just hitting his receivers would appear to be a meaningful distinction that Stuart analyzes.

Essentially, he measured total dropbacks (pass attempts plus sacks) against passing first downs.  You can probably guess what I did next.

Here’s how the SEC breaks down in that department.  Ratio is expressed as first downs by pass/dropbacks (attempts plus sacks allowed) and teams are listed in order of percentage:

  • Alabama:  54/146 (36.99%)
  • Kentucky:  60/176 (34.09%)
  • Arkansas:  47/148 (31.76%)
  • Missouri:  57/181 (31.49%)
  • Ole Miss:  68/216 (31.48%)
  • LSU:  44/144 (30.56%)
  • Vanderbilt:  51/173 (29.48%)
  • South Carolina:  60/206 (29.13%)
  • Auburn:  48/165 (29.09%)
  • Georgia:  32/114 (28.07%)
  • Texas A&M:  54/200 (27.00%)
  • Tennessee:  44/166 (26.51%)
  • Florida:  39/138 (24.64%)
  • Mississippi State:  36/152 (23.68%)

I’m not exactly sure how much to read into that.  Georgia, for example, has a pretty mediocre percentage there, but given that it has relied on the pass fewer times than any other SEC team, it’s not as significant as it might be seen in the abstract.  On the other hand, TAMU’s percentage, given the number of dropbacks, probably does indicate that its offense isn’t as smoothly efficient in moving the ball consistently as others.

Quarterback play and overall offensive philosophy are both factors, then.  I probably ought to come back to visit this at season’s end and drag general offensive production in to see if there are any correlations worth considering.

I figured I’d take a look at how the conference defenses did, as well.  (Same source for pass attempts defended, sacks and defensive first downs.)  Results are posted in the same format order.

  • Georgia:  40/204 (19.61%)
  • Mississippi State: 23/105 (21.90%)
  • Auburn:  48/214 (22.43%)
  • Alabama:  47/206 (22.82%)
  • Vanderbilt:  39/161 (24.22%)
  • Arkansas:  42/164 (25.61%)
  • LSU:  52/198 (26.26%)
  • Tennessee:  30/108 (27.78%)
  • Kentucky:  70/249 (28.11%)
  • Texas A&M:  67/230 (29.13%)
  • Florida:  48/161 (29.81%)
  • South Carolina:  73/229 (31.88%)
  • Missouri:  54/165 (32.73%)
  • Ole Miss:  50/145 (34.48%)

Obviously, there are a few variables in play here besides the quarterback, but can I just say I’m a little impressed with Mel Tucker?  Georgia is first in the country in defensive yards per pass attempt and makes it harder than any other team in the conference to throw for a first down.  Not too shabby.

Again, it’s probably best to take this for now as nothing more than a marker being placed by me.  I’ll revisit all this in a larger context after the season.  At least it’ll give me something to do in March, right?


Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Pick your poison.

Bill Connelly puts on his Missouri hat, looks at his team’s chances this week and doesn’t see much room for hope.

Defensive coaches will tell you they want the offense to have to play left-handed: force them out of Plan A, and if they beat you with Plan B, so be it.

Because of Missouri’s weaknesses in pass defense, Plan B will probably work just fine for Fromm and Georgia. But if you can’t stop Plan A, you’re going to lose by 40. Mizzou’s only chance is to get linebackers Terez Hall and Cale Garrett and linemen like Terry Beckner Jr. into the backfield against the run, sell out in the box, and hope Fromm misfires on a couple of deep shots. It probably won’t work, but there might not be a better option.

That’s pretty much what everybody’s been trying against Georgia all season, right?  That’s worked well.

Georgia’s success, of course, is driven by its defense and special teams. The Dawgs are fourth in Defensive S&P+ and first in Special Teams S&P+, which means they don’t have to take many chances. That’s a good thing considering their youth at QB.

Fromm took over for an injured Jacob Eason almost the moment after the season began, and while he’s a blue-chipper and has looked the part at times, they haven’t had to ask him to step outside of himself very much. He threw all of three passing downs passes last week; as means of comparison, Missouri’s Drew Lock threw 15 such passes at Kentucky. Since you can’t score on them, they don’t mind taking their time figuring out how to score on you.

Somebody ought to put that last sentence on a t-shirt.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

If you’ve longed for the days of Jared Lorenzen…

Arkansas may be starting a quarterback this week who’s a 6-foot-7, 268-pound redshirt freshman.

“I’m not sure they’ll change their offense but when (Kelley) has played they’ve done more quarterback runs,” Saban said Wednesday. “This guy is like 6-7, 270 pounds. In fact when I first started watching the film I thought he was a Wildcat quarterback that was (also) a tight end.”



Filed under SEC Football

“We must take decisive action.”

Mark Emmert, in the face of the NCAA’s most serious challenge since… I dunno, the Sandusky scandal? — and if you don’t think a federal criminal investigation into the NCAA’s biggest cash cow isn’t serious, you don’t know Mark Emmert — wants everyone to know he’s on the mother.

The recent news of a federal investigation into fraud in college basketball made it very clear the NCAA needs to make substantive changes to the way we operate, and do so quickly. Individuals who break the trust on which college sports is based have no place here. While I believe the vast majority of coaches follow the rules, the culture of silence in college basketball enables bad actors, and we need them out of the game. We must take decisive action. This is not a time for half-measures or incremental change.

Man, that sounds positively Churchillian.  To the bunkers!  Storm the beaches!

Form a committee.

Therefore, I have secured endorsement from the NCAA Board of Governors and Division I Board of Directors to form a Commission on College Basketball, which Dr. Condoleezza Rice has agreed to chair, to work with me in examining critical aspects of a system that clearly is not working. The commission will be composed of leaders from higher education, college sports, government and the business world, as well as accomplished former student-athletes.

Yeah, if there’s somebody out there who’s fully informed on how the AAU/shoe game is played, it’s Condi Rice.

To give you an idea of how deluded this inquiry is right out of the gate, check one of the three things the commission is directed to focus on:

The NCAA’s relationship with the NBA, and the challenging effect the NBA’s so-called “one and done” rule has had on college basketball, including how the NCAA can change its own eligibility rules to address that dynamic.

That’s going places.

Top that with the usual doing it for the kids excuse…

We need to do right by student-athletes. I believe we can — and we must — find a way to protect the integrity of college sports by addressing both sides of the coin: fairness and opportunity for college athletes, coupled with the enforcement capability to hold accountable those who undermine the standards of our community.

… and it seems like this is nothing but a stalling action until the Feds can put their little inquiry to bed.  Not that Emmert has any clue whether that will work, but he can always appoint another group to review what this commission concludes.  They’ve always got time, or at least they believe they do.

Media Contact

Stacey Osburn
NCAA Director of Public and Media Relations

Now he’s just trolling us.


Filed under The NCAA

Pinch me.

It wasn’t too long ago when the concept of Georgia having an inside linebacker who wasn’t a liability in pass coverage was nothing more than a pipe dream.  I don’t know about you, but I used to be haunted by images of wide open tight ends running freely across the middle.

That was then.  This is now.

Different skill sets, to be sure, but Smith’s dominance reminds me more and more of Jarvis Jones’ in the sense that he’s the guy every offensive coordinator facing Georgia has to game plan around.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Just win, babies.

Phil Steele notes that Georgia’s wins have come over opponents that in turn have done their fair share of winning.  When you add it all up — “if you beat an FBS opponent you get credit for all their wins over their FBS opponents” — Georgia is second on his list, behind only Clemson.

Does that factor into an analysis of Georgia’s strength?  Welp, Anderson & Hester, which focuses solely on teams’ accomplishments to date, just posted their first set of rankings for the season and the Dawgs are on top.  (A&H was one of the computer services the BCS relied on to publish its rankings not too long ago.)

Notre Dame is the gift that keeps on giving, but we also ought to embrace thinking like this.  Should Georgia make it into the CFP discussion later this season, stuff like this will likely matter.



Filed under Georgia Football

Fake news? War Eagle!

So, in the wake of another potential academic scandal, Auburn’s hired an outside law firm to investigate.

Jay Jacobs is on quite the roll lately.

The tutoring investigation is the latest in a series of probes within the Auburn athletic department, which is facing alleged misconduct in men’s basketball and women’s softball, as well as defending a federal civil lawsuit filed against athletic director Jay Jacobs and the school’s board of trustees by a former baseball coach.

It’s impressive that the man is still on the job.  I’d ask the rhetorical question about whether Jacobs is in possession of incriminating photographs, but after reading this quote…

Outside the Lines brought the allegation to the attention of President Steven Leath this week. In a statement issued Wednesday, he said: “I take the allegation very seriously. While the independent investigation has found no evidence to date to support the claims, I’m actively engaged as the investigation continues.”

… maybe the simpler answer is that nobody there really gives a damn.  At least as long as the money’s good.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Auburn's Cast of Thousands