Daily Archives: December 27, 2017

Rose Bowl justice

I was emailed the court’s order in response to last week’s motion for a continuance.  If anything, for sheer enjoyment, the order surpasses it.

LiveOakvGoggins

The judge isn’t a Georgia Tech fan, but let’s just say he’s handed plaintiff’s counsel extra motivation to root for a Georgia win.  (That second footnote is a killer.)

24 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, See You In Court

Today, in WTF

Maybe somebody can explain to me why a coach would agree to something like this.

For one thing, that’s playing into a kid’s worst narcissistic instincts (is there any reason a recruit would want this other than to keep the recruiting attention going as long as possible?).  For another, what exactly do you tell other recruits who can count and know how many slots you have left to offer?

Obviously, I’m missing something here, because this seems remarkably stupid, even by college football standards.  Anybody have a clue what’s going on with this?

27 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

I’m starting to get sick of some of these Baker Mayfield stats.

What happens when you give Mayfield time to throw?  About what you’d expect.

I’d really appreciate it somebody could start tossing out a few examples of when he craps the bed.  Assuming they exist, that is.

54 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Stats Geek!

Entering charted territory

One thing I’m grateful for in the last days leading up to the Rose Bowl is Kirby Smart’s “been there, done that” BCS/CFP experience.  Unlike certain pre-big game preparation weeks under Richt, I don’t sense an iota of uncertainty about getting his team ready to play.

The practices in Los Angeles will feature intensive prep for Oklahoma, unlike back in Athens. That’s fairly normal and how it was handled at Alabama when Smart was an assistant with the Crimson Tide. The reasoning is coaches have found there’s only so much prep a team can do for one opponent, that six-to-seven practices is about the limit until it gets old for the players. So the bowl practice in Athens resembled a preseason camp atmosphere, back to the basics.

But the game plan largely has been in place before the team flew to L.A. Now it will be installed and practiced.

Ho hum?  Maybe.  But in this context, I adore ho hum.

15 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Point-Counterpoint, Rose Bowl edition

Over at CBSSports.com, Ben Kercheval lays out three reasons to favor Oklahoma over Georgia, while Barrett Sallee goes the opposite way.  (Interestingly, both agree that the Rose Bowl winner will go on to take the national championship.)

There’s a certain amount of touchy-feeliness in both pundits’ analyses that I can’t take straight.  When you’re having to make Kercheval’s “Oklahoma’s defense ain’t that bad” in the context of a national semi-final game, you’re on shaky ground — is there any other unit in the CFP one has to make excuses for? — and I can’t help but cringe at Sallee’s “Georgia, team of destiny” pitch.

Mixed in, though, are some Pro Football Focus rankings that reinforce how deep and diverse the Sooners’ offense is.  Look at their top receivers:

Receivers Jeff Badet, Mykel Jones and CeeDee Lamb rank in the top 15 nationally, respectively, in wide receiver rating* and in the top 10 in offensive success rating (i.e. the percentage of targets that go for a positive play). Additionally, Marquise Brown, the team’s leading receiver with 981 yards, averages 20 yards per reception. That’s fourth-best among receivers who have at least 40 catches on the season.

Take a look at how PFF has them ranked among wideouts with 200+ snaps.

Oklahoma WR Rec. Yds. TDs Pos. Rating (rank) Success Rate % (rank)
Jeff Badet 27 400 3 150 (2) 59.4 (7)
CeeDee Lamb 39 724 7 140.8 (4) 59.3 (8)
Mykel Jones 16 310 1 135.4 (12) 65 (3)
Marquise Brown 50 987 6 131.9 (20) 48.6 (75)

Four of the top twenty nationally? Whew.

And while we naturally assume Georgia has the advantage at running back, perhaps it’s not as big a gap as we perceive it to be.

Here’s a look at how Pro Football Focus ranks the top running backs in the College Football Playoff.

Player School PFF Grade
Nick Chubb Georgia 88.2
Trey Sermon Oklahoma 84.1
Rodney Anderson Oklahoma 83.5
Damien Harris Alabama 82.8
Sony Michel Georgia 82.3

That’s a 2-2 tie. Yes, D’Andre Swift makes for a formidable number three, but Abdul Adams hasn’t exactly been a slacker for Oklahoma in that department, although he has had some injury issues.

Let’s just say we’re going to see a lot of firepower next Monday.  Maybe I should buy into that team of destiny stuff a little more.

49 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Georgia Football

Today, in always be ‘crootin’.

Season’s greetings, from Kirby Smart.

If you’ve got it, flaunt it, baby.

5 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Once more, with feeling: Baker Mayfield isn’t Colt Brennan.

I’m going to try to make this simple for those of you who continue to have sugarplum visions of the 2008 Sugar Bowl dancing around in your heads:  against Sagarin’s #28 strength of schedule, Baker Mayfield’s worst passer rating of the 2017 season (167.08, against Texas Tech) exceeded Colt Brennan’s passer rating for the 2007-8 season (159.8) against Sagarin’s #132 strength of schedule.

It’s not a close call.

That’s not to say Georgia’s defense faces an impossible task, just that it won’t be a walk in the park.

And while I’m raining on some of y’all’s parades, one other bit of wishful thinking that needs to be knocked down is the idea that Mayfield’s going to throw a pick or two, just because he throws the ball a lot.  It’ll take more than that.  Both teams have been good at protecting the ball.

Plus-5

Georgia and Oklahoma each had a plus-five turnover margins this season. The Bulldogs committed 13 turnovers while forcing 18, and the Sooners committed 12 turnovers while forcing 17. Turnovers always matter, but with two disciplined offenses, they could be a game-changer. That puts more pressure on Mayfield and Georgia’s Jake Fromm to protect the football. Keep in mind, in their respective losses this season, the Sooners and Bulldogs each had a minus-one turnover margin. A plus-two turnover margin in this game, then — for either team — could be the difference.

Despite that Mayfield has attempted 139 more passes than has Jake Fromm, both go into the Rose Bowl with only five interceptions on the season.

I think Bender makes a good point that because both teams have been disciplined with regard to turnovers, interceptions and fumbles may have a magnified effect.  That’s a long way from counting on Baker Mayfield to wilt in the face of Georgia’s defense and turn into a pick machine, though.

31 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!