Moar ‘Cocky talk

This neatly sums up my view of South Carolina going into the season:

But while the Gamecocks went 9-4 last season, they only had 7.1 second-order wins. That essentially means that given how the Gamecocks actually performed in their games last year — based on stats like success rates, explosive plays, field position, turnovers, etc. — the Gamecocks could have expected to lose the North Carolina State game 79 percent of the time and the Vanderbilt game 57 percent of the time. Significantly fewer second-order wins than a team’s actual record generally gives some indication that a team could be due for some regression to the mean. That’s reflected in South Carolina’s 2017 F/+ ranking of 57th — near Missouri, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss, who all went either 7-6 or 6-6. The Gamecocks were the second-worst nine-win team in the country last year (behind just 9-5 North Texas).

The Gamecocks return an insane amount of offensive production from last season, but they return just 47 percent of their defensive production from 2017 (119th). They lose four of their top five defensive playmakers in end Dante Sawyer, linebacker Skai Moore, safety Chris Lammons, and corner JaMarcus King. Together those four accounted for 17 tackles for loss and 30 pass breakups. Moore led the team in tackles, run stuffs, and interceptions, and was second in tackles for loss. The pass defense is a particular concern with Lammons and King gone from a unit that ranked 55th in passing S&P+, 86th in passing success rate, and 89th in adjusted sack rate last season. Moore’s importance can’t be overstated, either — he led the team in tackles every season that he was healthy.

None of this is to say South Carolina is going to be bad this season.  Peltier says the ‘Cocks should be solid in 2018, and that’s likely a fair assessment.  But between regression to the mean, big holes to fill on defense and a new offensive scheme, there would seem to be more questions about Boom’s team than there are about Georgia.  Plus, any comparison between the two starts with a talent deficiency in Columbia.

As Peltier concludes, “… their odds in the East should be viewed as roughly equivalent to Florida’s”.  Sounds right to me.



Filed under 'Cock Envy, Stats Geek!

30 responses to “Moar ‘Cocky talk

  1. Time to take the Cocks behind the woodshed in Columbia … I imagine Kirby has had the team focused on that game throughout the offseason.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “But between regression to the mean, big holes to fill on defense and a new offensive scheme, there would seem to be more questions about Boom’s team than there are about Georgia.”

    But that just can’t be, as UGA lost 38 seniors off last years team. Unfortunately, due to a stretch towards the end of CMR’s run where we embarrassingly lost 4 of 5 against them, until UGA really hammers them a few more times, they’ll continue the bold prediction talk of beating us, having near equal talent, etc. I personally think we best them worse than last year, which will help temper their expectations moving forward.


  3. It’s time to shift the Overton window for SCU back to where it should be. You’d think Schotty of all people laying a fiftyburger on them and making spurrier quit would have done it, but it didn’t.

    Time for a convincing home loss for them.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. dawgfan

    How good are their offensive and defensive lines? Who’s front seven will fade in the second half? I like our chances on a hot afternoon in Columbia with our depth. Just run the damn ball.


  5. JCDawg83

    It won’t matter. We can win 45-0 and their delusional fans will point to some inane statistic they prevailed in, like net punting yards, and claim they really were the better team.


  6. Normally I yawn when it comes to the Gamecocks… But the majority of their fanbase has been running their mouth since February… I hope Georgia buries these guys by halftime…


  7. mwo

    UGA just seems to play ugly against the capons more times than not. I know the culture is different but I’ve been a fan too long to exorcise the pessimistic demons in just a year or so. Gotta go fold some tinfoil hats.


  8. DoubleDawg1318

    USCe and UF is a toss up for second place to me. 8-4 sounds about right.


  9. steve

    I grew up in the 50’s and my Dad was raised on a rented Banks Co. row-crop enterprise. Mules were the source of ag power back then. My grandfather (his Dad) treated him accordingly, but eventually allowed him to leave the farm and attend UGa where he met my Mom right before leaving for the Pacific when he finished ROTC. My Grandfather is one of the top 4 males that have occupied a meaningful, affectionate place in the ‘memory-room’ of my soul. Anyway, that background is important because my Dad treated a boy’s pet puppy like a farm dog when it misbehaved. That included rubbing his nose in the urine pool, grabbing the dog by the back of the neck and tossing it underhanded as far as humanly possible out the back door. That dog always came back uninjured, tail wagging and signaling full cooperation.
    I think Boom is ready for his doggy lesson in urological hygiene but unfortunately it won’t be from his cowardly ‘anonymous source’. He is going to know that Kirby’s hand is source of force moving his face in the waste.
    Gamecocks? Try Gameflops. Better yet, just be quiet so Georgia doesn’t develop the same systemic disgust that Clemson has for USCJr.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ChiliDawg

    If Tennessee and/or Florida improve even marginally, South Carolina will be right back at 7 wins and 4th place.


  11. Macallanlover

    Skai Moore was their R, he will be hard to replace. I feel they are similar to us with defensive questions, with UGA having a decent edge with more talent to fill in the holes. On offense, we are better at QB, RB, WRs, and OL…did I leave anything out? Not going to say they cannot pull a win out, but it will mean we play poorly, no other way.

    I certainly recognize they will be stoked in the 2nd week of the season, and have a good home field edge; because of these 2 reasons, they should keep our win margin under 20 points. I feel 10-17 points is a reasonable expectation for how this turns out. My guess is something like 31-16. The biggest problems SC fans should be considering about this game are: 1) UGA has a significant talent edge up and down the roster, 2) that leads to better depth in a very hot time of the year (3:30 start), 3) Dawgs have more talented guys hungry to earn playing time so even the backups will be pumped to show out which means no let ud from bigger/better dudes for 60 minutes and, 4) UGA has very few games to be really stoked for this year so SC will get our best shot, no chance we overlook them in the first competitive game we see. Bad news for them is 90+% certain, that is higher than our usual win percentage against them historically.

    They need to focus on beating FU, A&M, Mizzou, and KY to get a decent bowl. That looks to be their ceiling, for most any year of the past century.


  12. UGA '97

    We are going to get hurt in CFP rankings if we lose to them early and they go 7-5 or worse.


  13. Cojones

    The wife’s chickens (Gamecocks) have been decimated in the last couple of years, but not without my undying pride in the Coopers Hawks, Mama Foxes and an infrequent immature eagle or two through the years. These wild animals have made a livin’ off those free-rangin’ chickens for several years, but none moreso than in the last two years. The flock is down to one rooster(from 16 at one time) and a hen with one immature 2 mo-old chick (that numbered 3 until the last two weeks).

    The latest tragedies came on swift dives, plucks and disappearance through bushes near the lake such that an analogy comes to mind of this season’s game. I’ve named the secretive and silent harbinger of death “Dawg” who preys at will on the naïve chickens. The Mama chicken with her last baby is now kept in a coop and the wife lets them out under her watchful eye, although one of the chicks that disappeared recently did so with only a hint of a furtive shadow seen out of the corner of my wife’s eye and in her yardly presence. The Chicken Taker disdains the rooster as just a strutting bag of puffy feathers, mindful of the SC fan base.

    Alas! I don’t have the group of chickens that used to run towards me when I repaired to the outside world to curse the air after a loss to the Cocks; goofy cluckers that thought the invectives that split the air were for them, but soon found they were dangerously close to losing tail feathers to a foot. I no longer have to glue their little tailfeathers back (before the wife finds out about the rage) and now look upon a single feckless rooster that isn’t capable of intimidating the aerial and ground attacks put upon his domain. He just walks around in a seemingly drunken stupor while stopping to crow from time to time, but not so loudly as several years ago.

    Liked by 1 person