Daily Archives: February 15, 2019

S&P+ look at Georgia’s 2019 schedule

Inspired by this exercise at Roll ‘Bama Roll, I thought I’d break down Georgia’s schedule on the basis of Bill Connelly’s just-released S&P+ preseason rankings.  Here’s what you get:

  • @ Vanderbilt 53
  • Murray State [FCS]
  • Arkansas State 70
  • Notre Dame 12
  • @ Tennessee 21
  • South Carolina 18
  • Kentucky 37
  • v. Florida 6
  • Missouri 16
  • @ Auburn 8
  • Texas A&M 13
  • @ Georgia Tech 89

That works out to an average ranking of 31.18.  Alabama’s schedule averages out to 38, if you’re wondering.  (The difference is largely driven by the teams’ non-conference scheduling.  They do share four common opponents – Tennessee, South Carolina, Auburn and TAMU.)

On paper, that is no walk in the park, particularly with regard to the lengthy stretch between the Arkansas State and Georgia Tech **snicker** games.  Average ranking for those eight games?  16.38.  That’s a pretty stern gauntlet to run.  Kirby’s got his work cut out for him.

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27 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Alphabet soup for the WWL’s soul

Be still, my heart.  ESPN just released its first preseason Football Power Index, aka FPI.

Georgia is third, which is no real surprise.  Neither are the two teams ahead of Georgia.

While Clemson’s 44-16 drubbing of the Tide might have college football fans recalibrating their expectations for Nick Saban’s team, make no mistake — it’s still Clemson and Alabama and then everyone else. The difference in rating between No. 2-ranked Alabama (plus-27.6) and No. 3-ranked Georgia (plus-22.0) is the same as the Bulldogs’ advantage over 10th-ranked Oregon (plus-16.4). Clemson ranks first in offense and second in defense; Alabama is vice versa.

What is a little surprising is the rapid jump displayed by a few SEC teams.  LSU is fourth, Tennessee is 15th and Missouri is 20th.  The SEC’s lowest ranked team is Arkansas, with a still respectable 58th.  All of which leads to this:

The SEC has three of the top five teams in the country, five of the top 10 and half of the top 20!

The 10th-best SEC team (Missouri) is better than the second-best ACC team (Florida State) and the second-best Big 12 team (Texas).

The best division in football is the SEC West. The second-best division is the SEC East.

For the SEC — or any conference — this sort of depth is unprecedented. No conference in the past 15 years of FPI has had more than eight teams in the top 20 of the preseason rankings.

I only mention this because this is what all the yammering heads on ESPN and the SEC Network (PAWWWLLL!) will be talking about for the next few months leading into the season.

Add in a dash of selection committee tea leaf reading from Heather Dinich.

3. Georgia

Toughest game on schedule: Nov. 16 at Auburn

The committee will like: The crossover opponents.
The road trip to Auburn is followed by a Nov. 23 home game against Texas A&M. Back-to-back November victories against SEC West opponents could significantly boost Georgia’s résumé heading into the final week of the regular season — if the Dawgs win. Last season’s 36-16 loss to LSU was a dagger in the final picture. Georgia came close last season, but we still haven’t seen a two-loss team finish in the top four.

The committee won’t like: A September slip-up.
If Georgia is worthy of a playoff spot, it should start the season 3-0 with wins against Vanderbilt, Murray State and Arkansas State. Repeat: Murray State and Arkansas State, which is why beating Notre Dame on Sept. 21 has the potential to separate Georgia from other contenders. If Georgia loses to the Irish, though, its best nonconference win would be against rival Georgia Tech, and that would put enormous pressure on Georgia to win out.

One big question: How much will a win over Notre Dame be worth?
It depends, of course, on how the Irish fare. According to ESPN’s FPI, it’s the most difficult game on the Irish schedule, as they are No. 7 and projected to be No. 9 in offensive efficiency and No. 11 in defensive efficiency. Notre Dame helped Michigan almost all last season — and the Wolverines didn’t even win the game. Remember Miami’s claim to fame in 2017? The Hurricanes hammered Notre Dame 41-8, and it carried them in the eyes of the committee — until the Canes ended the season with two face-plants of their own. Win or lose, playing Notre Dame seems to help — as long as the Irish help themselves.

Most of that strikes me as iffy, but I do think that Auburn-TAMU set of games will weigh on the committee members’ minds based on timing, if nothing else.  Assuming ‘Bama comes out of the West again, though, I think we all expect the SECCG likely shapes up as another elimination game.

50 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Georgia’s returning starters

So, how do you feel about this bunch?

That offensive line is gonna be something this season.

21 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

His work here is done. For now.

Like a boss.

Grantham was the highest-paid assistant in Gators football history at $1.5 million per season. After a down year for Florida’s defense in 2017, he elevated it 49 spots (from 69th to 20th) nationally in scoring defense. As such, coach Dan Mullen and athletic director Scott Stricklin awarded him with a $300,000 raise and one-year contract extension, which were announced Thursday. Based on 2018 salaries, that would make Grantham at $1.8 million one of the five highest-paid assistants in college football.  [Emphasis added.]

When you know the play and they know you know the play and they still let you run the play… well, that’s when you know you’ve really got game.

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Filed under Gators, Gators..., It's Just Bidness

My, the Urnge Kool-Aid is refreshing.

That didn’t take long.

Anybody know what the difference is between an offense that’s six-flame en fuego and seven-flame?

25 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Strategery And Mechanics

The greatest trick the recruiting service devil ever played…

… was convincing the world that this kid existed.

My two cents:  one, jeez, that’s beyond embarrassing and, two, I’m surprised it hadn’t happened before.  And to think people shell out money for that.  Well done, Rivals.

15 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

It was nothing personal, Georgia fans.

More insight from attorney Tom Mars on Justin Fields’ waiver application to Ohio State: “Irrefutable documentation that has nothing to do with racism was presented to the NCAA in support of OSU’s request that Justin Fields be given a waiver. That information wasn’t critical of — and didn’t reflect poorly on — the UGA culture, the UGA administration or staff, any particular student, or the student body. And it certainly didn’t reflect poorly on Justin or any member of his family. However, that documentation did provide support for the issuance of a waiver under the NCAA’s rules.”

Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer

I’m curious to know if that info will ever see the light of day.

48 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The NCAA, Transfers Are For Coaches.