Not my favorite year

I tell you, these latest Bill Connelly S&P+ retrospectives are giving me heartburn.  If his 2013 simply reminded me of how injuries derailed what could have been Georgia’s best offense ever, certainly good enough to overcome one of Grantham’s weaker defenses en route to a divisional championship at minimum, the story of his 2014 rankings is simply one of a team that epically underachieved.

Consider this:

Eight weeks into the season, here’s where SEC teams ranked in the (new) S&P+:

1. Alabama (6-1)
2. Ole Miss (7-0)
3. Auburn (5-1)
4. Mississippi State (6-0)
5. Georgia (6-1)
8. LSU (6-2)
11. Texas A&M (5-3)
14. South Carolina (4-3)
16. Missouri (5-2)
24. Florida (3-3)
29. Kentucky (5-2)
30. Tennessee (3-4)
31. Arkansas (3-4)
66. Vanderbilt (2-5)

The entire top five, nine of the top 16, 13 of the top 31, and an otherworldly average S&P+ rating of plus-21.8. As October flipped to November, the Southeastern Conference may have been at its highest ever height.

But while Alabama mostly kept up its pace and Georgia did enough to stay up there…

Bill is kind in his phrasing there.  Georgia proceeded to lose two of its next five games, costing it another SEC East title.  But here’s the part that’s quintessential 2014:  Georgia’s S&P+ ranking climbed to third by season’s end.  You really have to work at something like that.

Weirdly enough, from a strategic perspective, 2014 wasn’t marred by the usual Richt shortcoming of fixing one problem, only to allow another to crop up.  He had a good grasp of his team’s strengths and weaknesses and did a superb job of maximizing little ball things like turnover margin (first in the conference) and field position.  Ultimately, though, his team was undone by a lack of focus in Jacksonville and a disastrous squib kick decision against Tech.

Like I said, heartburn.

26 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

26 responses to “Not my favorite year

  1. Biggus Rickus

    Ah, 2014, the year I gave up on Richt.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Spurrier pantsed Pruitt in Columbia.

    Richt didn’t get the team ready in Jacksonville.

    Turnovers, the failure to adjust on defense, the decision to pooch kick, and the mismanagement of the last possession doomed us vs. Fech.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      I give Pruitt a good deal of credit for getting what he did out of that defense. There were a lot of holes he had to mask. The South Carolina game and Florida games were atrocious, though.

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      • That Fech game was pretty bad, too. Fish Fry made an adjustment to send the dive almost off tackle rather than in the A gap. Pruitt never adjusted his approach.

        Of course, the next year Pruitt has them shut out in Atlanta until the officials gifted them a TD with a bogus 4th down call.

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      • Jim

        And somehow Damian Swann put us in position to steal a victory we didn’t deserve in Columbia.E. Then that fucking naked bootleg instead of giving it to the best player in all of college football 4 times…

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    • JCDawg83

      First and goal from the four, Todd Gurley in the backfield, naked bootleg, enough said. Richt and Bobo should have been fired on the spot and made to find their own way back from Columbia.

      Florida game was a classic Richt bed crapping. He could tear up an anvil with a rubber hammer with his ineptitude and lack of preparation.

      The tech game forever branded Richt as Pastor Poochkick.

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      • We scored 35 in Columbia and had a long TD run by Gurley called back by a questionable holding call … that loss was not on Bobo. Was the play call bad? Yep.

        That Florida game was the worst across the board … I’ll give you that.

        The Fech game should have never gone to overtime. Chubb and MIchel both fumbled inside the Fech 10 when we could have been up 21-3(?). The defense could have contained following the kick. The screw-up from the sideline was the decision to call timeout to allow them to set up the kick. Even then we had a chance to win the game in overtime after blocking the extra point.

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      • St. Johns Dawg

        Thought you might have been the guy next to me at the 2018 game in Jacksonville … Bitching that we were running the ball with first & second and goal after the disastrous UF fumble. Maybe not. After all, that series ended the same way.

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  3. Otto

    Bobo in his 8th year laid an egg in Jax. 24-7 going into the 4th.

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  4. PTC DAWG

    Ah reliving the Belk Bowl days…

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  5. Salty Dawg

    I refuse to click on that link, just sayin. I no more want to revisit that shit than the man in the moon! I like to be heartburn free for now. I’m still reeling in 2017 which soothed a lot of ills for me! GO DAWGS!

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  6. 79Dawg

    Even with the debacles in Columbia and Jacksonville, we had a shot to get to Atlanta if Arkansas had just hung on against Mizzou – was a big letdown for the guys the next day against Tech IMHO…. As someone said above, the two goal line fumbles are what really cost us that game, despite the obsession of many with the squib kick!

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  7. Doug

    2001: Phil Fulmer elects to squib-kick in the waning moments of the UGA-UT game, giving the Dawgs perfect field position to mount a game-winning drive and announce Mark Richt as a force to be reckoned with in the SEC.

    2014: Mark Richt elects to squib-kick in the waning moments of the UGA-Tech game, giving Tech perfect field position to kick a tying field goal and subsequently win in overtime, and possibly signaling that the Richt-UGA relationship was about to hit the skids.

    As Buck Murdock said in “Airplane II,” “Irony can be pretty ironic sometimes.”

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  8. ugafidelis

    Due to children’s birthday obligations, I had to listen to the 2014 Gator game on the radio so it was less painful that what y’all witnessed. That was the day I quit revolving my Fall schedule around UGA football games.

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    • PTC DAWG

      I’m a fan, I’ll always be a fan. It doesn’t ruin my weekend…we can’t win every game.

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      • ugafidelis

        Oh yeah same here. It’s just that up to that day, my Saturday routine was set.
        Stop everything at game time and plop im front of the TV for 4 hours. Now if I’ve got other stuff going on, I’m more likely to do it and just have the radio on in the background or check it on my phone every do often before I go to the TV.

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  9. dawgxian

    Squib kick? How about all the fumbles in that game I witnessed firsthand, up close? Or the last play interception? Or not being able to stop tech? 2 of those loses were to bowl ineligible teams.

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  10. Tony Barnfart

    I’m not going to defend that abortion of a Florida game from 5 years ago, but I’ll be damned if I ever see HOLDING NOT CALLED like I did in that game. Particularly on the fake field goal that went for a TD. All day long the gators ran stretch plays just off the hip of the tight end / area, and all day long some gator blocker sealed the edge with paws latched onto jerseys outside of our shoulder pads.

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