“Taken together, the first year of the Joe Moorhead era feels like a waste.”

I mentioned the other day that Mississippi State rewarded Joe Moorhead with a pay bump and contract extension for what was a fairly mediocre 8-5 season.  Based on this Matt Melton post, I may have been generous calling it mediocre.

And here are the APR [Adjusted Pythagorian Record] standings with conference rank in offensive touchdowns, touchdowns allowed, and APR in parentheses. This includes conference games only with the championship game excluded.

You read that right — MSU’s APR was second in conference play, behind only Alabama’s.

Finally, SEC teams are sorted by the difference between their actual number of wins and their expected number of wins according to APR.

If you think that looks pretty bad, well, Matt agrees with you.

The Bulldogs undershot their APR by over two and a half games. Going back to 2005, that is one of the largest negative discrepancies between a team’s actual record and their APR (in the BCS/Power Five).

That in itself is a pretty amazing ‘accomplishment’, but when I looked closer at the numbers I was shocked at Mississippi State’s performance in their conference wins and their conference losses.

In their four conference losses, Mississippi State managed a solitary offensive touchdown.

Matt’s pretty kind about that in his conclusion, but if I were a Mississippi State fan, I’d be a little alarmed.  Moorhead was hired for his offensive chops and his team’s relative lack of success in 2018 fell squarely on his offense.  (Yeah, Fitzgerald wasn’t an ideal match for his scheme, but offensive geniuses are supposed to find ways to match scheme to personnel.)  Moreover, MSU lost some real defensive studs to the NFL draft, so it’s questionable that the Bulldogs will be as stout as they were on that side of the ball last year.

He’s got some real coaching to do this season to earn another pay bump.


Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

6 responses to ““Taken together, the first year of the Joe Moorhead era feels like a waste.”

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Sounds like he’s tops at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.


  2. Agree on performance 100% — could be more tough sledding, however keep in mind state of MS only allows 4 year contracts max, so methinks this was worked out by his agent (ahem, Mr. Sexton) prior to MSU signing CJM last year. So there would have been a bump and added year regardless. As ludicrous as it sounds, 2.75mm/yr he made last year in the SEC is low on the totem pole. So I would think Ol Jimmy worked this out ahead of time. . .at least for after year 1.


  3. Argondawg

    MSU sort of proved under Mullen that you can be .500 pretty much forever and they are just fine. They went 8-4 the year before with pretty much the same team and that was a success to them. Mullen finished well below .500 in conference during his tenure and only finished one time in 9 years higher than 4th in the west. Why buck tradition? At least this year they had the excuse of brand new coaches and coordinators.


    • Macallanlover

      The good thing is FU fans think he is a genius for doing such mediocre work at Missy State and are delighted to have him. Odd thing is, many UGA fans think he is pretty good too…no wonder McDoofus still has a job, he is in step with a portion of our fan base.


  4. ChiliDawg

    Why the hell do you give a guy a contract extension after a single year on the job, and not even maintaining the status quo? I mean, what’s the need? Was he going to leave? I doubt it. Every day we get more examples of how any asshole could be an AD and do as good a job as the guys running this shit now.


  5. Mayor

    It’s Missy State. 8 wins is a lot there.