Daily Archives: October 10, 2019

Not too shabby, Jake.

Pro Football Focus has come around.

If you were to look at the statistical leaders at the quarterback position through six weeks of the 2019 college football season, you wouldn’t be shocked to see Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts (No. 1 in yards per attempt and second in QB rushing yards), LSU’s Joe Burrow (No. 1 in completion percentage and second in passing yards), Ohio State’s Justin Fields (No. 1 in total touchdowns), or Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa (No. 1 in passing touchdowns). And while all these players have impressed in their own individual way, none of them currently hold the distinction of being college football’s highest-graded quarterback. That title, in fact, belongs to a signal-caller whose traditional statistics might not wow you or put him in the Heisman discussion. Through six weeks of the season, the highest-graded quarterback in college football is none other than Georgia’s Jake Fromm.  [Emphasis added.]


Plenty more there if you’re interested (which I assume you are).



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

A notable anniversary coming up

In case you didn’t remember…

It bears repeating that, for a Georgia football fan, the Hargrett Library is an invaluable resource.


Filed under Georgia Football

Okay, sure, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Just a reminder, as we enter the era of the D’Eriq King Rule, that the four-game redshirt rule was something coaches pushed.

The ironic twist here: This is an unintended consequence of a rule that coaches exhaustingly fought to pass for years. The rule was intended to give players, namely freshmen, key experience while not removing a complete year of eligibility, and for coaches, it relieves them from a late-season dilemma of burning a kid’s redshirt while using them only a few plays. Todd Berry, the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, was a leader in the movement to modify the redshirt rule. Berry and coaches discussed the measure for years before its adoption, and so far this year, he’s received rave reviews from coaches and administrators. “We knew there were going to be some of these circumstances,” Berry says.

Yeah, that’s right.  The funny thing about this now is that despite all the gnashing of teeth by coaches and administrators over recent developments following King’s decision — and let’s not forget that at heart, it was also Dana Holgorsen’s decision — there are still plenty of coaches who see nothing wrong.  A couple of selfish reasons for that:

If the first month of the season goes poorly, will coaches manage their roster in a way to gear up for next season and punt on this year? Maybe. “Now that King has done this, I think coaches are going to say, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’” DiNardo, now an analyst for the Big Ten Network, said on the network last week. He offered an example of a senior offensive tackle who struggled through the first month of the season. The tackle could sit the rest of this season and be in better position next year to help the team…

… The Alabama and Ohio States of the world have nothing to worry about, he says, but programs like Houston and Rutgers might not be able to recover from such losses. “If a player did this at Alabama when I was there, Nick [Saban] would say ‘Don’t let the door hit you on the way out,’” McElroy says.

In short, it’s likely to be another vehicle for the rich to become richer.  Just like almost everything else that affects college athletics these days.

I keep wondering if shrinking FBS scholarship limits to FCS levels might, if not turn out exactly to be a magic bullet, have some effect on transfers.  If Saban’s got less roster spots to manage, it wouldn’t be so easy for him to jump on the fruits of creative redshirting.

Then, again, this may be a problem that sorts itself out over time.  It’s not like that hasn’t been the case before.


Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

A key matchup Saturday

I have to admit I haven’t been paying much attention to Javon Kinlaw’s 2019 season, but it appears to be kick ass so far.

Georgia’s interior offensive line vs. South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw: The interior of Georgia’s offensive line is big, strong, and deep, but it’s going to get its biggest challenge to date in the Gamecock defensive tackle. Kinlaw is being projected as a high first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft because he’s an absolute freak show. He’s on the same level from a physical standpoint as guys like Isaiah Wilson and Ben Cleveland. You almost can’t believe how big and well-put-together he is.

At 6-foot-6, 310 pounds, he’s tied for the SEC lead in sacks. On most run plays, it’s necessary to double team him so that you can get the play started. There are times when the Bulldogs are going to have to try and block him one on one and whoever Georgia runs at him will have to be up to the task. If he demands double teams all game, it’s going to open things up for DJ Wonnum out on the edge.

Georgia’s offensive line has been challenged at times by speed rushers from the outside, but I haven’t really seen much of an issue from interior linemen.  Kinlaw’s production to date has been remarkably consistent:  he’s had a sack/tackle for loss in every game except his last and is almost averaging three tackles a game through five games.  (For comparison’s sake, Georgia’s top sacker on the interior defensive line is Tyler Clark, with 1.5 sacks to his credit.)

I’d say we might get a good look at how much Trey Hill’s progressing since his early pass rush struggles.  I also wonder if Georgia’s gonna be same old, same old on third-and-one playcalling this week.

Something to watch, anyway.


Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football

Today, in cannon shots

The dream.  (Yeah, it’s factually erroneous, but work with him here.)

The reality ($$).

The Gamecocks are 16-25 in the SEC since that 2014 win against Georgia. The most notable thing about the 2015 game for South Carolina is how Lambert’s performance became a kind of measuring stick for the Gamecocks’ struggles. South Carolina fans noted how poorly Lambert played after absolutely shredding them in the third game of the season and that fact coupled with their own losses really drove home how fast things were sinking.

When Greyson Lambert becomes a measuring stick, you ain’t climbing levels as soon as you think.

Oh, and before I forget…


Filed under 'Cock Envy, Georgia Football

“Oh all the time. It’s part of college football now.”

So, how is Kirby Smart battling the lure of the transfer portal?  After all, you’d think players buried on a depth chart at a program that makes it job one to create a deep roster would have a clear motivation to head on down the road towards greener pastures.

You counter that by making a pitch that, ultimately, it’s a business decision.

“It’s probably one of the most important things now in a program now, in major college football, especially the major Power 5 programs, is the support staff with which you’re capable of hiring to support you and support your program, and support these players. There’s not one guy that comes in here that’s not highly-touted, not given 1,000 accolades by all the media or I guess you’d say the recruiting sites. So they go through trials and tribulations of realizing they have work to do. And the people that have to support them here are so key to our success. There are probably 20 guys on our staff who sat down with 30 or 40 different players and explained that your best option is here, your best option is now.”

“We had a general manager come in and talk and talk to the players about development,” Smart continued. “You’re going to develop better at Georgia where you’ve got nutrition, a weight room, an unbelievable support staff, coaching staff, facilities, than you are to go somewhere else where you might not have those facilities. You’re also going to develop better here than you are in the NFL because they don’t run a developmental league. They only have a 53-man roster. So they can’t develop players, they cut them. There’s no, like, I’m going to develop you for later. You’re going to be better off staying here and working to get better so you’re a better player when you do go to the NFL, because the whole key is that you make it. And we sell the players on that, that we’re going to develop. We practice every kid out there. Our threes took reps today to get better. So we’re always looking at, ‘OK, what’s the best for every player on our roster?’ And also what’s best for our team. And we’re trying to manage those two things.”

20 support staffers to convince kids to stay in Athens?  Mercy.  Must be nice to have resources.


Filed under Georgia Football, Transfers Are For Coaches.

Today’s compensation round up

Three more stories:

  • I agree with one thing in this story.  NIL compensation is likely to have a bigger impact in basketball than it will in football, simply because of numbers.  Fewer players mean more concentration of resources; fewer players also mean fewer targets to enlist for promotional purposes.  Supply and demand, on the other hand.  But I disagree with the assumption that it would have little impact on the top prospects’ decision making.  Sure, a Zion Williamson would have little reason to choose Podunk U over Duke merely for money, but that sure wouldn’t eliminate money as a factor in choosing Duke over, say, Kentucky or some other elite program.
  • Here’s some speculation about what kind of money in NIL compensation might await college athletes.
  • Dan Mullen sounds pretty gleeful about the Florida legislation that, if passed, would result in a new recruiting pitch next year.  I wonder how long that glee will last after Alabama and Georgia quickly pass matching legislation.


Filed under Political Wankery, Recruiting, The NCAA

Down in the first quarter

I joked the other day in my Observations post about how it would be nice if Georgia didn’t save its adjustments for halftime, but instead GATA’ed from the start.  It ain’t just my perception, either, judging from this Josh Hancher graphic.


A quick dive into cfbstats.com’s situational stats makes it pretty clear the early issues largely reside with the pass defense.  In the first quarter, opponents have rushed for a measly 37 yards on 27 attempts (a 1.37 ypc average), with zero touchdowns and only three first downs.  Meanwhile, opposing passing attacks have managed their highest passer rating in the first quarter (147.46) while generating two touchdowns and 13 first downs.

The question I’ve got is pretty simple — is that a reflection of what opposing offensive coordinators are dialing up to surprise Lanning and Smart, or is it simply taking that long for Georgia’s defensive players to get their heads in the game?


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“Is there a bye week advantage in college football?”

Georgia faces three more opponents that will be coming off bye weeks when they play the Dawgs, so the header question seems relevant.  The answer isn’t as clear cut as you might expect. (h/t Former Fan)

Professor Eric Howington and Associate Professor Nathan Moates at the Langdale College of Business at Valdosta State asked the question: “Is there a bye week advantage in college football?”

Their findings were published in 2017 in the Electronic Journal of Applied Statistical Analysis, a peer-reviewed publication.

“Based strictly off data from the 2010 season, it appears that it’s actually the opposite that Georgia will have a slight advantage over the teams that have the off week,” Howington said in an interview.

They looked into the 2010 season because Alabama faced six SEC opponents coming off bye weeks. Coach Nick Saban was quoted in an AL.com story then saying: “Just so everybody knows, we did research the last five years of all other 11 teams in the SEC (prior to expansion) and how they did when they had a bye week and their record is 29-29,” Saban said. ”…the statistics kind of prove it’s not an advantage or disadvantage to have a bye.”

Howington, who has a PhD in applied statistics from Alabama, decided to run some numbers on the 2010 season for every FBS team. He used a model built off others that started in the 1970s that included team strength and home field advantage. He eliminated games against FCS teams and postseason games. That left 683 regular season games between FBS teams to use as data.

“All of the scenarios considered agree that the bye week advantage is actually a ‘myth,’” they wrote.

In fact, in some circumstances the data appears counter-intuitive to what you’d expect.

The bye week disadvantage, Howington and Moates found, “appears to be magnified over the last half of the season.”

“This is particularly noteworthy, given that the assumed advantage associated with additional time to recover from nagging injuries and/or expand game preparation (such as film study) would seem most needed in the latter weeks of the season,” they wrote.

It’s possible, they wrote, that coaches save special plays or strategies offset the advantage by the team with the bye week or that players don’t perform as well following elongated breaks.

Moates, an Auburn graduate, thought that the psychological concept of “flow” or “being in the zone” factored into the findings. So “any interruption in habituated patterns, especially toward the end of the season, when such patterns would be most engrained, might disrupt the group flow of a team,” they wrote. “The interruption of flow in this scenario might provide a psychological explanation for the seemingly counter intuitive negative impact of bye weeks on subsequent performance.”

The advantage to giving key players extra time to heal seems like a clear cut advantage.  So does having extra time to prepare a defense for an exotic offensive scheme, like Georgia Tech’s now-departed triple option.  I can even see how Spurrier’s psychological ploy of opening up the week before the Cocktail Party became an advantage, although I think that’s a relatively rare example.

But I think Moates “flow” point is a good counter-example.  Read how Tyler Simmons put it:

Advantage for Georgia’s opponents?

“To some extent, I feel like it,” senior wide receiver Tyler Simmons said. “Just for them to let their bodies recoup and everything. At the same time, it’s a little harder for teams coming off a bye week to get going. As you can see last week, we were a little slow starting off, but I don’t really look at it as a disadvantage.”

That’s why I tend to think as a general rule, it’s at best a mixed bag.  How much is South Carolina’s bye week going to offset the ugly statistical reality of this?

Heading into Week #6, here’s a snapshot of Georgia’s football numbers from cfbstats:

Scoring points/game: 42.8
Points allowed/game: 10.8

‘Sakerlina is scoring 30.6 per game,
Points allowed/game: 24.4

Now, if you remove two blowouts from each team: Georgia’s 63 points vs. Murray State and South Carolina’s 72 vs. Charleston Southern, the adjusted points/game are:
UGA: 37.8
USCe: 20.25.

Georgia’s drop-off isn’t that much. South Carolina’s drop is a bit more precipitous.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“Everyone Made Money Off My N.C.A.A. Career, Except Me”

An exuberant top-scoring floor routine by U.C.L.A.’s Katelyn Ohashi went viral this year, making her one of the most famous college gymnasts ever. But N.C.A.A rules prevented Ohashi from making any money from the performance. In this Video Op-Ed, Ohashi argues that college students should be given the ability to earn income from their athletic achievement.

This is some powerful stuff, certainly more powerful than anything that’s ever emerged from Mark Emmert’s mouth.  Too bad some nameless offensive lineman might be upset if she had been able to monetize her sudden marketability.


Filed under The NCAA