Daily Archives: November 30, 2021

Your daily stats

Via Seth Emerson ($$), who notes that Todd Monken ain’t playin’ your father’s manball when it matters:

But Georgia leads the SEC in yards per pass attempt (9.5), showing that when it does pass, it’s effective. Georgia has 66 plays of 20-plus yards this season, which is 27th in the FBS, but 58 of them have come in the first three quarters, which ranks seventh.

In all, 9.8 percent of Georgia’s plays in the first three quarters have been for 20-plus yards, the third-highest rate in the FBS.

The play-calling has plenty to do with that. When the score has been within 14 points, Georgia’s rate of dropbacks (pass, sack or scramble) is 51.1 percent this year and was 53.5 percent last year. It was 48.4 percent in 2019. And Monken is taking advantage of defenses playing as if they’re going against the old Georgia by keying on the run:

• When opponents have had eight-plus defenders in the box on first down, Georgia has dropped back to pass 29 percent of the time this year, compared to 21 percent in 2019.

• On play-action dropbacks, Georgia ranks fifth in the nation in yards per pass attempt (12.0).

Can you imagine what Georgia’s offense might look like this season if Kirby hadn’t had reason to replace Coley?  I hope he at least sends Joe Brady a Christmas card every year.

30 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“So, this isn’t Gumping, just math.”

Imagine, then, my surprise,when I got into the datasets this morning and discovered that not only are the Bulldogs not favored by a touchdown, but based on metrics and algorithmic predictions, the entirely wrong team is favored.

That may sound like something ripped straight from a Georgia Tech message board — here’s a classic of the genre, in case you need a refresher — but it’s not.  It’s the cold, analytic wisdom of Erik Evans at Roll Tide Roll.  He would advise you to bet the house on the Tide, not just to cover the near-touchdown spread, but to win outright.

When one factors in efficiency, penalties, over/underperformance, ATS trends, and the like, Alabama actually turns out to be a -3.16 favorite.

Weird. Why? How?

In a word? Alabama’s defense.

Look, I’m not going to subject you to a detailed analysis of his detailed analysis.  I’ll just say as a general rule, it’s worth noting that when somebody is trying to pitch a statistical narrative at you like he is, switching comparisons from total stats compiled to stats compiled against some competition is a sign of manufacturing a narrative.

Here’s one small rebuttal.  He makes a huge deal about turnover margin, and it’s true that ‘Bama has an advantage in that area, if you gaze at the season in toto.  But, look at that stat against conference competition, a metric he jumps to in making a point about third down conversions, and you’ll find a different story.  It’s the same deal against ranked teams.

Bottom line, I could pitch a tale favoring Georgia just as easily, if not more so, but telling you it’s not the result of Dawging, but math, doesn’t necessarily make it so.

Look, I may be a homer, but I’m not completely blind.  If you want to argue that, as much as Kirby Smart and his players may claim otherwise, the history of this series with Saban has to be in the back of every mind on this Georgia team until proven otherwise and, as such, makes for a good reason to think Alabama will at least cover the spread, well, buddy, my heart’s been screaming that at my head for the last two months.  ‘Bama is the most talented team Georgia will face this season and they’re one of the three best in the nation.  If you can’t respect that, good for you, but I sure do.

That’s a long way from claiming the numbers make Alabama the better choice to win, though.  That’s the kind of reasoning that only a Jacket fan could love.  Well… and I guess certain Tide fans, as well.

75 Comments

Filed under Alabama, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

My Week 13 Mumme Poll ballot

Screenshot_2019-09-30 (1) Senator Blutarsky ( MummePoll) Twitter

Ch-ch-ch-changes…

  • Cincinnati
  • Michigan
  • Alabama
  • Georgia

I thought about adding Oklahoma State and Notre Dame, but ultimately their net ypp numbers (just a tick over one for the Cowboys and under one for the Irish) led me to a thumbs down.  Hell. Michigan at 1.63 net ypp was a stretch.

Still, got ‘er done in less than ten minutes.

6 Comments

Filed under Mumme Poll

The death of romance

The Brian Kelly story, a tale in four parts:

“… my love for you is limitless”?  C’mon, dude, if it were limitless, you’d still be in South Bend.

My point here isn’t to lambast Kelly, or Lincoln Riley, for that matter, for any perceived hypocrisy on their part by leaving for greener pastures.  Let’s face it, coachspeak hasn’t yet caught up to the new normal.  At some point, a pilfered coach is going to own his introductory presser by simply saying, “I’m good at what I do, so what am I supposed to do when the market recognizes my worth?  I’ve got to look out for me and mine, you know.”

And there’s nothing wrong with that.  This is America, after all.  If you were offered what Lincoln Riley allegedly was offered to jump from Norman, Oklahoma to Southern California, you’d be insane to say no.  Lincoln Riley may be some things, but crazy ain’t one of them.

No, if you want to take any lessons from this, there are a few.  One, and maybe most importantly, is every coaching job in college football should be seen as interim.  Notre Dame hasn’t seen a coach walk away since 1907.  The school has a legitimate shot at making this year’s CFP.  It didn’t matter.

Everything is next, next, next … it’s not even now, now, now.

Certainly not when Brian Kelly, staring down another playoff appearance, flat out gives up the winner he built and figures he has a better chance somewhere else.

And they used to get upset when the players sat out bowl games.

If you’re looking for hypocrites, look no further than the folks who run the athletic departments.  You know, these guys:

Athletic directors who laid off or furloughed workers, cut sports, and sounded the general alarm about the long-range future of college sports are now spending like drunken hedge fund titans.

As an aside, good for Jim Harbaugh for doing this:

I hope that at least makes Michigan’s AD blush.

Anyway, the truth is simple:  the only group of folks in college football who bleed their school colors are the boosters who are willing to spend silly money in hopes they land the next big thing.  If you’re an athletic director who wants to keep that group happy — and you very likely are — you’re going to do their bidding, especially if they’re willing to front the bucks.  (Which, in the cases of USC and LSU, they apparently are.)  For the vast majority of everyone else, it’s a job first.  If the timing is right, a very well paying job.

The funny thing about this is that it’s the boosters who aren’t hypocrites.  They just want to win.  If that means paying coaches top dollar, as long as they get results, fine.  The same can likely be said about player compensation.  It’s the ADs and school presidents who whine about what NIL compensation will do to the sport who are.  It’s the coaches who complain about what the transfer portal will do to the sport who are.

The irony here is so thick you could cut it with a knife.  And don’t take my word for that.

Kids, when you’ve lost Rece Davis…

105 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

“It seems like one of those 30 for 30s, his story.”

The tao of Stetson Bennett:

“Better mechanics, better understanding of the game, another year in the offense under (Todd) Monken, more trust in everybody that’s out there,” Bennett said on the difference between 2021 and 2020. “You know, just all the things that time brings.”

“Incompletions don’t kill you and you don’t have to win on every play and you can’t win it on every play,” Bennett said. “With our defense and the players we have, just focusing on the strength of our team and not trying to do it all yourself.”

He really is a different player from who he was last season.

“I just have more understanding of football and what a game takes to win,” he said. “I don’t have to go out there and win the game on an individual play. It’s OK to throw the ball away or run and get two or three yards.”

Todd Monken is Yoda.  (He also should be a Broyles finalist, but I digress, at least a little.)

51 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football

Name that caption, a penny for your thoughts edition

If that kid’s first thought isn’t “what am I doing here?”, followed rapidly by “if it doesn’t work out, I can always hit the transfer portal”, he’s not doing it right.

Add your takes in the comments.

43 Comments

Filed under Name That Caption

Soon to be appearing in an analyst’s booth near you…

Bryan Harsin made a sacrifice to the football gods yesterday.

Mike Bobo will not return as Auburn’s offensive coordinator, sources have confirmed to Auburn Live.

The decision was finalized by first-year coach Bryan Harsin on Monday.

That makes two assistant coaches canned in Harsin’s first year.  Dude’s already shown he can scapegoat at an elite level.

What’s really great about this is that Harsin made a big deal about stealing Bobo from Shane Beamer in the offseason.  Now Auburn gets to pay for that.

Bobo signed a three-year contract last offseason. The deal was worth $1.3 million annually, and Auburn will owe him the remaining $2.6 million on his contract in buyout payments, paid out over the term of the deal, which runs through Jan. 31, 2024.

At least Mike will be well compensated (better than he was when he was Georgia’s OC, as a matter of fact) while he’s giving Kirby Smart advice.

52 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

Remember, Dawgs, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things…

If I had to sum up Georgia’s injury situation heading into the SECCG in one word, it would be “hopeful”.

8 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The Body Is A Temple

Those who can, do. Those who can’t…

Go Gata!

30 Comments

Filed under Life After Football