I’m sure that will work. Idiots.
Daily Archives: December 7, 2021
Bill Connelly ($$): “Or to put it another way, Georgia is still a really, really good football team.”
It’s just that it’s a really, really good football team with a quarterback issue in big games.
Georgia matched up well with Bama in plenty of ways but got drastically outplayed at quarterback, just as it had in games against Alabama and Florida in 2020 and LSU in 2019 (aka the Dawgs’ only losses in the 25 or so months before Saturday).
In these four losses, Georgia’s opponents completed 68% of their passes at 15.4 yards per completion with a 185.5 passer rating. Georgia’s quarterbacks in those games: 48% completion rate, 12.4 yards per completion, more interceptions than touchdowns and a ghastly 101.2 rating.
For most of the past three seasons, Georgia’s quarterback play has been between sufficient and awesome. But in big games against teams with the best offense in the country, UGA passers have been forced to open things up and have failed in doing so. Stetson Bennett’s performance on Saturday certainly wasn’t Georgia’s worst in this span of time — he was 29-for-48 for 340 yards, three TDs and two picks — but we were waiting all season to see what would happen if or when Georgia found itself in genuine need of points, and what we saw wasn’t reassuring.
Before Saturday, Bennett had been on the field for just one second-half drive in which the Dawgs weren’t winning by at least 14 points. He had six such drives against Alabama and threw two picks with two turnovers on downs and seven total points. Georgia scored twice on its first three drives of the afternoon, then scored only twice thereafter. Down 10-0 early, Bama put the game away with a 38-7 run.
No, there is no guarantee that JT Daniels is a savior. But…
Smart could stick with Bennett, convinced that the lessons learned from the Bama experience can help his team moving forward, and there’s a chance he’d be proven right. But while reinserting Daniels into the lineup might lower Georgia’s floor a hair, it would undoubtedly raise the Dawgs’ ceiling too.
That choice ain’t gonna make itself, Kirbs.
I’d love to see the Venn diagram of the folks praising Mario Cristobal’s move to Miami and the people criticizing Kayvon Thibodeaux for skipping Oregon’s bowl game.
There’s probably not as big an overlap as there might have been in years past, but no doubt an overlap still exists.
That 40-year-old itch at Georgia just got … itchier. A magic season is now stamped with more question marks than The Riddler. That’s how long it’s been since the Dawgs won a national title. That’s where this discussion has to start. Every time Georgia gets to this point, something seems to go wrong.
The defense that choked off everything was exposed against the Tide. Bennett was made a passer which means things did not go well. Is J.T. Daniels waiting in the wings? Will he start the Orange Bowl semifinal? There, just lit up Twitter for you.
Suddenly, the team of destiny in this semifinal is actually Michigan. It has the goods to stifle Bennett and an underperforming Georgia offensive line. Defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (14 sacks) just might be the best defender in the country. Teammate David Ojabo has 11 sacks himself.
Michigan just seems like a cuddly, feel-good story. There is Harbaugh Karma. The goal is to get back to Indianapolis for the title game where Harbaugh’s name is on the Colts’ ring of honor inside Lucas Oil Stadium.
I’m sure Saban won’t mind lending Kirbs the media disrespect story for a couple of weeks to use as a motivator. It’s not like he’ll be needing it.
“They’ll listen twice as hard now than they would have if we would have won,” Smart said. “I do think that you can get better at this point, and they’ll do nothing but work hard now. We haven’t played the best version of our self, and it’s our job as coaches to get the best version of them out.”
Genius. If losing to Alabama will make them a better team, maybe they should have lost another game in the regular season, amirite? Just think how woke they’d be if they’d lost to Georgia Tech!
… From 1998 to 2013, college football determined which teams would play for the national championship by using a formula created by the Bowl Championship Series. This formula included rankings produced by mathematicians. The most accurate way to describe these ranking systems would be to say they were algorithms or formulas, but during the 16 seasons that they were part of the championship selection process, they were always referred to as “the computers.”
Just because it feels nostalgic to recall that doesn’t mean we’re in a better place. Because we’re not, even if you’re a fan of expanding the field from the BCS’s two to the current field of four.
Under the new College Football Playoff format, the number of teams involved in the championship picture has doubled, from two to four. That change has been great: Two of the seven champions in the playoff era have been teams seeded fourth, and would have been excluded from competing for a title under the old two-team format. But the method of selecting playoff teams—having a committee of 13 people decide who belongs in the field—is worse than the BCS in every other way. It is less transparent, more prone to biases and conflicts of interest, and more prone to be affected by one person’s bad opinions.
What the powers that be have created isn’t rocket science. Literally. Instead, it’s the culmination of what college football’s people in charge always do: put their collective thumb on the scale to make sure the wealth gets spread in a manner to their liking.
In other ways, however, the people in charge of the BCS couldn’t help themselves from meddling. Over the 16 years of this system’s existence, the coalition of conferences and bowl games behind the BCS repeatedly tweaked the formula—virtually any time a BCS decision came under fire, something had to change. First the BCS used three computer rankings; then it used six. The BCS required mathematicians to use certain elements and forbade them from using others. The most contentious request came when the BCS told the mathematicians to omit margin of victory from their calculations. It’s plainly obvious why this was a bad idea. You don’t need to be a genius to understand that a team that wins its games by an average of 30 points is better than a team that wins its games by an average of three points. Most of the mathematicians went along with the BCS requests, but a few refused to alter their formulas and were replaced. As Stanford head coach David Shaw said in 2011: “All I’ve heard this year is the computers don’t like Stanford. Well, the computers haven’t programmed themselves.”
“They changed the formula to what humans thought it should be,” Connelly says, “which kind of ruined the point.”
With all due respect to Bill, that depends on what the point is.
The same people who messed with the math remain in charge, only now the sport has a selection process that’s entirely dependent on the opinions of 13 biased people. “They feel like the football brain power in the room, the football knowledge, doesn’t need any formulas,” Connelly says.
What’s gone under the radar in the move from the BCS to the CFP is how much more concentrated the decision making became.
While the constant tweaks to the BCS process weren’t ideal, the system at least tried to draw from a large pool of participants and prevent one bad opinion from skewing the entire process. The two human polls that were part of the BCS formula—the USA Today Coaches Poll and Harris Interactive Poll—featured more than 170 respondents; some voters were affiliated with every FBS conference. And while the BCS used six computer rankings, it eliminated the most extreme results. If, say, four of the computer rankings had a team ranked between fifth and seventh, but one ranking had them first and another had them unranked, the two outliers were dropped.
… The move to a playoff promised a more open championship system, yet college football adopted a spectacularly undemocratic selection process. Thirteen hand-picked people were given absolute power to choose the four teams to compete for a given season’s championship.
That’s a feature for them, not a bug. They’ve got the system that they want, which is a shame, because it doesn’t serve the sport well at all. Not that they care.
What they should do is come up with some sort of amalgamation of computer analysis, combined with approval voting by a large pool of voters. Instead, what they’ll do is stick with the selection committee and bask in the warmth of the reaction when they expand the playoff field to twelve. It’s just a reminder that playoff expansion serves the interests of the sport’s owners first, last and always.
Well, some of y’all checked out after the SECCG. The number of voters this week plummeted to 239, by far the lowest of the season.
Those that voted tended to distill their choices. The average number of teams on a given ballot was down to 5.3. Keep in mind that only two weeks ago, that number was almost seven. 52 teams received at least one vote. (Believe it or not, one of those teams is Florida.)
Here’s how our final top 25 of 2021 played out:
And here’s how the selection committee’s top 25 looks:
The order may be a little different, but there’s a high degree of correlation, overall. You have to go all the way down to 13th in the MP before you find a team (UTSA) not on the selection committee’s list and 14th (Oregon), vice versa. When you throw this into the mix…
… it’s hard to justify the current arrangement. Approval voting is easier and has less of an appearance of bias/conflict of interest, not to mention eliminating the costly trips to a Texas resort and awkward explanation’s from the committee’s chairman.
That’s particularly true with regard to selection of the four-team playoff field.
Voters from Georgia made up 61.3% of the total pool.
Again, thanks to all who contributed in making the MP go this year. I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the efforts of my partner in crime, Peyton, who was the man behind the scenes making this puppy work smoothly.
Approval voting works.