Daily Archives: February 15, 2022

Natural progression

There’s something very cycle of life-ish about this news:



Filed under Georgia Tech Football

All’s well that ends well.

Good question in this week’s Andy Staples’ mailbag ($$):

What tends to be more successful for major programs when they hire head coaches: the hot Group of 5 coach or the hot Power 5 coordinator? Seems like a lot of the G5 guys are “builders,” which often isn’t needed at a blueblood program, while the coordinators are more “salesmen,” having already gone through the grind of recruiting to a major program.

Kind of takes me back to the “decision” facing Greg McGarity after he canned Richt.  (The quote marks are, I think, understandable, to say the least.)  The hire was great; the process, not so much.  But I digress, sort of.

Andy went back and did some useful math to come up with an answer.  “I examined all the coaches hired by power conference programs* from 2005-19 to see if we can glean anything from empirical data.”  Here’s what he came up with:

There were 153 such hires in that 15-year period, but obviously, not all of the coaches getting hired fell into either of those categories… Of the hires, 43 were coaches whose achievements as a non-power conference FBS head coach won them the power conference head-coaching job. Meanwhile, there were 52 assistants hired as power conference head coaches…

So who fared better? The assistants had the edge. They had a median win percentage of .528 in their power conference head coaching jobs, while the median win percentage of the non-power conference head coaches was .500.

Not so fast, though.

But context matters. I also calculated the median win percentages of the assistant group for the coaches who came in after a firing instead of after a predecessor resigning (not because of losing), retiring or leaving for a better job… Taking away the assistants who took over mostly stable situations left 26 coaches, and their median win percentage dropped to .453. Meanwhile, the 35 Group of 5 head coaches who took over a power conference program after a firing had a median win percentage of .515.

He doesn’t count Kirby Smart as one of the assistants who came into a stable situation, which makes Smart’s performance well above average in that regard.

There’s one other group in that 153 Staples takes into account.

Of those 153 hires, 41 were hired primarily because of what they’d done previously as power conference head coaches. This group includes South Carolina-vintage Steve Spurrier, Alabama-era Nick Saban, Ohio State-era Meyer, Bill Snyder 2.0 at Kansas State, Michigan-era Jim Harbaugh and Penn State-era James Franklin. That group had the highest median win percentage at .539.

In other words, of all the options facing Butts-Mehre post-Richt, the road taken was the statistically riskiest.  It may have been something of a gamble for Georgia to hire Smart, but it paid off in spades.  We all wanted McGarity to be good with his hiring/firing, but I’ll certainly take lucky in this instance.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Tough enough?

247Sports’ Brad Crawford ranks the 15 toughest schedules for this season, based on “projecting the strength of opponents, where games are played and at what point of the season”.  In doing so, he notes “Circling back to last season’s most difficult schedules projection during spring practice, only three of 10 teams facing ever-so-daunting slates finished ranked inside the top 25, including Big Ten champion Michigan. Six others were below .500.”

Anywho, coming in at number three on his list is Auburn.

SEC life for Bryan Harsin in Year 2 will again raise questions about his future on The Plains if he makes it out of the 2022 campaign. Auburn has road games against Georgia and Alabama, the two best teams in the country, travels to Ole Miss and hosts Penn State, LSU, Arkansas and Texas A&M — all teams who will likely be ranked at the time of the matchup. That could be seven games against ranked teams if the SEC’s as good as everyone expects. After ending the 2021 season on a five-game losing streak, forward progression is needed amid the turmoil at Auburn.

Boy, the stars sure seem to be aligning for Harsin, don’t they?


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

An “open letter to college football”

Just a reminder that the current battle over playoff expansion isn’t simply an SEC vs. the Alliance matter:

… American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco pushed back against the Atlantic Coast Conference’s reasons for not wanting to expand the four-team College Football Playoff right now, and issued rebuttals for other key obstacles that have slowed down the approval process for a 12-team format.

As far as I’m concerned, the more squabbling over this, the merrier.  If they can’t resolve their differences until 2026, at least that buys me a few more meaningful regular seasons.  Rock on, Mike!


Filed under BCS/Playoffs, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major

Misty beer-colored memories

Matt Stafford winning a Super Bowl brings to mind what I proudly think is the best header I’ve ever composed at GTP.

Hey, you’ve got your fond memories and I’ve got mine.  Don’t judge.


Filed under Georgia Football, GTP Stuff

Can’t tell the offseason without a scorecard.

Gotten lost with the comings and goings in Athens post-natty?  Here’s a handy guide to the outgoing and the incoming.

Of course, that remains a work in progress.


Filed under Georgia Football