Category Archives: GTP Stuff

And now, another word from your sponsor

I cannot begin to tell you all how much the tidal wave of well wishes I’ve received over the past week plus have meant.  It’s been inspiring.

But I probably need to make clear that the last few days have been more of a respite than a resolution to my health situation.  In fact, as you read this, I will be undergoing what I hope is a final resolution of that.  It’s pretty substantial and I expect I’ll be out of commission for at least a week afterwards.

I promise I’ll return to blogging as soon as it’s feasible, so bear with me.  And, thanks again.



Filed under GTP Stuff

Observations from the sickbed

It appears that y’all have noticed there hasn’t been any activity here at the blog in the last couple of weeks.  It’s a little weird after sixteen or so years of steady posting to take an unexpected leave of absence as I’ve done.  The explanation is pretty simple:  I’m working my way through some serious health issues.  Things are headed in the right direction, fortunately, and I expect to be back in the swing of things sooner rather than later, so bear with me.

I’ve received tons of emails and text messages about my situation and am deeply appreciative of everyone’s concern.  It’s another reminder of how much this blog means to everyone.  Stay tuned.


Filed under GTP Stuff

At the margins, on the Flats

The Geoff Collins-Brent Key transition last season was certainly an improvement for Georgia Tech.  How did the Jackets get better?  Probably not the way you think.

The Geoff Collins era mercifully came to an end in late September after an ugly loss to UCF dropped the Yellow Jackets to 1-3. Under interim coach Brent Key, the team rallied, winning four of their final eight games to finish 5-7, their best record since Paul Johnson retired. Key’s performance earned him the full time gig, and he appears to have the Yellow Jackets trending in the right direction. To illustrate this point, let’s look at Georgia Tech’s conference record under both men.

Under Key, Georgia Tech finished with a winning conference record, while they barely won more than a fourth of their games under Collins. At a minimum, Key should have the Yellow Jackets back in bowl contention over the next few seasons. But, just to be thorough, let’s look under the hood. Here is how the Yellow Jackets fared in terms of Yards Per Play in ACC play under both men.

This has to be a misprint. The Yellow Jackets somehow put up a worse YPP Net under Key? Indeed they did. Their defensive improvement was more than offset by an offensive decline. What about my other favorite metric, APR?

The Yellow Jackets scored and allowed touchdowns in ACC play at about the same ratio under Brent Key as they did under Geoff Collins. Under Collins, the Yellow Jackets won about one fewer conference game than we would expect based on the ratio of their touchdowns scored and allowed. Over 26 games they won seven league games instead of eight. Meanwhile, despite allowing more touchdowns than they scored under Key, the Yellow Jackets won four of the seven conference games he coached.

WTF?  Or, as Matt puts it, “How did Georgia Tech pull this off?”  Good question.  Two answers:

While the Yellow Jackets did not fare any better under Key than they did under Collins in per play efficiency or scoring and allowing touchdowns, they were markedly improved in the oft ignored area of football: special teams.
The kicking game was a mess under Collins. In three plus seasons, Georgia Tech kickers made less than half their field goals. For comparisons sake, the median team field goal percentage in college football is about 75%. Key turned the kicking responsibilities over to Gavin Stewart after being named interim coach and he converted twelve of his thirteen kicks. Key also apparently allowed his special teams to practice kick and punt protection as the team did not allow any blocked kicks under his watch after allowing 16 under Collins, including four in their first four games of 2022. Did the team even practice special teams under Collins? Probably. That would seem like a pretty big oversight if they didn’t, but based on their play, I can’t definitively say they did.
Another area where Georgia Tech improved under Key was turnover margin.
In 26 ACC games under Collins, the Yellow Jackets finished in the red in the turnover department 14 times. They were 2-12 in those games. In games where they did not lose the turnover margin, Georgia Tech was a respectable 5-7. Under Key, the Yellow Jackets lost the turnover battle once. In the six games where they were even or in the black, they finished 4-2.

Key obviously did a good job identifying a gaping hole at special teams and taking steps to plug it.  He’s also ditched the offensive coordinator and replaced him with Buster Faulkner, so he’s got a clue about how to fix things.  But, as Matt notes, turnover margin is a fickle beast, season over season, and Tech went 4-1 in one score games.  Potential regression to the mean suggests next season will probably not be a walk in the park for the Jackets.  It’s probably a good thing that Key has a little job security for the moment.


Filed under GTP Stuff, Stats Geek!

The fine line between too much and never enough

The response to the Devin Willock tragedy has been pretty much universal sadness — even, to their credit, at Stingtalk.  With one exception, because it always seems like there’s at least one of those people inhabiting any message board/comment section.

Again, it’s to their credit that this tool was immediately called out for his post.  The point here isn’t to hammer on Stingtalk or Tech fans in general, for that matter.  It’s to feed into a larger point that’s the subject of this post at Eleven Warriors.

In a world I perceive to be growing in toxicity and polarizing behavior by the day, it’s certainly aided by the largely anonymous protection registering and posting on message boards, tweeting etc. provide. It’s not a new phenomenon that people say things online that they’d likely not have the balls to say to someone face to face.

But against the backdrop of public discourse eroding regardless of topic or venue, the fact is there really aren’t many stated ground rules for how fans should interact or talk about players and coaches across channels. Combined with the noted option of anonymity and not having to stand toe to toe with the target of criticism, a fan’s evolution to fanatic, fringe lunatic, someone that takes the games way too seriously and can’t control their emotion or maybe was raised by wolves can bring out the worst in them. In all of us, really.

And with that, we all end up having our own version of what the rules of engagement are, which in and of itself can fuel angry disagreements over not even the topic at hand but how the topic is being discussed.

Ultimately, I suppose this is more my problem than yours, but I’ve received enough emails over the years about how the behavior of certain posters affects the ability of folks to enjoy the site to know it’s not mine exclusively.  And I’ve changed my approach to moderating comments here from a laissez faire, almost anything goes, approach to a recognition that for some people, obnoxious expression is more a matter of behavior than it is of pure speech, and setting boundaries in the comments to clamp down on that.

Honestly, that’s turned out to be fairly easy to deal with and it’s been a success.  It’s been some time since I’ve had to boot somebody from commenting and I really haven’t had to issue many warnings about crossing a line here lately.  But if politics and personal attacks on other commenters are relatively low hanging fruit, what about personal attacks on players and coaches, or spreading harmful unsubstantiated rumors about them?  Back to the 11W post:

None of this means it’s wrong for a fan or a columnist or anyone in between to lodge a complaint, snarky or not, about an Ohio State player, coach or team on the internet. Certainly a beat writer shouldn’t do this – it’s really their job to report the news – but for others writing for an outlet or the fans, honestly discussing the perceived strengths, weaknesses, successes and failures – individual or otherwise – are part of what makes sports fun and interesting.

At a school like Ohio State, the players and coaches need to accept some level of bad with the good, right? Passionate fans spend money. The passion indirectly and directly helps pay for stadiums, amenities and athletic facilities. It drives television ratings, creates the very need for NIL deals to entice players to come to or stay in Columbus. Players at Podunk U. don’t have to deal with any level of criticism but that’s because nobody cares. One of the reasons players and coaches come to Ohio State is because fans care. A lot.

It’s not to say those realities give fans a license to cross the line in tweeting at players or coaches, which they really shouldn’t do anyway but saying negative things about them on message boards or Twitter on some level is part of the territory, right?

But what is crossing the line?

Good question.  It’s easy to see that Stingtalk post as an example of too much, but where does, say, a decade of Reggie Ball mockery fit in?  I’d like to think his on-field production (or lack thereof) is fair game for snark, without taking him on personally, and hopefully that’s something I’ve managed correctly.  What about speculating about the reason(s) why a player or coach may not be performing at a level we expect and letting that speculation negatively wander into the realm of behavior that no one outside of the subject or someone very close to them could know?  Does doing so out of a sense of fan’s passion excuse it?

Take it back one step further.  Obviously, criticizing a Georgia player’s on-field performance isn’t beyond the limit.  Hell, I usually do it in every Observations post (hint:  not in the next one!).  But even there, isn’t it possible to cross a line, say, by repeating the same opinion ad nauseam across numerous comment threads?

Obviously, some of this navel gazing is prompted by Stetson Bennett and yesterday’s post about what went down at the national championship celebration.  Just as obviously, it’s not like I’m trying to lay blame on myself or any of y’all for Stetson’s attitude.  But I wonder if I should be more aware of the line than I am sometimes.  Genuinely curious what y’all think.


Filed under GTP Stuff

GTP’s Natty Shopper’s Guide

Thought it might be useful to use a post to sort of centralize tracking this year’s national championship gear.  If you have any suggestions, please list them, along with links, in the comments.  Try to avoid the obvious stuff, like Fanatics or the UGA Bookstore.

I’ll start with a place I just ordered from, johnnie-O, which has a nice selection of Georgia stuff.  My tastes run towards the simpler, so I like your basic natty logo without a lot of clutter.

Anyway, share what you’ve got.


Filed under Georgia Football, GTP Stuff, Stylin'

By the way, and for what it’s worth…

Yesterday was the third-most heavily trafficked day in the 16-year history of the blog, with almost 46,000 hits.

The most heavily trafficked days?  November 29 and 30, 2015.  (I’ll leave you to figure out why.)

Anyway, thanks for coming, y’all!


Filed under GTP Stuff

Fabris Pool results, Bowl season edition

We have a winner and in fairly dominant fashion, to boot, as EdWarren came home with 28 points, a 66.67 winning percentage, to beat his nearest competitor by three points.

Hope you put some money on that, Ed, but in any event, congrats!

I’ll see the rest of y’all on this next fall when the next edition of the Fabris Pool surfaces.


Filed under GTP Stuff

Wednesday ticket exchange

It’s the last game of the season, peeps.  Ticket prices are steep, but so is our interest in attending the game.

If you’ve got ’em to sell, if you’ve need to buy ’em, meet in the marketplace that is the comments section.


Filed under GTP Stuff

Season’s greetings

Oh, yeah — in all the excitement, I almost forgot…

Hope everyone has as good a year as Keef probably will.


Filed under GTP Stuff

It’s that time of year again.

In keeping with GTP tradition, it’s The Pogues’ turn this Christmas.

I hope you and yours have the best Christmas ever.


Filed under GTP Stuff