Category Archives: Stats Geek!

Turnover luck

Bill Connelly ($$) has a good piece up about college teams’ turnover luck last season.  Turnovers per se aren’t entirely a matter of luck of course.  But their frequency (or lack thereof) usually is.

Every football coach in existence preaches the importance of turnovers and turnover margin. But while you can impact your own turnover margin to some degree with how well you teach ball security and ball pursuit, how aggressively you go after the opponent’s quarterback, how aggressive your own offense is, et cetera, there’s still a massive amount of fortune involved here. And USC’s fortune meter was turned all the way up.

No shit.

In the first five USC games of 2022, there were nine fumbles, and the Trojans recovered all nine. Fumble recoveries revert to 50% over a long enough period of time, but USC got to an 11-1 record by having recovered 18 of 23 (78%). While a team typically intercepts about one pass to every four pass breakups, their regular-season ratio was 1-to-1.9, and their interceptions total was seven higher than national averages would suggest.

The Trojans were mediocre in every sense of the term defensively, but they bailed themselves out with turnovers.  That’s not a sustainable formula for success.  (Although I have to mention those absurd Pete Carroll USC teams that managed three straight seasons of >+20 turnover margin, something I doubt we’ll ever see again.)

Anyway, there’s a lot of stuff to glean in his piece.  He ranks D-1 teams in order of how much their turnover luck generated in points per game, so it’s a handy chart if you’re looking to get a handle on 2023’s teams most likely to regress to the mean.

Georgia, by the way, is a middle of the pack 54rh.



Filed under Stats Geek!

Tough act to follow

Whew!  Talk about your deep dives, indeed.  Here’s over an hour digging into what Todd Monken pulled off last season.

tl;dl version?  He done good.  But, trust me, you should listen to the whole thing.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Will Mike Bobo remember the tight ends?

Seth Emerson ($$) suggests his recent history points to yes.

Auburn used multiple tight end sets 42.7 percent of the time in 2021, and South Carolina used them on 31.6 percent of plays in 2020. The last offense Bobo had at Colorado State in 2019 used double tight ends only 11.8 percent of the time, but that one tight end tended to be Trey McBride, who was the team’s third-leading receiver (45 catches, 560 yards, four touchdowns). McBride was a second-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals in last year’s draft.

The production and usage totals for the past three offenses Bobo coordinated:

Well, if nothing else, I’d say Brock Bowers’ job is safe for now.



What’s your guess on this year’s percentage of 12 formation looks?


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Like a sieve

Moar late stage Bobo context:

Maybe the hypothetical question we should be asking is how Monken would have done during the Grantham era.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Resume booster

Yeah, Todd Monken was very good last season.  Here’s one notable trend he bucked.

… Last season was the lowest scoring season in FBS in 11 years, per NCAA statistics — a trend that continued in 2022.

The average of 28.38 points per team was not only down for the second consecutive year, but it was lowest average since the 2011 season when teams averaged 28.29 points per game. That year saw the beginning of the offensive explosion that continues despite this statistical downturn. It was just six years ago that teams averaged 30.08 points per game, an all-time high. For the first time since 2004-05, scoring has decreased in consecutive seasons.

You probably didn’t notice the 2.3% scoring decline because it was hard to see with the naked eye. Still, that number is further indication it’s getting harder to move the ball in general. Total offense (393.75 yards per game) and rushing yards per play (4.33) were also the lowest since 2011. Average rushing yards were the fewest in 13 years (159.80 yards).

Just a reminder:

  • Georgia’s scoring improved, season over season, from 38.6 ppg to 41.1.
  • Total offense improved, season over season, from 442.9 ypg to 501.1.
  • Same with rushing yards, from 191.07 ypg to 205.33.
  • Yards per play increased, from 6.98 to 7.17.

All that behind a former walk-on quarterback who was the opening day starter for the first time in his college career.  Not too shabby, Todd.  No wonder you were back in NFL demand.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

A different era

The other day, when I posted that Bobo gets to call plays without worrying about Willie Martinez or Todd Grantham screwing it up, I wasn’t exaggerating.  Consider this:

You could make the argument that Georgia posting a winning record in those 17 games is borderline impressive.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“The No. 1 team should surprise absolutely no one.”

Your Georgia Bulldogs reside at the top of Bill Connelly’s initial 2023 preseason SP+ rankings ($$).  (For what it’s worth, Bill’s top seven are entirely comprised of SEC and Big Ten teams.  We should probably get used to that.)


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

It’s a Southern thing, y’all.

Pretty amazing stat here…

Four teams from the same geographic region over a seven year period ought to tell you where the Jimmies and Joes are stockpiled.


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Is pace overrated?

Good post over at MGoBlog charting 2022 FBS Tempo Data (“I’ve removed Garbage Drives, using Fremeau’s definition, plus two-minute drill situations were excised. Punts are also removed, mostly (by the schools themselves)”).

In terms of running plays, Indiana was the fastest paced team in the country last season, knocking out 3.532 plays per minute, while Air Force, as you might expect, was the slowest, at 2.102.  (Kentucky was just ahead of them, for what that’s worth.)

Anyway, what I found interesting was where the CFP field finished.

  • Ohio State 2.612 (74th)
  • TCU  2.599 (78th)
  • Georgia 2.383 (114th)
  • Michigan 2.357 (118th)

Obviously, hurry up no huddle wasn’t a key to unlocking the playoff door in 2022.  Outlier, or nah?


Filed under Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Stat of the day

Good ‘un here…

With the exception of Iowa State, every team in that top ten had a winning record.


Filed under Stats Geek!