Category Archives: Stats Geek!

An early look at strength of schedule

Phil Steele checks in with a ranking of the 130 FBS teams based on the NCAA’s approach, which is to combine opponents’ records from the previous season.  By that measure, Georgia ranks a solid middle of the pack 63rd, hardly the stuff of Finebaumian indignation.  (‘Bama is nine slots higher, Paul.)

Of course, as Steele notes, the way the NCAA measures strength of schedule is not without its flaws.  Playing a 10-2 powerhouse 1-AA team that’s fattened up its record against opponents from that level is likely not the same as playing an 8-4 program in a P5 conference, but the NCAA treats them as so for purposes of this metric.

Steele looks at other factors:

There are other ways to measure schedule strength. Who played the most teams with a winning record last year? Well that way came up with two teams. #1 on this list Florida St and #76 Rice both play 10 teams with winning records. For Florida St all 10 of their teams went on to play in a bowl game. On the opposite end New Mexico St will only face 4 opponents with a winning record.

How about who faces the most teams who made the postseason in 2017? For purposes of this article, we’ll count the 78 FBS bowl participants, the 24 FCS playoff teams, and Grambling St and North Carolina A&T, who played in the Celebration Bowl. Here, Florida St, Utah, NC State, Kansas, Iowa St and Oklahoma are facing 10 teams off a post season appearance last year. New Mexico St is the only team that will face less than three bowl teams in 2018 (2).

Opponents who finished last year in the Top 25? Michigan was on top with six teams that were ranked at the end of the season last year. Florida St, Auburn, Texas A&M, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, LSU and Rutgers follow with five teams.

The Dawgs face two teams that were ranked last season, seven teams with winning 2017 records and six schools that played in bowl games.  That’s not Florida State, but it’s not any worse that Ohio State, either, and I don’t hear a whole lot of moaning from the national media about Corch’s team in that regard.



Filed under Georgia Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, Stats Geek!

Life after Wims

If you’re among those worried about whom Jake Fromm will be throwing to with his favorite receiver from last season off to the NFL, maybe you should keep calm, as these two options should carry on.

That’s not just SEC, but all FBS programs.  In other words, Jake’s got something to work with.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Buh bye

Interesting post here exploring the subject of how much of an advantage a bye week gives to P5 head coaches with four-plus years at their current post.

Answer:  not much.

Of the same 28 Power head coaches mentioned above, only 7 (or 25%) have a better record coming off a bye week than they do in conference play.

It means that 75% of the most entrenched Power head coaches have a disadvantage, relative to their league record, after a week off.

With regard to those seven, the author did find one statistical correlation.

Though the seven exceptions appear to be as random as their counterparts with a disadvantage, they are bound by a common statistical thread – not one has a winning record at their current post against ranked opponents.

Petersen is 7-10 vs. the Top 25 at Washington, Kelly is 14-17 at Notre Dame, Malzahn is 14-16 at Auburn, Cutcliffe is 5-20 at Duke, Whittingham is 12-21 at Utah, Kingsbury is 2-18 at Texas Tech and Doeren is 2-11 at NC State.

The bigger the advantage a coach has coming off a bye, generally the lower his record is against the Top 25. Washington’s Petersen, who is 6.5% better after a week off than in Pac-12 play is 41.1% against Top 25 foes. Compare that to NC State’s Doeren who has a 22.5% advantage after a bye vs. a 15.4% record against ranked opponents.

I’d be interested in seeing the flip side to this — namely, what are the records of those P5 coaches against opponents coming off a bye week?  (Particularly when it comes to Paul Johnson.)


Filed under Stats Geek!

At the summit, looking down

Bill Connelly points out one other note of interest from the 2018 signing classes.

The most eye-catching story of all happened right at the top:

Holy crap, Georgia and Ohio State!

Per the 247Sports Composite, the Bulldogs and Buckeyes combined to reel in 10 five-star prospects and 35 four-stars among their 52 total prospects. Both classes were among the best ever recorded. No. 3 Texas crept above 247’s 300-point mark as well.

It was the second straight year that each of the top three classes scored at 300 points or higher.

In 2016, the No. 1 class (Alabama’s, naturally) was barely above 300.

If you’re a visual learner, this might help.

In other words, top-heavy is fine, as long as you’re part of the top.  Georgia is now.  There are a lot of SEC East teams that have some serious climbing to do.  That gap ain’t gonna close itself.


Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, Stats Geek!

Projected 2018 S&P+ rankings

Georgia is up to sixth in Bill Connelly’s preliminary rankings for the coming season.  The analysis is what you’d expect:  stellar showings in recruiting (2nd) and returning production (5th), dragged down by the weighted five-year average (28th).

Going forward, this should be about as low as it gets, then.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

“Georgia is your new recruiting overlord…”

Trust me, you’ll enjoy reading Bill Connelly’s new multi-year recruiting rankings.  Once you get past basking in the glow of Georgia’s numbers, though, I’d like to return to a theme I’ve hit on earlier this week.

Here’s the trend line for the fourteen SEC schools, comparing their five-year rankings against their current two-year rankings, in order of how they stand now:

  • Georgia +3
  • Alabama -3
  • Auburn -2
  • LSU -1
  • Florida -5
  • Texas A&M -1
  • South Carolina +2
  • Tennessee -7
  • Mississippi State +5
  • Ole Miss -10
  • Kentucky +1
  • Missouri +5
  • Vanderbilt +5
  • Arkansas -14

Again, Georgia is getting some separation in the East; the question is how long that trend will last.

The other interesting thing to note is that from a talent standpoint, the bottom of the West is heading towards being as bad as the bottom of the East has been, and rather quickly at that.


Filed under Recruiting, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Coming down the mountain

Bill Connelly posted his five-year S&P+ rankings the other day.  Georgia is 15th, which, in the context of the 2017 season, tells you a little about the program’s direction leading up to that, but the real story is the division’s as a whole.  Here’s where each school ranks overall, along with how much that ranking changed from the five-year run of 2012-6:

  • Georgia: 15th; -0.2
  • Florida:  28th; -4.9
  • Missouri:  32nd; -0.2
  • Tennessee; 34th; -2.8
  • South Carolina:  50th; -2.7
  • Kentucky:  78th; 0.0
  • Vanderbilt:  84th; -0.9

One more added bit for context you should factor in is that Virginia was at the break-even point for S&P+, which ranked it 69th.  That means that every SEC East team either lost ground in S&P+, was already in negative territory, or, in the case of Vanderbilt, both. Yikes, that’s bad.

There are three teams in the division — Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina — that finished in Bill’s list of the top ten programs losing the most ground.  If Georgia had plateaued, what does that say about the rest of the division?  Moreover, Smart got a one year’s head start on the rest of the bunch.  How long will it take them to arrest the slide and turn things in the other direction?


Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!