Category Archives: Stats Geek!

Monday morning buffet

For obvious reasons, today’s buffet is flavored with recruiting news.


Filed under Big 12 Football, Big Ten Football, Georgia Football, Recruiting, Stats Geek!

Bad luck and bad timing will get you eventually.

Good piece by Seth Emerson about how Georgia under Richt never seemed to get quality offense and defense running together consistently.  Here’s the telling stat, about the 2014 season:

The next year, a youthful defense was the undoing. Grantham left and was replaced by Pruitt, which led for one year to a great coaching collaboration: Pruitt and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo worked well in the meeting room and in recruiting. Both the offense and defense finished in the top 30 nationally for only the second time during the Richt era. (The other time was 2008.)  [Emphasis added.]

When you’re in the pressure cooker of a conference like the SEC, over time, consistency counts.  Especially if you never land that once in decade superstar who can carry a team by himself.

(By the way, I love this:  “And Pollack still thinks Georgia was robbed of a touchdown in the 2002 loss to Florida by the forward lateral call.”  LOL.)


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Today, in depressing answers to sad questions

So ‘Bama sucks at third down conversions.  Does it matter?  Or, to put it more specifically, “Did you notice the team going 1-12 on third down while it was dismantling Georgia 38-10 earlier this season?”

Well, now that you mention it, I kinda glossed right over that at the time.  Thanks for reminding me, though.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Friday morning buffet

Let’s hit it.

  • Jacob Eason and Julian Rochester discuss how the coaching transition at Georgia affected their recruitment.
  • The NCAA is effectively a cartel — an organization of independent entities that acts as a cohesive unit — to which all who want to play football professionally must donate three years of service.”
  • And The Valley Shook looks at this season’s bang for the buck for defensive staffs“Georgia played good defense in 2015, but finally fielding a horrendous offense drove them to fire one of the better coaches in their school’s history. We’ll see how that works out for them.”
  • Kirby Smart’s five looming priorities at Georgia includes this:  “But the depth chart heading into spring practice will surely be adjusted in many spots, and players will be informed just in case they’d like to try elsewhere.”  I will be curious to see what Smart’s roster management practices look like.
  • ND:  if you like movies with an endless supply of cursing in them, then this is very good news for you.
  • Here’s an interesting comment from Chip Towers about the aftermath of the Smart hire:  “But the word in the coaching ranks is that Saban was pretty upset about the news of Smart leaving for the Georgia job before the SEC championship game and didn’t want anymore outside distractions before the College Football Playoffs.”  Somebody should ask the Coke bottle for a response.
  • And if you thought Georgia’s special teams left a little something to be desired this season, Bill Connelly’s S&P+ rankings are here to tell you that you aren’t wrong.


Filed under Georgia Football, Nick Saban Rules, Recruiting, Stats Geek!, The NCAA

One last look at stats

Just thought I’d summarize where things went in a few key areas from 2014 to 2015, both seasons in which Georgia finished with identical 10-3 records.  Via Marty, here we go:

I don’t think any of that should come as a surprise to us.  If Smart can hold serve on the defensive improvement and the offensive staff can figure out a way to juice things up somewhat on that side of the ball, there’s no reason to think Georgia can’t rack up another season with wins in double digits.

That’s my story for 2016 and I’m sticking to it, anyway.



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

How much does experience matter?

I was reading another excellent Ian Boyd post about how North Dakota State shut down Bob Stitt’s offense in the rematch, when I got to this passage:

Our own Bill Connelly had a fantastic article earlier in the year about where returning experience matters in today’s game. As it turned out, returning experience at QB, WR, and DB was more valuable than returning experience at OL, DL, or LB.

Why is this the case? Because teams are emphasizing complexity in the passing game and simplicity up front based on the rationale that the passing game is where football games are won today and a better place to invest practice time and attention. In response, defenses spend a lot of time teaching pattern-reading coverages to counter these offenses.

Trench warriors may benefit from extra time in the program to build up the necessary strength but when everyone’s run game playbook is pretty similar and fairly simple, talent can get up to speed much more quickly.

Now, obviously it’s a bit of a stretch to apply that as a one size fits all type of analysis, but it does make me wonder what Bill’s correlation charts might hint about the roster strengths and weaknesses Kirby Smart inherits as he takes over the program.

Bottom line?  There’s some good news and some bad news.

On the offensive side, the bad news is that returning starters at quarterback and at receiver are relatively big deals.  Strangely, returning starters at running back is of little consequence (although my head tells me that’s probably an undervalued point for offenses that are heavily run-oriented, like Georgia’s).

The good news on offense is that returning starters on the offensive line is pretty much worthless, or, in Bill’s words, “the correlation between line experience and offensive improvement is actually negative.”  If you think about it, that was certainly the case in 2015.

As far as the correlation on the defensive side of the ball, there’s a rosier picture for Smart to see.  There isn’t a level of the defense where returning players don’t lead to an improvement, but the improvement is most noticeable in the one area where Georgia has almost everyone back, the secondary.

This suggests that experience in the front seven isn’t as big a deal as it is in the back of the defense. It is pretty remarkable that the correlations between returning DBs are almost as strong as those for the defense as a whole. I didn’t see that coming.

And, for 2014, at least, the data suggested that the ability to get hands on passes was more valuable — or at least, less replaceable — then getting hands on the quarterback. I didn’t see that coming either.

Now, this is only one year’s worth of data, so the usual caveats about small sample size apply with a vengeance (or, as Bill described it in his post, more interesting than useful), but it’s still something worth chewing on, especially since in Georgia’s case there isn’t likely to be a significant change in philosophy on either side of the ball next season.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Banged for the buck

I’m not saying it’s the sole reason for Georgia’s disappointing season, but if you’re looking for some pretty compelling evidence about how the offensive changeover blew up in Mark Richt’s face, take a look at these graphs tracking the relationship between offensive S&P+ and coaching salaries for 2014 and 2015.  Oof.

As the author puts it,

  • Georgia paid $2.4 million for staggering failure. They were well above the trend line last year. Mike Bobo was both significantly undervalued and subsequently, significantly missed.

The botched replacement is on Richt.  The undervalue of Bobo is on McGarity.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!