Category Archives: Stats Geek!

In the (red) zone

Remember when the red zone was a place of danger for Georgia?  Good times, right?

Well, that was then and this is last season.

That’ll win you a few games.



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

2017 Yards Per Play: SEC

I always enjoy Matt Melton’s annual jog through conference statistics.  As the header indicates, his latest analysis of the SEC has been posted.  I don’t think you’ll find much of a surprise here.

Yeah, LSU underachieved a little and maybe Mississippi State overachieved a little (although I think in the case of MSU, when it lost in conference, it tended to lose really, really badly, which no doubt skews the numbers), but overall… well, let Matt lay it out.

… Since Net YPP is a solid predictor of a team’s conference record, we can use it to identify which teams had a significant disparity between their conference record as predicted by Net YPP and their actual conference record. I used a difference of .200 between predicted and actual winning percentage as the threshold for ‘significant’. Why .200? It is a little arbitrary, but .200 corresponds to a difference of 1.6 games over an eight game conference schedule and 1.8 games over a nine game one. Over or under-performing by more than a game and a half in a small sample seems significant to me. In the 2017 season, which teams in the SEC met this threshold? Here are SEC teams sorted by performance over what would be expected from their Net YPP numbers.

No SEC teams significantly over or under-performed relative to their expected record based on YPP. The top three teams dominated the conference, finishing a combined 21-3 with Auburn’s loss to LSU the only one coming against the other eleven. There is really nothing interesting or new to report in that regard. So, instead I’ll focus on something that is rather interesting.

The point left hanging there really is interesting.  It’s an exploration of how long SEC coaches who win their division stay on afterwards.  Let’s just say you could make an argument that winning a division could put a coach on the hot seat.  It just means more, man.  Take a minute and read Matt’s data.


Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

Draft value as food for thought

One thing Phil Steele tracks in his annual college football preview magazine is the amount of talent every program loses to the NFL draft.

… Basically I assign a point total for players selected in the different rounds of the draft and here is what the numbers have totaled.

Over the last 12 years teams that earned more points than the previous year and accumulated….
12 or more points – Weaker or same record 164 of 216 (75.9%)
24 or more points – Weaker or same record 47 of 55 (85.4%)
35 or more points – Weaker record 13 of 15 (86.7%)

We’ll have to wait another month or so for his 2018 assessment, but in the meantime, here’s Chase Stuart’s compilation of 2018 NFL Draft value by program.

You will not be surprised to learn that Alabama, Ohio State, and Georgia were the three schools that dominated the 2018 NFL Draft. Players from the Crimson Tide were taken using draft slots worth 83.9 points of value, the most of any school; second was Ohio State with 70.4 points of value, followed by Georgia (68.7)…

So, top three, with a bullet.  Not sure how many of Steele’s draft points that translates into, but I’ll just point out that Georgia ranked second on Steele’s 2009 list and I think we all recall how that year went.  The good thing is that the 2018 roster is far deeper than that 2009 team’s was.  We’re about to find out if Smart’s got things to the reloading, not rebuilding stage in Athens.


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

“It’s coming out but not enough.”

I’m seeing a certain amount of anxiety over the threat South Carolina poses in the SEC East this season.  Lots of focus on their players and the schedule, but there’s one thing I’m not seeing addressed in the comments here.

“It’s something we chart every day,” Muschamp said. “(Defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson) and our defensive staff do a fantastic job of coaching turnovers and emphasizing turnovers, we have not gotten the ball out well this spring at all.”

The Gamecocks led the SEC and were tied for ninth in the nation last year with 28 takeaways (14 interceptions, 14 fumbles). Their plus-11 turnover margin was second in the SEC and tied for 13th in the nation.

Before you pooh-pah this, you might want to consider the role turnover margin played for Boom during his Florida tenure.  Here’s how that broke down over his last three seasons:

  • 2012:  +15, 9th nationally
  • 2013:  minus-2, 74th nationally
  • 2014:  +6, 31st nationally

Florida’s record those three seasons?  11-2, 4-8 and 6-5, respectively.  Pretty solid correlation there.

I would say that Agent Muschamp is working with a thinner margin for error in Columbia than he was in Gainesville — lower level of talent and a much more formidable Georgia team.  Maybe somebody can explain why regression to the mean won’t hurt the ‘Cocks this season as much as it did the Gators in 2013.


Filed under 'Cock Envy, Stats Geek!

The art of making lemonade out of lemons

Found this of interest:

Sounds like ball control and efficiency are the keys to making the most out of what you’ve got, if you’re not a recruiting powerhouse.  Certainly, there’s more than one way to skin those particular cats, but if you were going to pick an offensive scheme that was best for running clock and keeping your defense off the field, what would you choose?


Filed under Stats Geek!, Strategery And Mechanics

Holding on for dear life

This Ian Boyd article is an excellent reminder of how Georgia’s defense had its hands full with Baker Mayfield in the Rose Bowl.  Whatever you think of the guy personally, he was astonishing to watch in that game, both early when it seemed he could do nothing wrong, and then later in the fourth quarter, when his team was reeling a bit and he drove the team for the score to tie it at 38.  (Check out that back shoulder fade he threw to Lamb in the face of good coverage that Boyd shows.  That is one helluva throw, friends.)

Statistically, though, he had an interesting day.  In terms of Georgia’s defense, it wasn’t their worst performance of the year in terms of passer rating, as both Lock and Stidham had better days.  But from Mayfield’s perspective, it was his worst of the season.  Yeah, he still managed a 147.74, which isn’t exactly bad, but considering that he cleared a 200 passer rating in half of his starts, by his standards it was definitely an off day.

In fact, before the Rose Bowl, Mayfield was on track to set a passer rating record by averaging 200 for a season, something no starting quarterback had ever accomplished.  He finished at 198.92.

I can’t say that Smart and Tucker painted their masterpiece in a game in which the opponent scored 48 points, but considering whom they were up against, it wasn’t too shabby, either.


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

ESPN’s stats never sleep.

Welp, the first edition of 2018’s Football Power Index is out and Georgia is ranked third, behind Clemson and Alabama.

Interestingly enough, while Alabama is ranked ahead in the FPI, the Dawgs are actually given a better chance of winning the SEC.  (Again!)

Alabama might be the reigning champs, but Georgia is the favorite to win the SEC. The Bulldogs have a 42 percent chance to repeat as the conference champions, edging Alabama (37 percent) and Auburn (11 percent).

FPI actually believes the Crimson Tide are the second-best team in the nation, just ahead of third-best Georgia, but because Alabama is in the SEC West and therefore has a more difficult conference schedule, the conference title odds swing toward Georgia.

FPI favors Georgia in every game on the 2018 schedule.  The closest call is against Auburn, which also happens to be the only team Georgia plays ranked in the top twenty of this edition of FPI.  Georgia does play five teams ranked between 20 and 30, though, and the overall strength of schedule is ranked a credible, if not super challenging, 43.


Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!