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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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?
Georgia ranks a lowly 95th in Bill Connelly’s returning production (not the same thing as returning starters) metric. Youth will be served — must be might be more accurate a description. If it’s any consolation — and it probably isn’t — Alabama isn’t even in Bill’s top 100.
Also, I mentioned this before in my post about returning starters, but it may behoove us to keep an eye on Mississippi State this season. Why?
Former Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead took over for Dan Mullen, and he inherits a far greater level of expectation than Mullen did when he arrived in 2009. Not only has MSU achieved at an unprecedented level (eight straight bowls, plus at least nine wins in three of the last four years), the Bulldogs return so much:
- 100 percent of passing yards (and now with two tested QBs)
- 100 percent of RB rushing yards
- 71 percent of receiving corps yards
- 80 percent of offensive line starts
- 82 percent of overall tackles
- 92 percent of TFLs
In terms of combined experience and talent, this could be one of MSU’s most impressive teams.
If Joe Moorhead is as good a coach as many surmise, this team might be something.