Category Archives: Stats Geek!

The day the rabbit’s foot died.

Speaking of the departure of Gus’ good fortune, Bill Connelly nails it to the day — indeed, the moment.

On November 8, 2014, a week after pulling off a staggering escape at Ole Miss (the game in which the Rebels’ Laquon Treadwell injured his leg and fumbled just shy of the go-ahead touchdown), Auburn hosted Texas A&M, another suddenly flagging program. The Tigers were 24-point favorites, and even though they trailed 35-17 at halftime, it felt like only a matter of time until the inevitable comeback. They had won nine of 10 one-possession games under Malzahn. They would find a way.

Indeed, the score was just 41-38 in the final minute, and Auburn was driving. But a miscommunication between quarterback Nick Marshall and center Reese Dismukes resulted in an errant snap, and A&M recovered it to seal the upset.

Since that moment, they have lost six of nine one-possession games and are 8-10 overall. And two of their three close wins averted upsets; they played not to lose against Kentucky last year and just barely succeeded, and they needed overtime to take down FCS’ Jacksonville State.

And, yeah, to reiterate the message from my last post, that schedule is just brutal:  “If the Tigers are indeed the 24th-best team in the country, they will labor to find six wins.”

Um… good luck with that, Gus.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, Stats Geek!

Kirby Smart’s best friend this season?

If you want to know what Georgia has a chance in 2016, check out this interactive layout of strength of schedule, based on Brian Fremeau’s FEI ratings.  You may have trouble finding Georgia there, but it’s on the low end of the SEC.

Oh, and Gus had better hope he finds that rabbit’s foot.  Auburn’s SOS is almost literally off the chart.


UPDATE:  A look by conference…


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Thanks for everything, Spurdog.

You want to buy into the notion that Richt left Georgia’s cupboard a little bare for Kirby Smart?  Boys, you have no idea what bare really looks like.

As dismal as what Boom’s inherited looks like and as mediocre as his term was at Florida, you know what the worst part is?  This.

Optimist: In four seasons, UF never ranked worse than 33rd in S&P+. Whether you appreciate the style (and it’s hard to at times), his baseline is pretty high, higher than South Carolina has managed over the last couple of years.

That’s right.  Florida at its worst under Muschamp was better than South Carolina the last couple of seasons under Spurrier.  Which leads to…

Pessimist: Yeah, but in four years, UF never ranked better than 29th only once, and that was with top-10 recruiting. Now he’s at a school that only recruits at a top-25 level. In terms of stars vs. results, he underachieved, and now the caliber of the roster he inherited is lower.

The prognosis isn’t pretty, doctor.  And Bill didn’t mention something that might make things even worse.  Check out Florida’s turnover margin under Muschamp:

  • 2012:  +15
  • 2013:  minus-2
  • 2014:  +2

In other words, Boom’s one great year was accompanied by a stellar turnover margin.

Meanwhile, South Carolina finished 2015 with a +5 turnover margin, good for 32nd nationally.  If you’ll recall this handy little chart from the folks at Pick Six Previews,


it was literally the one bright spot in team performance last season for South Carolina.  If that regresses to the mean, there ain’t much left for ol’ Will to hang his hat on, it would seem.


Filed under 'Cock Envy, Stats Geek!

Tuesday morning buffet



Filed under 'Cock Envy, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles, Recruiting, SEC Football, Stats Geek!

From boom to fizzle

Ah, those were the days, my friends.

I don’t want to say I’m obsessed about what happened to Georgia’s offense last season, but I do remain curious about finding some reasons why a ten-win season felt disappointing (beyond the obvious head-scratcher about what was behind the game plan against Florida).

I spent some time yesterday scrounging around in that regard and did turn up one thing: the demise of the big-play passing game.  Here’s Georgia’s national ranking for pass plays of 40-yards or more over the past four seasons:

  • 2012:  1st
  • 2013:  42nd
  • 2014:  103rd
  • 2015:  117th

Georgia survived not having a quarterback who could make big passing plays in 2014 because of its running game, Mason’s school record setting pass completion percentage, its ability to convert on third-down and superior starting field position.  In other words, it substituted greater efficiency for explosiveness.  In 2015, it lost its edge in efficiency as well, and the end result was serious scoring atrophy.

I don’t bring this up because I’m living in the past, or because I feel the need to rehash things some of you no doubt don’t want to hear.  What I’m trying to see at this point is what steps Chaney has to take to revive Georgia’s offense, because finishing ninth in the SEC in scoring at a little more than 26 points per game isn’t gonna cut it.  I don’t expect Georgia’s offense to be all things to all men this season, but it seems to me that the big call Chaney and Smart have to make is whether it suits Georgia’s personnel better to chase being more efficient than the offense was a year ago, or whether looking for a more explosive passing game is the way to go.

Which is kind of the quarterback debate in a nutshell.

One more thing… what really got me started on this yesterday wasn’t looking at offensive stats.  It was looking at how good Georgia’s defense was at preventing the big pass play.  Check out the national rankings in that regard over the same time period.

  • 2012:  107th
  • 2013:  73rd
  • 2014:  1st
  • 2015:  14th

I’m not surprised at the jump registered after Grantham’s departure, given Pruitt’s stated philosophical emphasis on not giving up the big play.  But I am a bit gobsmacked at how bad the defense was preventing the big pass in 2012, when there were future NFL players all over the place.

What’s really interesting to me, though, is that last season Alabama ranked 73rd nationally in that regard.  Was that the price paid for having a lock down run defense, and, if so, is that a trade off we should expect from Georgia this season?



Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Today, in stats you weren’t expecting…

I give up.  I no longer know what to think about Georgia’s offensive line’s performance last season.

Raise your hand if you thought you’d see that.  Of course, maybe nobody in the conference could pass block worth a flip, but that sure seems to make it harder to lay all the blame on the o-line for the inconsistent play at quarterback last season.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

It’s just a passer rating, dog.

Man, this may be the harshest thing Marc Weiszer has ever written about Matthew Stafford’s Georgia career:

Georgia’s Matthew Stafford in 2006 ranked 86th in the nation in passing efficiency with seven touchdowns and 13 interceptions. One spot behind him was Georgia Tech’s Reggie Ball.

Talk about your measure of greatness.


Filed under Georgia Football, Georgia Tech Football, Stats Geek!