Posted: 3:25 pm Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Football Outsiders: UGA is again a top 10 team 

By Mark Bradley

Jeremy Pruitt, difference-maker? (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Jeremy Pruitt, difference-maker? (Curtis Compton/AJC)

As some of you know, I’ve become increasingly fascinated with advanced analytics. Which isn’t to say that I completely understand them. Truth to tell, I probably know just enough to be dangerous.

An example: I regard baseball as the sport that most rewards the tracking of advanced analytics, for two reasons: Baseball was the first to give rise to such sabermetric scrutiny, and baseball is the sport easiest to measure. We know what the Braves’ Dan Uggla did in every at-bat — heck, on every pitch — of the 2013 season, but do we really know, even after exhaustive film study, how often the Falcons’ Justin Blalock carried out his blocking assignment last fall? What if he pancaked the wrong defender? Is that a pass or a fail?

Another personal observation: For as much as advanced analytics attempt to measure college sports, how analytical can they be when the players change so often? I mention this because, in a post on ESPN Insider, Brian Fremeau of the estimable Football Outsiders presents his Top 10 for 2014, and four SEC teams — Alabama, LSU, South Carolina and Georgia — are included. All four, however, will be working with new quarterbacks.

(Not that I know anything about anything, but honesty compels me to note that I included all four SEC teams in my preseason Top 25 — but I had all four lower than Fremeau for that basic reason: They”ll be working with new quarterbacks.)

But enough about me.. Here’s what Fremeau, whose work I admire and enjoy, has to say about Georgia, which he ranks No. 9 to Alabama’s No. 1, LSU’s No. 5 and South Carolina’s No. 7:

The Bulldogs return 10 starters on defense, which is a good thing as far as our projection model is concerned, but (it’s) also a unit that has its work cut out in spring practice. Georgia ranked 81st in allowing explosive drives last season (possessions that average at least 10 yards per play) and 90th in overall defensive efficiency.

You’d have to think those wretched numbers will improve under new coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, who replaced Todd Grantham, who left for Louisville. I had the Bulldogs at No. 12 back in January, but my rankings, such as they were, appeared the day before Pruitt was hired away from Florida State. At the moment, I’d say a Top 10 finish for Georgia is a definite possibility. And I’ll leave you with this: Fremeau assesses “the likelihood that the Bulldogs will finish 11-1 or better” at 15 percent.

From myajc.com, our premium site: Spring practice brings a fresh start for UGA’s defense.

346 comments
20ozBulldog
20ozBulldog

Disney Dawgs all over thee place...  No way we finish "11-1 or better," nor do I believe we are a top 10 team before, or after the season.  Noodle arms are just that and Gurley hasn't been healthy since his freshman year and I don't see him at 100% by the season either.  That's a tough injury...  Will we put up points?  Sure.  However., let's not forget that Pruitt inherited a very experienced defense and their schedule was an absolute joke.  I just don't see him having that success in this league with our current defensive players.  GATA DAWGS!!

Dawg350
Dawg350

Atomic daaaaaawwwwwwwwgggg! Bow wow wow yeppy a yeppy yo!

Dawg350
Dawg350

UGA has the best colors! UGA has the Pruitt the best DC in America baby! Yeah son go dawgs! Hell yeah sic em dawgs!

Dawg350
Dawg350

Thomas is brown is one of the best posters on the board! So you haters can back off!

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

9:10 pm March 10, 2014 Monday night.

Ken Sugiura wrote an article this week on Monday about the Paul Johnson football team being given free reigns now starting with this season’s 2014 recruiting class ranked # 47 with 21 signees.In the past, 20 % were allowed to be EXCEPTIONS to the Georgia Institute of Technology Admissions policies.No longer is this the case.

Ken Sugiura went on to talk about the 2008 recruiting class ranked # 37 where Paul Johnson signed 20 scholarship football players to play football there, while only 14 earned degrees, but does not say where they earned their degrees, including there and anywhere else.

Ken Sugiura went on about the 2009 recruiting class ranked # 32 where Paul Johnson signed 21 scholarship football players to play football there, while only 15 earned degrees, but does not again say where they earned their degrees, and he discussed another whose football career is now over still working on trying to get a degree, but again fails to discuss where he might be trying to get his degree from.

In fact, some scholarship football recruits there, do not get all their credits taking classes there, but at other area schools, allowing those credits at other schools to count toward their degree, and again sometimes the degree is not even from the Georgia Institute of Technology as well.

So :

2008 at 9-4 the# 37 recruiting rank, 20 signed, 4 EXCEPTIONS, 14 degrees from who knows where, with who knows how many credit hours transferred from other or to other schools.

2009 at 10-3 the# 32 recruiting rank, 21 signed, 4 EXCEPTIONS, 15 degrees from who knows where, with who knows how many credit hours transferred from other or to other schools, and 1 still taking classes although football finished, but where he is taking the classes is unspecified.

2010 at 6-7 the# 41 recruiting rank, 18 signed, 4 EXCEPTIONS

2011 at 8-5 the # 46 recruiting rank, 22 signed, 4 EXCEPTIONS

2012 at 7-7 the # 59 recruiting rank, 17 signed, 3 EXCEPTIONS

2013 at 7-6 the # 72 recruiting rank, 14 signed, 3 EXCEPTIONS

2014 the # 47 recruiting rank, 21 signed, WHO KNOWS HOW MANY EXCEPTIONS BUT MORE THAN 4. Expected record 7-6 right ?7-6 every year now for the miserable football program on NCAA PROBATION all 2014, again.

A lot of smoke and mirrors, with subordinating clauses about it does not matter if the recruit there got his degree from there or somewhere else, nor where he actually took the classes there or another school and did graduate from there transferring credits back.And, no discussion of 7-6 season nor # 48 average recruiting rank of Paul Johnson.

(1) At least 30 EXCEPTIONS signed by Paul Johnson, who does not care if they earn their degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and who are 7-6 every year, ranked on the average the # 48 recruiting rank.

(2) Federal DOE rolling 4-year average Graduation Report, given the same 6 years for the Scholarship Recruit to earn his degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, allowing them to take classes at nearby schools, and transfer the credit back, but which does not give credit to the school who recruited them on scholarship in football if they do not in fact earn their degree from said school.

(3) Gloves were removed for this 2014 signed class of 21 players, at least 5 or more of whom are EXCEPTIONS.

(4) Their fans say UGA has Special Admits and they do NOT.

(5) This is a false statement when Paul Johnson has had 30 EXCEPTIONS which we refer to as Special Admits.In both cases, both schools admit those who qualify for NCAA standards but fail for Admissions at both schools.

(6) No longer can their fans say they do NOT have EXCEPTIONS.

Sure, they do, and they still are # 48 recruiting ranking every year and still are 7-6 every year, and still allow at least 20 percent special admit EXCEPTIONS, who STILL LOSE to UGA every year but one, while you remain on NCAA Probation in Football all 2014, again, too.

Want to play football there ?Come on to the # 36 ranked best college according to the 2014 U.S. News and World Report Rankings; because now we can have as many EXCEPTIONS as we want says G. P. "Bud" Peterson.

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

No, Hutson Mason isn't as good as Murray. But he doesn't have to be. Tee Martin wasn't as good as Peyton Manning before he left Tennessee but Martin brought Tennessee what Manning never did and that was a championship. Same situation with D.J. Shockley here at UGA when David Greene left. Shockley waited his turn until his last eligible year and lead us to a 34-14 win over LSU in the 2005 SEC title game. If this defense is as good as I think it's going to be, it could be a fun season. UGA's backfield is one of the best in the country with Gurley, Marshall, Chubb, Michel (both will play no redshirts IMO), Douglas, Turman. And all the offensive weapons they'll have on the outside with Bennett, Conley, Mitchell, Scott-Wesley, Davis, Rome, a slew of recruits coming in, etc. If the O-line holds up, the offense will once again be scary to go up against.



Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

Georgia SHOULD be a top 10 team.  The roster ON PAPER is just about as good as anyone's in the country.

But...I don't think Mason is nearly as good as Murray.  And a lot depends on Gurley's staying healthy and desire to play really hard and not risking (more) injuries to save up for the draft.

And the defense?  Pruitt may prove me wrong, but there was nothing fundamentally wrong with Georgia's defense last year.  Grantham is a solid coach, and fielded a few very good defenses at UGA.

Youth may have been a factor on defense, but I'm not sure all those guys were truly 4-5 stars.  They missed a lot of tackles, and subjectively lacked speed to the ball.  Harvey Clemons was a big loss.

8 wins minimum.  But a run at an SEC (and certainly National) title is beyond what I see.  Of course, I'm not an "outsider".

SinceVince
SinceVince

Haha.... Last year I said our team would go 8-4 and lose our bowl game. The Kool aid drinkers laughed at me..... Guess what gonna happen this year Kool aid drinkers. Remember we still have Mr. Predictable as our OC WHO GOT A RAISE BTW.

POAD2013
POAD2013

I know you Dogs like to drink. Some of the Guys I went to high School with have started a distillery and the product is ready to come out.

They are based in Florida. Check their site and have a try when it comes out.


http://adamsandleedistillers.com/

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

Seems to be more Tech fans on here than UGA fans. I don't understand why every UGA article like this gets Tech fans so enraged. I'll never understand that. Nobody on the team whether it be player or coach said this. These are outside experts who expect UGA to be a top 10 team. If you don't like it, don't read it.

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

Of course UGA is a top 10 team. When healthy, they are one of the best football teams in America. They were unstoppable on offense last year when everyone was together. Injuries tore that apart but I believe they can pick back up right where they left off even with Hutson Mason under center. Gurley will contend for the Heisman. 


And this defense might not be "great" to start but I think there will be improvement from last season. Dramatic improvement. 

Dawg350
Dawg350

I'll let u trolls worry about spelling and what not....the only thing I worry about but get plenty of is p***y! Hell yeah I'm man baby!

TideDawg
TideDawg

I don't know about the rankings in college football. I think no one should be ranked until they have played 3-4 games. How can you rank a team that plays their first 3 games against, Agnes Scott, Elon, Presbyterian, etc. etc.? That's a joke schedule but some of them look that weak. I don't care if Ga and  Ala. are ranked in the top ten or twentieth to begin the season. They only have to beat one strong team to jump ten spots in the rankings. That's proof that they may belong in the top 10.


Last year Ohio State plodded along all season playing weak teams and they were consistently ranked in or near the top 5 teams in the country. Then, when they played somebody look what happened.


Ranking  teams  before they play means nothing. It's for conversation. This is strictly one fans opinion....it also means nothing.


Try making your own ranking formula. For starters, If a team beats a Division 2 team get .5 points,.... beat any school not ranked in the top 25 last year 1.0 points....3.0 points for a team ranked in the top 25 last year....5.0 points  ranked in the top ten last year, 10.0 points ranked in top 5 last year. That's as good as any guess work.

FlatTire
FlatTire

Another top 10 recruiting class

Another top 10 pre-season ranking


Followed by another 2 or more loss season


Followed by excuses from the kool-aiders


Followed by another round of pay raises and contract extensions


Followed by another wait til next year comments


That about sums up UGA football since 1984

FGT
FGT

bama necks we could less of your opinion. It carries as much weight as the pres. you all voted for. Also, you will have 4 losses next season.

FGT
FGT

Until next time you gt guys and girl have an average day!

Ramblnwrek
Ramblnwrek

@ThomasBrown

So are you upset because Tech does not produce a better on field record? Or because the graduates you are referring to are not Tech grads ( assuming we can believe your numbers and statements as facts, because Lord knows "you can't post anything to Internet that isn't true")

Also what is your purpose? Are you trying to enlighten us to how truly 'evil' GT football program is, while other schools are maintaining success without besmirching the integrity of the student-athlete concept? Or are you pointing out a hypocrisy of NCAA rules used by the system of all schools and Tech just so happen to have an article written where you could voice an opinion?

Here's what I grasped from your Martin Luther-esc list:

1) you have great passion for GT football, but I don't know if it is as a fan or as a rival.

2) you want us to believe your statements as facts. Though I have a hard time believing one could dig up this info on public access just to post it on a comments section. ( probably posted a few other sections too)

3) you do realize posting this type of comment is the equivalent of trying to get someone to change their political view and vote for the other party by posting something to Facebook.

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

All those players but 2 were on the team last year that went 8-5. Hutson Mason is ALSO no DJ Shockley nor David Greene, let alone Aaron Murray, and may not be the best QB on the roster, although the early QB enrollee Jacob Park # 8 QB nationally is injured and must redshirt at least a year if not 2 including a medical redshirt as well possibly. What we do know about Hutson Mason is that his arm is weak, floating his passes, and that he does not compare to ANY of these other Quarterbacks, now does he ?

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@Birmingham__Jacket  8 wins minimum? Cool. 8 out of 12 isn't awful. Mark Richt has only had one season during his 13 years here where we didn't win AT LEAST 8 games and that was in 2010 (Murray's freshman season). If the MINIMUM is 8 wins, that's pretty good for a stable football club. Winning in the SEC period is hard enough. But I think this team is capable of winning 10-11 games (including a bowl win). And if Hutson takes care of the ball, and we stay healthy, and the defense shows a pulse, we could win more. 

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@Birmingham__Jacket  Nothing fundamentally wrong with UGA's defense last year? Dude just save the bull crap. All this coming from a Tech fan, what the hell do you know?

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@Bubbatavious  And Bobo didn't get a raise, he got a one-year extension. He's still being paid his base salary of $575,000 a year. 

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@Bubbatavious  Yeah and that same OC you speak of coordinated an offense that set school records back to back years. Even when multiple starters on offense went down last season we finished 17th in the country in total yards per game with an average of 484.1 almost 500 yards a game on offense alone. And we finished 21st in the nation in scoring with 36.7 PPG. Bobo's offenses are good enough to win us titles. It's been proven. The only thing holding UGA back has been defense the past few seasons. HOPEFULLY with the addition of Pruitt, Rocker, Sherrer, and Ekeler we will have some improvement on that side of the ball. 

thebucket
thebucket

@Bubbatavious This totally proves that you are a fake fan. Only someone who hates UGA would lack the objectivity to realize that a lot of bad things had to happen to some of our best players to get to 8-5.

Dawg350
Dawg350

Dawg gone it.

Because tech fans know if we take it to the next level and win the natty then the poor saps will have nothing left. Ya know since we beat them every year then win the natty...those tech fans would lose their minds.

Dawg350
Dawg350

UGA is one of the top 5 teams when healthy....then you add Sony and Chubb,,,,unstoppable force baby!

Ghost13
Ghost13

@FlatTire  Chronic  malcontent , Why not  add the  on I-95  back to your  moniker? because  Georgia turned  that series  around forcing you to  find  new things to complain about. Gt is looking  for fans  and  the tickets  are  less expensive.  But I doubt you donate money or  have  tickets.

thebucket
thebucket

@ThomasBrown You do realize that 7 of those playmakers listed missed significant portions of the season last year and that directly attributed to the 8-5 record right?

POAD2013
POAD2013

@DawgGoneIt winning 8 in the SEC is Hard? Well unless you play the JOKE schedule UGa plays then you can sleep walk to 8 wins every year.

POAD2013
POAD2013

@DawgGoneIt a HUGE scoring Offense against the WEAK TEAMS is not impressive as you think it is.

FlatTire
FlatTire

@Ghost13 new things to complain about? I think if you did your homework I've been saying pretty much the same things for years

yea people like me actually donate money; hence why we are tired of watching a program with more players drafted to the NFL than every other school in FBS except one and more top 10 recruiting classes than every school in the FBS since the late 90's; continue to lose big games with no championships

lets be honest people like you dont donate; if you did, you wouldnt be so glad to waste an avg $2500 or more  every year to watch a 10 win no championship season and continue to make excuses

personally Im glad for any victory over FL but lets be realistic the past few years FL hasnt been that good especially last year being their worst season in over 30 years 

Im fine with 7 -10 win seasons with lousy bowl games if the donations are done away with and parking is free again 

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@POAD2013 @DawgGoneIt  Our schedule will always be the same every year and always has been since the SEC came about. We play every team in our division and 2 inner-conference games (2 from the West with Auburn being one of them as our permanent game). This season we play Arkansas and Auburn from the West along with the 6 other teams in the East (South Carolina, Florida, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt)...it's always been that way. Nothing we can do other than play our schedule, keep recruiting well, and hope to win the division. Get over it bug.

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@POAD2013 @DawgGoneIt  Winning record vs. all teams except Florida which is at .500. Looks pretty good to me. Shows Mark Richt is handling his business vs. the opponents in the East. I see nothing wrong with UGA's schedule each year. We play the schedule we're given. If we win 10 games, good job. Job well done in the SEC. I don't see what your problem is?

POAD2013
POAD2013

@DawgGoneIt

UGa v........10 years.............20 years

Mizzou..........1-1

USC..............6-4....................13-7

Vandy............8-2....................17-3

Florida..........5-5....................6-14

Tenn.............6-4....................10-10

Kentucky.......8-2...................17-3

Auburn...........6-4..................10-9-1

Florida Tennessee & Auburn are your hard teams but Florida & Tennessee have been pretty bad for a few years now.

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@POAD2013 @DawgGoneIt  That's not my point. We're talking about UGA's schedule here since that's your favorite thing to talk about. Every team plays their share of non-competitive schools where the bigger school is heavily favored. EVERY TEAM. Georgia, Alabama, LSU, Florida, Auburn, Tech for sure, Texas A&M, South Carolina, Oregon, USC, Texas, Florida State, Clemson, you name it. So what exactly is your point about UGA's schedule that differs from the rest?

POAD2013
POAD2013

@DawgGoneIt UGa has higher rate recruiting classes than most teams in the EAST. Mizzou Won the EAST WOW. now they start over with a new QB. Them winning the SEC Least isn't impressive seeing how bad they were in their old conference. Mizzou winning the East and Texas A&M doing as well as they have says the SEC isn't as Big and Bad as they tell everybody they are.

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@POAD2013 @DawgGoneIt  Missouri just won the East. I'd say they're pretty good. Dude, every week in the SEC is like a heavy weight fight. You go against the best players each week. Why do you think the SEC gets the most publicity? The most revenue? Have you ever seen a Duke vs. Georgia Tech game on CBS at 8:00? I didn't think so. As a matter of fact, Florida State and Clemson are the only reasons people look at the ACC or even give them a thought. There are 6-7 teams in the SEC that would beat every single team in the ACC and that's official. 

POAD2013
POAD2013

@DawgGoneIt Florida has been crap for a few years now. Auburn is Jekyll and Hyde the last 3 years. Tennesse has been a Joke for 7 years. USC has been good for 4 years. Vandy and KenSucky please. Mizzou is to new to know if they are good or not.

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@POAD2013 @DawgGoneIt  What team doesn't? But for you to deny the fact that an 8 game SEC schedule is tough in it's own right is ludicrous. We play Florida, Auburn, Tennessee, South Carolina, and now Missouri every single year. Who does Georgia Tech play? Duke, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, Syracuse...wow big difference. 

POAD2013
POAD2013

@DawgGoneIt wow 1 year. UGa plays a pretty easy schedule almost every year. UGa plays Elon types all the time so don't even try to deny it.

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@POAD2013 @DawgGoneIt  Joke schedule? We were the only team in college football last season to play top 10 teams in 3 of our first 4 games. We play an 8 game SEC schedule. Every year is tough. You play Elon first, be quiet.

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@POAD2013 @ThomasBrown  And nobody from UGA gives a damn what you have to say but yet you're on every UGA blog every day when one pops up

DawgGoneIt
DawgGoneIt

@POAD2013 @DawgGoneIt  Like Bucket said, no matter who UGA faces they're going to put up points. He just listed the teams we put up 40 burgers on. Don't give me that "weak teams" crap. You got beat by Middle Tennessee State a couple seasons back 49-28 so don't feed me that.

thebucket
thebucket

@POAD2013 @DawgGoneIt Uh, UGA scored 35 against Clemson, 41 against SCU, 44 against LSU, 43 against Auburn, and 41 against GT. Sorry that wasn't enough to impress you.