Dawgs look good playing the numbers

Crunching numbers gives some of us a headache. (Stanford University)

Crunching numbers gives some of us a headache. (Stanford University)

Mathematics is something I’ve generally spent my life avoiding whenever I could and surviving when I couldn’t, as in high school. Generally, you want to send me scurrying away in the opposite direction, just drop a term like “pythagorean theorem.”

But while I wouldn’t go as far as several teachers tried in vain to convince me many years ago and say that math can be your friend, I will grant that it can at least be used to serve a purpose.

Which brings me to an interesting CBSSports.com blog post by Jerry Hinnen citing some recent numbers-crunching that offers hope to fans of Mark Richt’s Bulldogs.

He notes that viewed through a mathematical prism, the general idea in college football is that if you win or lose an unusually high number of close games in a season, the odds are that you’ll do the opposite the next season to get back to the mean.

Citing Phil Steele’s tracking of “net close wins” and the Alabama blog RollBamaRoll’s pythagorean numbers-crunching, Hinnen concludes that this season: “Georgia should be taken seriously in the East. Both Steele and the pythagorean wins agree: the Bulldogs were the unluckiest team in the SEC last season. Mark Richt’s team suffered a league-high four ‘net close losses,’ and per their points scored/allowed should have won nearly two more games than they did in 2010. Combine better fortune in competitive games with the Bulldogs’ manageable schedule, and the numbers say Georgia should be poised to take a big step forward in 2011. (Steele pegs them as this year’s East champions.) If they don’t, the question has to be asked: if Richt can’t engineer a turnaround this year, when can he?”

Not everyone reads the numbers the same way, though. While Steele likes the Dogs to win the East, RollBamaRoll was less convinced, noting that for Georgia: “Going into 2011 improvement seems likely, especially with the continued development of Aaron Murray and the almost-laughably weak SEC East, but this is a team with far more holes than they ought to have given their recruiting prowess, and a return to Richt’s glory years doesn’t seem very likely…”

Of course, as Carl Sandberg said, “Arithmetic is where the answer is right and everything is nice and you can look out of the window and see the blue sky — or the answer is wrong and you have to start over and try again and see how it comes out this time.”

After all, the only numbers that really count are on the scoreboard.

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164 comments Add your comment

JoeMac

July 6th, 2011
3:49 pm

@Wow, I do believe it, or i would not have said it. I guess I need to spell it out for you….. LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, Missy St., and Auburn, could and probably would win the East this season. The pups get the honor to lose to Missy St. and Auburn this season. As far as the ACC division champs go, I cannot see anyone from the East staying with the ‘Noles, and I am not sure any of them could hang with Va. Tech, the probable Coastal champ. USC and Florida might have a shot, but no one else in the weak East would beat either one.

1953Dawg

July 6th, 2011
3:52 pm

Tide Roll, now i understand your obsession with UGA’s second team O.L. After looking at Bama’s reserves on the O.L, UGA’s looks very impressive. You had better worry about your own O.L, which has 2 reserves from the state of Ga. that UGA didn’t even offer because they were not the top linemen in the state(Kellen Williams&Austin Shepperd). Add those 2(3 star wonders) with Steen, who is a 2 star wonder, and Boswell another 3 star wonder, and you have a pathetic backup O.L. You only wish bama had the reserves UGA had on the O.L. And as far as the #9 rated O.L recruiting class, Bama offered Dantzler, Ward, and the other 6′7 tackle out of Fl, who just happened to be an Army All American. So once again, your point is what exactly? Bottomline, bama has no depth on it’s o.l., all are 2 or 3 star wonders, and UGA has 3 (4 star reserves on it’s O.L, and would have had 5 if not for the attrition. Would still rather have UGA’s reserves than what Bama will lineup with.

SSIgator

July 6th, 2011
3:58 pm

“Dawgs look good playing the numbers”

Like our accounting class prof taught us in school – numbers are anthing you want them to be.

Paul "TD" Garmon

July 6th, 2011
3:59 pm

I wish all of you stinking people would look at the problems at Georgia thru a former players eyes like mine. The folks in Bama have it right. If Aaron Murry dosen’t have a fantastic season then the dogs are doomed. I remember when The Bear used to tell us “to suck it up and go”. This is what Georgia needs to do. Forget about last year and lets get foucsed on the job at hand. Only time will tell, but I see the dogs going 8 and 4. I may try to call coach Bobo ” the Clown” and let him in on some of the trick plays we used when I played. Good luck you old junk yard dogs. I have spent a lot of time around the game of football. Even after college I played in the NFL for 8 yeras. +This year I will helping out the high school here where I live. The Calhoun Yellow Jackets.

Joe

July 6th, 2011
4:09 pm

Paul, why don’t you shut your mouth. You never played pro ball. I thought you were a test piolt at Lockheed. You don’t even know how to spell football. I have heard all this before at the Shriners convention.

MD

July 6th, 2011
4:10 pm

I’ve tried to post 5 times, but I guess I’ve been blocked…

My point is (if this goes through), FL fans have the right to talk smack, it’s 17 out of 20.

We run the same smack back to GT fans and don’t listen to a word they say, which they have primarily stopped trying to come back…

Wow

July 6th, 2011
4:12 pm

JoeMac…you are an ignorant fool….put your money where that big mouth is!!

SSIgaytor,
you’re STILL here? Man, you are pathetic!

JoeMac

July 6th, 2011
4:26 pm

I am about to leave for the day, but if you cannot understand what I am saying, then you, my friend, are the ignorant one. Which west team of the 5 could not win the east??? I gave specific teams. All you are doing is spouting garbage. Do you honestly think that the pups, or Tennessee, or Kentucky, or Vandy(who will be the most improved team in the SEC this season, and WILL knock off someone that they are not supposed to) could beat Florida State or Va. Tech?? Really?? If you really think so, you need to take a class in college football 101. Quite honestly, South Carolina and Florida are the strongest teams in the East,and Florida gets its chance at FSU. Georgia has a great season if they can win 7 games. The Florida-SC game decides the East, and neither have a chance against the West, as it is decided Nov5 whan LSU and Alabama tangle. I will admit that you are Wow, but only bacause of your ignorance.

Senator Blutarsky

July 6th, 2011
4:31 pm

Look, if you take out the games against Auburn, Florida, UCF, Miss St, SC, Ark, and Colorado, Aaron Murray is one of the greatest QB’s in the history of college football.

Georgia really improved in turnover margin, if you don’t count the above games. True, against teams with winning records, Geoergia was last in turnovers, but let’s throw out all those teams and look at how the team did against Vanderbilt, Idaho State, LA Laffy, ect.

ACE2

July 6th, 2011
4:55 pm

Ace yesterday, Dallas , Judd and now Senator Blutarsky.

Senator Blutarsky

July 6th, 2011
4:58 pm

I agree with Phil Steele, and all others that predict good season for the dogs. Steele’s points all make perfect sense. At my prestigious law firm, we call this no culpea.

UGA FRIEND

July 6th, 2011
4:59 pm

UGA no worse than 10-2 in 2011. Everyone who worries about OL needs to relax and let the coaches do their jobs. This issue seems to be steam rolling and gets
more attention with each blog. The Dawgs will be good if everyone will ease up and wait for the games to start.

UGA FRIEND

July 6th, 2011
5:03 pm

Senator Blutarsky: Are you an ambulance chaser?

Senator Blutarsky

July 6th, 2011
5:03 pm

Look, Georgia lost 4 close games, proving 2011 will be a 10 win season. Ain’t I intellgents?

Senator Blutarsky

July 6th, 2011
5:05 pm

Go back and watch Murray’s performance against La Laffy last year. Amazing. I suggest you don’t waste your time on reviewing the UCF or Florida games, not Murray’s best day.

Snoop Dawg

July 6th, 2011
5:24 pm

What are the mathmatics of having a lousy coach? How does that figure into the season?

Football 101

July 6th, 2011
6:16 pm

joemac, Since James Madison beat Virginia Tech , yes I think any SEC east team except Vandy could beat them or FSU on any given day.Really the ACC? FSU just broke a six game losing streak to the Florida in 2010 not ready to proclaim them kings of College football yet. FSU and VT combined 7-13 vs SEC past 10 years. Vandy wouldn’t have to achieve very much to be the most improved team in the league , but really using Vandy combined with an ACC vs SEC analogy in a football argument will get an LMFAO as a grade in football 101.

BobbyDawg

July 6th, 2011
6:20 pm

I feel sure that the Dawgs will win the East. There’s nobody there to stop them!
“GO DAWGS”!

More proof of UGA trash among us

July 6th, 2011
6:30 pm

AJC headline: A Publix employee in Jacksonville was attacked after complimenting a man wearing a Georgia Bulldogs T-shirt.

Typical trailer park trash UGA fans.

BobbyDawg

July 6th, 2011
6:39 pm

Read the article stupid! The guy that threw the punch was the one wearing the shirt. He is a 6′4″ bully who lives in Jacksonville Fla. and is probably a Gator redneck criminal fan just like most of the Gators themselves. Check out Fla. players arrest record over the last five years compared to Ga.’s . Then tell the truth about SEC trash!

Truth be told...

July 6th, 2011
6:41 pm

It’s true that UGA lost too many close games last year, but there were a lot of things for the dawgs to celebrate last year. Let’s see…

1. A drunken, whoring athletic director with red panties in his lap.

2. Twelve players arrested. And 41% of UGA football players are arrested during their time at UGA.

3. A player suspended for violating NCAA rules.

4. Winning the Fulmer Cup for the most players arrested.

5. Winning the title of #1 party school (i.e., the most drunken student body in the USA).

6. A sleazy assistant coach who razzes opposing players, unethical coaching conduct in violation of NCAA rules.

7. A super sleazy head coach who thinks he’s a saint, but recruits thug wannabes, gangbangers, and illiterate morons.

8. A 6-7 record despite having a team full of 4- and 5-star recruits.

That’s really something to be proud of!

Kerryb

July 6th, 2011
6:59 pm

Who on earth cares what an Alabama blog things about us.

gt4ever

July 6th, 2011
6:59 pm

Bobby Dawg or whatever your name is…. The guy was a UGA fan. A typical UGA fan… Probably a UGA graduate… He was smart enough to hit somebody who couldn’t hit back.. UGA continues to smell up the state of Georgia!

Kerryb

July 6th, 2011
7:03 pm

Proof, I think those guys were in Jacksonville which makes them Florida trailer trash.

Kerryb

July 6th, 2011
7:04 pm

If he was a typical Tech fan he would have curled up in a fetal position and started crying.

Kerryb

July 6th, 2011
7:05 pm

Truth, all that moronic list you made proves that you are an idiotic ding dong.

Bitter spoiled recruit

July 6th, 2011
8:08 pm

gay-tard trolls are like a bad burp————-toothless——-yankee wont-ta-bee’s

————————–right next to tree killers in satus—————-hahahahahah—-go dawgs

old time dog

July 6th, 2011
8:49 pm

eYe think we can be okay but need to make sure we don’t beat ourselves either by our play or coaching. There has seemed to be too many games where we don’t adjust or react to something the other team is doing on both sides of the ball. Basically poor to average play against the better teams. Florida? This one could change. By the time we play Florida we will be whatever we’re going to be.

RedandBlackDAWG

July 6th, 2011
8:54 pm

The Dawgs will be bigger and stronger than they were last year at the very least. The biggest problem will be mostly the experience level of the second team. They will be strong and in condition but low in the experience level. This would seem to be the perfect year to have a very manageable schedule, with the only team that stands out in the SEC east, if their QB sobers up for the games, is SC. The first two games UGA plays set the tone for the season. Come out of them OK, with 1 or 2 wins, and no serious injuries and it could be a very good season.
Last years statistics have no more bearing on this years team than the numbers game some would play. Statistics and numbers are easily manipulated anytime you wish. If the DAWGS come out in good condition and with the proper attitude, teams will have to be aware of them, and if not, they will wind up on the wrong side of the final score.

Beast from the East

July 6th, 2011
9:10 pm

“Georgia fans don’t say “Wait till next year.”

That’s a Florida tradition.”

UGA_01,
You are absolutely correct, sir. When I grew up, us Gators were used to getting beat by UGA every year and I remember hearing our folks say that EXACT same thing year after year after year after year! Yeah, I do believe we (Gators) coined the phrase…..but it’s certainly OK if ya’ll want to borrow it!

PowerDawg

July 6th, 2011
9:15 pm

At least Phil Steele is an unbiased, neutral and objective media outlet.

RollBamaRoll? Not hardly.

Alphare

July 6th, 2011
9:20 pm

Bill, UGA morally won all the close games you lost last year.

Now, I feel much better.

PowerDawg

July 6th, 2011
9:23 pm

I would think Ealey’s offensive output should be simple enough to replace with a healthy King and a future star in Crowell.

Five of Ealeys’ touchdowns were scored in one game against Kentucky, so realistically our guys only need 7-8 TDs between them to compensate.

I think they will achieve those goals easily.

Ringleader

July 6th, 2011
9:46 pm

Tide Roll…………..You need to go lick a light bulb socket

rogeriter

July 6th, 2011
9:52 pm

SSlgator, excuse me, What was Ga’s record 3 years ago? !0-3. Maybe not championship, but not bad either.

Coach Grohbo

July 6th, 2011
9:53 pm

Dawgs look good playing the numbers.

They just have problems when playing other football teams.

bubba4dawgs

July 6th, 2011
10:58 pm

I’m a big DAWG fan living right in the middle of Vol country. How can anyone say the Vols will beat the DAWGS this year? Gimme a break! They’re just not ready yet. They are coming but certainly not battle ready like the DAWGS! It all sounds like a lack of confidence to me! Experience usually beats mediocrity almost every time. Just don’t bring any mediocrity to Knoxville and the Vols will go down!!

Dave

July 6th, 2011
11:04 pm

I’m a Dawgs fan and am optimistic, but “the odds are that you’ll do the opposite the next season to get back to the mean” lacks even basic logic. It’s like saying a coin is more likely to land heads if it landed tails the last 10 flips.

truedawg

July 6th, 2011
11:04 pm

I don’t buy in to numbers, or odds or stats etc. the past is the past. UGA is on the right track again after 3 years. Better work ethic, better team mentality. I’m not worried about UGA winning some games and winning most games this year. I just love how UF fans and Bama fans and bug fans feel like they have to post on here. Nothing interesting to talk about with your teams? Bama underachieved worse than UGA did last year. more tallent and supposively the best coach in all football? what happened bama??!! what happened? UF your great coach under performed last year, what happend to his top 10 recruits? why did ya’ll loose 4 games? Do you honnestly think the new ex UGA turn coat is a better coach??!! Do you have that much of a better team this year from last year??!! UF has owned UGA last 20 years. UGA owned UF first 40 years. You fans get on here and “crow” about beating UGA last year…is that tell you what kind of year you had? your best win was against a team with a loosing record? and it was in OT?? bless your hearts! Well you have same QB that was terrible, still no RB, and still no kicking team. and now unproven coach. pssst also hate to break news to ya..but your loosing all the real in state tallent to FSU..AGAIN…I’ll take my UGA team and all its problems over any other team in the NCAA. you know we lost to some good SEC teams..but we didn’t lose any games to our biggest instate rival. GO DAWGS!!!

Bama fan

July 6th, 2011
11:45 pm

The Bama blog has low expectations of Georgia football because as Bama fans we just don’t have much respect for Georgia football. They are a good regional team while we are an elite national team. Its pretty much always been that way with the exception of a handful of years here and there. Other than those rare years when Georgia really is good we just don’t respect your football tradition. Never have and probably never will.

Kevin

July 7th, 2011
12:12 am

Yeah Bama fan I know what you mean, so I guess God obviously does not respect Alabama much because he sent an F5 Tornado through your town. I mean because Alabama is just SOOOO great and everything. I dont understand why we even play college football when we know ALABAMA can never be stopped with all their mythical national championships and their losing seasons they never have had. Everybody loves Alabama so much in the United States of America while Georgia ranks number 2 behind Texas in College football sales. I would sure hate to see if Georgia ever became respected and known about nationally.

Terry

July 7th, 2011
2:42 am

Bama fan, Since 1984 Bama is 5-5 against UGA, when Bear was there Y’all had it made, but this is a different time, and different rules, there wont be any more of those days, the NCAA will see to that, and they have an axe to grind with y’all, so don’t step out of line, or Y’all want have nothing to do in AliBamer, cause everyone knows that’s all Yawls has to look forward to!

Big Dawg

July 7th, 2011
6:40 am

The real answer to all of this is will Coach Richt commit to the running game or will he say he is trying to be balanced once again. It is the same ole thing every year, to win consistently you have to be able to control the line of scrimmage. Championships are built on being able to dominate in the trenches, finessing does not win championships. You have to be able to line up and beat your opponent it is just that simple, yes occasionally game changers such as Hershall, Tebow, Cam Newton, Bo Jackson come along and they will win games by making plays for you. But until Coach Richt gets it, we will lose games that we should have won and BTW there were 6 of the 7 losses last year that we should have won. That is only my opinion but I think anyone who realistically looks at things will come to the same conclusion.

Go Dawgs

chazzo.crw

July 7th, 2011
7:14 am

If the Dawgs win the East and lose the SEC even though most are predicting 8-10 games at best, there are a few people who will say Richt can’t win the big games (or find some player to pick on). Even if the Dawgs win the SEC and lose a bowl game, even if the Dawgs were to go undefeated (and I am not predicting that) there are a few guys on this blog who would say, Richt can only go undefeated when there is an easy schedule, or they only did it because other teams were having a down year or they really don’t deserve it. They will find something to complain about or some button to press.

When UGA has a good season this year, doing better than many are predicting, not one of them will have the guts to admit they were wrong. Not one of the crappy troll fans or neg head Georgia fans will ever be man enough to admit that something positive happened.

nostrodamus

July 7th, 2011
8:06 am

UGA’s record will be 8-5 in the near future.

RedandBlackDAWG

July 7th, 2011
9:04 am

If UGA plays hard, with pride and as a team and with an attitude, and something to prove, they can write their own ticket and control their destiny. They have a lot to prove and I think they certainly have the athletes to do the job. Experience will have to be over come a little but if the coaching is there, they can do the job.

Bunch of Bunk

July 7th, 2011
9:18 am

“Combine better fortune in competitive games with the Bulldogs’ manageable schedule, and the numbers say Georgia should be poised to take a big step forward in 2011.” Seriously?

How about this: Play better defense.

chazzo.crw

July 7th, 2011
9:33 am

Bunk: Manageable is a good choice of words. It is not easy by any stretch. The games are spaced out nicely, though, and there is break before Jax. AU and SC are the two most underranked teams in the entire NCAA.

chazzo.crw

July 7th, 2011
9:37 am

If a player isn’t listening to a coach, he needs to go, especially if he is talking to other coaches. I don’t care how good he may be or how deep we are at a position. It’s all or none/all for one, folks, and that’s for the players, coaches, and fans.

TreaderJ

July 7th, 2011
11:10 am

UGA will beat:
New Mex, Vandy, Coastal Caro, Ole Miss, Kentucky, G Tech

UGA will lose to:
Florida, Auburn, Boise, South Carolina, Miss State, Tenn

5-7, pretty much just like last year, lose to teams with winning records, win against teams with losing records. Tenn, last 4 winners have been the home team, 2011 game is in Tenn. Richt can’t beat ranked teams, 2-9 vs. ranked teams since 2009.