While we cross our fingers and hope that the widespread rumors of academic casualties prove to be nothing more than midsummer fan paranoia, let’s check some Junkyard Mail …
UPDATE: The bad news about Caleb King is official now. He’s been declared academically ineligible. I’ll have more to say later. …
Frank Johnson writes: Seems like every time I get together with my Bulldog buddies, the subject comes up of Mark Richt being on the proverbial “hot seat” and just how many wins this season it will take to keep his job. Looking at the Dawgs’ schedule, I think anything less than 10 wins will be disappointing and grounds for dismissal. What say you?
Only Greg McGarity can possibly say what number of wins would assure Richt’s return and he might not even have made up his mind at this point. Some folks think an 0-2 start could make it tough for Richt to survive the whole season, but I frankly don’t think that’s even a possibility. He could lose the first two and still turn it around. Surely 10 wins guarantees Richt’s continued employment in Athens, but is there any way a 10-2 regular season could be disappointing? Well, if the two losses were to SEC East rivals South Carolina and Florida, I’m sure there’d be grumbling. Still, 10-2 means Richt isn’t going anywhere. Nine wins seems to be the consensus pick for the minimum Richt needs, but, again, it depends on the losses. If they’re blowouts to top rivals, a nine-win season might only lower the temperature a bit on the hot seat. I have heard people make the case that Richt can survive with just eight wins as long as one of them is over the Gators. What do you think? Even with a victory in Jacksonville, four losses still would mean the Dogs lost to someone they probably ought to beat this year.
Daniel Tuohy writes in response to my “numbers” piece the other day: Hi Bill, I’ve seen this “regression to the mean” idea all over the place, and people appear to be a bit confused (as is often the case when probability is involved). So you had this: “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.” That’s not quite right. The point is that in close games luck plays a very important role, and if you lose a whole bunch of them then you were very unlucky. That, however, in no way implies that the opposite will happen the next year (i.e. that you will win the majority of close games). Luck in one season is completely independent of luck in other seasons. The point is that relative to an unlucky season, any other season is likely to be better in comparison. That’s “regression to the mean.” The mean is winning 50% of your close games. So if we won 0% of our close games 2010, then if in 2011 we just hit the mean (not get lucky, just be average) we’ll win 50% of such games and have a much more attractive ledger come December — relative to 2010.
Thanks for the clarification. Yeah, I oversimplified the concept. But I warned you about me and math.
Marion Campbell writes in response to “101 Reasons to Be a UGA Fan”: Saw the listing and did not remember the “Cowboy” and “Moonpie.” Could you elaborate? I grew up in Clemson. My brother played for UGA. I lived in Athens for 10 years. You might find it interesting to know that Clemson’s R. C. Edwards, one time president, was often just called, “RC” and his wife was called “Moon Pie” in reference to the famous country snack duo.
Guard Joel “Cowboy” Parrish and tackle Mike “Moonpie” Wilson were starting offensive tackle and guard on Vince Dooley’s 1976 SEC championship team. Parrish got his nickname when he arrived in Athens as a freshman wearing a 10-gallon cowboy hat. Dan Magill tried to start a legend that Wilson ate moonpies by the carton, but the player really couldn’t stand them. He got the nickname from his round face. Both were All-Americans that season. Parrish played for the Dogs 1973-76 and was named the SEC’s outstanding lineman by the Atlanta Touchdown Club in 1977. He played some pro ball in Canada. Wilson lettered 1974-76. He went on to play with the Bengals and Seahawks and is in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. They were a terrific tandem on the OL. Said Dooley: “We never had a better blocking combination.” A favorite memory is from the 1976 win over Alabama. The Dogs were running the veer option using tailback Kevin McLee and two quarterbacks, Matt Robinson (the passer) and Ray Goff (the runner). The massive OL was so good that when Robinson misread a signal from the sideline and ran an option into the strong side of the Tide defense instead of the weak side as intended, he still ended up in the end zone. It was that kind of day.
Dan writes: Bill, Need to mention [South Carolina's win being the] third straight NCAA baseball title for SEC and ninth overall. ACC still has only one (Wake Forest 1955). Miami’s four titles came before they were in the ACC. Speaking of futility, what two schools have the most appearances in the college world series without a title? Answer: FSU with 20 and Clemson with 12. North Carolina with nine is only fourth in futility — GTU, who seems to lose to UGA in the super regionals, has only three appearances with, of course, 0 titles. That ACC sure is a powerful well-rounded conference!
SEC! SEC! Seriously, it might be slight consolation for the Diamond Dogs, but being the team that knocked the eventual College World Series champion out of the SEC tournament provides a notable asterisk to an up-and-down season.
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