April 27, 2006

#2 All-Time Strength of Schedule

Scheduling talk has been all the rage lately. Notre Dame blogger the House that Rock Built accuses the SEC (and Georgia in particular) of massive xenophobia for rarely leaving the South.

HTRB examined SEC schedules and counted games outside the South (defined as Texas-to-North Carolina. Sorry, Virginia--their definition, not mine), and placed UGA last in the SEC for least often leaving the comforts of home. By their count, UGA hasn't played a non-bowl out-of-the-South game since Virginia Military Institute in 1966.

There's no place like home

Westerdawg defended the honor of the Dawgs in the comments section, but I still think UGA got short-shrifted by HTRB's analysis. Implicit in HTRB's argument is that reluctance to leave the South is equivalent of reluctance to play a difficult schedule. PWD points out that during the time Georgia was allegedly ducking and hiding from "national powers", UGA played two non-conference opponents every year that happen to be an hour from Athens. Particularly, UGA was playing Clem(p)son every year during the program's mid-70s to mid-80s heyday. Granted, UGA (like every school) has had its share of non-conference lightweights, but does UGA deserve to essentially be called a scheduling coward?

College Football Data Warehouse doesn't think so. CFDW analyzed and ranked the all-time strength of schedule and ranked UGA #2 all-time toughest schedule behind #1 Michigan. Their methodology isn't totally clear, but the bigger point is not which numbers they crunched and how (we'd probably be ranked #1 if we didn't close the season with a cream puff every year).

Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got. Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name.

The value of the ranking in my mind is to underscore the larger point that leaving your region is not a pre-requisite to tough scheduling. I do not think that UGA has always had an aggressive scheduling philosophy, and I think it's not unreasonable to expect a team to tackle an ambitious home-and-home series at least once since the Johnson administration. However, that kind of out-of the-boxregion scheduling seems to be more for the fans and television than anything else.

Go Dawgs!
Dawgnoxious

21 comments:

all school said...

Yeah, Notre Dame has certainly played the toughest schedule in the country year after year...not.

I mean, how many times are they going to beat up on Army, Navy and/or Air Force? Maybe ND should put in a claim for the Commander's Trophy, or whatever they call it.

By their analysis, they get no credit for playing Big Ten teams, because they're in the Big Ten locality. Strike those teams from consideration.

They DO play Southern Cal every year. It's a lot tougher game the last 3 years than it has been since about 1981, but USC is a historical power. Give them credit for that.

I guess they occasionally play a Tennessee during the regular season, but why would Georgia Tech this fall be a quality opponent for them and not for us? Maybe if we scheduled a mediocre Big 10 team instead of GTU, WE'd get some credit.

We play good teams from outside the south frequently in games called "bowls"....We seem to do pretty well against the Clydesdales from the Big 10. Heck, I'd be glad to play ND once Pickle III takes over at QB, since his DNA is apparently encoded with a strong inability to do anything but melt down when he sees UGA red and black across the line of scrimmage.

I could care less what some fan of a school that gets to handpick its creampuff opponents every year, sets it's own home schedule to suit itself (carefully spacing out any quality opponents), and uses NBC's millions to cash whip any schedule problems thinks about UGA or our strength of schedule. Let them come play in the SEC for 5 years and see how they fare.

Anonymous said...

yeah a creampuff who has won the latest national championship!hahahahahahahahaha

all school said...

The latest national championship was won by Texas, if I'm not mistaken. Was that a trick question?

I guess ND did win one more recently than UGA has; I'm not sure what the significance of a NC back when Lou Holtz was cheating in South Bend 15 years ago might be, but if you want to compare the last 5 years, I dont think UGA has to take a back seat to ND.

Now that you guys have locked up Todd Marinovich, errrr, Ron Powlus, errrr, Emu Clausen, I guess the rest of the NCAA can just mail the championship for the 07-11 season right to you, can't we?

I notice you didnt actually address the issue, which is, ND sprinkles a tough team or two among a bunch of tomato cans every year. Critical reading must not be your thing, I guess.

Anonymous said...

The college football data warehouse is a pretty cool site, imo, and just an additional reason to check this bolg from time to time: you are just liable to learn something factual, even if you can twist stats to suit your purpose, they are still stats, not "feelings" or "opinions" which is all that the ND posts boil down to. Iow, theyu are making an argument that can't be refuted, because it also can't be proven. The facts in the cfdw cast a dark shadow on their feelings, though.

I remember sometime in the early 1980's sitting in Sanford on a muggy Labor Day night while we beat UCLA (it doesn't get any more national than that) and I was looking forward to going to UCLA (I've never been, and thought it would be a good excuse to make the trip) but the game got cancelled, and I believe it was UCLA that called it off. Truth is, if you belong to a conference (ND doesn't) it's hard to get national schedules together. It takes two teams that can find a spot in their schedules on the same weekend. I refuse to worry about it much, even though I accept the basic idea that these games can be compelling.

SEC I2esource said...

I cannot stand how the USC's and Texas and the west coast teams can float into the national championship with at most 2 hard games a year. Put those teams in the SEC week in and week out with our defenses, and they will lose 1 game a year.
http://secfootballjunk.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I grant that we havent been the most aggressive team in terms of scheduling but as I understand it (at least recently) it hasnt been for lack of trying, and if you look at the next few years i'll put or slate against anyone else's.

Also, it is wrong to compare anyone with ND as they dont play in a conference which frees them up a bit.

Anonymous said...

Since you used the College Data Warehouse as a reliable source for your rebuttal, I assume you accept the all-time ranking in terms of total points, which ranks GT as a better program than UGA (11th vs. 12th).

Facing facts is good for the soul.

ACE

Dawgnoxious said...

Anon: You've proved the wisdom of the old aphorism about what happens when one assumes.

Fortunately, we don't need CDW analysis to establish which is the "better" program.

I think decades of head-to-head competition is a much better way to determine the relative quality of the two programs.

Anonymous said...

So, by that logic, you'd say any program which has a winning overall record vs. UGA has a better program?

Interesting.

I'll have to see who all that includes when I have time tonight.

Goldtimer

paulwesterdawg said...

Goldtimer -- I think if you're looking at teams UGA has faced more than 5 times, that's probably a significant sample. And it will give you a great look at how teams fair head to head, but it's not the only indicator.

The results of the past 10 years should be weighed most heavily against the overall record.

I know that UT is still ahead of us overall by 3 games, but the trends for which program has passed whom is very interesting.

pwd

all school said...

ah, now that the elfin Techester, Goldtimer has weighed in, we can all rest easier. There are 3 kinds

Let's see. GTU is a "better program" than UGA because of some ranking over history?

I guess by that approach, Italy is still a world power because at one time, Rome ruled the known world. Never mind that in the last 50 or 60 years, it's gotten it's ass kicked in two wars (once by legendary military power Ethiopia).

Who are you going to believe, Goldtimer? The historical stats, or your lyin' eyes?

Face it, sir. GTU hasn't been lighting the world on fire since Bobby Dodd was punting on third down. Anyone who honestly thinks GTU football has been on a par with UGA the last, say, 40 years (much less superior to UGA) is on drugs....or should be.

Looking forward to Sixteen In A Row, Baby this fall? Everyone at UGA is.....

Good luck against ND. See if you can keep your oh so classy students and fans from pelting the visiting team with liquor bottles and other debris while GTU gets its mustard behind handed to it yet again by the Golden Domers.

Dawgnoxious said...

Goldtimer, I don't believe it's really you. The grammar and spelling were correct. However, I'm sure you'll have plenty of time to go through old media guides tonight, since it's Friday (unless your parents need to use the basement).

A few helpful tips for your review: there are several all-time series which are so close over many decades (Auburn & Tennessee, for example) that which program is "better" is nearly impossible to determine solely on a head-to-head results analysis.

That is not the case with GTU, given that fact the overall series is so lop-sided over such a long period of time that it would take ridiculous contortions of logic to argue GTU is a "better" program.

A fair analysis would look at head-to-head results over enough games to be statitically significant. This is the same reason the guy who went 2-3 in his only major league game doesn't win a batting title for hitting .667.

Anonymous said...

As you guys should realize, the CFDW ranking is based on over 100 years of football, not post-Dodd.

Certainly, UGA has the stronger program now. You get top 10 recruits and fall short with them, while GT gets top 50 recruits and coaches them up to be able to beat you 3 years in a row not that long ago, and be in striking range lately.

I just find it rather selective to quote a source when it serves your purpose (to show you have a tougher schedule than ND) but to reject its findings when it comes to the ranking of the GT and UGA programs since their inception.

But, the selective use of references, and changing the subject (from all-time to last-four-decades) are well established technique for those who are not even trying to be unbiased.

Have a nice day.

and, speaking of class, thanks for the friendly little cheap jabs

Goldtimer

paulwesterdawg said...

Goldtimer, the NCAA has contacted me, and I'm forced to note that your last post has been vacated.

Anonymous said...

Good one, PWD! Worth a minor chuckle.

Goldtimer

Anonymous said...

PWD and Goldtimer, Thanks for the good entertainment. GATA PWD!

all school said...

ah, Goldtimer, you wacky, overly sensitive nerd.

Where, exactly, did I throw in a cheap shot?

Was Bobby Dodd not punting on 3rd down back in the 50s, the last time it could be said that GTU had a superior program?

Shame on you for bragging about the 3 year vacated streak. As a defender of GTU's vaunted "academic integrity" (sic), doesn't it trouble you that the NCAA clearly found you used several academically ineligible players, many of whom (Joe Hamilton) were key contributors and stars? Isn't that a touch, dare I say, hypocritical?

As for the comment on your bottle throwing fan base, is that or is that not a true statement? I was there in 79 when it happened to ND. I was there in 2003 when your classy student section pelted the Redcoats as they left the field at halftime. True, or not true?

If making factually correct observations about the cheating, no-class GTU program is a cheap shot, then I guess I am guilty as charged. I would have thought man from the Dodd era would have been embarassed by those things, rather than proud of them....or acting offended because someone else mentioned them.

It'll be a pleasure watching ND dismantle you to start the season, and UGA extend its dominance to end the season.

Anonymous said...

Leave it to a tekkienerd to bastardize something which elevates the Joke By Coke above smail dung....

http://football.stassen.com/cgi-bin/records/calc-wp.pl?start=1869&end=2005&rpct=30&min=5&se=on&c1a=on&by=Win+Pct

What time is it???? LOL!

Kyle King said...

Ignore Goldtimer. He's an idiot.

The point of the original posting was to show that, since Georgia has the No. 2 strength of schedule all-time, it's hard to claim that the 'Dawgs are ducking tough competition.

If the Red and Black ranked first, or if they ranked fifth, in strength of schedule, it would make little difference; the point is that Georgia has played consistently tough schedules. The precise ranking is of little meaningful consequence. The distinction between fourth and 40th matters; that between second and third doesn't.

On the other hand, the criteria used, and the weight given to each criterion, in determining which programs are "better" than which in some "overall" sense are much more subjective and open to interpretation than the matter of schedule strength, which boils down to the most fundamentally quantifiable data in sports: wins and losses.

Even taking Goldtimer's argument seriously, though, he thumbs his nose at the nation's oldest state-chartered university and the flagship institution of the university system of which the North Avenue Trade School is a part because the Georgia Institute of Technology has an overall ranking one spot higher than the University of Georgia's.

Fine. I'll credit Georgia Tech with that over the long haul. Why not? I'll give the Yellow Jackets credit for winning a Rose Bowl . . . even though they did so on a fluke play that resulted in a rules change to prevent any other team from winning the way the Ramblin' Wreck won.

Let's be honest, though . . . such important architects of the Bulldogs' greatness as Vince Dooley, Erk Russell, Herschel Walker, and Mark Richt are still alive, whereas virtually every meaningful contributor to Georgia Tech's historic achievements either is dead (John Heisman, Bill Alexander, Bobby Dodd) or relegated to coaching in the college football equivalent of a Third World backwater (Bobby Ross, George O'Leary, Chan Gailey).

If Goldtimer wants to cling to the past and let that No. 11 ranking keep him warm at night, fine; let him.

Let's double-check that math in another five or 10 years, though, Goldtimer. After Mark Richt has won another couple or three S.E.C. titles, posted a few more 10-win seasons and top 10 finishes, and maybe won a national championship, let's see how those accomplishments are offset by the next several seven-win seasons posted by Chan Gailey and whatever yutz winds up succeeding him at the helm.

Georgia Tech is No. 11 all-time and dropping down the charts like "Livin' La Vida Loca." Georgia is No. 12 with a bullet . . . and, even if we weren't, this fact remains a fact: despite a consistent and longstanding pattern of routinely fielding academically ineligible athletes in large numbers, Georgia Tech still needed the benefit of atrocious officiating to post a record as good as 3-12 against the 'Dawgs over the course of the last 15 years.

It's funny how, when Goldtimer and I think of Georgia Tech, we each think of the number 11. To him, 11 is where the Yellow Jackets rank all-time. To me, that number means something quite different when applied to G.I.T.

I was born in November 1968, roughly four weeks before that year's Georgia-Georgia Tech game. The Bulldogs and the Yellow Jackets have met on the football field 38 times in my lifetime . . . yet, even counting victories subsequently vacated by the N.C.A.A., I have seen the Old Gold and Navy beat the Red and Black just 11 times.

Believe what you have to believe, Goldtimer. Believe in Santa Claus. Believe in the Easter Bunny. Believe the check is in the mail. Believe the dog ate my homework. Believe Bill Clinton did not have sex with that woman. Believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone . . . and, by all means, while you're at it, believe Georgia Tech is better than Georgia, despite the evidence of everything that has happened in the last four decades.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Paul WesterDawg; I needed that.

Only in South Bend Indiana, could a fan post an article that shows what the NCAA itself says is not even in the Top 50 Strength of Schedules in the country, and surmise that it instead is a better Strength of Schedule than Number 15 SOS UGA :

http://web1.ncaa.org/d1mfb/Internet/toughest%20schedule/ia_9games_past.pdf


What do the University of Southern Cal and the Georgia Institute of Technology have in common ?

They both are going to be on Probation in Football the next several years.

I love the manner in which the Big Ten (11) Bowl Games for Georgia do not count. I presume since Georgia has never lost to Notre Dame anywhere, doesn't count either ?

When 61 percent of the NFL Football Players come from The South, isn't it interesting that the games we play against such opponents, do not count either ?

And, why is there no discussion on this page about Notre Dame being in the Big East Conference in Men's Basketball, but an Independent in Football ? The Football World does not revolve around Notre Dame. Last season, Notre Dame's schedule was not a good one at all. And, yet Notre Dame had the Number 98 Total Defense. And, of course that was part of Southern Cal's Number 82 Average Opponent Southern Cal played every week for all 13 weeks last season, including Texas.

But, Bowl Games do not count ?

Is that because Notre Dame has a Losing Bowl Record at 13-14 All-Time ?

Or, is it because Notre Dame has not Won a Bowl Game the Last Eleven (11) years ?

In all fairness to Notre Dame in having not Won a Bowl Game the Last Entire now 11 years in a row, Notre Dame has not even been to a Bowl Game frequently in this recent timeframe.

In fact, starting with Notre Dame's Loss January 2nd, 1995 to Colorado whom Georgia plays this season, Notre Dame has Lost Every Bowl Game that they have played in.

In 1996, Notre Dame didn't play in a Bowl Game at all; in 1999, Notre Dame again did not play in a Bowl Game at all again; and, in 2001, Notre Dame did not play in a Bowl Game at all again : Contributing Mightily to the fact that Notre Dame has a Losing 13-14 Bowl Game Record All-Time compared to UGA's Bowl Record of 22-16-3.

Of course, Notre Dame lost every Bowl Game they did play in starting January 2, 1995 to Colorado.

I would not exactly state that Notre Dame wowed the football world last season with their Defense. Just how can a team be Number 10 in Total Offense in the NCAA and Number 75 in Total Defense ?

http://web1.ncaa.org/d1mfb/Internet/ranking_summary/2005000000513.HTML

Just how can Notre Dame be so great in beating good football teams again with their Number 75 NCAA Ranked Total Defense ? Against such cupcakes, creampuffs, and powder puff football teams, beating No One Ranked in the Final AP Poll All Season Long, as Notre Dame in fact just finished doing before writing this article, denouncing Bowl Games and Games against the teams that in fact put the players into the NFL, as meaningless ? How can this be ?

While UGA beat Number 5 Final USA Today Coaches' Poll and Number 6 Final AP Poll LSU by 3 Touchdowns for the SEC Championship (Our 2nd in the Last 4 years.), just who was it that Notre Dame beat last season as their best win with supposedly the better strength of schedule ?

We all know that Notre Dame Lost to Lowly Michigan State last season, but just who again is it that Notre Dame Beat, who was good last season ? Michigan State had a Losing Record last season. And, Notre Dame Lost to them. I presume too we are to allow that to be a Topic Not Allowed to be Discussed on this topic of playing good teams either, that Notre Dame Lost to Losing Record Michigan State last season who didn't even get to play in a Bowl Game ?

And, as every year starting January 2, 1995, 11 years of Bowl Games in a Row now, Notre Dame again Lost its Bowl Game. It was a blowout of Biblical Proportions 20-34, for the 11th year in a Row that Notre Dame has not Won a Bowl Game.

It is certainly, therefore, understandable that Notre Dame fans who think the football world revolves around them, would disallow a discussion of Bowl Games. Isn't it ?

So, what are we left to discuss then about Notre Dame's Schedule Strength when only 2 ranked teams did Notre Dame play last season at all ? And, Notre Dame Lost to Both of them and to a Losing Record Michigan State hapless team in addition. The facts of the matter are that Notre Dame played – not counting its annual Bowl Game Loss – one Stinking Team All Season Long that was ranked at all.

And, Lost to them too.

This is the Discussion Notre Dame Fans wish to have now that the season is over and we can judge in fact what are the results ?

Oh, boy.

Bring on this discussion for the next 6 months before the new season starts please.

I cannot wait to see their reply to such a real discussion of just who in fact it is that Notre Dame beats in Football any more ?

There is not One Team Notre Dame beat this last season, including its Bowl Game it at least played in one of this last season, that was in Fact Ranked in the Final AP Poll for last season.

Do you want to read that sentence again, and then come up with some spin for Notre Dame fans about just who it is that Notre Dame beat last season please, while you tell us UGA doesn't play the Strength of Schedule that Notre Dame does ?

How utterly worthless a discussion of Strength of Schedule, can they really limit the discussion to and not discuss the point that excuse me Notre Dame beat No Ranked Team all Season Long, including their Bowl Game again that was ranked at all in the Final AP Poll.

http://www.nationalchamps.net/NCAA/past_AP_Polls.htm

For the last 9 years in a Row, The Final AP Poll has had Georgia and only one other team ranked Every Single Season starting now this up-coming season the Last Decade.

Notre Dame has been ranked ahead of Georgia in Football these last 9 Final AP Polls now, twice only while UGA has been ranked ahead of Notre Dame 7 of the last 9 Final AP Polls. How far back do we have to go to find that the college football world revolves around Notre Dame ?

How far back do we have to go to find that Notre Dame beats more ranked teams than UGA does ?

That Notre Dame does better against better teams ?

And, based upon what ?

The Final AP Poll Rankings these last 9 consecutive seasons ?

Clearly, Notre Dame fans have opened Pandora's Box in heaving this salvo The Georgia Bulldogs' way, that Notre Dame in fact does better than UGA.

Excuse me, the AP Poll shows that in fact while UGA has been ranked in every Final AP Poll (87 wins) these last 9 seasons, Notre Dame in fact has only been ranked ahead of UGA twice of the last 9 years.

And, that in fact Notre Dame was not ranked at all in 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004 in the Final AP Polls UGA has been ranked every one of the last 9 Consecutive Seasons.

Again, respectfully, how far back do we go to find that Notre Dame Wins its Football games compared to UGA ?

Look not then, at the posts of a Notre Dame biased fan who states that we must step inside his bias box to not consider the facts too that even the Final AP Poll does not agree with the Notre Dame fan either.

The NCAA itself says UGA's SOS is far superior at Number 15 to Notre Dame's at Number 52 : http://web1.ncaa.org/d1mfb/Internet/toughest%20schedule/ia_9games_past.pdf

Tell me again please just what it is we are to look at to determine that Notre Dame does a better job of beating a better schedule than UGA does ?

Tell me again what are the items only that we can discuss about a Schedule Strength ?

First you tell us that the better football players are from The South, then you criticize the fact that UGA plays the Number 15 SOS according to The NCAA to Notre Dame's Number 52 SOS because you will not allow a discussion of our 22-16-3 Winning Bowl Record (including undefeated against Notre Dame and have won 7 Bowl Games since Notre Dame last won a Bowl Game) to Notre Dame's Losing Bowl Record of only 13-14 All-Time ?

Nice.

With Notre Dame 10 places worse in the NCAA Official College Football Attendance, why too is there no discussion of what the fans vote as the better more entertaining against better teams whom we enjoy watching our team beat ?

http://web1.ncaa.org/d1mfb/2005/Internet/attendance/IA_AVGATTENDANCE.pdf

While there are only 4 other teams who have a better attendance in all of college football than UGA does, Notre Dame languishes in 15th place in the Official NCAA Attendance per game.

In fact, if you look over what the fans vote as the more entertaining schedule strength, last season was a high water mark in attendance for last season's Number 52 SOS and Number 75 Total Defense of Notre Dame.

You should be ashamed to try to pass this off as a meaningful discussion of SOS for Notre Dame being in fact better than UGA's. It's not close.

Tied at Number 35, 36, 37 and Number 38 in the nation in Wins the Last 9 years, next when a Notre Shame fan shames himself with a "discussion" limited as it is against another team such as UGA clearly who plays a far better schedule than does Notre Dame, please remember to look at just what in the Blazes your football team has done against its far weaker schedule losing to teams with a Losing Record like 5-6 Michigan State and beating not one single Final AP Poll team all season long as you in fact just did, while UGA for the last 9 seasons now finds only 2 teams in the entire country who have Won More Games than we.

http://football.stassen.com/cgi-bin/records/calc-wp.pl?start=1997&end=2005&rpct=0&min=1&ss=on&se=on&c1a=on&pt=on&by=Wins

It is not who you played, but who you beat that matters. And, you didn't play a better SOS than we. Either.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Notre Dame enforce a no-bowl policy dating from the 1920s until 1970? If ND chose to go to bowls during those fifty years, I don't think you would be dancing around proclaiming UGA's bowl count as something amazing.

C

 
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