Posted: 10:26 am Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Book it (or don’t): Tech projected at No. 45 

By Ken Sugiura

My thanks to the blog Football Perspective for providing some preseason grist.

Using a list of more than 200 point spreads for games this season, the website produced rankings for the 83 teams that had a line set for at least one game (Tech had two. More on that below.). I imagine at its most fundamental, if Team A is favored over Team B in Game 1, and Team B is favored over Team C, then the rankings are Team A, Team B and Team C, and the coach of Team C is on the hotseat. It’s explained in depth on the blog.

Anyway, Football Perspective’s Simple Rating System slots the Yellow Jackets at No. 45, right between Pittsburgh and Tennessee. Judging by the Sagarin ratings, that’s about an 8-5 or 7-6 season, which is fairly consistent with Tech’s recent (and less recent) history.

The ratings for the ACC:

Team SRS
FSU 1
Clemson 16
UNC 19
Miami 30
Louisville 36
VT 39
Duke 40
Pittsburgh 44
GT 45
Syracuse 48
Virginia 64
N.C. State 66
BC 70
WF 72

 

The two Tech games included among the lines set by the Las Vegas Golden Nugget.

Tech is a seven-point underdog at Virginia Tech Sept. 20, a four-point underdog to Miami at home on Oct. 4.

How accurate is the Simple Rating System?

I used last year’s projections for 13 ACC teams (Duke did not have a game on the list) and compared them with the season-ending ratings from the Sagarin ratings. I guess it’s not apples to apples, but we’re also not trying to split the atom, so I hope you can tolerate this reckless crossing of wires. Also, I guess a variance is technically never a negative value. My deepest apologies.

Team SRS  Sagarin  Variance
FSU 11 1 +10
Clemson 15 14 +1
Virginia Tech 23 43 -20
Miami 26 49 -23
Georgia Tech 36 37 -1
UNC 38 45 -7
Syracuse 46 62 -16
Pittsburgh 53 55 -2
N.C. State 54 113 -59
Maryland 58 73 -15
Virginia 59 106 -47
WF 67 86 -19
Boston College 68 64 +4

 

You’ll notice last year’s preseason rating pretty much nailed the Jackets.

The average variance was 17.2 spots. (On the MS Word page I was writing on, the way they page breaks fell, I initially thought Pittsburgh was the last team to input, at which point the average variance was 10, and I thought, Wow, that’s actually pretty good. And then I realized I had five more teams left, two of which blew up the average.)

Interestingly, 10 of the 13 teams were overvalued. Obviously, Duke would almost certainly have been heavily undervalued and would have increased the mean average. Going back to the variance, an average of 17.2 doesn’t give a whole lot of credence to the projections. With Tech at No. 45, that could potentially be the difference between 9-4 and 7-6. (That said, the difference between those two records can be minute. It isn’t very hard to find two games that Tech lost last year that, but for a play or two, could have been wins.)

However, six of the 13 projections were within 10 spots or less, and four were within five slots or less. So you could conclude that there’s a 46 percent chance that the projection could be fairly accurate and a 31 percent chance it could be extremely accurate.

Or, you can just wait for the games to play out.

40 comments
Jmonty
Jmonty

If CPJ can learn what a quick slant is, I think GT's ranking goes up 20 points.  If CTR can teach how to blitz the "A" gaps, it will go up another 5 points.  The 2 biggest concerns for me.  Can JT take the lead and make solid plays?  The other, can the "D" line recover from the loss of talent?  If the answer to both is "yes" I think was have a good chance for a decent 9 win season.  Given how weak the Coastal is, 10 wins wouldn't be out of the question.  However; we would be a very weak 9-10 win team.  Face it, the ACC Coastal isn't going to be a powerhouse, by all means.

JimS1974
JimS1974

Ken, just responded to your email. Let's try not to take 2 years to respond this time shall we? Kidding!! I know you're busy and appreciate whatever you can do. And keep up the good work as always.

POAD2014
POAD2014

some very odd stats. Now with the playoff do we really need the popularity AP and Coaches Polls?

FreddieBlassie
FreddieBlassie

I got a feeling that this year will be a very good year for the bees. Byerly will play about half the snaps with Thomas and the defense will be helped by some surprising play from some new defensive linemen and one or two of the Lamar County true freshmen will help in the defensive backfield. The blue chip true freshman running back will be as good as advertised.

In 2015, despite the BEAR of a schedule, the 2014 season will provide us with the foundation and we will win 9 or ten games in both 2014 and 2015. I am predicting a national championship for Tech in 2015. 

"Whoa, brother and sister!"

fuzzybee78
fuzzybee78

@RuePaulJohnson 

Yes we need JT to break well for us and the rest of our opponents to struggle more with their new starter. With respect to his arm I watched his "highlight tape" on youtube and he throws some nice balls with zip and distance. And I think he will be an upgrade running the ball vs Vad, if he can stay healthy. 


If we can hold at UNC and home Duke wins and break well against either at VT or home UM it will be a good year. Problem is we seem to lose to someone we shouldn't every year. 

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

GT Football trending upward according to Jeff Sagarin's final rankings 2013-2010:  37 (2013), 46, 56 and 70 (2010).

KenAJC
KenAJC moderator

one thing to consider about the rankings. oddsmakers will set lines not necessarily as an evaluation of teams' relative strengths, but to produce a spread that will get gamblers to bet on both teams evenly.

KenAJC
KenAJC moderator

I'm going to guess they haven't bet any money.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

Ha!   They have Auburn number 4 and Florida number 23.   That's cute.

Jmonty
Jmonty

I think this is going to a real poor year for most teams in the Coastal.  Most teams are extremely young and will be starting first year starters in key positions.  Maybe GT can sneak a few extra W's.  But, unless CPJ can learn how to make teams pay for crowding the LOS, it will be about the same.

Jmonty
Jmonty

As long as we can beat VT, Clemson and UGA, I'd be happy.

GTBob
GTBob

Ill believe that we are worse than Pitt, UNC, and Duke when I see it.

forexbomb
forexbomb

more meaningless stats.... 

fuzzybee78
fuzzybee78

The joker in the deck is all the new QB's in the league. Our Big 4 opponents (VT,UM,Clemson, ugh) all start new QB's and you just don't know how they will play from game 1 to 12. An upset is more likely with a green QB than with a veteran is my general belief. Don't know if that is perception or reality….Ken???

juvenal
juvenal

you mean we might actually lose to unc this year? & if the tree fell in that fanbase forest.......... 

JacketMan
JacketMan

Year in, and year out, GA Tech is predicted to be at the middle of the pack, or worse, of the ACC, yet they haven't had a losing record in nearly 20 years; the longest record in Major College football.

It hasn't mattered whether the Jackets have had new Head Coach's, QB's, Offensive and Defensive Coordinators, whole new Offensive and Defensive Lines...they have consistently won.

In fact, over the past several years, using these same weighted "statistics," what has actually happened is that GA Tech has ended up having the best recored over the past 6 or so years in the Coastal Division, with a greater win over projected loss ratio than any other team in the ACC.

It may end up that these so-called projections will be accurate this particular season, but historically, this hasn't been the case.

RichardKPE
RichardKPE

Out of curiosity, how much money have the creators of this rating system made in Vegas betting on their predictions?

HighTechJacket99
HighTechJacket99

Were you that stuttering idiot going on and on about Stanford?

GTBob
GTBob

@fuzzybee78 Not to rag on Vad too much but I don't feel he played the QB position very well last year. He had the 2nd lowest completion percentage, the most interceptions, and the worst rushing numbers of any QB in the CPJ era. I don't think replacing him is going to be quite as much of a task as replacing QBs like Tahj Boyd, Aaron Murray, Logan Thomas, or Stephen Morris. All of those guys were seasoned veterans. 3 of them were drafted to the NFL and the other one signed a free agent contract. I'm not entirely sure if Vad would have stayed if JT wouldn't have beat him out for the job anyways.

ChopChamps95
ChopChamps95

I thought the same thing.  Seems like for about the last decade that "this year is their year" and every season, without fail, they fall flat on their face.

BleedingGold
BleedingGold

@GeorgeStein  Even the football magazines I've been reading have been all over Florida.  THEY WENT 4-8 LAST YEAR!  Most of the projections have them at 7-5.  How does they warrant being called the preseason, twenty-third best team in the country?  The bias for these big name teams is unbelievable. 

Yellerbug
Yellerbug

@Jmonty  That is certainly one of the keys.  VT and UGA dared us to throw the ball.  Vad threw for 250 yds against UGA and we could have thrown for 100 more as the pass was open all game. Our pass protection was unfortunately poor. I hope FreddieB is right and both Byerly and Thomas share snaps.  We don't seem to have many short pass plays in our playbook.  We run, run, run, then throw the long ball to a WR or a wheel route to a back.  Sometimes we have that quick throw to the WR if the CB is 10 yds off the LOS.  If we rotate QBs not on a scheduled "series" basis, but on a situational basis, and get some high percentage pass plays like an A-back quick curl that provides a stationary target to throw to, then the confidence of the QB goes up, the opposing D will have to hesitate a little before playing the run and who knows a quick pass to a Snoddy and a missed tackle and he's off to the races.  There's still an ocean of hope in June!!

KenAJC
KenAJC moderator

@fuzzybee78 i'd think so, although a team is less likely to be a heavy favorite with a first-year starting quarterback, I'd imagine.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@juvenal 

The W-L record should be the least of UNC's worries.

Having said that, if a team in Conference USA or the Sun Belt had pulled the same stuff as UNC they would be on probation for a decade.

ToddE
ToddE

@JacketMan GT did go 6-7 the year they lost to Air Force in the toilet bowl.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@BleedingGold Well, I get projections based on peripheral data, and I think it behooves their business to be right more than it helps to puff up big teams, but I don't see enough to warrant a ranking in the top 40.    Whatever, we'll know more in, like, three months.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

@RuePaulJohnson What the hell does passing have to do with anything?   Your comment is (not surprisingly) completely incoherent.

GGee
GGee

Let the kid actually throw some passes as a starter before we state that he cannot be a good passer. I actually see some zip on his passes. But he has that issue of seeing over the line. Which hes dealt with his entire life. Im sure he will do just fine.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@ToddE 

I think he means that GT hasn't had a losing record in the conference.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@GeorgeStein 

Yep - it's terrible that GT is just a running team and on top of that the QB is new.

Reminds me of the joke about the 2 old ladies in a restaurant

Lady #1 "the food in this place tastes bad"

Lady #2 "and the portions are too small"

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@juvenal 

They are looking very good - although that had to be the worst performance by Portugal in a long time.  I expect Germany to beat Ghana and then play he B team against the US for a draw (Löwe helping out Jurgen).  They will blow out the 2nd place from Group H.  First challenge should be Leo and the Albiceleste in the quarters.

US is looking good to get at the group but I can't see them beating Belgium.

Do or die for the 3 Lions tomorrow

GTLee
GTLee

Based on Bham's vast depth of college football knowledge