Coaches By The Numbers: Should Richt’s Backside Really Be On Fire?

Coaches By The Numbers has put up a very insightful piece on Mark Richt which looks at hard statistical data in order to determine whether or not he should be on the hot seat.

The first stat which they note is that Richt’s overall winning percentage from 2001 to present, at 73 percent, exceeds that of all Georgia coaches before him with 5 or more years of experience, going back all the way to World War II (63 percent).  Many Richt supporters point to this as evidence that you would have to be crazy to want Richt gone.

But that is not the whole story on Richt.  They go on to look at winning percentages from different phases of his career.  Here are some numbers that jump out:  His overall winning percentage, his winning percentage against SEC opponents, and his winning percentage against nonconference opponents each has dropped by 20 percentage points from 2001-2004 to 2008-2010.  The one that jumps out the most is his winning percentage against Top 25 opponents, which actually increased from 60% in 2001-04 to 71% in 2005-07, but then dropped to 29% in 2008-10, for an over-40-point drop.

Another set of numbers which they look at has to do with the defense, and the scoring defense in particular.  Under Brian VanGorder (2001-04), opponents scored 30+ points only once and scored an average of 16.3 points per game.  Under Willie Martinez and Todd Grantham (2007-10), opponents scored 30+ points 19 times and scored an average of 23.2 points per game–almost a full touchdown more.

Since Georgia fans have made Mike Bobo a focus of criticism, they look at some numbers pertaining to the offense as well.  During Mike Bobo’s tenure (2007-present), Georgia’s offense has scored an average of 29.2 points per game.  Prior to this (2001-06), Georgia’s offense only averaged 28.8 points per game.

Thus there has actually been a slight improvement under Bobo.  If the offense is a problem, it is only because they are not scoring enough points to keep up with what the defense gives away.

In summary, Mark Richt is a formerly great coach who is now trending in the wrong direction.  This is likely due to the departure of Brian VanGorder after the 2004 season.  Their conclusion:

After a thorough review of the numbers, maybe the Dawg Nation isn’t quite delusional as originally thought. Maybe the data is pointing to a coach that is simply trending in the wrong direction.

The late and great investing guru Phillip Fisher used to say that there are only three reasons to sell a stock: Wrong Facts, Changing Facts, or Scarcity of Cash.

Well, with Mark Richt, the statistical facts have changed and if he doesn’t right the ship and do it sooner rather than later, it just might be time for the Dawg Nation to hunker down, sell their stock, and buy something new.

See?  I’m not as delusional as you think for wanting Mark Richt gone.

Take a look and see all the numbers for yourself.

Read Should Mark Richt’s Backside Really Be On Fire?