Friday, September 12, 2014

The Big Game

Saturday is a big game for Georgia. The Bulldogs travel to South Carolina to play Steve "Evil Genius" Spurrier's Gamecocks. UGA won its first game, a blowout of a good Clemson team, while South Carolina lost its opening game, a blowout loss to Texas A&M. UGA had a bye last week, while South Carolina played a middling game to beat East Carolina.

Okay, enough with all the proper nouns. What's it all mean?

UGA is a touchdown favorite tomorrow. The fine folks at 538 did a nice piece today on the game. I'm only gonna add something about rankings.

Since 2000, UGA has started the season ranked in the AP Poll's Top 10 six times. Only in three of those seasons, though, did it finish in the Top 10. The most painful, probably, was 2008 when Georgia opened as #1 and finished 13th. Ouch. See the table below for pre-season prediction and final ranking since 2000.

AP Poll on Georgia

Season Pre-Season
2014 12 NA, 6th at present
2013 5 *
2012 6 5
2011 19 19
2010 23 *
2009 13 *
2008 1 13
2007 13 2
2006 15 23
2005 13 10
2004 3 7
2003 11 7
2002 8 3
2001 * 22
2000 10 20
* Not in Top 25

Georgia averages a pre-season ranking of about 12th. I say "about" because there's an unranked year, so I called it 28th. It ends with an average of about 16th (there are some rankings in the 30s as finishes). To summarize, UGA averages an AP Poll ranking of 12, and averages an AP Poll finish of 16.

Hopefully this season it'll go in the opposite direction, starting at 14, finishing at ... well ... it's too soon to say.

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