Monday, April 29, 2013

Georgia Tech, NFL Draft, and Paul Johnson Recruiting

The 2013 NFL Draft came and went and not a single player from Georgia Tech was selected. This marks the first time since the 2005 Draft a Yellow Jacket was not selected.
Stephon Tuitt would have been one of those "1-8" guys/IrishSports.com

The lack of Draft picks is without question a direct correlation to the lack of elite talent on Tech's squad last season which led to 7-7 year.

This past February did not bring a lot of hope things would get immediately better when the Jackets signed a small recruiting class which some services ranked in the 80s nationally and near the bottom of the ACC.

Small class numbers aside, that class lacked ready made talent and will take more than the average development to turn it into ACC and State Champions (in state rival UGA racked up eight Draft picks tying a school record).

Is Johnson bad at recruiting/developing NFL Draft talent or is he simply following along the Georgia Tech trend?

I decided to look at BCS era coaches on The Flats.  Below are the three coaches, their number of seasons, total picks, and picks in the first three rounds.  

George O'Leary (7+ seasons): 9 total picks; 5 in first three rounds
Chan Gailey (6 seasons): 12; 5 in first three rounds
Paul Johnson (5 seasons): 9; 5 in first three rounds

The first thing that jumps out Johnson is three draft picks off of Gailey's mark in one less season.

The Yellow Jackets would appear to have two almost sure draft picks for next season (Jemea Thomas, Jeremiah Attaochu) as well as a few others that could work their way in big Senior seasons (David Sims, Brandon Watts, Louis Young among others)

While Johnson did not recruit all of his nine draft picks, neither did Gailey with his 12 picks. Daryl Smith was recruited by O'Leary (in a big battle with UGA) as well as four other picks in the 2004 draft which are credited to Gailey above. O'Leary was on staff for his predecessor so you could attribute some of the mid 90s picks to him.  (FWIW if the coach was in place on National Signing Day I consider those signees to be "theirs" as nothing is official until the LOI is signed and faxed). 

I think Johnson said it best himself: the 1-85 talent is definitely better than when he arrived, but the 1-8 talent is not. This is where Johnson and his staff must improve for Georgia Tech to get back to winning ACC Championships and challenging (and ocassionally beating) UGA.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

NCAA Tournament Bracket Entries: How The Statisticians Did?

Having not followed college basketball as closely as years past, I relied more on "statistical analysis" to fill out my bracket using two sources: Georgia Tech Professor Joel Sokol's LRMC method and New York Times' Nate Silver (guy who predicted Presidential Election)

If you need a quick brush up on LRMC you can find it here.

Nate Silver's prediction performed the better of the two, especially when you factor in points which many bracket challenges do.

I did not count points from the 1st round (i.e. the First Four) as very few bracket challenges do. If you were like me you were filling your bracket out at 11:30 on Thursday morning, the day the Tournament started. 

Georgia Tech Industrial Engineering Professor Joel Sokol bracket using LRMC
1st rd: 1-3
2nd rd: 21-11
3rd rd: 11-5
Sweet 16: 4-4
Elite 8: 1-3
Final 4: 0-2
Champ Game: 0-1
Total: 38-29 (57%)
Points:  67

Sokol gained fame in the Atlanta community after being one of the few (Jessica Simpson being another) to pick his employer to make it to the Championship Game in 2004.  This year was a down year for his method only picking 57% of games correct and only getting one Final Four team.  A major flaw of this bracket was having Gonzaga advance all the way to the Championship Game (vs Florida).

Nate Silver New York Times

1st rd: 3-1
2nd rd: 22-10
3rd rd: 11-5
Sweet 16: 4-4
Elite 8: 1-3
Final 4: 1-1
Champ: 1-0
Total: 43-24 (64%)
Points: 116

Silver did considerably better nailing the Louisville pick to win it all although his numbers suggested the Cardinals were only a modest favorite.  

Silver would have placed in the 96th percentile of ESPN's Bracket Challenge, just behind Dick Vitale but chances are he would have not won your office pool. 

Me?  I finished a respectable 85th in a 564 member pool with Louisville winning but way too many 2nd and 3rd losses did me in.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Georgia Tech Baseball Defeats UGA 7-5 Tuesday Night In Athens

Yellow Jackets Manager Danny Hall talks about GT's win over the rival Bulldogs.  Georgia Tech has won 9 of the last 12 against Georgia and five of the last six at Foley Field. With the victory, Hall moved to 40-29 against UGA.

The Bulldogs are having arguably their worst season ever under David Perno fell to 12-22 on the season.

Tech and Georgia will play two more times this season - April 23 at Turner Field and May 14 at Russ Chandler Stadium


via RamblinWreckTube

Thursday, April 4, 2013

First Look At EA Sports NCAA Football '14

EA Sports usually puts out several videos each year prior to game release in mid-July. This is the first I am aware of for NCAA Football '14.

The video focuses on EA's enhancements to the running game in this years edition.

Offense sells video games so it is not much of a surprise to see focus on this side of the ball in an early release. For many years, the running game was neglected because passing is what made the game fly off the shelves. With the emergence of programs like Oregon and the success of the Tim Tebow's, Cam Newton's, and Braxton Miller's of the world more players are using the running game in their video play.

I hope NCAA '14 places more focus on the elements surrounding the game - the crowd, the sidelines, the band. EA has put a lot of work into gameplay the last few years and it shows. But I hope they continue to work on these items as they are really lacking in my opinion. And bringing back a college basketball and college baseball game would be cool too.