Fun with Stats: How Bad is Georgia Southern?

Persistence is the process of seeing a plan come to fruition. Coach Summers has a track record of success that dates back to his collegiate playing days back at Presbyterian and spans across 14 years of coaching football, more in particular the defensive side of the ball. So, needless to say that things will get back on track in Statesboro, because the man the University has entrusted with the keys to its beloved football program has a plan, a process, and the persistence to get the job done.

A piece was published on Southern Pigskin last week that caught my attention. The author, God bless them, somehow threads the needle between Pravda-level propaganda and outright satire, depending how you read it. Take a look for yourself if you need a chuckle.

If you’re one of the few fans left on Tyson Summers island, then I’m sure you appreciated the rosy-eyed optimism exhibited by the author. Someone has to defend him I suppose. But for me? No, I’m far too cynical. Tyson Summers knows what he signed up for; he worked on Brian Van Gorder’s staff in 2006, the last Eagles season as bad as this one. He grew up in Tifton.

If he was caught off-guard by how impatient our fans are, then I don’t know what to tell him. Ain’t nobody got time for patience, persistence, and pancakes or whatever spin is coming out of the athletic department at the moment.

The college coaching world is chaos, and chaos is a ladder. Coaches jump from program to program at their whim. Programs will fire a coach after one season now if things go poorly enough. Gone are the days when a coach gets full four years of recruits before judgment. Today, you get two seasons to win, or you’re on the hot seat. Mike Sewak got fired at Georgia Southern with a .714 winning percentage.

We live in the day and age of 5-7 and 6-6 bowl teams, the bar of “success” is really low. I wouldn’t have been thrilled with a 6-6 season for Georgia Southern, but if we ended up in a bowl game because of it, I would have had a reason for optimism heading into year three of the Tyson Summers experiment.

Bottomline is Georgia Southern football is really bad now, like reaaaaally bad. Think I’m exaggerating? Well, I dug up some fancy numbers on to backup my argument. Georgia Southern is near the bottom in several offensive and defensive categories: Take a look for yourself:



Team Offense: 306 YPG (121st) (43rd in ’15)

Points per game: 17.6 (121st) (25th in ’15)

Rushing Offense: 212 YPG (27th) (1st in ’15)

Passing Offense: 83 YPG (126th duh) (129th in ’15 so better actually)

Passing Efficiency: 106.93 (118th)

1st downs: 80 (129th)

Sacks allowed per game: 4.20 (127th)

TFLs allowed per game: 8.40 (122nd)

Points per game defense: 37.9 (118th) (41st in ’15)

Point per game differential: -23.8 (122nd) (+13.2 in ’15) the next closest is 2009 at -8.91, -4.8 last year.

Current YPP differential: -1.826, the next closest is 2009 with -1.35, Chris Hatcher’s last season as head coach. That’s nearly full half yard per play difference.


Team Defense: 429.6 YPG (101st) (21st in ’15)

Rushing Defense: 187.0 YPG (95th) (27th in ’15)

Passing Efficiency Defense: 145.7 (107th)

Passing yards allowed per game: 242.6 (93rd) (39th in ’15)

3rd down conversion rate: .213 (129th)

3rd down conversion rate defense: .431 (102nd)

TFLs per game: 6.6 (49th actually not terrible)

Team Sacks per game: 2.0 (64th)

Penalties per game: 6.80 (81st)


Advanced Stats

I even dug up a few fancier Moneyball-type metrics via Football Outsiders and that further illustrate what we already know:

SRS: -16.63 (123rd)

Simple Rating System; a rating that takes into account average point differential and strength of schedule. The rating is denominated in points above/below average, where zero is average.

FEI (through 4 games): -.128 Overall (105th)
The Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) is a college football rating system based on opponent-adjusted drive efficiency in FBS games.

Yards Per Point Margin: -5.0 (115th)

Points per Play: 0.271 (115th)

Points per Play Margin: -0.308 (122nd)

Red Zone Scoring Attempts per game: 1.0 (129th)

Red Zone scores per game: 0.8 (129th)

Red Zone Scoring percentage: 75% (101st)

TDs per game: 1.8 (117th)

What is there to say? The numbers speak for themselves. There are very few silver linings in this nimbostratus of a football season.  “Patience, persistence, and process” rings hollow for fans used to a program that has won roughly 63.8% of their games all-time. I’ll leave you with the most important statistic, wins and losses. Tyson Summers is now 2-12 in his last 14 games and that simply won’t due.

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