And found nothing that comforts me. Just some tidbits, my research was started by a thought from reading this and this, I compared Vince Dooley (1979-1987), Jim Donnan (1996-2000) and CMR (2001-4 Games of 2010). (Seriously, there was no need to look at Goff.) The years I chose on Dooley obviously incorporate his best years, with one year prior and a few after to account for the spike in excellence for the '80-83 years.
I looked at average points per game, both for and against, Top 25 Won/Loss records, and blow out wins vs losses (I arbitrarily defined a blowout as a final score resulting in a 14 point or greater difference). I tossed out the points per game, but kept the W/L and blowout results.
Top 25 Opponent Record Blowout Wins Blowout Losses
Vince Dooley (79-87) 13-10 41 6
Jim Donnan (96-00) 7-13 19 4
Mark Richt (01-now) 28-19 49 9
Naturally, one can see that CMR and CVD have very similar numbers, and Donnan--well, he never once posted a .500 or better record versus Top 25 teams, thus this sample can be flushed. However, if one were to break down CVD's and CMR's record year by year, you would see that CVD's worst year was 1984, with a 7-4-1 record, 1-2-1 result vs Top 25 teams, with only 2 blowout wins and 2 blowout losses. CMR's was last year (and just to pour lemon into the wound), with an 8-5 record, a 1-3 result against Top 25 teams (actually, all 3 losses were to top 10 teams) with 3 blowout wins and 3 blowout losses. Not bad, but a troubling development has been CMR's record versus Top 25 teams in the last 2 seasons (09 and this season)--he is 1-5, worse than any 2 year period for Donnan.
I will concede if CMR can turn this boat around, he can improve these numbers...so, I next decided to look at the game stats of the 4 games we've played so far this year. Surely, I would find a degradation in some statistical category which would point me to the gremlin in this year's football machine. I compared 1st downs, total yards gained, penalties, time of possession (TOP) and turnovers between both teams. Georgia stats are listed first, followed by their opponents' in each category--except TOP(apparently I can't or am too ignorant to plant a spreadsheet in this post):
1st Downs Total Yards Penalties TOP Turnovers
vs. ULA-LA 17-5 377-128 5-2 33:27 1-3
vs SCAR 11-23 253-354 4-5 24:45 1-1
vs Ark 19-18 392-433 9-10 34:02 1-0
vs MSU 21-18 387-314 9-4 30:29 2-1
Nothing glaring, pretty decent numbers. I wish I had access to redzone numbers, but regardless, if we don't fumble, and we don't blow 2 coverages, we're sitting at 3-1, not 1-3. South Carolina is the only team that owned us. These numbers above tell me we're producing (I mean, I'm old school--if you control the clock for 34 minutes, you should not lose!), moving the ball, but not FINISHING THE DRILL! Granted, a lot of our yardage is from playing catch up.
Now the neat tie-together: what do these 2 statistical comparisons tell me? Considering CMRs performance against Top 25 teams in the last 17 games (again, 1-5!), the statistical closeness of this year's games, and to pile on, the off-field problems, I think there is a substantial drop in coaching/mentoring going on. I asked last week why CMR doesn't put fire in these guys anymore, now I am wondering if CMR has any fire left himself? I hope I'm wrong and all of this statistical business and my own morose mood are skewing what I'm seeing. I guess time will tell.
Disclaimer: I know there will be much debate about what stats I looked at--I just wanted to make apparent the degradation of CMR's skills against top tier teams, and think of this: With only 6 blowout losses in 9 years for CVD, teams knew they had a fight playing Dooley's Dawgs. CMR's Dawgs can't say that...at least not in the past 2+ years.