Here at MrSEC.com we enjoy sifting through the facts and figures and box scores of SEC football. Occasionally, you can stumble across a number that provides a true measure of a team’s success. One such stat is Scoring Efficiency which we looked at earlier today. Another is Defensive Efficiency. That one, we’ll look at right here.
Defensive Efficiency takes into account every part of a football team, not just a squad’s defensive unit. Special teams that pin opponents deep improve the DE number. Ditto an offense that doesn’t turn the ball over and provide opponents with short fields to work with. And of course, the D, has a little something to do with this statistic, too.
The best teams usually are those that force opposing teams to work harder for every point they score. So when it comes to Defensive Efficiency, we’re measuring the number of yards per point allowed. The lower the number, the worse a team’s record is likely to be. The higher the number, the better a team’s record should be.
Below are the numbers from this season’s SEC games. We don’t count non-conference games because strength of schedule varies from school to school. We look only at in-conference games. Guess which two teams are the toughest to score upon:
|| School (Conf. Record)
|| Total Def. Yards Allowed
|| Total Points Allowed
|| Yards/Point Allowed
||S. Carolina (4-1)
||Miss. State (0-4)
||Ole Miss (0-3)
* Alabama and LSU just couldn’t be more evenly matched. They’re similar in talent and style of play and their stats are even eerily similar. Through four conference games, both squads have allowed just 31 points. If you’re not looking forward to their epic clash on November 5th you’re just not a football fan.
* If you’re looking for a surprise, check out the numbers for Auburn. The Tigers have given up yards inbuckets — especially when you figure in their games with Utah State and Clemson — but Ted Roof’s bunch has shown some improvement in recent weeks. Of course, facing a struggling Stephen Garcia and a Florida team with a pair of true freshman QBs didn’t hurt.
* There’s a reason Vanderbilt is move competitive this year. The Commodores are middle of the pack in Scoring Efficiency and Defensive Efficiency half way through their league schedule. James Franklin’s first-year record might not be a thing of beauty, but the Commodores have improved on his watch.
* Georgia’s defense ranks pretty well in most categories. So why are the Dawgs ranked so low in this measure of yards per point allowed? Because 41 of the 108 points they’ve allowed in conference play have come on punt returns, kick returns, interception returns and fumble returns. This is a team measure. And UGA’s special teams and offensive units have been letting down their defensive counterparts.
* Florida hasn’t been anywhere near as stingy as prognosticators expected (and that includes us). But playing Alabama and LSU in consecutive weeks will hurt any team’s numbers. Let’s check back in at the end of the season and see if the Gators haven’t improved upon their current state.