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When It Comes To Auburn’s Success, The Numbers Don’t Add Up

When it comes to Auburn’s success in 2011, the numbers just don’t add up.  The Tigers have lost starters by the boat load, including superstars Cam Newton and Nick Fairley on offense and defense, respectively.

Auburn’s defense is allowing yards and points at an alarming rate.  The Tigers’ 27.4 points-allowed-per-game average is worst in the SEC.

Even on offense, Gus Malzahn’s crew has taken a major step back in terms of production.  They’re currently eighth in the league in scoring.

Look below at this simple comparison of each schools’ average points scored and allowed points allowed per game.  Then take a look at the schools’ records to the right.


Rank
School
Avg. Pts/Game
Avg. Pts. Allowed/Game
Avg. Margin/Game
Record (SEC)
1
Alabama
38.4
-8.4
30.0
5-0 (2-0)
2
LSU
38.0
-12.8
25.2
5-0 (2-0)
3
Florida
34.2
-14.8
19.4
4-1 (2-1)
4
Tennessee
37.8
-20.5
17.3
3-1 (0-1)
5
Arkansas
39.4
-22.8
16.6
4-1 (0-1)
6
Georgia
34.6
-20.6
14.0
3-2 (2-1)
7
Vanderbilt
25.5
-15.8
9.7
3-1 (1-1)
8
S. Carolina
31.8
-23.8
8.0
4-1 (2-1)
9
Miss. State
27.0
-23.6
3.4
2-3 (0-3)
10
Auburn
30.6
-27.4
3.2
4-1 (2-0)
11
Ole Miss
22.6
-24.6
-2.0
2-3 (0-2)
12
Kentucky
15.0
-24.6
-9.6
2-3 (0-1)



We’re not deep into SEC play, so strength of schedule certainly has some bearing on those numbers.  That said, it’s clear that the bigger a team’s average scoring margin the better.  Common sense, right?

Just not in the case of Auburn.  The Tigers are surrounded by teams with losing records.  Yet they themselves are 4-1 overall and undefeated in the SEC.

That’s good coaching, folks.  Last year, with Newton running all over the field, AU’s string of close-game wins were devalued a bit because it appeared Gene Chizik had simply landed a player for the ages who had lifted his team upon his back like Atlas.

But Atlas is gone — along with umpteen other starters — and the Tigers are still winning close games.

Interestingly, the Tigers’ average scoring margin of +3.2 points per game ranks but a hair behind Mississippi State’s +3.4 scoring margin.  On the standings board, however, the Tigers are 4-1 (2-0), the Bulldogs are 2-3 (0-3). 

Not surprisingly, Chizik’s team slipped by Dan Mullen’s squad in a close game sealed with a goal-line stand. 

There are two months of the season yet to be played and a lot can change in that time.  But for now, Auburn’s coaches have shown once again that they can get the most out of their players in clutch situations.

Impressive.

 


3 comments
Razorback
Razorback

These are the kind of articles that keep me coming back. Thanks for the good stuff.

Rob
Rob

Read today that Auburn is 9-0 in games decided by 4 points or less under Chizik. Although I still think Newton had a lot to do with that last year, Auburn's coaching certainly deserves most of the credit, imo. Maybe it is Chizik, but I have a feeling that Malzahn has a little to do with it also.

Having said that, I think it's only a matter of time until that luck runs out.

Alex
Alex

so is it coaching or luck? Everyone keeps saying Auburn is always lucky, can't their coaches and players get a little bit of credit? sheesh



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