Albama Arkansas Auburn Florida Georgia Kentucky LSU Mississippi State Missouri Ole-Miss USC Tennessee Texas A&M Vanderbilt
Latest News

In The SEC, Turnovers Mean Everything: 2007-2011 Numbers Show The Value Of The Takeaway

When it comes to Southeastern Conference football, you can toss just about every stat out the window save one — turnovers.  Sure there are nuggets to be found here and there and we’re a site that enjoys searching for them.

But in terms of wins and losses, you’ll not find a more stat that means more than turnovers.

We have gone back through the 2007 season to examine the correlation between turnovers and winning and losing in SEC conference games.  The result could not be more clear.

Turn the ball over and you will likely lose.

For comparison’s sake lets look at what we’ve seen this season and compare it to what we saw last season:

In 2010, there were 49 SEC contests played (including the title game in Atlanta).  In 37 of those 49 games, one team held a turnover advantage at the end of day.  The team that won the turnover battle in a 2010 SEC game went 32-5.  The team that won turnover margin last season won 86.4% of SEC games.

In 2011, there have been 31 SEC games played (with 18 remaining on the docket).  In 25 of those 31 games, one team won the turnover margin.  The team that has won the turnover battle in a 2011 SEC game has gone 22-3.  The team that has won turnover margin this season has won 88.0% of SEC games.

Want to make it even more clear?  Over a year-and-a-half span, teams winning the turnover battle in SEC contests are a ridiculous 54-8.  That’s a winning percentage of 87.0% if your team wins the turnover margin.

Force more turnovers, win the game.  End of story.

In the last two seasons combined, only eight times has a team lost the turnover battle and won the game.  And only twice has a team lost the turnover margin by more than one and won the game (LSU beat Tennessee despite being -4 in turnovers in their 2010 clash and Mississippi State beat Kentucky despite being -3 in turnovers last month.)

Let’s now look at a 2011 breakdown of wins and losses as compared to the number of times a team turned the ball over:

2011 SEC Contests Only

Turnovers Committed in Game Wins Losses Win Pct.
0 10 2 83.3%
1 10 3 76.9%
2 4 14 22.2%
3 5 7 41.6%
4 or more 2 5 28.5%

Teams that have committed one turnover or fewer have won 80.0% of their league games this season.  Teams that have committed two or more turnovers have won just 29.7% of their games.

One or fewer turnovers = 80% chance of winning in 2011.
Two or more turnovers = 30% chance of winning in 2011.

Now let’s look at overall turnover margin:

2011 SEC Contests Only

Turnover Margin Wins Losses Win Pct.
Plus 1 10 2  83.3%
Plus 2 9 0 100.0%
Plus 3 or more 3 1 75.0%

The only SEC team to have a +3 turnover margin in a 2011 league game and lose was Kentucky… who fell to Mississippi State despite winning the turnover battle three to nil.

Plus one in turnover margin = 83.3% chance of winning in 2011.
Plus two or more in turnover margin = 92.3% chance of winning in 2011.

Now let’s look at all the turnover numbers from 2007 through 2011 (four-and-a-half seasons of data).

2007-2011 SEC Contests Only

Turnovers Committed in Game Wins Losses Win Pct.
0 66 21 75.8%
1 87 57 60.4%
2 44 61 41.9%
3 22 51 30.1%
4 or more 8 37 17.7%

Over the last five seasons, a team that doesn’t turn the ball over has a 75.8% chance of winning its game.

2007-2011 SEC Contests Only

Turnover Margin Wins Losses Win Pct.
Plus 1 52 20 72.2%
Plus 2 41 10 80.3%
Plus 3 or more 40 5 88.8%

Over the past five seasons, SEC teams who’ve won the turnover margin in a game are 133-35.  That’s a winning percentage of 79.1%

Sure, we all knew turnovers were important.  But in the SEC, they’re more than important.  In the SEC, turnovers mean almost everything.

 


0 comments

Trackbacks

  1. [...] you read our piece last Friday regarding the importance of turnovers in the SEC (over the last five years, teams winning the turnover battle have won 80% of league contests), [...]



Follow Us On:
Mobile MrSEC