This is a good example of how time of possession is over-rated (note that I'm not saying that it isn't important at all.)
With just a couple of weeks left in the regular season, the sample of in-conference games is large enough now that we can begin to trot out a few more statistical analysis pieces.
First, we’ll look at a figure we call Quick Strike. It measures how easily a team can score points.
The stat is a simple one. Take a team’s total number of points scored. Divide that number by the number of plays an offense runs… and there’s your points-per-play ratio, your Quick Strike number.
This isn’t just a measure of offense, however. Obviously, non-offensive points are counted in this as well. Special teams and defensive plays also help to set up offenses with short fields.
This statistic simply gives you an idea of which teams have the ability to score the quickest.
Quick Strike (Points-Per-Play in SEC contests only)
||Points Per Play
* So how important is the ability to score quickly? The five highest-rated teams in this category are a combined 29-5 in SEC play. the bottom seven teams are 11-35. Conclusion: points-per-play is a pretty good stat to keep an eye on.
* At the top of the league, every play Arkansas runs on offense is worth more than half a point on the scoreboard. If you want to beat the Hogs — and this is no surprise — you’d better keep their offense off the field with a time-consuming, ball control offense of your own.
* For all the shots leveled at the offenses of Alabama and LSU by the national media following their 9-6 overtime slugfest, it’s pretty clear that the Crimson Tide and the Tigers can score with ease on just about everyone except one another.
* For the second time in three years, Gus Malzahn’s offense ranks in the bottom half of the league in points-per-play. Last year — with Cameron Newton — that was far from the case. Three years in and the jury is still out as to whether or not Malzahn’s offense is truly “special” in the SEC when it doesn’t have a Heisman-candidate at the controls.
* Pity Kentucky and Tennessee. For every play those teams run, they’re putting up less than 20% of a point. The last-ranked Vols played the top-ranked Razorbacks this past weekend and sure enough, Tennessee ran 77 plays to Arkansas’ 57, but the score at the end of the night: Hogs 49, Volunteers 7.