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Latest News Stat Analysis: Quick Strike

For the past five years we’ve tried to bring you sets of numbers and statistics that provide a different glimpse into the world of SEC football.  One of the most telling stats we’ve come up with is what we call the “Quick Strike” measure.

The goal in football is to put up as many points as possible.  Obviously.  The fewer snaps it takes a team to do that, the less chance for errors like penalties and turnovers.  Quick Strike provides a simple look at how many points each offensive snap is worth to a given team.  Literally, it reveals the number of points scored per offensive play run.

But Quick Strike is not just an offensive measure.  Special teams scores and long returns can speed up how quickly a team piles up points.  Turnovers can provide short fields for offenses.  Defensive touchdowns are even more valuable as a team does not even need to run an offensive play and risk a turnover or penalty in order to put points on the scoreboard.

Turns out, we aren’t the only math geeks out there who like this stat.  A bigger math geek than we here at — and we mean that in a good way — has tested our numbers, applied them to the Big Ten, and found that there’s a clear correlation between a good Quick Strike number and wins in that league as well.  You can find the analysis of here. 

Now, the deeper we get into the season, the more telling this statistic will become.  Eventually, we’ll begin using only numbers from SEC-versus-SEC games.  For now, however, we must use the points scored and plays run against all FBS opponents.

For those who wish to argue a certain point — someone always does — we already know that a) the season is in its early stages, b) some teams have played more FBS opponents than others, and c) some teams have played better FBS opponents than others.  There’s no need to make those cases.  Take the numbers or leave the numbers, we just believe that at the quarter-pole of the season, it’s a good time to start eyeballing them.  No one’s trying to inflate or deflate the work done so far by your favorite team.  The numbers speak for themselves.

So without further ado, here are the Quick Strike numbers to date for the SEC’s 14 teams versus FBS competition.


  School   Pts/Scored vs FBS   Off. Plays vs FBS   Pts/Off. Play
  Alabama   128   179   .715
  Georgia   142   199   .713
  LSU   145   205   .707
  S. Carolina   114   194   .587
  Miss. State   58   126   .460
  Ole Miss   59   133   .443
  Florida   84   191   .439
  Kentucky   92   219   .420
  Texas A&M   65   156   .416
  Tennessee   55   151   .364
  Auburn   60   186   .322
  Missouri   44   168   .261
  Arkansas   31   128   .242
  Vanderbilt   26   126   .206


So what does that mean all mean?  Well, against FBS opponents Alabama is scoring about 7/10ths of a point for every offensive snap the Tide runs.  In comparison, Vanderbilt is only scoring about 2/10ths of a point.  As a team, Vanderbilt — offense, defense, special teams — has to work a helluva lot harder than Alabama to score points.

The biggest surprise so far is Ole Miss’ ranking, but again, it’s early.  The UTEP game helped the Rebels’ numbers and once we get deeper into SEC play, we’ll dump those kinds of nonconference stats altogether.


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This seems to be much more of an offensive efficiency measurement than "quick strike."  A team having a better ratio of scores to plays isn't necessarily a quick strike team. Teams could have a good ratio from all of their drives, even long drives, ending in TDs. 

A better measurement would be the number of plays per scoring drive - a special teams or defensive TD would be one play and would indicate the quickness of the "strike." 

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