@MrSEC In the SEC vs SEC games you might want to indicate (put in bold or italics) which team gave up the 500 yards.
Longtime fans of Southeastern Conference football aren’t used to seeing scores like “Georgia 51, Tennessee 44″ scroll across the ticker beneath their favorite school’s game. They aren’t used to seeing SEC defenses riddled for 500 or more yards on what seems like a weekly basis.
So what gives? Are SEC defenses in 2012 just not up to snuff in terms of the league’s recent history? Well, it depends on what numbers you choose to study.
For example, the 14 SEC defenses of 2012 gave up more 500-yard games to opposing offenses during the month of September than the 12 SEC defenses of 2011 gave up all of last year. That’s an amazing tidbit in itself:
500-yard Games vs SEC Defenses
|Game||Yds Allowed||Game||Yds Allowed|
|Texas A&M vs Arkansas||716||S. Carolina vs Kentucky||639|
|Texas vs Ole Miss||676||Texas A&M vs Arkansas||628|
|Troy vs Miss. State||572||Clemson vs Auburn||624|
|Georgia vs Vanderbilt||567||Alabama vs Ole Miss||615|
|Georgia vs Tennessee||560||Arkansas vs Miss. State||539|
|Florida vs Tennessee||555||W. Virginia vs LSU||533|
|La-Monroe vs Arkansas||550||Miss. State vs Auburn||531|
|Clemson vs Auburn||528||Georgia vs Auburn||528|
|Rutgers vs Arkansas||525||Florida vs Kentucky||520|
|Arkansas vs Texas A&M||515|
Ah, ha! So that means SEC defenses are worse, right? Not exactly. In fact, five of the 10 500-yard games allowed have been given up by just two league teams — Arkansas (three) and Tennessee (two). As a whole, the league still stacks up pretty closely with the numbers of yards- and points-per-game allowed over the past few seasons.
SEC Scoring Defense 2009-2012
As you can see, SEC defenses in September gave up about the same number of points per game as they did during the entire seasons of 2009 and 2011. Only the 2010 season saw a jump in points allowed. (Call it the Cam Newton effect.)
This year’s numbers are also right on target when it comes to yards allowed per game.
SEC Total Defense 2009-2012
SEC defenses are allowing more yards per contest this season than in either 2009 or 2011. But the numbers aren’t showing a giant spike. In fact, the per-game average is still below that of the 2010 season.
The month of September featured a number of 500+ yard games against SEC defenses. There’s no denying that fact. And that fact has led many to jump to the conclusion that the league — overall — is weakening on that side of the ball. But upon closer inspection, the Southeastern Conference’s numbers are right in the same general ballpark as usual.
In other words, don’t go hitting any panic buttons just yet. And don’t let your friend who’s a fan of another conference do too much tongue-wagging, either.