As we’ve noted on this site before, the statistic known as Defensive Pass Efficiency is the most important stat in football outside of turnovers. Regardless of the conference or league, college or pro, DPE usually provides an accurate gauge of how successful a team will be in the win-loss column.
The number itself is — putting things simply — passing efficiency in reverse. What rating do opposing quarterbacks have against SEC defenses? The lower the rating, the better a team’s record.
|School||Defensive Pass Efficiency|
|Texas A&M 6-2||122.9|
|S. Carolina 6-2||123.5|
|Ole Miss 3-5||137.3|
|Miss. State 4-4||152.0|
* The top seven teams in DPE all have a rating of 125.0 or below. Their combined record is 44-12 (.785 winning percentage). Not one of those teams is at .500 or below in conference play.
* The bottom seven teams in DPE all have a rating below 125.0. Their combined record in league play is 12-44 (.215 winning percentage). Not one of those teams finished with an SEC mark above .500.
* Rolling into tomorrow’s SEC Championship Game, Alabama (167.8) and Georgia (160.7) are tops in the conference in pass efficiency (a stat that doesn’t predict success as accurately as DPE). But look at the difference between the Tide and the Dawgs in defensive pass efficiency. Alabama is second best in the SEC, allowing opposing quarterbacks a rating of just 99.9. Georgia is seventh in the conference and has allowed opposing passers to achieve a rating of 125.0. All eyes will be on the run games tomorrow, of course, but Alabama should have a distinct advantage in the passing game against Georgia. If these numbers hold up.