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MrSEC Stat Analysis: Quick Strike 11/30/12

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 our Quick Strike measure.

Obviously, the goal in football is to put up as many points as possible.  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 those of us here at MrSEC.com — 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 ElevenWarriors.com here.

With the regular season complete, we’ll look only at the numbers from SEC versus SEC contests.

Without further ado, our Quick Strike measure:

 

  School   Points Scored Vs SEC   Offensive Plays   Points/Play
  Alabama  7-1   303   514   .589
  Georgia  7-1   268   545   .491
  Texas A&M  6-2   313   659   .474
  S. Carolina  6-2   229   523   .437
  Tennessee  1-7   246   575   .427
  Florida  7-1   207   515   .401
  Ole Miss  3-5   224   589   .380
  Miss. State  4-4   202   534   .378
  Vanderbilt  5-3   177   557   .317
  LSU  6-2   180   569   .316
  Missouri  2-6   175   586   .298
  Arkansas  2-6   157   569   .275
  Auburn  0-8   81   444   .182
  Kentucky 0-8   89   492   .180

 

Observations:

*  Yep, you read that right.  The two best teams in terms of this scoring efficiency measure are the two teams that will meet tomorrow in Atlanta for the SEC Championship.  Ironically, both Alabama and Georgia clearly took the air out of the ball when they thumped Auburn at year’s end or both teams might have been even further ahead of the back.  The Tide was the only team in the conference this year to averaged more than a half-point for every offensive snap taken.  In other words, every two plays Bama runs equals about one point on the scoreboard.  Give an ever-so-slight edge to Alabama in this area tomorrow.

*  The numbers break out almost exactly as you would expect in terms of teams’ final SEC records.  The three outliers were Tennessee, Florida and LSU.  The Vols’ should have had a better record this year if not for an historically bad defensive unit.  Things were just the opposite for Florida and LSU — especially LSU — as both teams leaned on their defenses to register more league wins than they really should have (in terms of scoring efficiency).

 


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