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SEC Stats: Bandits And Butterfingers

mrsec stat analysis newIf turnover ratio means almost everything when it comes to winning football games — and in the SEC it does — there are a few Southern teams out there that need to start taking better care of the pigskin.

Once SEC play really gets in gear, we’ll start looking at conference games only when it comes to most of our statistical breakdowns.  For turnover-based stats, however, we’re fine with using some outside the league data.  Sloppy teams tend to always be sloppy and disciplined teams tend to always play with discipline… inside their league or not.

As we enter the second quarter of the season, we thought this would be as good a time as any to start crunching a few numbers.  First, we’ll look the league’s Bandits, those SEC squads who force turnovers most often:


Bandits (Snaps per Defensive Takeaway)

  School   Takeaways   Def. Snaps   Snaps/Takeaway
  Tennessee   9   199   22.11
  Missouri   6   139   23.16
  Miss. State   6   193   32.16
  Ole Miss   5   207   41.40
  Texas A&M   5   212   42.40
  Alabama   3   130   43.33
  Arkansas   4   181   45.25
  Florida   2   107   53.50
  Vanderbilt   4   221   55.25
  Auburn   4   236   59.00
  LSU   3   183   61.00
  Kentucky   3   201   67.00
  Georgia   2   137   68.50
  S. Carolina   3   210   70.00


Tennessee got a massive boost in our Bandits category by Bobby Petrino’s mistake-prone Western Kentucky team.  The Hilltoppers gave the ball to the Vols seven times in their game two weeks ago.  That’s the kind of one-game spurt that can really skew statistics.  Now, if the Volunteers continue to force turnovers, we’ll re-consider that statement.

Three of the four best teams in the SEC this year — LSU, Georgia and South Carolina — are all managing a takeaway just once every 60+ plays.  If that keeps up, their records will likely take a hit.

Now let’s turn our attention to the Butterfingers of the SEC.  The table below shows which schools are turning the ball over with the most and least frequency.


Butterfingers (Snaps per Offensive Giveaway)

  School   Giveaways   Off. Snaps   Snaps/Giveaway
  Missouri   2   159   79.50
  Miss. State   3   225   75.00
  Georgia   2   146   73.00
  Tennessee   3   204   68.00
  LSU   3   189   63.00
  Alabama   2   128   64.00
  Ole Miss   4   238   59.50
  Texas A&M   4   224   56.00
  Arkansas   4   211   52.75
  S. Carolina   4   207   51.75
  Auburn   5   205   41.00
  Kentucky   5   202   40.40
  Vanderbilt   5   188   37.60
  Florida   6   147   24.50


CORRECTION – The first version of this table showed LSU committing a turnover just once every 96 plays.  That was a complete mispunch on the ol’ calculator.  The Tigers are actually giving the ball away once every 63 plays.  Big difference.  All the other numbers have been double-checked.  Our apologies.



I hope these stats mean a lot, because  if so Missouri should win some big games this year.


Not kudos to LSU. 189 snaps divided by 3 takeaways is one takeaway for every 63 snaps. I think your stat for LSU is wrong. UT with 3 takeaways through 204 snaps is better. Check the math! Love this site and never miss your show on Sunday. I went to school with you in Middlesboro, KY. Keep up the good work!

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator


Good catch.  The error has been corrected, must've hit a wrong number on the calculator.  The other numbers -- after a good double-checking -- are all correct.

Many thanks to an old schoolmate for reading the site,


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