If 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)
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)
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.