What happened to “three yards and a cloud of dust”?

There’s a very good article in The Birmingham News about the significant increase in offensive production in the SEC this season. (h/t cfbstats.com)

Scoring in the SEC is up 43 percent from this time last year – 33.7 points per game compared to 23.5 at this point in 2006. The Sun Belt is the only conference that has increased its scoring by a higher rate (44 percent), according to cfbstats.com.

Sure, some of that is due to the change in the clock rules and the kickoff rule, but, as the article notes, while scoring is up in general in college football this year, it’s up a whole lot more in the SEC.

But that alone can’t explain the SEC’s outburst. They play by the same rules elsewhere, and scoring is up only 18 percent in the Big East, 17 percent in the Big 12, 16 percent in the Pac-10, 12 percent in the WAC, 9 percent in the ACC, 8 percent in the Big Ten and 1 percent in Conference USA.

The article points to the large number of returning offensive starters as a key factor to the offensive resurgence…

There was a significant gap in the number of offensive starters (89) and defensive starters (71) who returned to the SEC in 2007. Eight of the league’s 12 teams returned more offensive starters than defensive, and 10 teams are now scoring more.

… but I would be interested to see a comparison as to this with other conferences.  One isn’t provided in the article, unfortunately.

In any event, at least through the first quarter of the season, scoring is on a record pace:

At this rate, SEC offenses would set single-season records for scoring average and total yards since the conference expanded in 1992. The previous scoring high, 27.7 in 2001, could be shattered.

All of which makes this even more impressive.

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2 Comments

Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

2 responses to “What happened to “three yards and a cloud of dust”?

  1. kckd

    I’m still waiting on UF to play a team with a decent defense. I checked up on the one game UT held a team under 400 yards. It was S. Mississippi who is averaging right at 380 for the season. UT held them to only 30 under their average and SMiss’s other games were against the sisters of the poor.

    UT has major, major problems on that side of the ball.

    The thing is that it really only takes a little more pressure from a DL and a little more sure tackling from LBers and DBs to make a 500 yard per game team a 350 yard per game team. I’m willing to bet that Tebow has some trouble against LSU, UGA, maybe even Auburn.

    Don’t laugh at Auburn, their defense is their strong suit, but it may not matter with that offense. It’s horrid.

  2. I’m not laughing at Auburn. The Tigers’ big problem right now is turnovers. They’re a craptacular -8 in turnover margin after three games. Nobody else in the SEC is worse than -2. I know that offensive line is weak, but it’s just astounding how much Cox has regressed as a QB.

    Auburn is basically the Bizarro World Kentucky right now. Or vice versa.

    Their defense is geared to deal with Florida’s offense (they did a helluva job last year), but they’ve got depth problems with injuries and suspensions right now. They’ll need to get some key players back and they’ll need to hold on to the ball to keep that game competitive.

    As for Tebow, as I blogged previously, I’m looking forward to seeing him run into the waiting arms of Glenn Dorsey a few times.