Drive time revelation

I was driving home yesterday listening to Herbstreit on Belue-Kincaid and for some reason it suddenly dawned on me that I had left out a big factor in LSU’s apparent decline this season:  turnover margin.

Last year, LSU had one of those off the chart type seasons, finishing +20 in turnover margin (1.43 per game).  So far this year, the Tigers are a not so scintillating -5 (-0.71 per game).  That’s a negative swing of over two turnovers a game.  No wonder they don’t look so dominant this time around.

Some other noteworthy points about this:

  • Florida’s enjoying the biggest increase in turnover margin ratio in the SEC from last year to this year.  The Gators, currently +10, are on pace to match LSU’s total from last year, which would be outstanding.  They’ve improved more than a turnover a game from last year’s average.  No other school in the conference has increased its ratio that much.
  • Kentucky and Vanderbilt have also improved significantly from 2007, although not at Florida’s pace.  Vandy’s positive turnover margin has been slowly declining of late, which no doubt has contributed to its losing streak.
  • While no school in the SEC has dropped as precipitously as LSU in this statistical category, other teams that have fallen significantly are Georgia (second in the conference last year, currently sixth) and Arkansas, which has gone from +4 (0.31 per game) to -8 (-1 per game).
  • And a special shout out goes to South Carolina.  The ‘Cocks were eleventh in the conference in 2007, with a -0.58 per game average.  They’ve managed to drop to twelfth this season, almost doubling their mark to a -1.12 average per game.  That’s your Vandy loss right there.
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