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.