Matthew Smith runs an analysis of turnover margin for 2010 teams and finds just about what you’d expect:
… Does turnover margin really have a legitimate predictive value for the next year?
The answer is yes. Turnover margin has meaningful predictive value. The reason for this is twofold: first, that turnover improvement very strongly correlates to record improvement; and second, that the turnover margin from one year generally has a very small correlation with the turnover margin for the next year…
As to his first point, he looked at the ten teams which improved their turnover margins the most from 2009 to 2010. The results were significant.
Nine of the ten improved their record. Six of the ten improved by 4+ wins. And in case you’re wondering, it was a similar story with those who improved by 12 turnovers (OK St, Illinois, and Mizzou all materially improved their records as well).
Only one of the ten failed to improve. (You know where I’m going with this, don’t you?) The only team on his list which didn’t win more games in 2010 was the team with the second greatest improvement (+26!) in all of D-1 football, our beloved Georgia Bulldogs.
As to his second point, I have no idea if that’s good news or bad for this year’s Dawgs. But I think I’ll keep the regression-to-the-mean talk to a minimum this go ’round.