SEC 3rd down conversion rates, in pictures.

kleph’s done another boffo job with his statistical analysis, this time looking at how the conference schools did with third-down conversions on offense.

Putting aside the question of how much of a valid predictive indicator this stat might be (although he notes that all five BCS bowl winners last January ranked among the nation’s top ten percent), I think you can safely draw the following conclusions from his chartage:

  • At Arkansas, having two first round NFL draft picks at running back is just as good as having Bobby Petrino as a play caller.
  • Gus Malzahn certainly gave Auburn’s offense a boost, but Cam Newton sent it into orbit.
  • Dan Mullen knows what he’s doing.
  • Marcus Lattimore had a big impact.
  • Epic fail at Vanderbilt.

By the way, I am so not looking forward to seeing his charts on the defensive rates…


Filed under SEC Football, Stats Geek!

6 responses to “SEC 3rd down conversion rates, in pictures.

  1. ScoutDawg

    Wow, what deep, GOD GIVEN, beyond us mortals, insight. Wow I am better for learning his name.


  2. Macallanlover

    Without seeing any research or stats, I will bet UGA gave up the most yardage on 3rd down plays against any other team you want to name. The more yards needed, the better their chance of making the first down. Before the season was over I preferred 3rd and 3 situations to 3rd and 9+ for our defense. I hate the thought of how many drives we allowed to be extended by terrible defense. What did that do to field position, tired players in the 4th Qtr, and loss of games? While I don’t have an answer, I am confident it was the difference in a winning vs losing season in 2010.


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      +1. At third and 3 the other team might have run the ball and one of the linebackers might tackle the runner. At third and 9 it was just pitch and catch with an uncovered receiver.


    • WH

      I did a little research on the drive-extending, points-resulting 3rd & long conversions the Dawgs gave up in 2010. You can look at my data for yourself, but: Yeah, of our 7 losses, 5 of them included at least one critical defensive breakdown on 3rd & 8 that would result in 7 or more points, for a total of 73 points surrendered on extended drives.

      One thing I didn’t note is that the combined point difference for those losses was 52. 73. 52. Don’t know about you, but that seems to be a key comparison metric when it comes to the question: “How did UGA improve and yet have a losing season?”

      (Stats table and notes at


      • Macallanlover

        Outstanding, thank you. Those examples bring back some painful memories. As you said, there were more in some of the wins. Let’s all hope our guys find a way to step up and make a play when we are at “crunch time” this year. My experience with UGA football is that our best teams always had that 1-2 play moment where a key sack, deflection, or tackle for loss, saved the day. It wasn’t always the star player, but someone laid it all out and got it done.


  3. Mayor of Dawgtown

    Before anointing Chizik et. al. as saviors I trhought it telling that on an ESPN football talk show with a panel of experts when the subject of Cam Newton came up, to a man they all said that if Newton had gone to Mississippi State instead of Auburn that Mississippi State would have won the SEC and the BCSNC in 2010.