I always enjoy Matt Melton’s annual jog through conference statistics. As the header indicates, his latest analysis of the SEC has been posted. I don’t think you’ll find much of a surprise here.
Yeah, LSU underachieved a little and maybe Mississippi State overachieved a little (although I think in the case of MSU, when it lost in conference, it tended to lose really, really badly, which no doubt skews the numbers), but overall… well, let Matt lay it out.
… Since Net YPP is a solid predictor of a team’s conference record, we can use it to identify which teams had a significant disparity between their conference record as predicted by Net YPP and their actual conference record. I used a difference of .200 between predicted and actual winning percentage as the threshold for ‘significant’. Why .200? It is a little arbitrary, but .200 corresponds to a difference of 1.6 games over an eight game conference schedule and 1.8 games over a nine game one. Over or under-performing by more than a game and a half in a small sample seems significant to me. In the 2017 season, which teams in the SEC met this threshold? Here are SEC teams sorted by performance over what would be expected from their Net YPP numbers.
No SEC teams significantly over or under-performed relative to their expected record based on YPP. The top three teams dominated the conference, finishing a combined 21-3 with Auburn’s loss to LSU the only one coming against the other eleven. There is really nothing interesting or new to report in that regard. So, instead I’ll focus on something that is rather interesting.
The point left hanging there really is interesting. It’s an exploration of how long SEC coaches who win their division stay on afterwards. Let’s just say you could make an argument that winning a division could put a coach on the hot seat. It just means more, man. Take a minute and read Matt’s data.