The SEC's Luckiest Turnover Teams in 2012

SB Nation's estimable college football stats guru, Bill Connelly, has provided us a delightful new post over at Football Study Hall examining turnovers and how luck may have shown up on the scoreboard for various teams last season.

The idea here is to take the existing numbers on turnovers and parse them to determine what is luck and what is skill. For example, since fumble recoveries are random he sets the numbers so turnover margin reflects a 50% recovery rate for all games. This year he has also tweaked interception totals by adding passes broken up data as well.

The final step is to assign a point value to the adjusted numbers to get a sense of how many points each team tended to gain or lose from turnovers luck last season. Here are the SEC teams with future conference members Missouri and Texas A&M thrown in.

2012 SEC Turnover Luck
Team Pts per Game
South Carolina 3.61
Tennessee 3.23
Kentucky 1.54
LSU 1.17
Georgia 1.00
Arkansas 0.83
Mississippi State 0.13
Auburn -0.04
Florida -0.82
Alabama -0.83
Vanderbilt -0.94
Missouri -0.98
Ole Miss -1.34
Texas A&M -4.28

So South Carolina and Tennessee got better than a field goal's worth of luck each game of the season while Texas A&M was easily the most snakebit squad in all of college football. Now Connelly has posted a ginormous chart that includes all his turnover data on every FBS team but I've slimmed that down to just the SEC (as well as the two squads slated for inclusion next season) which you can find after the jump.

2012 SEC Adjusted Turnover Margin
Team Tot Fum Fum Rec FR% Off INT Def INT PBU Off TO Def TO TO
Margin
Adj. TO
Margin
TO Luck/Gm
South Carolina 51 27 52.90% 15 19 32 27 32 5 -4.4 3.61
Tennessee 45 29 64.40% 12 9 27 18 18 0 -7.7 3.23
Kentucky 40 20 50.00% 12 15 37 24 25 1 -2.7 1.54
LSU 48 26 54.20% 5 18 58 10 30 20 16.7 1.17
Georgia 60 29 48.30% 14 20 54 25 32 7 4.2 1.00
Arkansas 43 22 51.20% 7 12 36 20 21 1 -1.1 0.83
Mississippi State 45 22 48.90% 13 12 39 20 20 0 -0.3 0.13
Auburn 43 21 48.80% 13 11 37 21 23 2 2.1 -0.04
Florida 43 21 48.80% 13 8 37 26 14 -12 -9.9 -0.82
Alabama 30 15 50.00% 8 13 56 12 20 8 10.2 -0.83
Vanderbilt 54 21 38.90% 18 19 51 28 29 1 3.4 -0.94
Missouri 35 16 45.70% 11 13 51 19 22 3 5.5 -0.98
Ole Miss 37 14 37.80% 13 10 30 25 17 -8 -4.8 -1.34
Texas A&M 43 17 39.50% 15 7 55 24 15 -9 2.1 -4.28

  • Total Fumbles: the total number of fumbles in a given team's games, both committed by the team and its opponent.
  • Fumbles Recovered: the total number of fumbles a team recovered on both sides of the ball.
  • FR%: a team's fumble recovery percentage (Total Fumbles divided by Fumbles Recovered).
  • Interceptions (Offense): the number of interceptions thrown by a team on offense.
  • Interceptions (Defense): the number of passes intercepted by a team on defense.
  • PBU: the number of passes a team broke up on defense. (Interceptions + PBU = Passes Defended.)
  • Offensive Turnovers: the number of turnovers committed by a team on offense.
  • Defensive Turnovers: the number of takeaways recorded by a team on defense.
  • Turnover Margin: Defensive Turnovers minus Offensive Turnovers.
  • Adj. Turnover Margin: a team's turnover margin based on adjustments described above.
  • Turnover Luck Per Game: (Adj. Turnover Margin * 5.0 points) / Games Played
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