Saturday, March 03, 2007

APP Breakdown: The SEC

I have finished the SEC analysis for Adjusted Performance Percentage. Keep in mind that a score of 100 means 100%, or that team performed on par with what their opponents allowed. Anything higher means they excelled, but anything lower means they underperformed. We'll start with Total Offense Adjusted Performance Percentage:

1. LSU 116.1
2. Kentucky 113.9
3. Arkansas 111.1
4. Florida 104.0
5. Alabama 103.7
6. Vanderbilt 102.9
7. South Carolina 100.7
8. Georgia 97.9
9. Tennessee 97.5
10. Auburn 91.0
11. Mississippi State 83.8
12. Mississippi 76.1

I think the two biggest surprises we see here are that Alabama was 5th in the conference on offense, while Tennessee was a dismal 9th! A lot of fans point to David Cutcliffe's return as the reason Tennessee went from 5-6 to 9-3, but during SEC play, Tennessee didn't play as well as we all thought.

Best Rush Offense (Best ROAPP):

Not surprising - Arkansas not only racked up a lot of yards on the ground, but scored a 164.9 for their ROAPP. Wow! Was it due to Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, or the 3 monster offensive linemen who just graduated? We'll find out in 6 months.

Worst Rush Offense (Worst ROAPP):

Again, no surprise here. Tennessee's terrible run blocking and inconsistent tailback play created a 64.5 ROAPP, meaning Tennessee performed 35.5% below what their opponents were allowing. Awful.

Best Pass Offense (Best POAPP):

Did you see this coming? Surely you had to, as they passed for 2,178 yards in the SEC, but a mere 178 more yards than LSU. What am I getting at? Kentucky scored a 133.7 in POAPP, while LSU and Tennessee scored 118.2 and 118.3, respectively. That's a 15.5% difference! Kentucky's pass offense wasn't just better than everybody else in the SEC, it was miles ahead! Oh, and they return every important skill position player on offense. Go ahead, say they won't make a bowl again.

Worst Pass Offense (Worst POAPP):

The arrival and play of Yaw Yaw Yaw Brent Schaeffaw (Brent Schaeffer for those who don't know Orgeron-ese) was nothing short of a nightmare. Let me put it this way, Tennessee fans: the Rebels' pass offense was WORSE than Tennessee rush offense, if you can believe it. A wretched 63.5POAPP is more than 12% worse than the Razorbacks' score. Ouch.

Next, I did the same analysis for the defenses in the SEC. There are a few changes when you compare it yards allowed. Here is Total Defense Adjusted Performance Percentage:

1. LSU 121.3
2. Florida 112.1
3. Georgia 109.6
4. Alabama 106.1
5. Auburn 104.7
6. Arkansas 103.0
7. Mississippi State 102.7
8. Tennessee 102.4
9. South Carolina 98.9
10. Mississippi 94.9
11. Vanderbilt 90.0
12. Kentucky 72.9

What stands out? Alabama at #4 is the biggest surprise. Tennessee at #8 is actually better than I expected. Not in terms of SEC rank, but in terms ofTDAPP score. They actually performed 2.4% better on defense than what their opponents' offenses were used to. The 4 teams to be in the bottom of bothTOAPP and TDAPP are Ole Miss, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

Best Rush Defense (Best RDAPP):

The Gators had 4 or 5 NFL draft picks on the defensive line in 2006, with 3 future picks at linebacker behind them. Only four teams had better than a 100 score inRDAPP: Florida, LSU, Mississippi State, and Alabama. Of those 4, the first 3 had amazing RDAPP scores - yes, Miss State was amazing in rush defense (134.9).

Worst Rush Defense (Worst RDAPP):

Kentucky couldn't stop anyone who wanted to rush the ball last season. Their RDAPP was 72.1, which means that they not only didn't stuff the run well, but they also played teams with very good running offenses. They'll need to get tougher in the trenches to have a chance in the SEC East.

Best Pass Defense (Best PDAPP):

The Tigers had studs all across the line last season, the year AFTER they lost 3 starters to the NFL draft. Their passing opponents were all over the board in terms ofPOAPP, so it just goes to show that the Tigers played extremely well when teams had to pass.

Worst Pass Defense (Worst PDAPP):

Deja vu? Kentucky's pass defense was a smidgen better than their rush defense, but still horrid. A 73.4 PDAPP is 15% worse than their closest competition for absolutely blowing coverage. Their entire defense was a joke, and without any improvement, they'll finish 6-6 next season. If you gave Kentucky a new defense, say just Ole Miss (94.9TDAPP), Kentucky would have fought Florida for the SEC East Division Title. I'm not joking.

Lastly, I wanted to see who the best overall team in the SEC was, statistically. I added each team's TOAPP with their TDAPP to create Complete Adjusted Performance Percentage:

1. LSU 118.7
2. Florida 108.1
3. Arkansas 107.1
4. Alabama 104.9
5. Georgia 103.8
6. Tennessee 100.0
7. South Carolina 99.8
8. Auburn 97.9
9. Vanderbilt 96.5
10. Kentucky 93.4
11. Mississippi State 93.3
12. Mississippi 85.0

Again, how do we use this for preseason predictions? Look at Alabama - 4th best team in the SEC, but they went 6-6. Expect a big jump in wins, especially when you consider their -2 CGVR. Couple that with new head coach Nick Saban and a boatload of returning talent and you've got a potential surprise SEC West Champion. Georgia is another team I expect to win more games next year. They lose a back-up running back to the draft and a few, key defensive players, but the core of both sides of the ball will be back and stacked. These statistics imply that Kentucky should take a step back next season, but they lose little to the draft, so I'm a little confused on their progress right now.

In the end, these stats don't win games, but they can absolutely give us ideas into who we can expect to show up in 2007. As for Tennessee, I expect the same old, same old.

1 comment:

matt said...

Nicely done. I agree with most of your reasoning, specifically Alabama rising up and taking the West, but I don't think the Cats are headed back to a bowl. That defense is just too bad. They should go 3-1 in the non-conference with the only loss coming to Louisville. That means they need to get 3 conference wins to get to bowl eligibility. 3 of their 4 home games are killer (Tenn, Fla, and LSU) and the roadies against SC, Ark, and Ga will be tough as well as a toss-up at Vandy.