Which SEC teams have dominated turnover margin the last five years?

MizCrowd

How strong of a correlation is there between winning and turnover margin?

Turnovers are momentum halters and drive killers, much like penalties. They are more important than nearly every stat line outside of touchdowns or points scored. Momentum throughout games is usually seized or lost due to turnovers.

RELATED: SEC’s most penalized teams over last 5 years

It’s always interesting to look at teams’ turnover margins. Here’s a look at the 2013 season’s turnovers lost, gained and margin:

Rank Team G Fum. G Int. G Total G Fum. Lost Int. Lost Total Lost Marg.
1 Missouri 14 12 20 32 8 8 16 +16
2 South Carolina 13 12 18 30 13 4 17 +13
3 Vanderbilt 13 12 18 30 7 16 23 +7
3 Mississippi State 13 11 14 25 6 12 18 +7
5 Alabama 13 8 11 19 10 7 17 +2
6 Tennessee 12 11 14 25 7 17 24 +1
6 Mississippi 13 9 13 22 8 13 21 +1
6 Texas A&M 13 5 17 22 8 13 21 +1
9 LSU 13 8 11 19 10 9 19 0
9 Auburn 14 6 13 19 11 8 19 0
9 Kentucky 12 12 3 15 9 6 15 0
12 Florida 12 8 10 18 11 9 20 -2
13 Georgia 13 8 7 15 10 12 22 -7
14 Arkansas 12 6 8 14 12 11 23 -9

Here are the five-year totals for turnovers lost, gained and margin in the SEC:

Rank Team Games Fum. Gain Int. Gain Total Gain Fum. Lost Int. Lost Total Lost Marg.
1 Alabama 67 37 88 125 43 28 71 +54
2 LSU 66 53 79 132 44 40 84 +48
3 Miss State 64 57 75 132 42 65 107 +25
4 S. Carolina 66 61 68 129 56 55 111 +18
5 Florida 65 34 80 114 60 44 104 +10
6 Vanderbilt 63 42 69 111 44 60 104 +7
7 Georgia 67 49 66 115 48 62 110 +5
8 Tennessee 62 49 63 112 38 72 110 +2
9 Auburn 66 47 55 102 53 52 105 -3
10 Kentucky 62 43 48 91 47 48 95 -4
11 Arkansas 63 52 50 102 55 58 113 -11
12 Ole Miss 63 52 57 109 51 79 130 -21
Missouri* 26 28 27 55 16 22 38 +17
Texas A&M* 26 9 29 38 19 23 42 -4

*Reflects two years in SEC

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Observations:

  • The two programs that immediately come to mind with dominant BCS eras are Alabama and LSU. Is it surprising they’re at the top of the category? Alabama has recorded an SEC-high 88 interceptions over the last five years, with Florida in second trailing by eight. The Tide lead the SEC with +58 turnover margin. That’s incredible.
  • Right behind Alabama is LSU with +48. The Tigers have picked off nearly 80 passes and recorded 53 strips. The Tigers’ secondary is always filled with ball hawks.
  • Mississippi State (+25) and South Carolina (+18) have really owned turnover margin the last few years. The Bulldogs’ defense has been filled with defensive backs who have a nose for the football and have great ball skills. Carolina’s 2013 +13 margin was very impressive and a big part of their success.
  • Although Mizzou hasn’t been in the league five years, the Tigers’ defensive takeaways have been well noted. They’ve now forced a turnover in 44 consecutive games; that’s a ridiculous number.
  • Arkansas and Ole Miss bring up the rear by a sizable margin.
  • Only three SEC teams finished with a negative margin in 2013 – Florida, Georgia and Arkansas.

Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

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