SEC Red Zone Comparisons & Projections

So, I took it upon myself to go ahead and check out some of the red zone stats for SEC teams and compare their performances from last year / this year and just see what happens. This all started from checking out Alabama's red zone statistics. First off, Tennessee:


Obviously the most shocking statistic is that we are on pace to score Eighty Eight (88!) more points in the red zone this year that last year. The green outline means that everything is better for the Volunteers in red zone scoring. Absolutely everything, which is somewhat amazing. On the defensive side, things are just a little bit worse, with the heavy increase in scoring % mostly mitigated by the lower Touchdown numbers. Both this year and last year, teams have had to settle for field goals against us. The other awesome thing about this chart is that no offense has scored a touchdown on us from outside the red zone.

Rest of the SEC after the jump...




Next up, in no particular order, are the rest of the SEC. We'll begin with Alabama, since they are the team I originally went to for.


This sheet shows something somewhat startling: Alabama's red zone scoring appears almost completely up, however in one major area this goes down, supporting what everyone has been saying about the Crimson Tide: they are having to settle for a ton of field goals. Scoring 14% fewer Touchdowns per trip is offsetting the fact that they are getting into the red zone more often. They are on pace to score 18 more points but at almost a half point less per trip. (A half point might seem like not a lot, but it is definitely noticeable.) On the defensive side, Alabama can take a lot of glee; they weren't bad last year but have been stellar this year. As Will said on the original post: defensive wins championships.

So, onto the other great defensive in the SEC: The Florida Gators.


Yikes. Uhh.. how much do the Gators miss Percy Harvin? A lot, as in "94 points this year" a lot. Their ridiculous TD% from last year has come back down to earth, but lucky for the Gators they are average on offense, still. They are slated to get into the Red Zone 72 times this year, a definate plus, and they still have a better TD % than Alabama. Their defense is scary good,as if you needed to know that, but they are only giving up .1 fewer points per trip than the Crimson Tide. Florida's better amazing Defesive TD% is offset by the high amount of Field Goals they are giving up, but let's face it: once they get in the Red Zone, holding them to 3 points is practically a victory.

Now, for the #3 team in the SEC by most accounts: the LSU Tigers.


Again, yikes. This LSU offensive is strugglin' a mighty lot in the Red Zone, a mighty mighty lot! Their 4.2 points per trip is Floridaesque (Man, it feels nice being able to say something Florida is doing is bad!) and is way down from last year when they were also, surprisingly, Floridaesque (easy come, easy go) in the Red Zone. Luckilly, their defensive numbers are way up too, carrying over Chavis's usual awesomeness onto the Tiger side of life.

Future opponent South Carolina is up next.


South Carolina seems to be doing very "meh" as far as offensive improvement goes, settling for a clone of Alabama, but on a smaller scale: increased trips to the red zone are offset by fewer touchdowns, but they are still on pace to score more points inside the 20 than their opponents. Defensively, they are pretty much the same as last year, though they are better in several key fields, including attempts, TD%, and projected scoring.

Now we'll look at Auburn, the early-offensive-juggernaut-turn-kitty:


Woah! Look at that offense! Offense Offense Offense Gus Malzahanchizik ftw! Those are some really impressive offensive improvements, with a 70% TD scoring ratio inside the 20 yard line. What? How many times have we gotten inside the red zone the past two games? None of that now, look at the green! Defensively... well, who cares about defense, right? Offensive Offense Offense!

Let's see who's offense is worse, Auburn's or next-up Arkansas..


Wow. Why is this a stat we haven't heard brought up a whole lot yet: Arkansas is 100% in the red zone offensively, and defensively has some fairly gaudy stats as well, as far as %ages go. Offensively they are very impressive, scoring TDs on 2/3rds of their red-zone trips, and defensively they are holding opposing offenses to TDs just 33% of the time, and field goals 33% of the time. However, don't let that fool you too much, they have given up a ton of trips into the Red Zone, and that is a bad thing. Also, Arkansas gives up a lot of big, big plays, so that has to be considered. Still, this defense is improved virtually across the board in the red zone, so that is nice.

So, now for the proverbial whipping-dog Georgia:


I wouldn't suggest letting any of those green sections up top fool you, because the first one is bad. They are on pace to get to the red zone 17 fewer times than last year, and they weren't amazing last year. So far into this, every other team has scored more than 100 points in the red zone, Georgia is at 84, and if they get their average against Florida, they'll only be at 96. That's pathetic in so many ways. Not only are they not getting to the Red Zone as much (by a lot) they are settling for a lot more field goals than touchdowns compared to last year. Defensively they are a bit better, doing a much better job holding people to field goals instead of touchdowns, but they still are hardly impressive. They are on pace to be outscored in the redzone by 60 points. Ouch.

Now, another future opponent in Kentucky:


Despite the fact that Kentucky is getting into the red zone less, their very good TD% makes up for it quite a bit to give that 40 point projected swing. They are averaging quite a few more points per trip, too, but one has to worry about the number of trips they are going to get. Defensively, their numbers are way down, and they are on pace to give up 48 more points in the red zone this year; don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that this is bad.

Now let's laugh at Ole Miss's struggles.


Struggles indeed! They are getting to the red zone much fewer times, and are allowing people into the red zone many times. Of course, they have a brilliant Red Zone success %age, scoring touchdowns most often and only missing scoring once. Their defense is quite a bit improved once they get down there, but unfortunately as much as people are getting down there this doesn't show up quite as nicely. Their offense's inability to move has put their defense in a tough place, is my guess.

Let's stay in Mississippi State for the Bulldogs now! Whee!


While the improvements under Dan Mullen are nice, the bulldogs have a long way to go. Through 8 games only Georgia and LSU are on pace to have fewer red zone points (though Vanderbilt will probably make babies cry here in a moment) and their defense is practically the exact same one as last year as far as these numbers go. Giving up touchdowns more than half the trips into the red zone is very, very bad.

Vanderbilt time.


Yeah, this is kind of what I expected, except the defensive part. They are doing much, much better at keeping people out of the redzone this year, so far, which is somewhat of a surprise to me. However, those offensive problems are bad, but not really as bad as I would have guessed. The biggest problem is their TD%, at only 37% that's bad in and of itself, but they are also only scoring 2/3rds of the time they do get down there.

Superlatives time!


Most Projected Improvement (points wise):

  1. Auburn
  2. Tennessee
  3. Arkansas

Most Projected Suckage (points wise):

  1. Georgia
  2. Florida
  3. LSU


Most Projected Improvement (points wise):

  1. Arkansas
  2. Florida
  3. LSU

Most Projected Suckage (points wise):

  1. Auburn. By a lot.
  2. Kentucky
  3. Tennessee (giving up just 8 more points over the entire season. 40 fewer than Kentucky, 110 fewer than Auburn.)

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