The Turnover Luck Index: Rating every 2022 team, from USC to Rutgers

If you’ve spent part of the 2022 college football season thinking “USC can’t Maybe keep getting away with it!!” then you should know this: your guesses were as statistically sound as they were irritated.

For most of last fall, the Trojan defense was good at one thing and one thing only: hitting the ball at the very last moment. They lagged behind in almost every other aspect – they were 93rd in defensive scoring (29.2 points per game), 106th in total defense (423.9 yards per game), and a terrifying 124th in yards allowed per game. (6.5!) – but they forced 28 losses, sixth in FBS.

Every football coach in existence preaches the importance of turnover and turnover margins. But while you can affect your own turnover margin to some extent, how well you teach ball defense and chasing, how aggressively you chase the opposing quarterback, how aggressively your own offense, etc. here. And the USC luck meter was set to full power.

There were nine fumbles in the first five USC games of 2022, and the Trojans played all nine. Fumble recovery is back to 50% for quite some time, but USC posted an 11-1 record, recovering 18 of 23 (78%). While the team typically intercepts about one pass for every four passes, their regular season ratio was 1 to 1.9 and their total interceptions were seven higher than the national average would suggest.

The INT ratio regressed to average at the end of the season and the fumble recovery is likely to do the same soon enough. Luck and chance play a huge role in the game of football, especially in the version played by teenagers aged 18 to 22, and as we slowly prepare for 2023, let’s see who has benefited the most from the rebound. old pointy football.

Fumble recovery speed

Indeed, over a sufficiently long period of time, the team will play about 50% of all fumbles. There is a slight relationship between where the fumble occurs and which team is more likely to recover – the farther they are in the outfield, the more likely they are to be lashed out by a defender (primarily because there are usually more defenders nearby). ), but even then the fates do not change at all. Just by looking at who scored a particularly high or low percentage of lost balls, we learn a lot about who has benefited from luck and who will be affected by future regression to the mean.


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