Heading into tomorrow’s SEC Championship Game, we felt it appropriate to unveil some of our own favorite MrSEC.com stats. This will give you a good idea of how Auburn and South Carolina stack up in a number of areas.
Below are our offensive efficiency numbers. We call this the Quick Strike stat. It measures how many offensive plays a team must run — on average — to score a touchdown. This is also a good measure of a team’s overall performance. Solid defense and good special teams will give a team a shorter field to work with, obviously. That should decrease the number of plays an offense needs to run to score and, thus, drive up the team’s Quick Strike rating.
We used only the numbers from each team’s eight SEC games.
Quick Strike Rankings
* As spectacular as Auburn’s Cam Newton-led offense was in 2010, Arkansas’ attack was nearly as productive against SEC foes. I mean almost exactly as productive. That’s mighty impressive considering just how good Auburn was.
* Georgia’s Mike Bobo doesn’t get much love — what offensive coordinator does? — but once again his unit ranks near the top of our Quick Strike ratings. It may not be pretty. It may not be as consistent as Dawg fans would like. And it may be all AJ Green. But UGA’s offense can put up some points. In a hurry.
* Look who’s ranked just behind Auburn on this chart… South Carolina. You tend to think of the Gamecocks as a grind-it-out offense with Marcus Lattimore playing the role of Earl Campbell or Jerome Bettis. This stat reveals that only four schools ran fewer offensive plays in conference play than Carolina. The Cocks score quickly.
* On average, Auburn runs about 70 plays per game in SEC contests. Carolina runs about 65. Using their plays-to-touchdown ration, we would suggest that AU will score 4.66 touchdowns tomorrow to USC’s 3.35. (I know, “How do you score .66 of a touchdown you mo-ron.”)
* Perspective is an interesting thing. Florida and LSU have talent and had big expectations. Their offensive coordinators are in hot water for their lack of production. Tennessee has little talent and had no expectations, so their offensive coordinator is drawing praise for his team’s improvement in the final month of the season. Yet all three teams ran between 22 and 24 plays per touchdown.
* I keep reading write-ups of Dan Mullen being an offensive genius. His departure is supposedly responsible for Florida’s tank job, I’ve heard (though Florida did quite well without him last year). But look at MSU’s ranking in offensive efficiency and you’ll find that the only team less productive on offense was Vanderbilt. Mullen is a good coach. He might be great with State’s offense as he adds talent. But the Bulldogs won with defense in 2010.
* Look at those Vandy numbers. On second thought, no, don’t.