Coach Saban isn't fond of turnovers, to put it mildly. In fact, it's tough to say what might prompt him to hurl his headset farther, Alabama players committing dumb penalties or needless turnovers. Either way, a propensity for turning over the ball is a good way to get in his doghouse and ensure a derth of playing time in the future.
Like most things that get Coach Saban's dander up, there's a reason he harbors such a dislike of turnovers -- they not only incinerate scoring opportunities but they give the opponent an extra opportunity at the end zone. And usually the latter comes with painfully advantageous field position. The result, very often, tends to be points.
Last week, SB Nation's college football statistics maven, Bill Connelly, proffered a post over at Football Study Hall examining turnovers last season using his advanced metrics. I went and then trimmed the data down to just the SEC to get a slightly more manageable group of teams to examine and posted it at Team Speed Kills.
The findings were interesting in that they suggested Alabama had reasonably good turnover "luck" last season (an extra .83 points per game by Connelly's calculations) but they didn't answer much about the Crimson Tide's turnover performance.
Thus, we packed up and headed to the data mines and started digging for some info to shed some light on the subject. And we discovered some fascinating things: the football gods really seemed to like Mike Shula, last year's offensive line was even more ridiculously good than we thought and which Alabama players over the past four years have been most prone to fumble the football.
So, to celebrate the return of Crimson Tide football this week, we'll be bringing back our Alabama By the Numbers feature to examine the Tide's turnovers in posts each day for the rest of the week. We hope you enjoy it and just remember -- be ready to duck.