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Sun Belt Conference Turnover Luck Trends

We take a look at teams' turnover luck, as measured by Football Outsiders' S/P+ ratings, to see if there are any notable trends to give us insight about next season.

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

If you haven't read the primer from Bill C. yet, you should probably do that first. Let's jump right into the numbers this time.


DEAR GOD, THIS TABLE IS BLEEDING PROFUSELY. I think it speaks volumes about this conference that New Mexico State is the only team who was more than slightly above average when it came to fumble recoveries. Of course, they were also extremely lucky when it came to defensive interceptions and extremely unlucky on the offensive picks. All of which balanced out to make them a little bit unlucky, which was slightly worse than last year when they were a tiny bit lucky.

Speaking of which, Idaho was in a similar situation, though their swings from category to category weren't quite as wild. Which of course led to the unique situation where they were essentially the only team in FBS to have zero turnover luck. In either direction. As a matter of fact, they are the only team in all of FBS to post a turnover luck between +0.1 and -0.1 in both seasons. Silver lining to that, Idaho did improve (albeit marginally), which is good considering that of the other six teams who had similar TO luck last season, all but Northern Illinois had worse luck this year.

I think it's safe to say that Georgia State was not merely unlucky but also actually bad, considering that both their luck this season and their drop off in luck from last season were among the worst in all of FBS. But that also should mean that they couldn't possibly be any worse next season, which is useful for a 1-11 team that also had three three-point losses.

Not sure how much we can draw from Georgia Southern and Appalachian State's numbers given the two seasons were against different levels of competition, but it definitel appears to have been a small miracle that South Alabama made a bowl, and equally so that Louisiana-Monroe did not, considering that their turnover luck improved, yet they did not beat their predicted second order wins by at least two for the first time since 2011.