More Bad News for Georgia Special Teams, Tennessee Sucks at Football and Other Things Learned From Advanced Punting Statistics

Yesterday, I introduced the Total Punter Rating (hereafter: TPR; pronounced phonetically: Topper) as a way to examine the punting controversy that could have been at Vanderbilt University.  Punting volatility, I determined, was holding Vandy back.

As it turns out, so is generally mediocre punting.  I analyzed every single SEC punt through the first three weeks and ran each effort through the gauntlet as described here.  Vanderbilt—shocking as this may be—is a below average SEC team when it comes to punting.  The Commodores’ 41.4 season-long TPR ranks 12th in the conference and trails the league average by 1.866 points.

Red line is league average. Click to enlarge.

Red line is league average. Click to enlarge.

This data is even more fascinating when analyzed on a weekly basis. So hold on to your seats!

Perhaps the most impressive statistic out of all this is that neither Ole Miss or Alabama punted during Week 2, and both the Crimson Tide and the Rebels competed that week (albeit against inferior opponents).

Further, Alabama has punted just four times in three games.  I don’t think you all appreciate how rare that level of production is.  Someday you’ll tell your grand children about it.  If you don’t, I will.

With weekly performance in mind, it’s unfortunate for Georgia that one of the more wildly inconsistent punting teams in the conference (South Carolina) is already off the schedule.  So much for capitalizing as the Gamecocks’ fought off the hangover of a ridiculous 60+ TPR performance (on just one punt) against ECU!  That may have been the biggest missed opportunity of them all for the Bulldogs.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

The performances of Alabama and Ole Miss are eerily similar thanks to strong starts in Week 1, zeros (the positive kind brought by no punts) in Week 2 and below average showings in Week 3.

And Arkansas looks like a team to watch thanks to its respectable start and consistent rise since the season’s opening week.  The Razorbacks’ last five punts have yielded a TPR of 48.0, which would rank third in the conference.

Meanwhile, the Tennessee Volunteers appear to be in a world of hurt on several levels.  First and foremost, their TPR for the season is a meager 39.318 (13th in the conference).  They’ve cracked a TPR of 40 (It’s like the Mendoza Line in baseball, but we’re calling it the Darr Marker) just once in three contests.  And to make things worse, punter Matt Darr has been used exorbitantly.

Red line is league average. Click to enlarge.

Red line is league average. Click to enlarge.

Butch Jones is all about them punts like that one chick is all about that bass.

Butch Jones : Punts :: Meghan Trainor : That Bass


Meghan Trainor: Treble :: Matt Darr : Competent Punting

Seriously, this is a really bad punting conversation to be having.  Not a good look, Tennessee.  You can’t be that bad at punting and punt twice as often as the league average.  Well, I guess you can—if you want a fifth consecutive losing season.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

That’s all I got/


About dudeyoucrazy

College Football Writer

Posted on September 18, 2014, in Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Blog, Florida Gators, Georgia Bulldogs, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, SEC, South Carolina Gamecocks, Tennessee, Texas A&M, The UGA Vault, Vanderbilt. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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