|Daily Blog •July 22, 2013|
Remember when Oklahoma won the National Title in 2000? Not a single OU starter lost a single start due to injury! My research has shown that teams that benefited from very few injuries, in this case 6 or less, usually have a weaker season the next year.
The bottom line is, teams that have suffered a lot of injuries the previous year will generally have a better year the next season. A lot of backups were forced to play during the injury-riddled year, gaining valuable experience and the team figures to not be so injury-prone the next year.
In a study over the last 9 years, my research shows that if a team had 32 or more starts lost to injury the prior season, they improved or had the same record the next year on 80 out of 102 occasions for an 78.4% success rate.
For 2012, a record 26 teams suffered 32 or more starts lost to injury in 2011 and my research had mixed results. First, teams that lost 38 or more starts in 2011 would go on to have a better or same record at a 78.6% clip (11 out of 14) but teams that suffered between 32 and 37 starts lost in 2011 only hit 7 out of 12 times. One of the best examples was Ohio St which lost 55 starts in 2011 to injury and suffered through their first losing season s/’88 at 6-7. Last year, they were much healthier and would go unbeaten at 12-0.
Here are the teams that suffered 32 or more starts lost to injury last year:
Most Starts Lost To Injury in 2012
|Rank||Team||Total Starts Lost|
Colorado St had a couple of major suspensions prior to the season and those starts lost just like injury starts lost count towards the total. UMass suffered a lot of attrition in their first year in FBS losing 45 starts to injury and went just 1-11. Arkansas, who was a preseason Top 10 team went thru a nightmare season that also included losing 44 starts to injury.
Now let's look at the teams that had great fortune with very few injuries. With teams playing a 12-game schedule, I went for the magic number of 6 lost, figuring that is less than one half of one starter lost to injury during the year. Over the past 9 years only 21 of the 70 teams (30%) that had this good fortune managed to improve their record the next year. Last year there were six teams that suffered 6 or less starts to injury in 2011 (good fortune). All six of those teams saw their record stay the same or get weaker including four teams that went from bowl appearances in 2011 to sitting at home in 2012. They included Houston who suffered just 6 starts lost to injury in 2011 and would finish 13-1. Last year, they were not as fortunate and fell all the way back to 5-7! FIU (4 starts lost in ‘11) went from 8-5 to 3-9. Virginia (4) went from 8-5 to 4-8 and California (3 starts lost in ‘11) went from 7-6 to 3-9 last year.
Here are the teams that suffered 6 or less starts lost to injury last year:
Least Starts Lost To Injury in 2012
|Rank||Team||Total Starts Lost|
Louisiana Tech had a great start to last year as they won 9 of their first 10 games and were ranked #19 prior to dropping their last two. One of the main reasons for their success was that they lost only 2 starts to injury and this year figure to not have the same type of luck.
Here is the complete list broken down by total starts lost and also by starts lost on offense and defense which can be indicators of one unit underachieving or overachieving last year.
|38||San Diego St||11||11||22||7.69%|
|81||San Jose St||1||12||13||4.55%|
|118||New Mexico St||1||6||7||1.14%|
PhilSteele.com will have a page updated weekly dedicated to starts lost again this year. We will track each team's starts lost for the 2013 season so you can see which teams are really banged up and those that have remained very healthy. We even include weekly updated start charts for each of the teams!
Only 38 Days Until the First College Football Game!!!