Study: Are SEC football players more prone to wear & tear?

Posted by: Pete Roussel on Thursday May 09, 2013


Posted by: Pete Roussel on Thursday May 9, 2013

Earlier in the week, Ole Miss defensive line coach Chris Kiffin tweeted, "Heard a college coach tell a recruit not to play in the SEC cause your body will be too beat up for the NFL! #BigBoyBall #SEC."

Recruiting is so competitive.  A coach may throw out a statement like such in order to cast a small doubt in the mind of a particular recruit.  That particular doubt in the prospect's mind may cause the recruit to delay his intentions of committing to an SEC program in order to take one last visit to the campus of an ACC, Big Ten, or PAC-12 program this summer.

And when you get a prospect on campus, you never know.  He can easily start second-guessing himself.

Kiffin's tweet led me to do some research.

I wanted to study statistics to potentially suggest that college football players in the SEC are not necessarily more prone to wear & tear than players in other major conferences?

Yes, there are more 'bigger, faster, stronger' players in the SEC than any other conference.  The game is played more physically on a week to week basis than any other conference, but what about the effect on the body from the overall number of snaps.

Consider that Alabama's defense played a total of 3203 snaps over the last four years.  Oklahoma State's defense, on the other hand, played 4111 snaps (or 908 more snaps, which is the equivalent of roughly 12 more games than Alabama) over that same four year period.

You don't see many four-year starters in college football anymore at the BCS level, but the point is that a defensive lineman at Oregon, Baylor, or Texas Tech may as many as 500 more snaps than if he were in the SEC.  Chip Kelly even said that recruiting defensive lineman to Oregon was easy because you're going to play a lot of snaps.

On the last four years, Oregon's defense was on the field for 3978 snaps, Baylor for 3954, Texas Tech for 3770, Clemson for 3731,Oklahoma for 3721.

Kentucky (3342), Ole Miss (3347), and Florida (3304) have played much fewer snaps than Florida State (3624) and USC (3591).

The visual shows the teams with the most defensive snaps / fewest defensive snaps over the last four seasons.

snaps

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PeteRoussel2

Pete Roussel is a valuable resource for coaches, athletic directors, NFL front-office personnel, and college football enthusiasts. A former college football coach, Roussel shares insight on coaches 365 days a year and is recognized as the most trusted expert on coaching transactions. Follow @CoachingSearch on twitter and send your feedback to pete@coachingsearch.com




Pete Roussel is a valuable resource for coaches, athletic directors, NFL front-office personnel, and college football enthusiasts. A former college football coach, Roussel shares insight on coaches 365 days a year and is recognized as the most trusted expert on coaching transactions. Follow @CoachingSearch on twitter and send your feedback to pete@coachingsearch.comtest