College football prognosticator Phil Steele is out with his latest Phil Steele-esque table. This time around, Steele takes a look at 2011 starts lost due to injury. As the theory goes, teams that were hit hard by the injury bug the year before generally have a better year the following season.
Just how well does this trend play out? Apparently quite well.
In a study over the last 8 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 62 out of 76 occasions for an 81.6% success rate. How about teams that are really banged up? Well from 2001-2005 12 teams went through seasons of having 40 or more combined starts lost and ALL 12 had the same or better record the next season. It surprises me that 17 teams met that criteria in 2006-'07 but only 7 had a stronger record the next year and 9 had a weaker record.
That's good news for Boston College football in 2012. The Eagles lost 55 starts due to injury last season, the second highest total in the nation (and behind only Maryland's 59). The bad news? 2012 opponents Maryland, Miami and Florida State also made the Top 10 nationally in this category.
Here's how Boston College stacks up against the rest of the ACC:
|Rank||Program||Off Starts Lost||Def Starts Lost||Total Starts Lost||Starts Lost %|
|2||Boston College Eagles||24||31||55||20.83%|
|8||Florida St. Seminoles||42||4||46||16.08%|
|27||N.C. State Wolfpack||3||28||31||10.84%|
|43||North Carolina Tar Heels||3||23||26||9.09%|
|45||Virginia Tech Hokies||1||25||25||8.12%|
|55||Wake Forest Demon Deacons||11||11||22||7.69%|
|62||Duke Blue Devils||7||14||21||7.95%|
|111||Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets||5||4||9||3.15%|
In non-conference play, Army ranked 7th nationally (17.32%), Notre Dame 68th (6.99%) and Northwestern 85th (5.24%).
Here's hoping that a healthier Boston College football team in 2012 leads to a few more Ws.