Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob View Post
I would argue TM comes down to (1) coaching and (2) your player personnel and experience. App State has been in the top 30 in TM the last 3 seasons. Both of Willie Fritz's teams here were in the top 30 in turnover margin. Pick your top 5 coaches in college football and I guarantee you they have positive turnover margins much more often than not. If we have fumble issues this season it'll be because someone who got no or very few carries last season gets a significant number this season. I don't think we'll be in the top 10 two years in a row, but you aren't completely at the mercy of the dice.

I also think people overestimate the impact turnovers had on the season as a whole. We had 3 close games. EMU had no turnovers, so take that off the list. Texas State we got a fumble and gave it right back with our own fumble and picked off a pass right before half time. You can say we caught a break there but we didn't win because of turnovers. That fumble on Ark State helped us out, but if they had scored there (given how bad they were in the red zone that's not a given) it's OT and not a loss.
I think conventional wisdom disagrees with you in a few ways re: ability to influence TM.

My logic is is as follows:

1. Fumbles recovered are a function of a. the number of fumbles by the other team, and b. number of those fumbles you recover. Only a portion of fumbles by the other team can even be attributed to your defense, and of the ones that are, only a portion of those could be attributed to superior coaching/personnel, as most are flukey results of a random arm or helmet making contact in just such a way as to knock the ball loose.

Once the oblong ball is on the ground, you’d be hard pressed to convince me that recovery by one randomly placed player over another is a result of a superior fumble recovery ‘system’. All of the above applies with regard to fumbles lost, as well. Therefore, you can only even potentially influence a portion of a portion of a portion of fumbles through coaching/personnel.

Of course our limited passing reduces the opportunity to throw picks, but even for us, ZERO is a pretty serious outlier.

There’s no way to speculate as to the potential butterfly effect of a turnover that didn’t happen, but certainly it would be better stated that in the case of the Ark St game, a loss absolutely is a potential outcome of an OT situation.

Can better teams consistently outperform the mean? Of course, but I’d attribute that to disparities in coaching/talent on a scale that doesn’t likely exist across, say, the Sunbelt.