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2011 Starts Lost To Injury!

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 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.

In 2008, Utah was at the top of the chart with 51 starts lost to injury and they went from 9-4 to 13-0 and #2 in the country! 2010 was another solid year as 9 teams had 35 or more starts lost to injury in ‘09 and 8 of the 9 improved or had the same record (88%!). Here are the teams that suffered 32 or more starts lost to injury last year:

Most Amount of Starts Lost to Injury in 2011

Rk Team Starts Lost
1
Maryland 59
2
Boston College 55
2
Ohio State 55
4
Oregon St 54
5
Toledo 53
6
Colorado St 52
7
Army 51
8
Florida St 46
9
Memphis 44
10
Miami, Fl 42
10
Vanderbilt 42

As you can see Maryland led the country with 59 starts lost and it was one of the main reasons the Terps did not meet many of their fans’ expectations in year one under HC Edsall. Boston College struggled big time with injuries last year and will benefit from better luck this year. Ohio St also figures to be much improved after last years 55 starts lost to injury. Look for 8 or 9 of these teams to rebound this year and improve their record.

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 8 years only 21 of the 64 teams (32.8%) that had this good fortune managed to improve their record the next year. In 2010 there were NINE teams on this list and ALL NINE had a weaker record with SIX of them bowl teams from 2009 that finished with a losing record in 2010!!! There were a lot of teams (16) that had this good fortune last year.

Least Amount of Starts Lost to Injury in 2011

Rk Team Starts Lost
1 Arkansas St 2
2 California 3
3 FIU 4
3 Virginia 4
5 Rutgers 5
6 Houston 6
7 Northern Illinois 7
7 South Alabama 7
7 Temple 7

Arkansas St had the fewest starts lost to injury with only 2 all year and it was one of the main reasons the Red Wolves had a dream season. Also as you can see teams that do not suffer a lot of injuries usually have good seasons as all of these teams with the obvious exception of South Alabama made a bowl last season with Arkansas St, Northern Illinois and Houston all getting double digit win seasons.

However the above teams will probably not be as fortunate this year and if the past trends hold up only 2 or 3 of them will improve their record this year.

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.

Starts Lost to Injury 2011

Starts
Off Def Total Starts
Lost
Starts Starts Starts Lost
Rank
Team Lost Lost Lost %
1
Maryland 32 27 59 22.35%
2
Boston College 24 31 55 20.83%
2
Ohio State 38 17 55 19.23%
4
Oregon St 23 31 54 20.45%
5
Toledo 14 39 53 18.53%
6
Colorado St 16 36 52 19.70%
7
Army 18 33 51 19.32%
8
Florida St 42 4 46 16.08%
9
Memphis 26 18 44 16.67%
10
Miami, Fl 12 30 42 15.91%
10
Vanderbilt 21 21 42 14.69%
12
Colorado 21 19 40 13.99%
13
Rice 11 27 38 14.39%
13
Texas Tech 16 22 38 14.39%
15
Akron 15 22 37 14.02%
15
Boise St 17 20 37 12.94%
15
UCLA 19 18 37 12.01%
18
Air Force 11 25 36 12.59%
18
Missouri 27 9 36 12.59%
18
Tennessee 10 26 36 13.64%
21
E Carolina 31 4 35 13.26%
21
Midd Tenn 22 13 35 13.26%
21
South Carolina 22 13 35 12.24%
24
Arizona St 8 26 34 11.89%
25
Idaho 14 19 33 12.50%
26
New Mexico St 11 21 32 11.19%
27
Fresno St 13 18 31 10.84%
27
LSU 26 5 31 10.06%
27
NC State 3 28 31 10.84%
27
New Mexico 17 14 31 11.74%
27
Tulsa 14 17 31 10.84%
32
Pittsburgh 24 6 30 10.49%
32
Purdue 28 2 30 10.49%
32
UAB 19 11 30 11.36%
35
Florida 11 18 29 10.14%
35
Miami, OH 16 13 29 10.98%
35
Oklahoma 20 9 29 10.14%
38
Central Michigan 14 14 28 10.61%
38
Southern Miss 14 14 28 9.09%
40
Oklahoma St 16 11 27 9.44%
40
Texas A&M 9 18 27 9.44%
40
Wyoming 8 19 27 9.44%
43
Hawaii 25 1 26 9.09%
43
North Carolina 3 23 26 9.09%
45
Virginia Tech 1 25 25 8.12%
46
Ball St 16 9 25 9.47%
46
Kansas St 17 8 25 8.74%
46
Navy 12 13 25 9.47%
46
North Texas 16 9 25 9.47%
46
Washington St 20 5 25 9.47%
51
BYU 11 13 24 8.39%
51
Louisville 9 15 24 8.39%
51
Oregon 5 19 24 7.79%
54
Arizona 5 18 23 8.71%
55
FAU 12 10 22 8.33%
55
Georgia 15 7 22 7.14%
55
Indiana 12 10 22 8.33%
55
Marshall 6 16 22 7.69%
55
Ohio 4 18 22 7.14%
55
TCU 8 14 22 7.69%
55
Wake Forest 11 11 22 7.69%
62
Arkansas 9 12 21 7.34%
62
Duke 7 14 21 7.95%
62
Iowa St 19 2 21 7.34%
62
Mississippi 8 13 21 7.95%
62
Nebraska 9 12 21 7.34%
62
SMU 11 10 21 7.34%
68
Connecticut 11 9 20 7.58%
68
Massachusetts 18 18 20 8.26%
68
Notre Dame 9 11 20 6.99%
68
San Diego St 7 13 20 6.99%
72
Nevada 15 4 19 6.64%
72
San Jose St 7 12 19 7.20%
72
Washington 3 16 19 6.64%
75
Michigan St 12 6 18 5.84%
75
UNLV 15 3 18 6.82%
75
Wisconsin 7 11 18 5.84%
78
Kent St 4 13 17 6.44%
78
Kentucky 8 9 17 6.44%
78
Stanford 6 11 17 5.94%
78
Troy 12 5 17 6.44%
82
Buffalo 15 1 16 6.06%
82
Utah 15 1 16 5.59%
82
Utah St 10 6 16 5.59%
85
Auburn 10 5 15 5.24%
85
Cincinnati 9 6 15 5.24%
85
Louisiana 1 14 15 5.24%
85
Northwestern 6 9 15 5.24%
85
Penn St 4 11 15 5.24%
85
Texas 11 4 15 5.24%
91
La Tech 9 5 14 4.90%
91
UTEP 7 7 14 5.30%
91
UTSA 6 8 14 6.36%
91
West Virginia 12 2 14 4.90%
95
ULM 3 10 13 4.92%
95
Western Michigan 8 5 13 4.55%
95
WKU 7 6 13 4.92%
98
Clemson 10 2 12 3.90%
98
Eastern Michigan 6 6 12 4.55%
98
Syracuse 1 11 12 4.55%
101
Bowling Green 9 2 11 4.17%
101
Illinois 6 5 11 3.85%
101
Iowa 2 9 11 3.85%
101
Michigan 5 6 11 3.85%
101
Mississippi St 5 6 11 3.85%
101
USC 3 8 11 4.17%
107
Baylor 0 10 10 3.50%
107
Texas St 8 2 10 3.79%
107
Tulane 6 4 10 3.50%
107
UCF 2 8 10 3.79%
111
Alabama 8 1 9 3.15%
111
Georgia Tech 5 4 9 3.15%
111
Minnesota 3 6 9 3.41%
114
Kansas 0 8 8 3.03%
114
USF 6 2 8 3.03%
116
Northern  Illinois 2 5 7 2.27%
116
South Alabama 0 7 7 3.18%
116
Temple 5 2 7 2.45%
119
Houston 1 5 6 1.95%
120
Rutgers 0 5 5 1.75%
121
FIU 2 2 4 1.40%
121
Virginia 1 3 4 1.40%
123
California 1 2 3 1.05%
124
Arkansas St 0 2 2 0.70%

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 2012 season so you can see which teams are really banged up and those that have remained very healthy. We even include start charts for each of the teams and also update them weekly!

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