Part five of seven in this series examining eight years of turnover margin data: Pac-10
(+11,-12,+10,-7,-7,-5,+3,-9) Grand Total: -16
Dick Tomey was still coaching the Wildcats during the first three years of this analysis (although his tenure seems so very long ago), starting with the 12-1 season in 1998. The Wildcats then slide to 6-6 and 5-6. It's interesting that they had such a wild swing of turnovers from year to year like that (+11,-12,+10). The poisonous John Mackovic era would rule the next three years, with repeated negative turnover margins and a free-falling record from 5-6 to 4-8 to 2-10. Mike Stoops has coached the last two seasons, both 3-8 efforts. With a nearly double-digit negative turnover margin last year, it's likely the Wildcats will improve greatly in that department this year.
(-2,-9,+8,-8,+4,-4,+5,+7) Grand Total: +1
Another name from the past, Bruce Snyder coached the Sun Devils for the first three returns, going 5-6, 6-6 and 6-6. Dirk Koetter has been the head man since, improving from 4-7 (-8) to 8-6 (+4), then dropping to 5-7 (-4) and then improving the last two years to 9-3 (+5) and 7-5 (+7). Turnover margin is a nice prediction of team success or failure in the Koetter era.
(+6,-5,-4,-18,+18,+3,+2,-6) Grand Total: -4
The disastrous Tom Holmoe was head coach for the first four totals, as the Bears declined in victories each season (5-6 record, then 4-7,3-8 and 1-10). Jeff Tedford was hired, and Cal started its amazing turnaround. A 36-turnover swing from one season to the next helped Cal roar back from the 1-10 doldrums to a 7-5 effort in 2002. They've since gone 8-6, 10-2 and 8-4. Much of last year's negative total can be credited to the interception-prone Joe Ayoob at quarterback. Things should improve this year with a more veteran defense to support what should be a better quarterbacking effort.
(-10,+11,+6,+16,+5,-5,-2,+13) Grand Total: +34
This is all the work of coach Mike Bellotti. Oregon went 8-4 in 1998 (-10) before a fine three-year run that saw them go 9-3, 10-2 and 11-1 behind the efforts of quarterback Joey Harrington. Their turnover efforts were fantastic in those years, but fell precipitously until last year. The team record shows a similar pattern, with the Ducks falling from 11-1 to 7-6, 8-5 and 5-6 before last year's resurgence at 10-2 (+13). Turnovers help tell a story here, and they're something to keep an eye on this season with Oregon trying to maintain momentum from last year's 10-win effort.
(-3,+7,+18,-7,+8,-8,+3,-14) Grand Total: +4
Mike Riley owns the first total (coinciding with a 5-6 record), followed by Dennis Erickson the next four years. Erickson would go 7-5 and 11-1 before falling to 5-6 and then improving to 8-5. The turnovers paint an accurate picture for his fate, mirroring the rise and fall of the record. Riley retured to the team in 2003, maintaining an 8-5 mark before sliding to 7-5 and 5-6. Interception nightmare quarterback Matt Moore contributed heavily to last year's -14 turnover margin.
(+2,+10,0,+3,-5,+1,+8,+4) Grand Total: +23
Tyrone Willingham's final four years at the farm are represented here. His teams went 3-8 (+2), 8-4 (+10), 5-6 (0) and 9-3 (+3) before being hired at Notre Dame. Buddy Teevens was then hired and never found much success, going 2-9 (-5), 4-7 (+1) and 4-7 (+8). Walt Harris coached last year's Cardinal team, finishing 5-6 and +4. Counting his stay at Pitt, Harris has now coached four consecutive seasons with positive turnover margin.
(+17,-3,+7,-3,+2,-1,-6,+6) Grand Total: +19
Ahhh, UCLA. Bob Toledo was the coach responsible for the first five totals. Not surprisingly, the +17 was part of the 1998 season that saw the Bruins go 10-2 in a brief island of success where the Bruins won 20 consecutive games and had another 10-2 record the season previous. Those two successes were sandwiched inbetween 5-6 and 4-7 seasons. UCLA's not used to being able to handle success, I guess.
Toledo would ride out his tenure going 4-7 (-3), 6-6 (+7), 7-4 (-3) and 8-5 (+2). Karl Dorrell was then hired, coaching two nondescript efforts at 6-7 and 6-6 before last season's resurgence at 10-2. Despite starting quarterback Drew Olson throwing just
four six interceptions, UCLA managed just +6 in turnover margin last year. Hopefully new defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker can help improve that situation.
(+11,+14,-19,+16,+18,+20,+19,+21) Grand Total: +100
Simply amazing. The lone blemish was the forgettable Paul Hackett's final season (2000, -19) where the Trojans finished 5-7 and at the bottom of the Pac-10. But even the lowly Hackett managed to string together seasons of +11 and +14 before his termination in 2000.
In five years, Pete Carroll has yet to have anything less than a double-digit positive return on turnover margin. I've gone through eight years of turnover margin data at every BCS school and there's simply nothing like what Carroll has done with this statistic. From day one he was able to get the team to change its turnover fate, and although the record lagged his first season, it caught up in a big way as USC has been the face of college football since 2002 (11-2, 12-1,13-0,12-1).
(-8,-2,-3,-2,+1,-4,-19,-3) Grand Total: -40
This is disappointing to look at. The once-proud Huskies have had four coaches during this time frame, starting with Jim Lambright who would finish 6-6 before they hired Rick Neuheisel from Colorado. "Skippy" would greatly improve the team's fate, helping them to 7-5, 11-1,8-4 and 7-6 records before his termination, but the turnovers never mirrored the team's success. The poison around his tenure and termination have been disastrous for the program, with its record falling to 6-6 and then 1-10 under Keith Gilbertson and then last year at 2-9 with Tyrone Willingham.
(-17,-4,-1,+12,-4,+8,-1,-5) Grand Total: -12
Mike Price was the Cougars' coach for the first five totals here. Washington State has been a feast or famine program for many years now, which helps explain its diverse record. The Cougars were a 10-2 Rose Bowl team in 1997, but fell on hard times in 1998, dropping to 3-8 with a -17 turnover margin. That was followed by 3-9 and 4-7 records before Jason Gesser emerged, leading them to 10-2 and 10-3 marks (+12,-4). Price left to screw up his opportunity with Alabama, but Doba was able to keep the engine running for another full season, coaching the Cougars to a 10-3 record (+8). Since then, it's been more famine than feast with the turnover numbers dropping along with the record (5-6 and 4-7 the last two years).