The offseason is a good time to step back and take a look at the bigger picture.
Which Big 12 teams are efficient on offense and defense, excel on third down and consistently create turnovers? Those are just a few of the questions we’ll aim to answer during this weekly offseason series. In this series we’re looking to expose the programs that build themselves upon certain long-term traits as opposed to riding one or two elite players to short-term excellence.
Today, we conclude the series by looking at points-off-turnovers margin (a team's points off turnovers minus its opponents' points off turnovers) to get a sense of the teams that create takeaways and then score points. (All stats are in Big 12 games only since TCU and West Virginia joined the conference in 2012 via ESPN Stats and Information.)
1. Kansas State Wildcats, 3.5: This should be no surprise as Bill Snyder’s teams consistently change games by forcing turnovers and playing efficient offense. K-State averaged a Big 12-best 7.86 points off turnovers per game.
2. Baylor Bears, 2.08: The Bears scored touchdowns on 46.9 percent of drives that started following an opponent's fumble or interception to lead the Big 12. Baylor averaged 3.53 points per possession on those drives, second only to K-State’s 3.7 during this span.
3. Oklahoma State Cowboys, 1.89: Oklahoma State was particularly strong at taking advantage of takeaways in the first quarter, averaging 1.83 points off turnovers during the first quarter to rank second behind TCU during this span.
4. Oklahoma Sooners, 1.14: The Sooners became much more lethal when taking advantage of takeaways under Lincoln Riley. Oklahoma had a 6.33 points-off-turnovers margin to lead the Big 12 by a wide margin over Baylor’s 4 in 2015. Ball protection -- the Sooners averaged a Big 12-low 1.11 turnovers per game -- played a key role.
5. Texas Longhorns, 0.94: The Longhorns' fortunes have taken a step backward in this respect since Charlie Strong’s arrival. Texas’ 0.11 points-off-turnovers margin during the past two seasons is sixth in the Big 12 and the Longhorns could manage just 4.28 yards per play on drives after an opponent's fumble or interception.
6. TCU Horned Frogs, 0.47: The Horned Frogs’ success in this category is directly tied to their offense. Since Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie took over, TCU has recorded a 2.06 points-off-turnovers margin to rank third in the Big 12 the past two seasons. Over the entire four-year span, TCU led the conference with 2.19 takeaways per game but during the first two seasons the offense averaged 2.67 turnovers per game before averaging 1.56 with Meacham and Cumbie in charge.
7. West Virginia Mountaineers, minus-0.25: Much like TCU, West Virginia’s offense had a negative impact. The Mountaineers averaged 2.11 turnovers and recorded just 2.52 points per drive during possessions started by an opponent fumble or interception during this span.
8. Iowa State Cyclones, minus-1.53: The Cyclones managed to score 4.11 points off turnovers per game, which was ninth in the conference, during this span. The past two years were particularly disappointing for Paul Rhoads' program as Iowa State was last in the Big 12 with a minus-3.5 points-off-turnover margin.
9. Kansas Jayhawks, minus-3.83: The Jayhawks offense struggled to make teams pay for their mistakes. Kansas averaged 1.96 points per possession on drives that began following an opponent fumble or interception during this span, the lowest average in the Big 12.
10. Texas Tech Red Raiders, minus-4.42: The Red Raiders had a horrific combination of offensive turnovers (2.31 per game, last in Big 12) and lack of takeaways (1.39, last in Big 12) to finish last in this category. Last season brought a reason for hope, however, as Texas Tech finished with a 0 points-off-turnover margin -- allowing 66 points off turnovers and scoring 66 points off turnovers -- while increasing its average takeaways to 1.78 per contest.