Misleading College Results



by Mathew Hurley, Managing Editor

There were several college football games this past Saturday that had misleading final scores. We can't say that there were many 'false' winners on the scoreboard. But, many close games had one-sided stats. In the future, the teams involved are much more likely to play to those stats than to the final scores.

We've been showing you that on a weekly basis for YEARS now here in the NOTEBOOK. If you're relying only on final scores to draw your conclusions, you're flying with one eye through a thunderstorm. Keep both eyes open, and you can find clear skies!

Here's a list of some of the most misleading final scores from last Saturday. We'll pick them off in rotation order if you want to go back and update your weekend notes.

Everyone knows that Jacory Harris got knocked out relatively early in the game for the Hurricanes. Few realize that Miami won stats anyway! Total yardage was 448-361 for Miami. Yards-per-play saw a 6.3 to 4.9 advantage. Miami converted more third downs too. This was a turnover win plain and simple, with Virginia winning that category 5-2. And, they still had to sweat the ending anyway! Be careful giving Virginia too much credit for this victory. They were outplayed by Miami's third string QB outside of the turnover category.

It was a great win for the Baylor program to be sure. Did you realize they were outgained 428-328 (that's 100 yards!), outrushed 171-109, and needed a few big plays to bust out to reverse what had been a 19-10 deficit? Baylor has definitely improved from last season. Don't pencil in a straight up win over Oklahoma just yet. Don't give Art Briles the LSU job, or the Dallas Cowboys job off this victory. Give credit where it's due. But, be aware that what happened on the scoreboard isn't a very good reflection of what happened in the trenches this past Saturday Night in Austin.

Here we have another starting quarterback on a favorite leaving a game early...and an underdog getting 'credit' for what was basically a bad turnover game from the backup. Notre Dame won total yardage 458-399, and were in position to win at the very end even though Tulsa had an interception return for a TD, and an unlikely punt return for a TD too. Tulsa's offense only scored two touchdowns! We're not going to talk you into backing the Irish just yet. They played poorly vs. a Navy team that lost to Duke and struggled with SMU. We do want you to be careful about giving too much credit to Tulsa. This doesn't make them a CUSA power. Their 'best win in history' came against an inexperienced quarterback trying to lead a program in the doldrums...and they needed two non-offensive TD's and a bonehead pass in the final seconds to survive.

The Wildcats actually obliterated the Bruins here, winning yardage by a whopping 583-299. Rushing yardage was a dominant 264-71. And, this all happened with the backup quarterback! Sometimes a lack of experience can cramp the style of a high yardage team. They don't do what they should on the scoreboard with all the production. We believe that to be the case here. And, we'll be looking to back Arizona when Nick Foles returns...and fade UCLA until they get a real QB in the lineup. This was much more of a massacre than the final score makes it seem. Handicap both teams in that light in the month of November.

Same story here as above, except Oklahoma State had its starting QB in the game! The Cowboys won total yardage 511-289, and rushing yardage 213-111 on the road at a very dangerous site. Yards-per-play was a crushing 6.7 to 3.9. Kansas State converted just 2 of 15 third down tries! Okie State is likely to post better results than this score would suggest from this point forward. Be careful falling in love with Kansas State just because scoreboard watching made this game feel competitive. It wasn't really.

The Utes were very lucky to leave town with a win. The home underdog won total yardage 411-327, and almost won even with a 5-1 turnover disadvantage! Pencil in an even game in turnovers, and who gets the victory? Utah will play TCU this week in the game of the year in the Mountain West. They will have to pick up their play quality to pull of an upset. They were almost upset here by a very game Falcons squad.

This is probably a game that most of you ignored. Heck, most of you probably can't tell these teams apart. It was the bottom game on the added schedule. Did you even write down the score? International was a 4-point road favorite, but lost by double digits because of a 4-2 turnover loss. Yardage was a dead heat. We think Atlantic is going to be slightly overrated in coming weeks off this rivalry victory. International may offer value because they're not likely to lose the ball 4 times a game from this point on.

For the most part, this past Saturday saw a lot of blowout games that featured blowout stats. Auburn outgained Ole Miss by a bunch. Oregon made a run at 600 yards at USC. There weren't any illusions in the marquee TV games. But, there WERE elsewhere on the board. And, the size of the board provides such a challenge to oddsmakers that knowing who REALLY did what last week will help you make better picks this week.

If you've been struggling in college and pro football this year because you don't have time to study who really did what...and you don't have scouts and sources all over the country...and you're not a computer programmer that designed state-of-the-art simulation software...and you don't have Wise Guy connections in Las Vegas and offshore...THEN SIGN UP WITH JIM HURLEY'S NETWORK SO YOU CAN ENJOY THE POWER OF OUR EXCLUSIVE TEAM HANDICAPPING APPROACH!

Full season packages are still available at discounted rates here at the website. Game day releases go up a few hours before kickoff (and we have GAME DAY action every night this week in football and the NBA!). If you have any questions about our BLUE RIBBON, TOUCHDOWN, or CLOSED CIRCUIT clubs...call the office at 1-800-323-4453.

Back tomorrow to run through our 'big three' stats in pro football. We'll preview Georgia Tech/Virginia Tech for you Thursday to get you ready for that ACC TV showdown. Then we'll focus on the mid-majors in our weekend college previews, taking a look at TCU/Utah and Hawaii/Boise State...as both TCU and Boise State do what they can to try and crack the top two in the BCS (with Utah knocking loudly on the door to get in the conversation too!) Sunday and Monday bring more NFL coverage...and get ready for Thursday Night NFL that's just a week away. There's so much going on...don't you dare skip a day of the NOTEBOOK!

Middle Tennessee/Arkansas State goes tonight in the Sun Belt on ESPN2. You know you love sweating the TV games. Want to make some money while you watch? Seven showdowns are on tap in the NBA including Orlando/New York and Portland/Milwaukee. The best time to attack the NBA is when oddsmakers are still swamped with football. Link up with JIM HURLEY now for some BIG, JUICY TUESDAY NIGHT WINNERS!

This article is part of the VSM MASTERS SERIES presented by VegasSportsMasters.com and JimHurley.com. For more information on JIM HURLEY'S handicapping packages, call 1-800-323-4453.


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