College Football Handicapping: Week 11 Misleading Scores


Things went pretty much as expected in week eleven. That made it much different from many of the recent weeks in college football. The top ten teams in the rankings all won. The week was a little bit short on drama. We don’t have a lot of marquee matchups for this weekend either, but you don’t need marquee games to find good values on betting board.

BangTheBook always tries to help readers and listeners be well-informed. The weekly misleading scores piece I do here is a good place to go for extra information on teams, and data that helps you dive much deeper than simply knowing the final score. A final score can be very misleading. It’s hard to keep track of all the games, especially if you have a day job and are doing this on the side. I’ll highlight several games and what made the final score misleading. Keep these in mind as you update you handicap the games for the upcoming weekend.

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There weren’t quite as many of the misleading scores as many of the recent weeks, but here are some pretty good examples.

Iowa State 28 Baylor 14 – Baylor outgained Iowa State 505-355. The Bears averaged 6.31 yards per play. The Cyclones averaged 6.23 yards per play. Usually in these misleading scores turnovers are the issue, but that wasn’t the case in this one. Both teams finished the game with no turnovers. Baylor was stopped on downs twice in the red zone in this one. The Bears averaged only 2.0 points per trip into the red zone. Iowa State took advantage of their opportunities. They averaged 5.4 points per trip into the red zone.

Clemson 27 Boston College 7 – Boston College didn’t score a point on offense in this game. The Eagles had only eight first downs. Boston College finished with 113 yards of total offense. They averaged a miserable 1.98 yards per play. Clemson rolled up 524 yards. The Tigers averaged 5.97 yards per play. Boston College returned a blocked punt for a touchdown for their only score of the game. Clemson finished -2 in turnover margin. This one was a bigger blowout than the final score indicates.

UAB 26 Southern Miss 23 – This game was misleading in two ways. UAB should have won easier than this score indicates. There were also a lot more points scored than there should have been. UAB outgained Southern Miss 304-165. The Blazers averaged 4.28 yards per play. The Golden Eagles averaged a miserable 2.26 yards per play. UAB turned it over three times, while Southern Miss turned it over only once. Note that this game went into overtime and still Southern Miss only gained 165 yards all game. This game edged over the total by 1.5 points with the overtime session. If I sound a little bitter, it’s because I had the under here.

Indiana 34 Maryland 32 – Maryland outgained Indiana 542-374. The Terrapins had 27 first downs compared to only 18 for Indiana. Indiana averaged starting on their own 35.7 yard line. Maryland averaged starting on their own 29.5 yard line. Indiana was flagged for only 39 yards worth of penalties. Maryland racked up 93 yards in penalties. The Terrapins turned the ball over four times. Indiana turned it over only once.

Old Dominion 34 North Texas 31 – This was a misleading total. North Texas actually led 28-0 in the second quarter! North Texas finished with 395 yards. Old Dominion finished with 359 yards. North Texas averaged 4.82 yards per play. Old Dominion averaged 4.66 yards per play. Those yardage numbers are far less than what you would expect in a game with a total of 65 points. Old Dominion averaged 5.67 points per trip into the red zone. North Texas averaged 5.17 points per trip into the red zone. Both teams took advantage of their chances very well once they entered the red zone.

Virginia 45 Liberty 24 – Virginia only outgained Liberty 389-354. The Cavs averaged starting on their own 37.8 yard line. Liberty averaged starting on their own 28.0 yard line. Virginia averaged 6.33 points per trip into the red zone. Liberty averaged 4 points per trip into the red zone. Virginia finished +2 in turnover margin.

Texas 41 Texas Tech 34 – Texas Tech should have won this game. The Red Raiders outgained the Longhorns 595-469. Texas Tech averaged a whopping 7.35 yards per play. Texas averaged 5.72 yards per play. Texas Tech had a 32-28 advantage in number of first downs. The Red Raiders turned the ball over three times. Texas Tech only managed 3.78 points per trip into the red zone. Texas averaged 5.86 points per trip into the red zone.