College Football Handicapping: Week 6 Misleading Scores


It was a good week for over bettors and underdog bettors in week six. There weren’t many big name games on the slate in week six, but hopefully readers were able to build up the bankroll. Keep in mind that it doesn’t take marquee games to cash tickets, and in fact the under the radar games are where there is usually more value.

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.

Toledo 52 Bowling Green 36 – The Toledo Rockets beat their rivals from Bowling Green here, but this final score was very misleading. Toledo was outgained 481-472. Bowling Green averaged 7.63 yards per play. Toledo averaged only 5.97 yards per play. Toledo’s average starting field position was their 43.8 yard line. Bowling Green’s average starting position was their own 21.7 yard line. Toledo had 79 yards worth of penalties. Bowling Green was whistled for a whopping 129 yards worth of penalties. The Falcons were also minus one in the turnover margin here.

Colorado State 42 San Jose State 30 – This game was misleading from a totals standpoint. It should have never been this high scoring. Colorado State had 391 yards of offense here. San Jose State had only 285 yards of total offense. The Rams averaged 5.28 yards per play. The Spartans averaged 3.7 yards per play. There was a safety and a defensive touchdown in this game. San Jose State averaged starting on their own 41.4 yard line. To see a team score 30 points with only 285 yards of offense is extremely rare. Neither of these offenses are good.

Utah State 45 BYU 20 – Utah State won for the second year in a row over BYU. The Aggies outgained BYU 388-361 yards. BYU averaged 5.55 yards per play and Utah State averaged 5.54 yards per play. Utah State had zero turnovers. BYU had three turnovers. BYU was only 1/9 on third down conversion attempts. The Cougars were 0/4 on fourth down in this game. Utah State averaged 6.33 points per trip into the red zone. BYU averaged only 4.2 points per trip into the red zone. Utah State appears to be the real deal this year, but this game’s final score being such a blowout was misleading.

Baylor 37 Kansas State 34 – Baylor played keep away in this one. The Bears ran 93 offensive plays. The Wildcats ran only 61 plays. Baylor averaged 5.99 yards per play. Kansas State averaged 7.67 yards per play. Kansas State usually wins the field position battle, but they didn’t in this one. The Bears started on their own 32.2 yard line on average. The Wildcats started on their own 29.3 yard line on average. Kansas State finished minus one in the turnover margin.

South Carolina 37 Missouri 35 – South Carolina was outgained by Missouri 490-377. The Gamecocks were 8/19 on third down conversions. Missouri was only 4/16 on third down. South Carolina averaged 4.6 yards per play. Missouri averaged 5.98 yards per play. South Carolina had one turnover, while Missouri had two turnovers.

Arizona 24 Cal 17 – The most misleading score of the week. Cal outgained Arizona 476-265. The Bears averaged 6.18 yards per play. Arizona averaged just 4.49 yards per play. Arizona had two pick-sixes in this one, and that was the difference. Cal turned the ball over four times. Cal also had 115 yards in penalties. Arizona isn’t a good team. Cal continues to hurt themselves game after game with key mistakes.

UTSA 20 Rice 3 – UTSA won this game despite having a miserable offensive showing. UTSA had a grand total of 178 yards of total offense. They averaged only 2.97 yards per play. Rice averaged 3.31 yards per play and had 222 yards of total offense. The Owls turned the ball over four times. UTSA had two touchdowns in this game, and they were drives of 31 yards and 3 yards. This was a sloppy low scoring game that UTSA was fortunate to win. Don’t upgrade the Roadrunners based on this game.

Georgia Tech 66 Louisville 31 – Georgia Tech ran the ball 65 times in this game. They threw two passes. They didn’t need to throw it. The Yellow Jackets clearly deserved to win here, but the margin is misleading. Georgia Tech didn’t turn the ball over at all. Louisville turned the ball over three times. Georgia Tech averaged 8.27 yards per play and Louisville averaged 7.21 yards per play. The Cardinals had three turnovers. Georgia Tech didn’t turn the ball over at all.

Utah 40 Stanford 21 – The statistics show this was a pretty even game overall, but Stanford had four turnovers and Utah zero, and that will lose you a game in a hurry. Stanford outgained Utah 423-421 Utah averaged 6.6 points per trip into the red zone. Stanford averaged only 3.0 points per trip into the red zone. Kyle Whittingham’s team has had trouble cashing in near the goal line in previous contests, but in this one it was Stanford struggling once they got close to the end zone.