Inside The Stats... Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics
Marc Lawrence
Posted: 2017-10-11

Stats don't lie. People who interpret them do.

With the first College Football Playoff poll for this season due to be released October 31, the debate is on. Which teams will enter the four-team Playoffs, and which teams will make the New Year's Six? Stay tuned.

From now until then we continue to review teams and their season-to-date performances from a statistical perspective while also analyzing last week's football games.

Remember, all results are ATS (Against The Spread) in games played this season through Monday, October 9 unless noted otherwise.


Keeping up with our look at teams who have either dominated, or been dominated, In The Stats (ITS) this season, let's turn to the teams that will potentially qualify on our 'Puttin' On The Stats' list when November rolls around.

Remember, what we will be looking to do with teams on our 'Puttin' On The Stats' list from November out will be to 'Play On' any team as a dog if they've won all - or all but one - of their games plated against fellow FBS foes in total yards ITS (In The Stats) season-to-date. Conversely, we will be looking to 'Play Against' any favorite that has lost all - or all but one - of their games against FBS opponents in total yards ITS.

From our sister publication - the PLAYBOOK MIDWEEK ALERT - here is a list of the "spotless" candidates and their respective ITS records in games played through October 9:

Play On ITS dominators: Alabama 6-0, Central Florida 4-0, Georgia 5-0, Georgia Tech 3-0, Michigan 5-0, Oklahoma 5-0, Oklahoma State 5-0, South Florida 3-0, Texas San Antonio 3-0, Washington 5-0, Washington State 5-0, and Wisconsin 5-0.

Play Against ITS virgins: East Carolina 0-4-1, Oregon State 0-5, and Western Kentucky 0-4.


Each week on the football card each we isolate favorites that have been out-gained in each of their last three games.

We call them 'leaking oil' favorites for reasons that are self-explanatory. Here are this week's Pennzoil favorites and their current ITS losing skein record.

• College Football: Colorado 0-3, and Western Kentucky 0-5.
• NFL: New England Patriots 0-4, and Oakland Raiders 0-3.


Here are the teams who won phony games 'inside-out' ITS (In The Stats) but were out-gained by 100 or more yards in their last game. This week includes:

• College Football: Arkansas State, Bowling Green, and TCU.
NFL: New York Jets (200 yards), and Seattle Seahawks.


From this week's PLAYBOOK MIDWEEK ALERT newsletter: Wyoming is tied for the top spot in the nation in red zone offense. Their opponent, Utah State, is tied for the worst spot in red zone defense. And Wyoming is the underdog.


The Miami Dolphins-Tennessee Titans game featured nearly three times as many punt yards (1,089) as total yards (366) last week.

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