Daily Blog •June 9, 2011

Due to the rising costs of printing and relatively low demand we will not be printing our regional magazines this year. The good news is we will be featuring a lot of the information that was found in those Regional Magazines right here on PhilSteele.com for FREE!

One of the more popular sections of the regional magazines was the Best Case/Worst Case Scenarios where I take a look at the 2010 season and what teams records could have been in the Best Case and the Worst Case scenarios. Sometimes teams with solid winning records caught some breaks and were actually just a few plays away from a losing record. Some teams with losing records may have been just a handful of plays away from a winning record. Listed below are the Sun Belt and Independent teams. The Best Case scenario record shows them winning all the games they lost by a TD or less. The Worst Case scenario shows what their record would have been if they had lost all the games they won by a TD or less.

Best Case/Worst Case Scenarios: Sun Belt Conference:

Arkansas St 2010 Best Case 9-3 Close Losses (5)

- UL appeared to have this one locked up leading 31-7 after 3Q. ASU got a 39 yd FG with 13:24 left. UL rec'd the onside kick but had a 34 yd FG blk'd. ASU went 68 yds for a TD with 7:42 left. UL rec'd the onside kick again and missed a 41 yd FG. ASU got an 11 yd TD pass with 3:27 left to pull within 7 and got the ball back after a punt with 2:22 left but was int'd at their own 40 and ret'd 23 yds.

TROY - See Troy

INDIANA - ASU missed a 41 yd FG with 1:58 left. They got a TD with :47 left to pull within 36-34 but IU rec'd the onside kick and took a knee. ASU took their opening drive for a TD and did not trail the 1H and led 14-12 at the break. IU took their first lead of the game with 4:08 left in the 3Q.

WKU - This one appeared over for WKU as they trailed 28-21 with 1:44 left and were SOD at their own 46 with 1:10 left. ASU on 4&13 had a bad snap in punt formation and lost 29 yds back to their 22. WKU on 4&12 got a 17 yd pass to the 7 and on 4&gl a 7 yd TD pass on the last play to force OT. The play clock appeared to run out prior to the snap but the officials let the TD stand. ASU got a TD to open OT and WKU on the 5th play got a TD and the 2 pt conversion for the win.

FIU - With FIU down 24-23, ASU on 3&20 was called for an unsportsmanlike conduct pen giving FIU a FD. On 4&7, FIU got a 9 yd pass then on 3&9 a 42 yd TD pass to Hilton who broke 4 tackles on a slant pass (1:42). ASU got 1 FD but on 4&7 fired incomplete.

Arkansas St 2010 Worst Case 3-9 Close Wins (1)

NORTH TEXAS - See North Texas

Florida Atlantic 2010 Best Case 6-6 Close Losses (2)

- See North Texas

ULM - FAU led 17-12 and were driving but fumbled at the ULM 45 with 4:24 left. ULM then went 55 yds to take the lead on a 5-yd TD run on 3&G with 2:43 left. FAU's 4th Dn pass was incomplete at their own 36 and ULM was able to get a FD and run out the clock.

Florida Atlantic 2010 Worst Case 1-11 Close Wins (3)

UAB - UAB appeared in control leading 28-12 in the 3Q. FAU got back in it and only trailed 31-26 when they pinned UAB at the 1 after a punt. UAB got a 31 yd punt off and FAU got a 38 yd TD run by Morris with 2:20 left to take the lead, 32-31. UAB drove to FAU's 7. They ran the ball 3x including a knee to set them up in the middle of the field for a chipshot 28 yd FG which was blk'd by FAU.


LOUISIANA - FAU led 21-7 in the 3Q and it was 24-14 with 9:07 left. UL got a 37 yd FG with 4:42 left to pull within 7 then got a 43 yd TD pass with 1:45 left and opted for 2 points and it failed and FAU rec'd the onside kick.

FIU 2010 Best Case 10-3 Close Losses (3)

RUTGERS - FIU had a 371-172 yd edge and 15-8 FD edge and Joe Lefeged who was the Jim Thorpe Player of the Week was the key. He had 2 FF, an int and 2 blk'd punts. RU trailed 14-13 heading into the 4Q and blk'd a punt to set up a 24/1pl TD drive for the lead. FIU punted with 12:05 left on 4&23 they punted with 7:29 left and missed a 36 yd FG with 5:03 left and on 4&4 had a false start force a 4&9 and gained 8 yds out to the 30 and were SOD with 1:57 left.

TEXAS A&M - A&M had 5 TO's and trailed 20-6 3Q. A&M went 87/8 & 59/5pl to tie it up with 7:07 left. A&M went 72/3pl highlighted by a 31 yd pass & Gray's 40yd TD run (27-20). FIU took over with 4:29 left and got down to the 7 but were SOD after a 60/11pl drive.

- FIU led 14-0 1Q, but led just 17-14 1H with a 195-104 yd edge. FIU went 79/7pl for a TD & led 27-21 (9:57). Trailing 28-27 FIU got to the MT35 and gained 9 yds but Hilton fumbled at MT26. MT on 3&7 got a 47 yd run and ran out the clock.

FIU 2010 Worst Case 3-10 Close Wins (4)

WKU - FIU did jump out to a 21-0 lead in this game but WKU on 1st & gl from the 3 opted to throw into the EZ on the final play of the half and it fell incomplete and they trailed 21-7. FIU led again 28-14 but WKU got a TD with 5:47 left. After a 26 yd punt they started on the FIU36 down by 7 and got to the 24 but on 4&8 from the 22 fired incomplete with :33 left.

ULM - With the game tied, ULM got to the FIU30 with :15 left but were int'd at the 21 and the game went to OT. Each team got a TD in the first OT. FIU got a TD in the 2OT but ULM on 4&12 were SOD at the 8.

-See Arkansas St

TOLEDO - Toledo appeared in charge at the half leading 21-7 but FIU took their first lead with 7:34 left in the game on a 10 yd pass. FIU blk'd a punt setting up a 31 yd FG to lead 31-24. TU got a TD with 1:14 left and went for the win and got the 2 pt conv to lead 32-21. The squib kick was ret'd to the 48 and on 4&17 a hook and ladder play was ruled OOB at the marker short but a replay gave them a FD to overturn it. FIU got a 20 yd pass and a 34 yd FG on the final play.

Louisiana 2010 Best Case 6-6 Close Losses (3)

TROY - See Troy

OHIO - ULL led 17-10 but OU used a fake punt to set up a TD and took the lead 24-17 early 4Q. OU extended it to a 14 pt lead but UL closed to 38-31 with 1:36 left. UL did recover the onside kick and got 2 FD's to the 22 but was sacked for an 1 yd loss.

FLORIDA ATLANTIC - See Florida Atlantic

Louisiana 2010 Worst Case 0-12 Close Wins (3)

ARKANSAS ST - See Arkansas St

NORTH TEXAS - See North Texas

ULM - With 4:50 left in the 1H, ULM was at the 9 yd line but on 3&gl from the 4 was int'd in the EZ. UL extended it to 23-13 after 3Q's. ULM got a 28 yd FG with 9:33 left then went 84/8pl for the apparent tying TD but the xp was blk'd with 4:55 left. ULL had a 3&gl from the 3 yd line but were int'd in the EZ and ret'd out to the 1. ULM on 4&10 fired incomplete and ULL took a knee.

Middle Tennessee 2010 Best Case 9-4 Close Losses (3)

MINNESOTA - MT led 17-14 late 3Q but UM went on a 97/13pl and tied it with a 20 yd FG w/14:11 left. After a punt UM went 77/16pl incl converting a 3&12 and got a 1 yd TD run w/3:09 left. MT fumbled the ensuing KO and UM got 2 FD's and ran out the clock.

MEMPHIS - MEM was down to their backup QB's and both Kilgore and Murphy played for MT. MT was done in by a -4 in TO's with MEM getting a 36 yd TD drive after an int and a 43 yd TD drive after a fumble. It was 24-17 after 3Q's. MT punted with 14:35, 8:06 and 4:35 left. They got it back at their own 26 but on 4&1 were SOD at their own 33 with 1:45 left.

- NT led 20-10. MT got a TD with 4:43 left in the 3Q to pull within 3. NT fumbled into the EZ for a TB with 12:08 left. They added a 38 yd FG but were only up by 6 with 1:10 left. MT got across midfield but was int'd at the NT35 with :46 left.

Middle Tennessee 2010 Worst Case 4-9 Close Wins (2)

WKU - MT benefitted from a 99 yd FR TD and won despite being outFD'd 19-11 and outgained 396-208. WKU had a 4&gl at the 1 and instead of a FG which would have put them up 29-13 they went for it. There was a fumble and everybody crowded around the pile but Issac was running down the field with the ball and was awarded a 99 yd FR TD, completely changing the complexion of the game. MT then drove 77 yds for a TD and miraculously took the lead with 4:38 left. WKU missed a chipshot 34 yd FG with 2:29 left. WKU's last drive they were SOD at the MT45.


North Texas 2010 Best Case 7-5 Close Losses (4)

RICE - At the half NT had a 11-5 FD edge but actually trailed the game 23-21 due to turnovers. NT led 31-26 but Rice got a TD with 6:22 left. NT punted with 4:56 left, got it back with 2:07 left at their own 20 and got to the 48 but on 4&14 got a 9 yd pass.

LOUISIANA - UL did get a 40 yd FR TD in the 2Q which was a big swing and did lead by 2 TD's into the 4Q. NT got the tying TD with :31 left but the xp was blk'd and UL rec'd the onside kick and ran out the clock.

ARKANSAS ST - NT trailed 21-19 in the 4Q. ASU got a 39 yd FG with 9:40 left to go up by 5. NT punted with 7:00 left and then got it back with 5:59 left. They got 2 FD's to the ASU28 but on 3&14 was sk'd for an 17 yd loss and punted on 4&31 with 2:36 left. ASU got 1 FD and ran out the clock.

TROY - See Troy

North Texas 2010 Worst Case 1-11 Close Wins (2)

FLORIDA ATLANTIC - NT led 21-17 and were SOD on 4&11 gaining 9 yds to the FAU28 with 2:24 left. They had a 26 yd pass to the 2 overturned on a review then were sk'd and dropped a 4th down pass with :59 left.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE - See Middle Tennessee

Troy 2010 Best Case 10-3 Close Losses (2)

- At the half OSU had a 279-153yd edge but Troy led 27-20 after the 2 teams scored 41 pts in the 2Q. Troy fumbled 3 times in OSU territory incl inside the OSU7. Troy closed the gap 41-38 with 4:00 left. OSU QB Weeden fumbled while trying to take a knee w/:54 left but Troy fumbled on the next play.

UAB - Troy led 23-0 in the 2Q and it was 26-13 after 3Q's. Troy looked like they iced it with a TD with 9:50 left which made it 33-20. UAB got a TD with 8:34 left on a 36 yd pass to make it 33-27. Troy punted with just 1:22 left and pinned UAB at the 1. UAB did not have any time-outs. They got a 3&10 pass to the 44 and a Hail Mary on the last play went 43 yds for a TD and the win as UAB's prayers were answered.

Troy 2010 Worst Case 4-9 Close Wins (4)

BOWLING GREEN - With the game tied, BG got to the Troy 40 but was int'd at the 34 on 2&5. Troy got 3 FD's, the 3rd a personal foul got them down to the 14 and they got a 34 yd FG on 2&13 on the final play to pull out 3 point win.

ARKANSAS ST - ASU trailed 27-21 and on 4&4 gained 1 yd to the Troy 31 with 5:46 left. After Troy punted, ASU went 77/11pl and got a 30 yd TD pass for a stunning 28-27 lead with :50 left. Troy got a 37 yd KR and on 2nd & 10 in FG range, got a 17 yd TD pass and 2 pt conversion to go up by 7 with :22 left. ASU36 was sk'd on the game's final play.

LOUISIANA - Troy actually trailed 21-17 and UL had a FD at the Troy5 but fumbled and Troy ret'd it to the UL33. On 3&11 Troy got a 34 yd TD pass to lead 24-21. UL tied it with 7:11 left but Troy drove 53/7pl for a TD with 4:43 left to retake the lead, 31-24. UL punted on 4&15 with 2:46 left. Troy punted with :18 left.

NORTH TEXAS - NT trailed 41-35 and got an int at their 41 with 3:00 left. NT on 4&14 was SOD at their own 37 and Troy took a knee.

ULM 2010 Best Case 7-5 Close Losses (2)

LOUISIANA - See Louisiana


ULM 2010 Worst Case 2-10 Close Wins (3)

SE LOUISIANA - SEL led 20-14 but missed an xp at the end of the 3Q. ULM got a 47 yd TD pass with 14:34 left to lead. SEL punted with 12:05 and 9:37. SEL recovered a fumbled punt but on 4&3 fired incomplete at the ULM28 with 8:51 left. ULM ate up 6:31 off the clock and SEL took over at their 9 with 2:20 left and was int'd at their own 27.

- See Florida Atlantic.

WKU - WKU had a 17-7 lead at the half and a 223-138 yd edge. They appeared on their way to break their losing streak as after stopping ULM on a fake punt, WKU went 31/4pl for a TD and after 3Q's led 24-7. ULM got a TD with 14:20 left and on their next drive after a 30 yd punt, drove 53 yards for a TD twice converting on 4th Dn. WKU punted with 5:51 left and ULM went 61/7pl for a TD and the lead with 3:35 left. They did get a 55 yd IR TD with 1:30 left and WKU got a 13 yd TD with :50 left. ULM recovered the onside kick and took a knee.

WKU 2010 Best Case 6-6 Close Losses (4)



- FAU kicked a 26-yd FG with 14:42 left to go up 17-16. WKU drove to the FAU36 but was int'd. After 3 punts WKU was SOD at their own 32 and FAU ran out the clock.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE - See Middle Tennessee

WKU 2010 Worst Case 1-11 Close Wins (1)

ARKANSAS ST - See Arkansas St

Best Case/Worst Case Scenarios: Independents:

Army 2010 Best Case 10-3 Close Losses (3)

HAWAII - While UH jumped out to a 21-0 lead they trailed 28-21. In the 4Q, with the game tied at 28, Army appeared to hold all the cards. They got a FD to the UH20 and were setting up for the game winning FG when on 3&9 QB Jenkins fmbl'd and UH rec'd at the 27 with :24 left. UH got 13 & 31 yd passes and a 15 yd pers foul and nailed a 31 yd FG on the final play to escape with the win.

RUTGERS - Army missed a 1Q 40 yd FG but still led 14-3. Army went on a 94/13pl drive but settled for a 21 yd FG and led at the half 17-3 and had a 287-65 yd edge. Army was SOD at the RU23 in the 3Q on 4&3. RU got a FD on a 3&23 horse collar which overturned a 1 yd sack and converted on 4&2 and 4&8 (def holding) and on 4&2 got a 3 yd TD pass to pull within 17-10. RU was int'd on their next drive but a roughing the QB call gave them a FD. On 3&13 they converted and then got a 16 yd TD pass with 5:16 left to tie it. Army settled for a FG and RU got a TD for the 3 pt win in OT.

TEMPLE - Army actually led this 28-13 mid 3Q. TU scored TD's on their next 3 drives to take the lead, 35-28 and then drove 50 yds for another TD with 4:20 left to go up by 14. Army got a TD with 1:13 left to pull back within 7 but TU rec'd the onside kick and got a 5 yd run on 4&3 on the last play.

Army 2010 Worst Case 5-8 Close Wins (2)

EASTERN MICHIGAN - EM took the lead 27-24 with 2:59 left. Army got 16, 13 and 11 yd plays on its first 3 and continued on for a 7 yd TD run with :38 left. EM got a Def Pass Interference to the Army32 with :03 left but their Hail Mary pass was incomplete.

SMU - SMU had a 413-229 yd edge but were -3 in TO's and missed 2 FG's. Army actually led this one 16-0 mid 3Q before SMU went 92/13pl for a TD. After an Army punt SMU went 74/10 pl to make it 16-14 with 9:20 left. After another Army punt SMU went 32/8pl but missed a 47 yd FG with 4:05 left and Army got 2 FD's and ran out the clock.

Navy 2010 Best Case 11-2 Close Losses (2)

- MD did jump out to a 14-0 lead vs Navy but were outgained 485-272 and Navy had a 39:26 to 20:34 TOP. Navy had a 32 yd FG hit the upright in the 1Q. On 3&gl from the 1 in the 2Q they fmbl'd. On 3&gl from the 6 with :12 left they ran out of time and could not get the FG off. In the 3Q they fmbl'd at the 1. At the end of the game on 4&gl from the 1 they went for the win and were stopped.

DUKE - Navy was off their big win over Notre Dame. Duke led this one 24-0 with a 268-67 yd edge. On 4&10 roughing the passer gave Navy a FD and they got a TD with 2:34 left. Duke rec'd the onside kick but Navy got it back with :57 left. On 4&3 they were SOD at their own 43. Duke took a knee.

Navy 2010 Worst Case 5-8 Close Wins (4)

GEORGIA SOUTHERN - GS was well prepared for running the triple option as their HC Monken served as an asst under Paul Johnson at GS, Navy and GTech from '98-'07. As you would expect with 2 teams running the option, it was a low scoring game and Navy had a 9-8 FD edge for the game. It was 13-0 at the half with Navy having some short drives set up by TO's and GS got a TD to trail 13-7 early 3Q. After 6 punts, Navy took over with 6:08 left and converted on 3&18 as Jones grabbled the ball away from a defender for a 44 yd gain. Then Navy on 3&11 and 3&8 got two more FD's and ran out the clock at the GS9.

- WF went 84/11pl and got an 11 yd TD pass with :12 left in the half to lead 17-14. WF had a 251-165 yd edge. WF got a 12 yd TD pass with 1:08 left in the 3Q to lead 24-21 then went on a 59/14pl drive settling for a 31 yd FG with 8:34 left in the game, 27-21. Navy appeared done when on 4&11 they were SOD at the WF38 with 3:13 left but got it back with 2:08 left and converted on 4&1 and 3&10 and then a 6 yd TD pass with :26 left. WF needed just a FG but their final 3 passes from the 49 fell incomplete.

SMU - SMU led 14-0 at the half as both teams squandered several scoring opportunities. Navy scored a pair of TD's in the 3Q to tie it then after a fumble went 31/5pl to take a 21-14 lead with 12:52 left. SMU converted a 4&4 and tied it with 2:51 left. After a Navy punt SMU was int'd at their own 13 and Navy got a quick TD with 1:38 left. SMU got to the Navy 41 but on the last play they fumbled after several laterals.

CENTRAL MICHIGAN - QB Proctor started for Navy as Dobbs was out with a concussion and Proctor did rush for 201 yards. CM led 24-21 at the half. Navy led 38-24 and CM got a TD with 3:04 left. Navy rec'd the onside kick back at their 20 and punted with 1:04 left. CM went 80/8pl and on 4&2 got a TD pass but went for 2 with :04 left and their 2 pt fell incomplete.

Notre Dame 2010 Best Case 11-2 Close Losses (3)

MICHIGAN - There were a couple of key factors in this game. ND starting QB Crist missed 8 series in the 1H and ND did not score a single point on those. ND led 24-21 with 3:41 left. UM got a TD with :27 left for the lead. Just before the half, ND opted to go for it from the UM3 with :03 left passing up a FG and threw incomplete. At the end of the game, ND got down to the UM27 but their pass into the EZ was incomplete again.

- Tough loss for ND. With 7:43 left in the game, MSU tied it on a 24 yd TD pass but replays showed that WR Cunningham stepped OOB prior to making the catch so it should not have counted. In OT on 3&3 TE Ruldoph only ran a 2 yd route and ND settled for a 33 yd FG. MSU on 3&5 was sk'd for a 9 yd loss which set up a long 46 yd FG. The play clock clicked down to :00 prior to the play and should have been flagged for a delay. MSU ran a fake FG and the ND defender was knocked down and holder Bates hit a wide open Gant for a 29 yd TD pass and the win.

TULSA - TU benefitted from a blk'd xp which they returned for 2 as well as 59 yd PR TD and a 66 yd IR TD. With 3:23 left after having trailed 27-18, they got a 27 yd FG for the lead. ND got down to the TU21 but on 2&8 with perhaps the blk'd xp weighing on Kelly's mind, from the TU19 Rees threw an int in the EZ where the FG would have given them the win.

Notre Dame 2010 Worst Case 6-7 Close Wins (2)

PITTSBURGH - In the 1H Pitt missed a 27 yd FG, dropped a snap on a 36 yd FG and had a 188-179 yd edge but trailed 17-3. ND extended it to 20-3 and Pitt converted on 4&1 at its own 32 for a FD and got a TD with 3:12 left in the 3Q. Pitt got a 56 yd TD pass by Baldwin to make it 23-17 with 7:23 left. ND had a 50 yd TD pass called back for offensive pass interf and punted. Pitt punted with 3:15 left and got it back with 1:37 left at its own 6. Their 4&4 pass was knocked down from their own 13.

USC - ND did have a 296-261 yd edge and at the end of the game and all 4 of their TO's were in their own territory which set up USC's 16 pts. USC had a wide open TD pass at the ND15 with no defenders within 10 yds but it was dropped and then USC was int'd at the goal line with :36 left and lost by 4. ND's go ahead TD came with 2:23 left.