Daily Blog •June 13, 2011

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 CUSA 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: CUSA:

East Carolina 2010 Best Case 7-6 Close Losses (1)

SMU - SMU had a lead of 31-17 after 3Q's and 38-24 with 9:10 left. EC got a TD with 5:12 left then EC went 62/11pl and got the tying TD with just :12 left and SMU took a knee. In OT after a SMU TD EC was int'd at the 12.

East Carolina 2010 Worst Case 3-10 Close Wins (3)

TULSA - See Tulsa

SOUTHERN MISS - SM had a 20-0 lead in this one. Penalties hurt them as their one 51 yd drive was almost entirely on 15 yard penalties on SM. EC took its first lead on an 89 yd KR TD with 7:35 left 3Q. SM retook the lead with 7:43 left, 43-38 but EC went 72/8pl and on 4&7 got a 32 yd TD pass with 4:36 left for the 1 pt lead. SM needed just a FG for the win and got to midfield but on 4&10 was sk'd with 1:55 left and EC got a 5 yd run on 3&5 for a FD.

- EC had a record home crowd and jumped out to a 21-0 lead but NCSt pulled within 24-21 at the half. NCSt led after a 31 yd FG with 2:59 left but EC tied it with 1:04 left. NCSt was int'd at the EC6 with :07 left and EC took a knee. In OT EC scored a TD but missed the xp however NCSt Wilson was int'd in the EZ on 3&12.

Houston 2010 Best Case 8-4 Close Losses (3)

RICE - UH had some costly mistakes early which put Rice ahead 27-7 in the 2Q but the Cougars rallied and led 31-27. For the game UH had a 28-19 FD edge but Rice on 3&8 got a 13 yd TD pass with 4:24 left for the lead. UH was driving for the go-ahead score but Piland fmbl'd the snap on 4&1 and they lost yards and were SOD.

UCF - They did trail 40-27 but got a TD with 5:46 left and UCF missed a 39 yd FG with 1:53 left leaving them in the game. UH got to their own 46. They dropped a FD pass and then on 4&10 fired incomplete with :45 left.

TULSA - In the 1Q UH was int'd in the EZ and on their next drive int'd at the TU15. TU got 45 and 10 yd TD drives following UH int's as the Cougars had 5 TO's to TU's 2. At the half TU only had a 222-198 yd edge but led 21-7. TU led 28-10 but UH battled back with a couple of TD's to pull within 28-25 with 12:16 left. UH, needing a FG to tie, got to the TU46 but was int'd with 5:39 left. TU got 4 FD's and were able to run out the clock.

Houston 2010 Worst Case 5-7 Close Wins (0)

Houston's wins were by 40, 30, 19, 25 and 39. They lost QB Case Keenum to injury in Wk3 so they did indeed achieve a worst case scenario.

Marshall 2010 Best Case 6-6 Close Losses (1)

WEST VIRGINIA - Tough loss for The Herd. They led 21-6 in the 4Q and MU fmbl'd at the 4 with 8:28 left in the game and WV went 96/9pl including a 3&11 conversion and got a TD with just 5:12 left. WV took over at their own 2 with 3:09 left and went 98/15pl getting a TD with :12 left and the 2 pt conversion forced OT. WV made a 20 yd'r in OT then MU missed a 47 yd FG.

Marshall 2010 Worst Case 3-9 Close Wins (2)

OHIO - MU led 13-3 at the half with a 233-105 yd edge but at the end of the game OU with :08 left got a 36 yd TD pass but the 2 pt conversion saw WR Dunlop fall down and the 2 pt was ng as OU went for the win and lost by 1 point.

UTEP - UTEP took a 12-7 lead and went for 2 to make it a 7 pt game but the 2 pt conv was int'd and ret'd for 2, making it a 3 point game, 12-9. MAR settled for a game tying 18 yd FG but roughing the K gave them a FD to the 1 and MU got a TD on the next play with 1:47 left, 16-12. UTEP got to the MAR42 and fired incomplete on 4&19.

Memphis 2010 Best Case 2-10 Close Losses (1)

UTEP - MEM actually had a 181-78 yd edge at the half and led 10-3. UTEP was SOD on 4&gl at the 1 (8:30 3Q). With the game tied, MU got a 35 yd FG to lead 13-10 with 8:35 left. UTEP got a 50 yd FG to tie it with 5:35 left. MEM punted with 3:13 left. UTEP started at their own 4 and went on a 95 yd drive for an 18 yd FG on 3rd down for the win.

Memphis 2010 Worst Case 0-12 Close Wins (1)

- 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.

Rice 2010 Best Case 5-7 Close Losses (1)

TULANE - Rice, trailing 48-42 got a TD with 2:02 left to take the lead 49-48. TU got a 73 yd TD pass with 1:46 left to go up 54-49. Rice got to the TU11 but on 4&7 with :06 left were SOD.

Rice 2010 Worst Case 1-11 Close Wins (3)

NORTH TEXAS - 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.

HOUSTON - See Houston


SMU 2010 Best Case 9-5 Close Losses (2)

NAVY - 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.

ARMY - 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.

SMU 2010 Worst Case 5-9 Close Wins (2)

- TU had a 48 yd FG blk'd with 12:19 left. They got a TD and 2 pt conversion with 6:53 left but allowed SMU to get 4 FD's on a 12 play drive to run off the final 6:53 and SMU escaped with the 3 pt win.

EAST CAROLINA - See East Carolina

Southern Miss 2010 Best Case 12-1 Close Losses (4)

EAST CAROLINA - See East Carolina

UAB - UAB did lead this game 35-21 in the 4Q and SM converted on 4&7 setting up a 41 yd TD drive to get back in it with 5:32 left. On 4&gl they got an 8 yd TD pass with :28 left to force OT. In the 2OT, UAB went for 2 and got it for the 50-49 win.

TULSA - See Tulsa

LOUISVILLE - SM jumped out to a 21-7 lead in the 2Q but it was tied at 21 at the half. SM had a 29 yd FG blk'd to open the 3Q. After a fake punt, SM got an 8 yd TD pass a few plays later to lead 28-21 in the 4Q. UL KR Wright got a bowl game record 95 yd KR to tie it. UL went on a 68/12pl drive and got a 36 yd FG with 6:30 left. SM punted with 4:41 left and UL got 2 FD's including a 3&7 conversion and punted with :07 left.

Southern Miss 2010 Worst Case 7-6 Close Wins (1)

- Trailing 13-10, LT blk'd a punt and had the opportunity to recover for a TD but it squirted away from Porter and SM batted it out of the EZ for a safety to cling to their 13-12 lead with 10:01 left. LT fmbl'd at the SM31 (8:43). LT got to the 50 but was int'd at the SM27 with 2:31 left. SM on 3&14 opted to pass with 2:21 left and got a 56 yd pass down to the LT 21 and took a knee.

Tulane 2010 Best Case 4-8 Close Losses (0)

Tulane did not have a loss closer than 14 points all year so they did indeed achieve a best case scenario.

Tulane 2010 Worst Case 1-11 Close Wins (3)

SE LOUISIANA - SEL fmbl'd into the EZ for a TB on 1st & gl at the 1 at the start of the 3Q. TU went ahead 27-14 after recovering a fmbl and "driving" 7 yds for a TD. It was 27-21 with 9:29 left. SEL punted with 5:47 and 2:31 left. They got it back with :48 left and got to the TU45 but were sk'd for a 16 yd loss on the game's final play.

- RU had a 353-245 yd edge. The game was 17-14 after 3Q's. RU punted with 12:06 left and then on 4&6
with 7:07 left. RU on 4&6 was SOD at the TU36 with 1:38 left. TU only got off an 18 yd punt and RU took over at their 45 and got to the 27 but after a hold on 3&20 Dodd was int'd with :48 left and TU took a knee.

RICE - See Rice

Tulsa 2010 Best Case 12-1 Close Losses (2)

EAST CAROLINA - As you can tell by the final score in regulation, neither team's D played well. This was an excruciating loss for TU as EC got the ball with 1:22 left. TU dropped an int which would have ended the game and then on 4&10, Davis threw a jumpball in the EZ and his Hail Mary pass went 33 yds for a TD and EC got the miracle win.


Tulsa 2010 Worst Case 6-7 Close Wins (4)

NOTRE DAME - 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.

HOUSTON - See Houston


SOUTHERN MISS - TU had control early leading 28-10 mid 2Q before SM rallied to take a 31-28 lead with 9:16 left 3Q. On the next drive TU retook the lead with a 67 yd TD pass 35-31. After a SMiss FG, the teams traded TD's on the next 4 poss with SM going for 2 on the last TD but came up short 49-47. TU would drive 69/8 pl to take a 56-47 lead with 3:46 left and SM went 46/7 pl and nailed a 44-yd FG, 56-50 (2:11). TU recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.

UAB 2010 Best Case 8-4 Close Losses (4)

FLORIDA ATLANTIC - 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.

TENNESSEE - Tough loss for UAB. They had an amazing 544-287 yd and 23-15 FD edges but missed 5 FG's. Despite the missed FG's, UAB still had the game tied at 23. UAB went on a 12pl drive but settled for a 54 yd FG with :38 left and missed their 5th FG of the game. Each team got a FG in the first OT and UAB got a 21 yd FG and UT got a 25 yd TD pass to pull out the win.

- UAB took the lead 24-23 with 10:16 left but then committed a personal foul on a pop up KO and MSU started at the 42. They got a 4&4 6 yd QB draw to the 30 and a 39 yd FG for the lead, 26-24. MSU got a 51 yd run by Perkins and a 28 yd FG with 1:48 left to go up by 5. UAB then fmbl'd the KO and MSU got 1 FD and took a knee.

RICE - UAB led 17-14 but Rice got a TD with 6:54 left. UAB retook the lead with a 32 yd TD pass with 5:00 left, 23-21. They missed the xp. Rice went 65/10pl and got a 22 yd TD run with :44 left to pull out the win.

UAB 2010 Worst Case 2-10 Close Wins (2)

TROY - 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.

SOUTHERN MISS - See Southern Miss

UCF 2010 Best Case 13-1 Close Losses (2)

NC STATE - The Wolfpack jumped out to a 21-0 lead thanks in part to a 20 yard drive after a fumbled PR. NCSt also benefitted from a 5-0 TO edge. UCF inserted true frosh Godfrey at QB in the 2H and rolled to a 308-239 yd edge for the game. UCF got within 1 score with 4:29 left and then got a 20 yd pass down to the NCSt11 with :51 left but fmbl'd at the end of it.

KANSAS ST - UCF outplayed KSU in this one with a 20-11 FD edge and 344-272 yd edge. UCF also led the majority of the game and at the half had a 170-43 yd edge. KSU tied it at 10 early 4Q and then trailing 13-10 got a TD with :24 let to pull out the win. It was their first lead of the game. UCF also missed 2 FG's during the game.

UCF 2010 Worst Case 9-5 Close Wins (2)

HOUSTON - See Houston

GEORGIA - On their 1st drive of the game, the Bulldogs went 95/15 pl but settled for a 20 yd FG 3-0. A couple of poss later they were int'd at the UCF18 but the Knights were then int'd in the EZ. Before the half Murray threw another int which set up 27/8 pl drive that resulted in a 22 yd FG to tie it at 3. After UGA took their first 2H drive for a FG the teams traded several punts before UCF went 65/11 pl for a TD 10-6 with 9:02 left. The tms exchanged 4 punts before UGA took over at their own 20 with 2:20 left. They got to the UCF38 but their Hail Mary pass on 4&19 fell incomplete on the final play.

UTEP 2010 Best Case 8-5 Close Losses (2)

MARSHALL - See Marshall

- TU had a commanding 357-212 yd edge at the half but the game was tied at 21 and TU needed a 12 yd TD pass with :33 left in the half to tie it. UTEP led 28-24 but TU got a TD with 4:00 left in the 3Q. After UTEP punted 3x, TU got a 43 yd pass down to the 18 and opted to go for it on 4&22 and fired incomplete from the UTEP30. UTEP got to the TU36 but on 4&10 was int'd at the 30.

UTEP 2010 Worst Case 5-8 Close Wins (1)

MEMPHIS - See Memphis