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Curiosities: 13 Questions Behind the Box Scores

The questions that remain behind some of the most baffling box scores

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">NCAA Football: Alabama Spring Game

Why does God allow suffering?

Gary Cosby-USA TODAY Sports

Hope everyone has shaken off the Longhorn funk. We’re diving into more Curiosities today: odd data points, and the questions they presage — if anything.

  • 240.5 — That’s Caleb Williams’ insane QBR, to go along with his nation-leading 12 TD passes and 12.5 YPA, on 78.3% completions; to which he’s added 63 rushing yards and another score. Sure, the competition has been godawful, but after three games — a quarter of his regular season — has Caleb Williams jumped out to such a commanding Heisman lead that everyone is is competing for “Others receiving votes?”
  • Zero — Number of times Caleb Williams has turned the ball over. The Trojans hit the road the next three of four, including a game that could very well determine the Heisman, the P12, and even CFP race: At Colorado vs. Shedeur Sanders.
  • 199.4 — That’s the all-time college QBR, set by Tua Tagovailoa in 2018, when he was screwed out of a Heisman. Caleb Williams is not only set to beat that record, but absolutely shatter it.
  • 12:1 — that’s the amount of liabilities Vegas is riding right now on CU bets. In a nutshell, they are paying out $12 for every $1 being bet on the Buffs. And so far, the oddsmakers have not been able to pin down Colorado very well either. Related: 2:1 — that’s the amount of money being bet on Colorado games, vs. every other CFB game on the board. So, not only is Vegas losing their ass, their losing a lot every week. When does this become unsustainable? They’re plainly deep in the red already, because of Coach Prime. Eventually, they’ll either get the number right...or pull action all together.
  • 519, 44 — Those are the total yards and total points for the Iowa Hawkeyes after not leaving the state its first two games: Much was made of Iowa’s new-look offense, and the arrival of once-blue chip signal caller Cade McNamara. So far, the Offense and scorching hot seated Brian Ferentz have not only not gotten the offense into the stratosphere; the damn thing is still on the runway, despite playing Utah State and Iowa State.
  • 424, 28 — The number of yards and points put up by FCS Idaho State against the Hawkeyes first opponent, the Utah State Aggies (in IU’s 24-13 win). 285, 24 — Iowa’s output against that same team. After a tuneup vs. Western Michigan, Iowa travels to Penn State and Wisconsin, and hosts Purdue, Michigan State, and Minnesota. How much worse will this get? and will Kirk fire his son midseason?
<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">NCAA Football: Middle Tennessee at Alabama

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

  • 27.8% — That’s Tennessee’s 3rd conversion percentage after playing FCS Austin Peay and overall No. 127 Virginia. The Vols spend this week in Gainesville, against the very active Florida Gators defense. Are the Vawls missing Hyatt and those slot mismatches more than pundits predicted?
  • 16th, 21st — That’s Florida’s offensive and defensive efficiency this week, as they host the rival Volunteers. 13th, 42nd — those are UT’s efficiency stats for offense and defense. Are the Vawls actually in trouble this week, despite being a touchdown favorite in the Swamp?
  • Five — The number of drives in which analytically-terrible 2nd and 10 and 3rd and long runs were called by Tommy Rees in the Tide’s 34-24 home loss to Texas.
  • Four — The number of times in those drives where the Tide did not score — four punts, one interception. For a team as concerned with objective outputs as the Tide are, why is Alabama so obstinately refusing to engage with analytical playcalling — and why is Tommy Rees so averse, in particular?
  • 5-3 — After beginning his career with 23 straight wins against former assistants, Nick Saban’s record against them since 2021 is 5-3.
  • 90.3% — Saban still has won over 90% of his games against his former Padawans, and his record is 28-3 for his career.
  • 87.8% — Bear Bryant’s record against his former assistants was 43-6, placing Nick Saban in some elite company