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The Unlikeliest Outcomes

Just how unlikely was Middle Tennessee’s victory over Maryland two months ago? Kenneth Massey, whose computer formula is used in the BCS rankings, tabulates least likely results in all levels of play – Division I-A, I-AA, II or III or NAIA. (Sorry, NCAA, but the day I write Football Subdivision is the day I go back to work at amusement parks.)

I wrote about Massey a few weeks ago, but I checked his site late last night and found something even more interesting than what I found digging through the site a few weeks ago. (Massey’s computer rankings are in parenthesis.) Out of 3,435 games, MTSU (116) over Maryland (40) is the No. 2 on the unlikeliest results list. What’s No. 1? On Sept. 14, Haskell Indian Nations University (681) upset Bacone (542), 29-22. The planet shook with that result, no doubt.

Out of curiosity, I did some research on Haskell’s titanic upset. Check out the game story and the video clips. Literally like three people in the stands at Haskell Stadium. And how about the first paragraph in the game story: “Those first two blowouts? Fuhgeddabout ‘em.”

I love stuff like this. Okay, here’s the deal: the reason why Haskell was such an underdog was because it had been obliterated by a combined score of 128-16 against the likes of South Dakota Tech and Missouri Southern. And, get this, South Dakota Tech … Okay, I’m getting a little off topic with the NAIA Midwest breakdown …

Among the top 10 unlikeliest results, the only other Division I-A result that made the list was Bowling Green over Pittsburgh. Is MTSU over Maryland really the unlikeliest result in Division I-A so far? Anyone have any other nominees?

But let’s be clear, nothing is on the same level as Haskell over Bacone, nothing.

By Eric Prisbell  |  November 11, 2008; 6:49 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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