Ole Miss Visits LSU In Week's Only Top 25 Matchup
6 of the Top 25 are Idle this week
by Dave Congrove
October 20, 2014
Ole Miss, the newly-crowned No. 1 team in the Congrove Computer Rankings, hits the road to face LSU on Saturday night in Baton Rouge as a slim 2.35-point favorite. The Rebels are coming off a slow burn of Tennessee, 34-3, while LSU enters this contest fresh off a 41-3 home whipping of Kentucky. A win would make Mississippi 8-0 for the first time since 1962, but would also serve as the school's 4th victory over LSU in the last 7 meetings.
The 102nd meeting of those schools is the only game this week pairing teams ranked in the computer's Top 25. LSU leads the series, 58-39-4.
One other game just misses out on being a Top 25 battle as No. 26 Utah hosts 18th-ranked USC. The Trojans have dominated the series 9-3 and the computer likes them by 8.11 points to get their 4th straight win over the Utes.
No. 19 Arizona State is the only other underdog among Top 25 teams this week as the Sun Devils head to a reeling Washington Huskies squad that has lost 2 of its last 3 (to Stanford and Oregon) after a 4-0 start. The computer tabs Washington as a 1.34-point pick to halt an 8-game losing streak in the series, the longest for either team in its 30-game history. ASU leads the series 17-13.
The lightest schedule of the year has just 49 games on the agenda while 30 schools, including 6 of the top 25, take a breather.
Here's the schedule for every team in the computer's top 25, and its projected results:
1 - Mississippi: by 2.35 at No. 22 LSU
2 - Florida State: Idle
3 - Mississippi State: by 16.68 at home over Kentucky
4 - Ohio State: by 17.56 at Penn State
5 - Auburn: by 10.65 at home over South Carolina
6 - Marshall: by 24.04 at home over FAU
7 - Georgia: Idle
8 - Alabama: by 16.70 at Tennessee
9 - Oregon: by 26.62 over California (at Santa Clara) (Friday)
10 - Michigan State: by 16.51 at home over Michigan
11 - Notre Dame: Idle
12 - Baylor: Idle
13 - Nebraska: by 11.83 at home over Rutgers
14 - TCU: by 16.15 at home over Texas Tech
15 - Duke: Idle
16 - Kansas State: by 7.68 at home over Texas
17 - Arizona: by 5.51 at Washington State
18 - USC: by 8.11 at Utah
19 - Arizona State: Underdog by 1.34 at Washington
20 - Oklahoma: Idle
21 - East Carolina: by 28.86 at home over Connecticut (Thursday)
22 - LSU: Underdog by 2.35 at home vs. No. 1 Mississippi
23 - Clemson: by 12.70 at home over Syracuse
24 - Minnesota: by 10.06 at Illinois
25 - UCLA: by 18.23 at Colorado
LARGEST/CLOSEST EXPECTED MARGIN OF VICTORY THIS WEEK:
Excluding FBS vs. FCS games, here are the 5 largest margins projected by the computer this week:
East Carolina 28.86 over UConn (Thursday)
Oregon 26.62 over California (Friday)
Marshall by 24.04 over FAU
Northern Illinois 22.34 over Eastern Michigan
Toledo 21.42 over UMass
Here are the 5 closest computer projections:
Boise State 0.54 over BYU
Wisconsin 0.61 over Maryland
Washington 1.34 over Arizona State
Miami (FL) 1.50 over Virginia Tech
Kent State 2.08 over Miami (O)
Charlie Weis, June Jones and Jeff Quinn are the early departures in the head coaching ranks.
Jones announced on September 8 that he was resigning as the head coach of SMU.
Weis was fired from Kansas on September 28.
On October 13, Buffalo fired head coach Jeff Quinn after the Bulls became the first FBS team to lose to hapless Eastern Michigan this season. The school's AD, Danny White, who has been in his position just since May of 2012, said, "...Quinn's tenure has not matched our expectations for the growth of Bulls football." Just last season, Quinn coached Buffalo to an 8-5 campaign that earned the school's second-ever bowl bid. But the Bulls were just 3-4 this season with 2 victories against FCS schools and the other over lowly Miami (Ohio). Quinn was 20-36 at Buffalo and is 21-37 in his career. He was 1-1 as an interim head coach in bowl games for Central Michigan and Cincinnati before replacing Turner Gill at Buffalo. Alex Wood, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, was named interim head coach.
On October 5, Larry Blakeney announced he will retire from Troy at the end of the season. Blakeney is in his 24th season with the Trojans, making him the second-longest tenured coach in the FBS behind Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer.
Complete news on Coaching Changes here.
FBS vs. FCS:
None of this week's games pit FBS schools against FCS members.
FBS teams are 92-8 (.920) vs. the FCS on the season, and have a cumulative record of 923-89 (.912) since 2003.
Here are the results from all of this season's FBS losses to FCS schools:
8/30: Bethune-Cookman 14, FIU 12
8/30: North Dakota State 31, Iowa State 14
9/6: Eastern Kentucky 17, Miami (Ohio) 10
9/13: Indiana State 27, Ball State 20
9/13: Abilene Christian 38, Troy 35
9/20: NW State (La.) 30, Louisiana Tech 27
9/27: Yale 49, Army 43 (OT)
10/11: Liberty 55, Appalachian State 48 (OT)
North Dakota State's win over Iowa State on opening weekend was the 5th straight over a FBS team for the three-time defending FCS champions. Since 2010, NDSU has won road games at Kansas, Minnesota, Colorado State, Kansas State, and now Iowa State. Conversely, Iowa State has lost 2 straight to FCS schools after opening last season with a loss to Northern Iowa.
Bethune-Cookman's win over FIU on opening weekend was its second straight over the Golden Panthers.
This year, 103 FBS schools have scheduled a total of 108 games against FCS foes. Appalachian State, Army, Ball State, Buffalo and FIU each play 2 such games.
Florida State - 23-game winning streak (FBS longest), 17-game conference winning streak (FBS longest). Idle
Auburn - Won 13 straight home games (tied for FBS longest). Hosts South Carolina on Saturday.
Baylor - Won 13 straight home games (tied for FBS longest). Idle.
Ohio State - Won 10 straight road games (FBS longest). Visits Penn State on Saturday.
LSU - Won 49 straight regular season nonconference games (FBS longest). Hosts Ole Miss on Saturday.
SMU - Lost 8 straight overall (FBS longest). Hosts Memphis on Saturday.
Kansas - Lost 27 straight road games (FBS longest). Idle.
Arkansas - Lost 16 straight conference games (FBS longest). Hosts UAB on Saturday.