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Red River Rivalry Tops This Week's Schedule

10/1/06
by Mike Mitchell

This week in college football features the Red River Rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas on Saturday as one of six matchups of Top 30 teams in the CCR Top 119.

In all, there are 56 games scheduled over six consecutive days beginning Tuesday night. There are 46 conference games that include Michigan State-Michigan, Missouri-Texas Tech, Tennessee-Georgia, and LSU-Florida.

Non-conference action features Navy at Air Force as competition opens for the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy.

Eight teams are idle this week: Arizona State, Boston College, Eastern Michigan, FAU, Rutgers, San Jose State, Troy and Virginia Tech.

UNBEATEN TEAMS
All the extra games against 1-AA teams hasn't help preserve the unbeaten ranks. There were 12 teams still undefeated at this point last year. This year, there are 13.

The teams with perfect records are: Auburn, Boise State, Florida, Georgia, Louisville, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio State, Oregon, West Virginia, Rutgers, Southern California and Wake Forest.

WINLESS TEAMS
There were only 7 winless teams at this point last year. This year, we have 9 teams still searching for that elusive first victory - Colorado, Duke, Eastern Michigan, FIU, Miami (O.), San Diego State, Stanford, Temple and Utah State.

TOP 30 CLASHES
All games Saturday unless otherwise indicated.

These involve teams ranked in the Top 30 of the CCR Top 119.

No. 5 Oregon at No. 16 California - The Ducks are 4-0 and the Golden Bears have ripped off four straight wins since losing their opener at Tennessee. Both schools are in a four-way tie for first in the PAC-10 with 2-0 conference records.

No. 37 Arkansas at No. 6 Auburn - The Tigers have won the last three meetings and lead the all-time series 9-5-1.

No. 7 Texas vs. No. 17 Oklahoma (at Dallas) - The 101st meeting between the two schools and the 78th consecutive time that the game will be played in Dallas. Texas leads the series 56-39-5. (see Complete Game Preview)

No. 11 LSU at No. 9 Florida - Urban Meyer likes "The Swamp" - he's 10-0 in it, and 2-3 in regular season games away from it. For the second week in-a-row, the Gators look to exact revenge on a team that beat them last year. LSU also won on their last two visits to "The Swamp" in 2004, two weeks before Ron Zook was told he was in his final season. Before their 2002 victory, the Tigers hadn't won in Gainesville since 1986.
No. 13 Clemson at No. 26 Wake Forest - Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! Just look who's leading the ACC Atlantic. Wake Forest (5-0, 1-0), that ACC school tucked away near Winston-Salem, North Carolina - just down the road from Pilot Mountain and Mount Airy. Sha-zam! The Demon Deacons are 5-0 for the first time since 1987, but their toughest opponents have been Syracuse and UConn. Clemson is 2-1 in conference play and a loss would virtually eliminate them from the ACC title picture. The Tigers have lost the last two times they played at Wake, including 31-27 last year and 45-17 in 2003.

No. 19 Missouri at No. 14 Texas Tech - Peyton Manning graduated and Tennessee won a national title. The folks in Missouri might be wondering the same thing about the departure of their great QB, Brad Smith. The record-setting highlight reel is gone but here sits Missouri at 5-0 with a statement game to play in Lubbock. The two teams haven't met since 2003 when Missouri won in Columbia 62-31. The Tigers lead the all-time series 3-2.

CONFERENCE GAMES
All games Saturday unless otherwise indicated.

ACC:
Wake Forest and N.C. State are the only two teams in the Atlantic that are 1-0 in conference play. Wake easily has the upper hand on the Wolfpack with an over-all record of 5-0 vs. the Pack's 2-2. Clemson trails at 2-1 and plays Wake Forest on Saturday.

The Florida State-N. C. State game on Thursday is bigger than it appears at first glance. Chuck Amato needs a win to get his team over the .500 hump - a win also makes the Wolf Pack 2-0 in the ACC. FSU needs a win to get firmly back in the ACC title picture.

Maryland is the last ACC team to play a conference game. The Terps are 3-1 over-all. Georgia Tech will have the Coastal Division title in their hands if they win the rest of their ACC games.

Florida State at N. C. State (Thursday)
Clemson at Wake Forest (also see "Top 30 Clashes" above)
Maryland at Georgia Tech
North Carolina at Miami (Fla.)

BIG EAST:
Rutgers sits atop the Big East standing at 5-0, 1-0. Pitt is also 1-0 in the conference but 4-1 over-all. The Scarlet Knights are idle while the Panthers visit a surging Syracuse team that's reeled off three straight wins for the first time since 2002.

Connecticut at South Florida
Pitt at Syracuse

BIG TEN:
Nothing unexpected here as Ohio State and Michigan share the conference lead with identical records of 5-0, 2-0.|

The biggest game on the schedule this week is the annual rivalry between Michigan and Michigan State. The last time they played in Ann Arbor, Michigan rallied from 17 points down with seven minutes left in the game and forced overtime when Michigan State missed a game-winning field goal on the last play of regulation. Three overtimes later, the Wolverines prevailed 45-37 when the Spartans failed to answer Michigan's touchdown pass and successful two-point conversion.

Indiana at Illinois
Purdue at Iowa
Michigan State at Michigan
Penn State at Minnesota
Northwestern at Wisconsin

BIG TWELVE:
Baylor's win over Kansas State gave the Bears a spot in the upper half of the South Division standings. They are one of three teams that are 1-0 in conference games. Baylor heads to winless Colorado on Saturday.

Obviously, the big focus will be on Oklahoma-Texas, but the Missouri-Texas Tech battle also features a pair of Top 25 teams. Missouri and Nebraska are the only two teams that are 1-0 in the North Division as the other four all lost their conference opener.

Baylor at Colorado
Nebraska at Iowa State
Kansas at Texas A&M
Oklahoma State at Kansas State
Missouri at Texas Tech
(also see "Top 30 Clashes" above)
Oklahoma vs. Texas (at Dallas) (also see "Top 30 Clashes" above)

CUSA:
Last year's West Division titlist, Tulsa, opens conference play this week against battle-tested Southern Miss. Tulsa picked up a nice win over Navy in overtime in its last outing while Southern Miss journeyed to Orlando and dealt a loss to last year's East Division champs, UCF.

Houston leads the West Division at 2-0. The Cougars host Louisiana-Lafayette in a non-conference game, a week after nearly pulling off an upset at Miami (Fla.).

Southern Miss at Tulsa (Tuesday)
Central Florida at Marshall (Wednesday)
Memphis at UAB
Rice at Tulane
SMU at UTEP

MAC:
A couple of the usual suspects have taken a sabbatical from the top of the standings. Toledo is near the bottom of the West Division at 2-3, 0-1. Miami (Ohio) is near the cellar of the East Division at 0-5, 0-1. Last year's champs, Akron, are already 0-2 in MAC play and just 2-3 over-all. Instead, your division leaders are Kent State (3-2, 3-0) and Central Michigan (2-3, 2-0).

Kent State visits Temple - a MAC team that's not really a MAC team, yet, and a game that doesn't count in the MAC standings. CMU, meanwhile, hosts Toledo in a game the Rockets must win if they entertain any hopes of being in the MAC title picture. A Chippewa win would make them 3-0 in the conference.

Ball State at Buffalo
Central Michigan at Toledo
Kent State at Temple
Western Michigan at Ohio
Northern Illinois at Miami (O.) (Sunday)

MOUNTAIN WEST:
Air Force leads the Mountain West but the Falcons go out-of-conference this week to play one of their academy rivals, Navy, in the first round of the Commander-In-Chief's trophy chase.

BYU and Utah are each 1-0 behind the 2-0 Falcons. The TCU-Utah game lost a lot of punch with losses last week by both of these clubs. TCU fell 31-17 at home to BYU, and Utah was clobbered 36-3 at home by Boise State. At least, for Utah, it wasn't a conference loss.

TCU at Utah (Thursday)
San Diego State at BYU
UNLV at Colorado State
Wyoming at New Mexico

PAC-10:
The four-team logjam at the top of the PAC-10 standings will definitely get cut in half this weekend. Cal, Oregon, USC and Washington are all 2-0 in conference play. Ironically, this week's schedule pits Oregon at Cal, and Washington at USC.

Arizona at UCLA
Oregon at California
(also see "Top 30 Clashes" above)
Washington State at Oregon State
Washington at USC

SEC:
Florida and Auburn currently sit atop their respective divisions with 3-0 SEC records and 5-0 marks over-all.

There are excellent games all around the SEC this week, including two clashes between Top 30 teams, while Georgia and Tennessee renew their SEC rivalry. The Bulldogs won last year in Knoxville, but the Vols won the last meeting in Athens.

Tennessee at Georgia
Arkansas at Auburn
(also see "Top 30 Clashes" above)
LSU at Florida (also see "Top 30 Clashes" above)
South Carolina at Kentucky
Vanderbilt at Mississippi

SUN BELT:
Middle Tennessee has the early conference lead at 2-0. Arkansas State and, strangely enough, FAU follow.

La.-Monroe at Arkansas State
FIU at North Texas

WAC:
Boise State got a lot of attention with this past weekend' 36-3 shellacking of Utah. This week, they return to the Smurf Turf where they have never lost to a WAC team (21-0) and have won 35 straight regular season home games.

Louisiana Tech at Boise State
Fresno State at Utah State
Nevada at Hawaii
New Mexico State at Idaho

NON-CONFERENCE GAMES
All games Saturday unless otherwise indicated.

The top game here is Navy at Air Force in round one of the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy competition. Air Force dominated the competition for much of the 80's and 90's, but Navy has kept possession of it for the last three years.

Stanford at Notre Dame holds no interest, not even to fans of The Cardinal, as Stanford enters the game with an 0-5 record. Suffice it to say that, if Stanford won, it would be one of the greatest upsets of all-time.

Louisville vs. Middle Tennessee (at Dallas) (Friday) (Big East at Sun Belt)
Navy at Air Force (Mountain West vs. Independent)
Akron at Cincinnati (MAC vs. Big East)
Duke at Alabama (ACC vs. SEC)
Bowling Green at Ohio State (MAC vs. Big 10)
Virginia at East Carolina (ACC vs. CUSA)
La.-Lafayette at Houston (Sun Belt at CUSA)
West Virginia at Mississippi State (SEC vs. Big East)
Stanford at Notre Dame (PAC-10 vs. Independent)

IN-STATE BATTLES
All games Saturday unless otherwise indicated.

Akron at Cincinnati (also see "Non-Conference Games" above)
Bowling Green at Ohio State (also see "Non-Conference Games" above)
Michigan State at Michigan (also see "Conference Games" above)
SMU at UTEP (also see "Conference Games" above)

POISONED CUPCAKES
All games Saturday unless otherwise indicated.

Only 1 team plays a 1-AA school this week. Over 75 schools took the opportunity of a 12th game to schedule a cupcake opponent.

1-AA schools lost all 5 games against 1-A teams last week. Since the start of the 2003 campaign, 1-A teams hold the upper hand by a huge margin, 227-24 (.904).

VMI (1-AA) at Army

STREAKS
USC has won 36 straight regular season games, 28 straight home games, and 25 straight games against conference foes.

Ohio State has the longest over-all winning streak at 12 games.

Boise State has won 33 consecutive regular season home games. The Broncos have never lost a home game to a WAC opponent (21-0).

Temple owns the nation's longest losing streak at 17 games.

Duke has lost 12 straight games over-all, 15 straight to 1-A teams.

New Mexico State has lost 15 straight to 1-A teams. It is 2-0 against 1-AA teams this season.

NEW COACHES
The 2006 season introduced 11 coaching changes. We're tracking their progress throughout the season.

Boise State, 5-0 under Chris Petersen, vs. Louisiana Tech on 10/7.
Wisconsin, 4-1 under Bret Bielema, at Northwestern on 10/7.
Kansas State, 3-2 under Ron Prince, vs. Oklahoma State on 10/7.
Middle Tennessee, 3-2 under Rick Stockstill, vs. Louisville on 10/6 (Nashville)
Idaho, 2-3 under Dennis Erickson, vs. New Mexico St. on 10/7
Northwestern, 2-3 under Pat Fitzgerald, at Wisconsin on 10/7.
Buffalo, 1-3 with Turner Gill, vs. Ball State on 10/7.
Rice, 1-4 under Todd Graham, at Tulane on 10/7.
San Diego State, 0-4 under Chuck Long, at BYU on 10/7.
Temple, 0-5 under Al Golden, vs. Kent State on 10/7.
Colorado, 0-5 under Dan Hawkins, vs. Baylor on 10/7.