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College Football Season

Red River Rivalry Headlines 54 Games

by Mike Mitchell

The Red River Rivalry between Texas and Oklahoma is the biggest event of the Texas State Fair, and it's undoubtedly college football's game of the week.

The Longhorns' bid for the national title is on the line as they try to halt a 5-game losing skid to Texas during which they have been outscored 189-54. Texas was blanked 12-0 last year and pasted 65-13 the year before that. Oklahoma can put its season back on track with an upset win. The Sooners limp into this game with a 2-2 record but are 1-0 in the conference after last week's 43-21 smackdown of Kansas State.

This is the 100th meeting between the two schools and the 77th consecutive time that the game will be played in Dallas. Texas leads the series 55-39-5 but an Oklahoma victory would match Bud Wilkinson's string of 6 straight wins from 1952-1957.

Georgia and Tennessee renew their SEC rivalry. The Bulldogs laid a 41-14 whipping on the Vols the last time they journeyed to Knoxville. Tennessee's win in Athens last year snapped Georgia's four-game winning streak in the series after Tennessee had won nine straight from 1989-1999. The Bulldogs had last weekend off while Tennessee was beating Ole Miss 27-10. After this weekend the Vols will have played Florida, LSU and Georgia in a four-game stretch.

For the second week in a row, two undefeated teams go toe-to-toe in Lincoln. Last week, Nebraska prevailed in double-overtime against Iowa State. This week, Texas Tech comes calling and the home folks want big time revenge. Last year, the Cornhuskers went to Lubbock and committed seven turnovers while sufferingthe worst loss in the history of their program, 70-10.

Ohio State heads to Happy Valley to take on a resurgent Penn State team. The Nittany Lions are tied with Wisconsin atop the Big Ten standings at 5-0, 2-0. The Buckeyes are 3-1, 1-0. Ohio State has won the last three meetings and four of the last five.

Wisconsin, meanwhile, heads to Evanston to tackle a Northwestern team that is 2-2, 0-1. The Wildcats and Badgers have split their last 18 meetings.

USC hosts PAC-10 bottom-feeder Arizona. The Wildcats are 12-37 in conference games from 1999-present. USC has won 26 straight games over-all, 22 in-a-row at home and 17 straight over PAC-10 teams. The Trojans have outscored Arizona 94-9 in the Matt Leinart/Reggie Bush era.

Virginia Tech entertains Marshall. Two weeks ago, UCF ended their 17-game losing streak with a home win over the Herd. Marshall did bounce back with a 16-13 overtime win over SMU last week. A victory by the Hokies would make them 6-0 for the sixth time in the last seven years.

Other Conference Games:

N.C. State at Georgia Tech (Thursday) - Homestanding Yellow Jackets aren't out of the coastal division championship race with one ACC loss. The Wolfpack are hurting at 1-2 over-all, 0-2 in the ACC.

Virginia at Boston College - Each is 1-1 in the conference and needing a win to stay in their respective division races. The Cavaliers are trying to stay within reach of Virginia Tech. BC can't afford to fall two games behind Florida State, a team they have already lost to.

Duke at Miami (Fla.)
Wake Forest at Florida State

Big East:
Syracuse at Connecticut (Friday) - The Orange are 0-1 in the conference, 1-3 over-all and their only win came against Buffalo. UConn is 3-1 and hosting its 2005 Big East opener.

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh - The Panthers are 11-point computer favorites to bag their first win over a 1-A team in the Wanny era.

West Virginia at Rutgers - The winner moves to 2-0 in conference play and gets a leg up on the field.

Big 10:
Iowa at Purdue - In road games this year, the Hawkeyes are 0-2 and have yet to score a touchdown. But Purdue is just 3-3 in its last six home games.

Minnesota at Michigan - The Wolverines are coming off an upset win while the Golden Gophers need to regroup after a 44-14 whipping at Penn State. Minnesota has lost 5 of its last 6 road games.

Illinois at Indiana

Big 12:
Baylor at Iowa State - Each lost overtime games last week to end their hopes for an undefeated season. The Bears fell 16-13 at Texas A&M in single overtime while the Cyclones lost 27-20 at Nebraska in double-overtime to prevent them from winning in Lincoln for the first time since 1977. Iowa State has won the last four meetings and hasn't lost to Baylor since 1996.

Texas A&M at Colorado - While the Aggies were squeaking past Baylor in overtime, Colorado was ripping Oklahoma State 34-0. Both teams enter the game with 3-1 records, 1-0 in conference play.

Kansas at Kansas State - Each team enters the 103rd edition of the Sunflower State Showdown with 3-1 over-all records and 0-1 conference marks. Kansas leads the series 62-35-5. Kansas State had won 11 straight before last year's loss at Lawrence. Kansas hasn't won in Manhattan since 1989.

Missouri at Oklahoma State

Houston at Tulane - Both teams are contenders for the west division title of CUSA. The Green Wave is 1-0 in the league while the Cougars are 1-1. The game is being played at Louisiana-Lafayette's stadium.

Memphis at Central Florida - From the nation's longest losing streak of 17 games to the top of CUSA's eastern division? UCF, Southern Miss and UAB are the only east division teams that have not already lost a conference game.

SMU at UAB - The Mustangs handed TCU its only loss and Marshall its only win over a 1-A school. In fact, TCU is the only school that SMU has beaten.

Rice at East Carolina
Tulsa at Southern Miss

Miami, Ohio at Northern Illinois (Wednesday) - Both of these perennial division title challengers have already lost a league game. They haven't met since 2002 when NIU won 48-41.

Ohio at Bowling Green - These two schools are tied for the lead in the MAC east. BGSU's offense will be a major test for Frank Solich's Bobcat defense. Ohio has scored just 65 points all year while the Falcons scored 70 in last week's win over Temple.

Eastern Michigan at Toledo - The Rockets are licking their wounds from last week's blowout loss at Fresno State. Neither has lost a conference game, yet.

Akron at Buffalo
Ball State at Western Michigan

Mountain West:
TCU at Wyoming - The top two teams in the Mountain West clash in Laramie. The Cowboys' only loss was at Florida in the season-opener. TCU's only loss was to an SMU team that would, otherwise, be winless.

Utah at Colorado State - The defending champion Utes need a big road win to stay in the conference title hunt. With one league loss, they already trail TCU, Wyoming and Colorado State. The Rams were the computer's preseason pick to claim the conference crown, pointing to a win in this game as the difference-maker.

Brigham Young at New Mexico - Each has already played, and lost, to TCU. The Cougars fell to the Horned Frogs 51-50 in overtime two weeks ago. The Lobos stumbled down the stretch in a 49-28 loss to TCU last week. BYU's lone win under new head coach Bronco Mendenhall came against 1-AA Eastern Illinois.

San Diego State at Nevada-Las Vegas

California at UCLA - This could be billed as "The Game Between Two Undefeated Schools Who Haven't Lost To USC, Yet". Cal gets their shot at the Trojans on November 12th while UCLA gets a crack on December 3rd. In the meantime, the Bears and Bruins are both undefeated.

Oregon at Arizona State - This could be billed as "The Game Between the Last Two Schools Who Lost To USC". Each had a lead on the Trojans - Oregon was up 13-0 in the first half and ASU led Southern California 21-3 at hafltime. In the end, the Ducks lost 45-13 and the Sun Devils fell 38-28.

Stanford at Washington State

Mississippi State at Florida - The Urban renewal program imploded last week in a humbling 31-3 loss at Alabama. Now, the Gators can begin the renovation.

Kentucky at South Carolina
LSU at Vanderbilt

Sun Belt:
Troy at North Texas (Tuesday) - The Mean Green is 0-2 outside the conference. That's nothing new. North Texas has lost 9 straight to non-conference foes. However, UNT is 1-0 in the Sun Belt and has won 26 straight over conference opponents while claiming four consecutive Sun Belt titles.

FAU at Louisiana-Lafayette (Thursday) - The Owls are winless in their first 1-A campaign. Rickey Bustle's Ragin' Cajuns are 1-3 and need a win badly. They fell to UCF last week to give the Golden Knights two straight wins after suffering through 17 consecutive losses. The game was moved up to Thursday so Tulane could use the field on Saturday for its "home" game against Houston.

Hawaii at Louisiana Tech
Fresno State at New Mexico State
Idaho at Nevada
San Jose State at Utah State

More Interesting Non-Conference Match-Ups
Air Force at Navy - The military rivalry is part of the round-robin competition between Air Force, Army and Navy for the 34th Commander-In-Chiefs trophy. Navy has won the trophy the last two years after Air Force had won 12 straight games over the other academies from 1997-2002. The AFA holds a 25-12 advantage in the series.

North Carolina at Louisville - UNC, which has played one of the more entertaining non-conference schedules, has already split home games against Wisconsin (lost) and Utah (won). Now, they get their first OOC road test with an interesting ACC vs. Big East slant.

Central Michigan at Army - Army is on an 9-game losing streak and has won just 3 of its last 40 games.

Maryland at Temple - The awful Owls have been outscored 259-56 in five games and have allowed more than 60 points three times.

Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas

Poisoned Cupcakes? (1-A vs. 1-AA):
The Citadel at Mississippi - Don't count the Bulldogs out. The 1-A teams are 46-2 against 1-AA teams this year, above the normal average.

Portland State at Boise State

Unbeaten Teams:
Last week was brutal on undefeated teams. We began the week with 27 and ended it with 12. The Big 12 went from 8 undefeated teams to 3 in just one week. The Big East, CUSA and the MAC all began the week with one and finished it with none as West Virginia, UTEP and Toledo were all defeated.

Here are the teams that survived.

ACC (2) - Virginia Tech (5-0), Florida State (4-0).
Big 10 (2) - Penn State (5-0), Wisconsin (5-0).
Big 12 (3) - Nebraska (4-0), Texas (4-0), Texas Tech (4-0).
PAC-10 (3) - California (5-0), Southern California (4-0), UCLA (4-0).
SEC - (2) Georgia (4-0), Alabama (5-0).

Winless Teams: 12 teams began last week with goose eggs in the win column but five of them claimed their first victory.

Here are the remaining winless teams.

CUSA (1) - Rice (0-3).
Independents (1) - Army (0-4).
MAC (3) - Buffalo (0-4), Temple (0-5), Ball State (0-4).
Sun Belt (1) -FAU (0-5).
WAC (1) - New Mexico St. (0-5)

Pick On Someone Your Own Size:
Only 2 teams play 1-AA schools this week. Last week, there were also 2 such match-ups and there have been 48 played to date. The 1-A schools are 46-2 thus far (95.83%).

From the beginning of the 2003 season through Saturday, 1-AA teams are 18-158 in such games, an 89.77 losing percentage.

Streaks: USC owns the nation's longest winning streak at 26. The Trojans also have streaks of 22 straight home wins and 17 consecutive PAC-10 victories. They have won 37 of their last 38 games. USC hosts Arizona this week.

Boise State owns nation-leading streaks of 26 straight home wins and 27 straight conference victories.

Iowa has won 21 straight home games. The Hawkeyes visit Purdue on Saturday.

North Texas has won 26 straight over Sun Belt conference opponents. UNT has also won four consecutive Sun Belt titles as they have topped the conference in every year of its existence. However, they have lost 9 straight to non-conference foes. North Texas hosts Troy on Tuesday night.

Army and Rice each own the nation's longest losing streak at 9. This week, Army hosts Central Michigan and Rice is at East Carolina.

New Coaches: The 2005 season began with 23 coaching changes.
BYU, Pittsburgh and San Jose State have not beaten a 1-A team yet. Marshall broke through last week with a 16-13 overtime win over SMU.

New Mexico State is still looking for its first win over anybody under Hal Mumme.

Here is a list of teams that began the year with a new head coach, how they have fared so far, and who they face this week:

BYU, 1-3 under Bronco Mendenhall, at New Mexico.
East Carolina, 1-3 under Skip Holtz, vs. Rice.
Florida, 4-1 under Urban Meyer, vs. Mississippi St.
Illinois, 2-3 under Ron Zook, at Indiana
Indiana, 3-1 under Terry Hoeppner, vs. Illinois
LSU, 2-1 under Les Miles, at Vanderbilt.
Marshall, 2-2 under Mark Snyder, at Virginia Tech.
Miami, O., 2-2 under Shane Montgomery, at Northern Illinois
Mississippi, 1-3 under Ed Orgeron, vs. 1-AA The Citadel
Nevada-Las Vegas, 1-4 under Mike Sanford, vs. San Diego St.
New Mexico St., 0-5 under Hal Mumme, vs. Fresno State.
Notre Dame, 4-1 under Charlie Weis, idle.
Ohio, 2-2 under Frank Solich, at Bowling Green.
Okla. St, 3-1 under Mike Gundy, vs. Missouri
Pittsburgh, 1-4 under Dave Wannstedt, vs. Cincinnati.
San Jose St., 1-3 under Dick Tomey, at Utah State.
South Carolina, 2-3 under Steve Spurrier, vs. Kentucky.
Stanford, 1-2 under Walt Harris, at Washington St.
Syracuse, 1-3 under Greg Robinson, at Connecticut.
Utah, 3-2 under Kyle Whittingham, at Colorado State.
Utah State, 1-2 under Brent Guy, vs. San Jose St.
Washington, 1-4 under Ty Willingham, idle.
Western Michigan, 3-2 under Bill Cubit, vs. Ball State.


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