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Week 7 Is Last Chance To Impress Before 2007 Debut Of BCS Standings

by Mike Mitchell
October 9, 2007

The first BCS Standings will be released with much anticipation this Sunday. Given the manic results of the past two weeks, it will be interesting to see how they sort out.

Last year, six of the top 25 teams lost on the weekend that the first BCS Standings were revealed. On the surface, this week's slate looks rather innocent as there are only three match-ups of teams ranked in the Top 25 of the latest CCR Top 119 - No. 13 Missouri at No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 1 LSU at No. 20 Kentucky, and No. 24 Texas A&M at No. 19 Texas Tech.

West Virginia may have had the right idea when it scheduled this weekend off.

This week's schedule begins Wednesday with Navy visiting Pittsburgh, and continues with daily action through Sunday night when Boise State hosts Nevada.

In all, 55 games will be played and 46 of them are conference matchups. Only one school, Ball State, plays a school from the Championship Subdivision. Ten teams are idle - Clemson, Florida, FAU, FIU, Maryland, N.C. State, Troy, UCLA, Utah State and West Virginia.

Top Games
Florida State at Wake Forest - The Demon Deacons routed the Seminoles 30-0 in Tallahassee last year for their first win over FSU since 1973. In the process, Wake Forest ended a 14-game losing streak to the 'Noles and handed Bobby Bowden his first-ever shutout loss on his home field. Both teams reside in the ACC's Atlantic Division with the defending champion Demon Deacons sitting at 2-1 while FSU is 1-1. Boston College, which defeated Wake Forest in the opening game, sits atop the division standings with a perfect 3-0 record. Florida State visits BC on November 3.

LSU at Kentucky - It's not too hard to see how Kentucky's schedule ranks as the 11th-toughest in the country. In the last five games, the Wildcats' opponents have included Louisville, Arkansas, South Carolina and LSU. Next week, they get Florida. LSU is in the midst of its toughest stretch as well. Two of its last three games have been at home against South Carolina and Florida. The Tigers' next two games are at home against Auburn, and on the road against Alabama. Kentucky fell from the unbeaten ranks with last week's 38-23 loss at a South Carolina team that lost 28-16 at LSU on September 22. Andre Woodson had two uncharacteristic, but crucial, turnovers that contributed to 14 points for the Gamecocks. The Tigers barely survived Florida last week and haven't looked nearly so invincible the last three weeks. LSU has won four straight over the Wildcats with the last loss coming in Lexington in 1999.

Missouri at Oklahoma - They won't line up against each other, but this is one of the best quarterback match-ups of the year. Missouri's Chase Daniel ranks 3rd nationally in total offense with 380 yards per game, while Oklahoma's Sam Bradford tops the charts in pass efficiency with a ridiculous 71% completion rate and a QB rating of 187. The Sooners have won 16-of-17 against the Tigers, and haven't lost to Missouri in Norman since 1966.

Texas A&M at Texas Tech - The Aggies are the only team in the Big 12 South that has yet to sustain a conference loss. The Red Raiders are 1-1 in conference play. Texas Tech has won the last two meetings and five of the last six. Texas Tech would appear to have the advantage again as it pits its top-ranked offense against the nation's 63rd-ranked defense. The Aggies rank just 75th against the pass.

Louisville at Cincinnati - The Bearcats are one of three undefeated teams in the Big East under first-year head coach Brian Kelly. The Cardinals have been a major disappointment, following to 3-3 on the season with last week's second consecutive home loss (44-35 to Utah). Their problem is obvious as the defense is giving up almost double the amount of points it allowed last year, 30.67 vs. 16.3, under first-year head coach Steve Kragthorpe. This is not what quarterback Brian Brohm intended to endure when he passed up early entry into the NFL draft last year. The only good news is that Louisville is just 0-1 in the Big East and a win over Cincinnati could put it on the path to salvaging its season with a Big East title. Another loss, however, would put the Cardinals at the very bottom of the Big East standings if Pitt wins its non-conference contest with Navy.

Purdue at Michigan - The potent Boilermaker offense was manhandled last week by Ohio State's defense in a 23-7 loss. Michigan, meanwhile, was anything but impressive in a 33-22 win over Eastern Michigan. Michigan only led that game 16-14 in the third quarter before getting 17 unanswered points. Michigan's balanced offense has ran and passed for nearly equal yardage while Purdue has gone through the air for two-thirds of its real estate. Boilermaker QB Brian Painter ranks 3rd nationally with 19 TD passes against just 3 interceptions. Wolverine RB Mike Hart is tops in the conference, and second in the nation, with an average of 162.7 rushing yards per game. Michigan, Illinois and Ohio State are the only Big Ten teams that have yet to endure a conference loss.

Wisconsin at Penn State - The Nittany Lions only managed a field goal against the Badgers in each of the last two games played in Madison, but won the 2005 meeting in Happy Valley 35-14. Wisconsin was knocked from the unbeaten ranks at Illinois last week in a 31-26 loss while Penn State snapped a two-game losing streak with a 27-7 home win over Iowa.


Worth Watching
UCF at USF -For the second straight week, USF goes against a state rival. The Bulls survived a scare last week, winning 35-23 at FAU, but that final score is not indicative of how close the Bulls came to being knocked off. The final margin was provided on a South Florida touchdown with just 29 seconds remaining USF's second straight game with four turnovers should also send up a red flag. The Golden Knights, however, had five turnovers in the third quarter of last week's 52-38 loss at East Carolina. These teams began playing each other just two years ago and USF has won both meetings - 24-17 at UCF last year, and 31-14 at USF in 2005.

Texas at Iowa State - This game is here for one reason - the Longhorns must go against their old defensive coordinator, Gene Chizik. The new Iowa State head coach also spent the 2002-2004 seasons in that same capacity for Auburn.

Auburn at Arkansas - Auburn and Alabama are the only two teams left within striking distance of LSU and each plays the Tigers in the next three weeks. Arkansas is off to a disappointing 0-2 start in the SEC and its three OOC victories have come against two Sun Belt Conference schools and a Championship Subdivision team.

Oregon State at California - The Golden Bears haven't exactly been rolling over opponents and had several opportunities to lose the game at Oregon in their last outing two weeks ago. Oregon State, however, has been a disappointment with three losses by double-digit points, including both previous road games to Cincinnati and Arizona State.

Colorado at Kansas State - Don't look now but Colorado has won three straight games and sits atop the Big 12 North standings. Kansas State is already down a game in conference play after losing at home to Kansas for the first time since 1989. Two weeks ago, both teams shocked millions of people across the country when Colorado beat Oklahoma, and Kansas State clobbered Texas, on the same day.

Georgia Tech at Miami - In the preseason, many forecasters expected this to be a heavyweight bout between two contenders for the ACC title. Now, they are basically fighting on the undercard after Miami fell to North Carolina last week and the Yellow Jackets slipped to 1-3 in conference play with a narrow loss at Maryland.

Indiana at Michigan State - The scenario for this game isn't complex. If Indiana wins, it improves to 3-1 in the Big 10 and stays in the hunt for the conference crown. The Spartans would drop to 0-3 in the conference with a loss after winning all four of their non-conference games. The losses have stung as Michigan State fell by just 3 points to Wisconsin two weeks ago, and by 7 in overtime to Northwestern last week. Indiana is playing the season with heavy hearts for departed head coach Terry Hoeppner who succumbed to a brain tumor this past summer. His offensive coordinator, Bill Lynch, has led the team for much of the past two seasons.

Illinois at Iowa - Illinois and Ohio State are 3-0 in the Big 10, Michigan is 2-0. The Buckeyes host Kent State in a non-conference game, so the Fighting Illini would find themselves alone at the top of the Big Ten standings if they were to win this week. Iowa is battling Minnesota for last place, yet the computer picks the Hawkeyes to gain the upset by 3.05 points. The Iowa offense is averaging just 26 points a game, and less than 14 points per game in its three previous conference games (all losses).

Boston College at Notre Dame - The Eagles have won the last four "Holy Wars", three of the last four in South Bend, and five of the last six over-all. This is their first get-together since 2004 when Boston College scored the winning touchdown with 54 seconds left for a 24-23 win at Notre Dame. In 2003 at Chestnut Hill, it was Sandro Sciortino's 26-yard field goal with 38 seconds left that defeated the Irish. The Eagles are one of just 11 teams that are still undefeated entering this week's schedule. Notre Dame took advantage of seven UCLA turnovers to beat the Bruins 20-6 last week and end a 7-game losing streak, its longest stretch of futility since 1960.


UNBEATEN TEAMS
Kentucky, Purdue, USC and Wisconsin all fell by the wayside last week, leaving 11 undefeated teams: Arizona State, Boston College, California, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, LSU, Missouri, Ohio State, and USF. Each of the previous two seasons saw nine teams left unbeaten at this point


WINLESS TEAMS
10 schools entered last week's slate without a victory, but half of them broke through to the win column: Rice, Notre Dame, Temple, Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe.

Another 7 teams entered last week without a win over a FBS school and three of them came away victorious: Memphis, North Carolina and San Diego State.

The 5 remaining winless schools are Colorado State, FIU, Marshall, North Texas and Utah State.  FIU and Utah State are idle this week.

Additionally, 4 schools are still looking for that initial victory over a FBS team: Idaho, Louisiana Tech, N.C. State, and UAB which is idle this week.


FBS vs. FCS
Note that 1-A is now classified by the NCAA as the "Football Bowl Subdivision", or "FBS", for short.
1-AA has been re-classified as the "Football Championship Subdivision", or "FCS", for short.

1 FBS team plays a FCS school this week bringing the total number to 70 for the year. In such games, the FBS schools are 61-8 on the year, and 281-33 (.895) since 2003.


STREAKS
LSU owns the nation's longest winning streak at 13 straight. The Tigers visit Kentucky.

Cincinnati has won 9 straight. The Bearcats host Louisville.

Ohio State has won 24 straight regular season games. The Buckeyes host Kent State.

Boise State has won 40 consecutive regular season home games. The Broncos also have a perfect home record against their fellow WAC conference members (24-0). Boise State hosts Nevada on Sunday.

FIU owns the nation's longest current losing streak at 18 games. The Golden Panthers are idle.

Colorado State has lost 12 straight. The Rams host Air Force.

Utah State has also lost 12 straight. The Aggies are idle.

N.C. State has lost 12 straight to FBS teams. The Wolfpack are idle.


NEW COACHES
The 2006 season featured 11 new head coaches. Five led their team to a bowl game.

This year, there are 24 coaching changes for the highest number since 2001 when there were 25. We'll track their progress throughout

This week, there are four games where new coaches face each other - Tulane at UAB, Indiana at Michigan State, Army at Central Michigan, Louisville at Cincinnati.

North Texas and FIU have yet to win a game under their new head coaches. Idaho, Louisiana Tech, N.C. State and UAB have yet to defeat an FBS team.

Here is how each of the new coaches are faring, in order, by won-loss record.

Arizona State, 6-0 under Dennis Erickson, hosts Washington.
Boston College, 6-0 under Jeff Jagodzinski, visits Notre Dame.
Cincinnati, 6-0 under Brian Kelly, hosts Louisville.
Indiana, 5-1 under Bill Lynch, visits Michigan State.
Air Force, 4-2 under Troy Calhoun, visits Colorado State.
Alabama, 4-2 under Nick Saban, visits Mississippi.
Miami (Fla.), 4-2 under Randy Shannon, hosts Georgia Tech.
Michigan State, 4-2 under Mark Dantonio, hosts Indiana.
Tulsa, 3-2 under Todd Graham, hosts Marshall.
Army, 3-3 under Stan Brock, visits Central Michigan.
Central Michigan, 3-3 under Butch Jones, hosts Army.
Louisville, 3-3 under Steve Kragthorpe, visits Cincinnati.
Stanford, 2-3 under Jim Harbaugh, hosts TCU.
North Carolina, 2-4 under Butch Davis, hosts South Carolina.
Louisiana Tech, 1-4 under Derek Dooley, hosts New Mexico State.
Rice, 1-4 under David Bailiff, visits Houston.
Tulane, 1-4 under Bob Toledo, visits UAB.
UAB, 1-4 under Neil Callaway, hosts Tulane.
Idaho, 1-5 under Robb Akey, hosts Fresno State.
Iowa State, 1-5 under Gene Chizik, hosts Texas.
Minnesota, 1-5 under Tim Brewster, hosts Northwestern.
N.C. State, 1-5 under Tom O'Brien, is idle.
North Texas, 0-5 under Todd Dodge, hosts Louisiana-Monroe.
FIU, 0-6 under Mario Cristobal, is idle.



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