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Undefeated Division Leaders Clash In Big 12

SEC South Unbeatens Also Collide

by Dave Congrove
October 19, 2010

The college football week kicks off on Thursday with UCLA at undefeated Oregon and continues on Friday night with USF at Cincinnati in a Big East confrontation. The remainder of the week's relatively light 51-game schedule takes place on Saturday and a number of those contests will heavily impact conference races.

In the Big 12, undefeated division leaders Missouri and Oklahoma collide in Columbia; Nebraska (5-1, 1-1 North) and Oklahoma State (6-0, 2-0) meet in Stillwater; and Baylor (5-2, 2-1) hosts Kansas State (5-1, 2-1).

In the SEC, LSU visits Auburn in a battle of undefeated South division leaders.

In the Big Ten, Wisconsin (6-1, 2-1) heads to Iowa (5-1, 2-0); undefeated conference leader Michigan State faces a potential upset trap game at Northwestern (5-1, 1-1); and Purdue (4-2, 2-0) visits Ohio State (6-1, 2-1).

The ACC gives us North Carolina at Miami which are both 4-2 overall, 2-1 in the Coastal division, and battling to stay alive in the race to catch Virginia Tech (5-2, 3-0).

The Big East has four teams sitting at 1-0 in the conference and two of those will go toe-to-toe when Rutgers visits Pitt. The Scarlet Knights will be playing with heavy hearts after DT Eric LeGrand was paralyzed in last Saturday's overtime win vs. Army.

The top two teams in CUSA's West division meet in Dallas when Houston visits the SMU Mustangs.

Even the Independents get it on the act as Navy (4-2) and Notre Dame (4-3) face-off at New Meadowlands.

In the MAC, East division leader Miami hosts Ohio.

The Mountain West sends Air Force to visit undefeated conference leader TCU. The Falcons suffered their first conference loss of the year last Saturday in a 27-25 upset at San Diego State. Speaking of SDSU, the surprising Aztecs should improve to 5-2, 2-1 when they head to cellar-dwelling New Mexico.

In the PAC-10, four teams are tied with conference records of 2-1 - Arizona, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington - and the Wildcats host the Huskies on Saturday. The Beavers are idle while the Cardinal entertains Washington State.

Sun Belt leaders Troy and FIU are on a bye week, but the battle for 3rd will be waged at Middle Tennessee when La.-Monroe comes calling on the Blue Raiders.

None of the top WAC teams face each other this week.

The season has reached the halfway point for all but FAU. The Owls play their sixth game of the season on Saturday at Arkansas State.

It has been an interesting year, especially over the course of the last two weeks which have seen Alabama and Ohio State each forfeit their No. 1 ranking in the voter polls due to losses in which they were dominated by lower-ranked opponents. Meanwhile, the Congrove Computer Ranking's preseason No. 1 team, Boise State, has avoided succumbing to the same fate.

Oregon tops the polls, but Oklahoma leads the BCS on strong results from the computers. The Sooners rank No. 1 in 4 of the 6 computer component rankings which are averaged to comprise 1/3rd of the BCS result. LSU is No. 1 in two computer rankers. Oregon was ranked 2nd in one computer ranker, but landed between 7th and 11th in the other five.

Of the 18 teams that are idle this week, No. 1 Boise State, No. 18 Florida State and No. 20 Nevada are the only ones that currently reside in the top 25 of the CCR Top 120.

AXED
I find it somewhat ironic that Minnesota managed to axe Tim Brewster when they haven't possessed the axe since 2003. I'm talking, of course, about Paul Bunyan's Axe which is the prize for winning the annual rivalry showdown with Minnesota. Eight days after losing 41-23 to the Badgers, Brewster was axed from his head coaching job and the reins have been turned over to Jeff Horton, Brewster's co-offensive coordinator. Brewster's last game was this past Saturday's 28-17 loss at Purdue. He leaves after 3-1/2 seasons with records of 15-33 overall, 6-21 in the Big Ten, and 0-10 in the school's chief rivalry games.

STILL UNBEATEN:
10 schools enter this week's action with unblemished records. In alphabetical order, they are Auburn, Boise State, LSU, Michigan State, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, TCU and Utah. 3 of those teams are from the Big 12 and 2 each are from the SEC and Mountain West. The Big Ten, PAC-10 and WAC each have one. Boise State is guaranteed to remain perfect for another week as the Broncos are idle, but at least two teams are guaranteed to take their first loss as LSU meets Auburn and Missouri faces Oklahoma.

STILL WINLESS:
This list shrunk to 3 teams last week when Eastern Michigan snapped its 18-game losing streak with a 41-38 overtime win at Ball State. Still searching for their initial victory are Western Kentucky, New Mexico and Akron.

FBS vs. FCS:
No games this week involve a Bowl Subdivisions (FBS) school playing a Championship Subdivision (FCS) team. FBS schools are 75-7 (.915) this season in such games and 539-49 (.917) since 2003.

Here are the results of every FBS loss to the FCS this season:
9/4: Jacksonville State 49, Mississippi 48 (2 OT's)
9/4: North Dakota State 6, Kansas 3
9/11: Gardner-Webb 38, Akron 37
9/11: Liberty 27, Ball State 23
9/11: South Dakota 41, Minnesota 38
9/11: James Madison 21, Virginia Tech 16
10/2: Cal-Davis 14, San Jose State 13

This year, 85 FBS teams play a total of 90 games against FCS foes. Five schools play two such games - Arizona State, Ball State, San Jose State, Syracuse and Virginia.

STREAKS:
Boise State has streaks of 20 overall wins, 31 regular season wins, 28 home wins, 58 regular season home wins, and 42 straight conference home victories. BSU has never lost at home to a fellow WAC member (36-0). The Broncos' last home loss to a conference foe occurred in 1998 when they were a member of the Big West and fell to Idaho in the final regular season game. The Broncos are 6-1 in their last seven matches against BCS conference schools. (Next: 10/26 vs. Louisiana Tech).

TCU has won 20 straight regular season games and 18 straight home games. (Next: TCU vs. Air Force this Saturday)

Oklahoma has 34 straight home victories. (Next: at Missouri this Saturday).

Utah has 20 straight home wins. (Next: vs. Colorado State this Saturday).

Western Kentucky has lost 26 straight overall and 31 straight to FBS teams. (Next: at Louisiana-Lafayette this Saturday).

Washington State has lost 15 straight to FBS schools. (Next: at Stanford this Saturday).