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College Football Season

Week 9 Features 55-game Schedule

Only 2 teams in top 25 are idle

by Dave Congrove
October 21, 2013

With every team in the FBS having made it to at least the halfway point of their season, the home stretch gets underway with a 55-game slate that kicks off on Tuesday.

For the second consecutive week, Louisiana-Lafayette draws a Tuesday night away game as the Ragin' Cajuns visit Arkansas State after winning 37-20 at Western Kentucky last week. UL-L is a 7.85-point computer pick over the Red Wolves.

Thursday night delivers a Conference USA clash as Marshall gets a 5.49-point nod at Middle Tennessee. That same night, Mississippi State hosts Kentucky as a 16.82-point favorite.

On Friday night, BYU is a 8.06-point choice at home over Boise State.

Oregon, the No. 1 team in the Congrove Computer Rankings, is a 15.42-point home choice over UCLA as the Bruins face another tough task after losing 24-10 at Stanford this past Saturday.

2nd-ranked Baylor is a whopping 37.24 favorite at Kansas as the Jayhawks try to halt their 24-game conference losing streak. The Bears have hit or exceeded the 70-point mark in 4 of their 6 games and lead the nation in total offense and scoring offense while ranking 3rd in passing and 8th in rushing. And the quick strike offense hasn't hurt the defense as that unit ranks 11th overall, 7th in average points allowed, and 11th against the pass. The only weakness appears to be a 35th-ranked run defense.

No. 3 Alabama is a 22.40-point point selection over visiting Tennessee. The Crimson Tide have allowed just 16 total points in their last five games and have held all but Virginia Tech (10) and Texas A&M (42) to single digits.

4th-ranked Florida State hosts North Carolina State as a 27.45-point pick as the Wolfpack's only wins have come against Louisiana Tech, Central Michigan and FCS member Richmond.

No. 5 Ohio State hosts Penn State as a 13.19-point favorite. The Buckeyes, despite a current nation's-best 19-game winning streak, were jumped by Florida State in the CCR Top 125 as well as the AP, Harris and Coaches' polls.

6th-ranked Miami returns home to face Wake Forest as a 19.34-point computer pick after narrowly escaping North Carolina last Thursday. The 'Canes are 16th in total offense and 18th in total defense. The Demon Deacons have won 2 in-a-row to improve to 4-3.

No. 7 Stanford puts its ranking on the line with a trip to Oregon State. The Cardinal are favored by 6.04, but the Beavers have reeled off 6 straight wins since inexplicably losing their opener to FCS member Eastern Washington and have won each of their last three games by increasing margins of 27, 28 and 32 versus Colorado, Washington State and California.

8th-ranked Missouri didn't miss injured QB James Franklin in last week's 36-17 home rout of Florida. The Tigers surged in all of the rankings and polls after the win kept them and Alabama as the only undefeated SEC teams. Missouri is a slim 2.35-point home choice over South Carolina this week.

No. 9 Texas Tech finds itself in the unique position of being the only top ten team - and the only undefeated team - that is an underdog this week. And the team they are picked to lose to by 8.57 points is the Oklahoma squad that is ranked right behind them at No. 10.

Unbeaten and 14th-ranked Fresno State is a very narrow 0.30-point favorite at San Diego State, while fellow unbeaten and 19th-ranked Northern Illinois gets a huge 26.54-point computer cushion at home vs. lowly Eastern Michigan.

It's a bit of an oddity that the top 17 teams in the Congrove Rankings all see action this week. In fact, of the teams in the top 25, only Michigan and Arizona State are idle.

Only 17 teams are idle this week, including four Big Ten teams with Indiana, Purdue and Wisconsin joining Michigan on the sideline.

FBS vs. FCS:
Two teams face FCS schools this week as LSU hosts Furman and New Mexico State welcomes Abilene Christian, which is actually a division II team in the process of transitioning to the FCS.

FBS teams have lost 14 such matchups this season after losing just 10 all of last year.

The FBS is now 84-14 (.857) this season vs. the FCS, and 820-79 (.912) in such matchups since 2003. After this week's contests, 11 FBS-FCS games still remain to be played.

Originally, 106 FBS schools scheduled a total of 110 games against FCS foes this year. But Colorado later replaced the game it lost vs. Fresno State due to flooding with Charleston Southern.

Thus, the new numbers are 106 FBS schools teams playing a total of 111 games vs. FCS foes.

It also makes Colorado the 4th FBS team to be facing at least two such schools this year. The others are Clemson and Georgia Tech with 2 apiece while FBS newcomer Georgia State scheduled 3 FCS teams and lost to each of them.

Here are the results of the FBS losses to FCS schools this season:
8/29: Towson 33, Connecticut 18
8/29: Southern Utah 22, South Alabama 21
8/30: Samford 31, Georgia State 21
8/30: North Dakota State 24, Kansas State 21
8/31: Northern Iowa 28, Iowa State 20
8/31: Eastern Washington 49, Oregon State 46
8/31: Eastern Illinois 40, San Diego State 18
8/31: McNeese State 53, USF 21
9/7: UT-Chattanooga 42, Georgia State 14
9/7: Maine 24, Massachusetts 14
9/7: Nicholls State 27, Western Michigan 23.
9/14: Fordham 30, Temple 29
9/14: Bethune-Cookman 34, FIU 13
9/21: Jacksonville State 32, Georgia State 26 (OT)

Eastern Washington, McNeese State and North Dakota State also had wins vs. FBS teams last year.

Ohio State - Won 19 straight overall. Hosts Penn State on Saturday.

Northern Illinois - Won 23 straight at home and 20 straight vs. conference foes. Hosts Eastern Michigan on Saturday.

LSU - Won 44 straight regular season nonconference games. Hosts FCS member Furman on Saturday.

Michigan - Won 19 straight home games. Idle this week.

Oregon - Won 18 straight road games. Hosts UCLA on Saturday.

Southern Miss - Lost 18 straight overall. Hosts North Texas on Saturday.

New Mexico State - Lost 18 straight overall. Hosts Division II/FCS transitioning member Abilene Christian on Saturday.

Kansas - Lost 24 straight conference games and 21 straight road games. Hosts Baylor on Saturday.


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