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College Football Season

Miami at Florida State Tops 50-game Schedule

Top 3 Teams In Computer Are Idle

by Dave Congrove
October 28, 2013

Top-ranked Oregon has nothing to worry about this week. Neither does 2nd-ranked Baylor or No. 3 Alabama. All three schools are among the 26 programs that are idle for week 10 of the college football season.

In fact, 6 of the top 10 teams in the Congrove Computer Rankings have the week off as they are joined by 6th-ranked Stanford, 8th-ranked Oklahoma and No. 8 Louisville. Dig deeper into the rankings and you'll find rest weeks for 18th-ranked LSU, No. 19 UCF and 24th-ranked BYU for a total of 9 schools in the top 25.

Last week, only 2 schools in the entire top 25 were idle.

That all serves to make the stage even bigger for the ACC heavyweight tilt in Tallahassee between No. 4 Florida State and No. 7 Miami. The Seminoles were installed by the oddsmakers as 21-point betting favorites while the computer pulls a Lee Corso "not-so-fast" and projects FSU as an 11.74-point victor. Florida State has rolled over its last 3 opponents, including Clemson, by a cumulative 163-31 while the Hurricanes have needed last-minute heroics to overcome challenges from heavy underdogs North Carolina and Wake Forest.

This game also comes just 7 days after Virginia Tech took an unexpected upset loss at home to Duke, propelling the 'Canes into sole possession of first place in the ACC's Coastal Division. A loss by Miami, combined with a forecasted 12.67-point win by Virginia Tech at Boston College, would tie the schools up again with that matchup brewing in Miami the following week.

Two other big rivalry games this week pit Michigan at Michigan State and Navy at Notre Dame.

The 16th-ranked Spartans are 3.18-point computer favorites over 17th-ranked Michigan. Michigan State's 4-game winning streak in the series was halted in a 12-10 loss at Ann Arbor last year on a 38-yard field goal with 5 seconds left.

No. 20 Notre Dame has won the last two games vs. Navy by 40 and 42 points. The Irish are projected as 21.08-point computer favorites this year.

Meanwhile, 5th-ranked Ohio State visits a Purdue team that looks severely out-manned on paper. But I'm sure Urban Meyer is tirelessly reminding his team that the B'makers came ever-so-close to pulling off the upset last year in Columbus. Ohio State needed a touchdown and 2-point conversion with 3 seconds left in regulation to force overtime to eventually pull out the 29-22 win. The computer liked the Buckeyes by 7.70 in last year's game. This time around, the computer says Ohio State wins by 25.31.

No. 9 Oklahoma State is a 1.79-point choice over 14th-ranked Texas Tech. Both teams join Oklahoma with one Big 12 loss while Baylor and Texas are undefeated in conference play. The Red Raiders are coming off a 38-30 loss at Oklahoma while the Cowboys turned in one of their better performances of the year in a 58-27 blowout at Iowa State.

11th-ranked Fresno State will try to protect its unbeaten record as a 15.70-point computer home favorite over Nevada. The Bulldogs escaped defeat at San Diego State last week when the Aztecs had their game-winning last-second field goal partially blocked at the end of regulation and Fresno State went on to win 5-28 in overtime. Nevada wasn't as fortunate as its 8-year reign over UNLV came to an end with a 27-22 loss at Reno.

No. 12 Clemson goes to Virginia as a 20-point Vegas favorite over the last-place team in the ACC Atlantic (2-6 overall, 0-4 ACC).'s Mike Mitchell points out in his Feature Picks column that, "The Tigers lead the all-time series 37-8-1 but are 8-8-1 in the last 17 meetings after winning the first 29. Only once in the last 22 meetings has Clemson topped the 20-point margin of victory and that happened back in 2000." The computer only gives Clemson a 14.43-point edge.

The college football week opens on Wednesday with Cincinnati at Memphis. Four battles will take place on Halloween, including Arizona State at Washington State, and USF at Houston. Friday night sends USC to Oregon State.

FBS vs. FCS:
Only 1 team faces a FCS school this week as Kentucky hosts Alabama State. FBS teams have lost 14 such matchups this season after losing just 10 in all of 2012.

The FBS is 86-14 (.860) this season vs. the FCS, and 822-79 (.912) in such matchups since 2003. After this week, 10 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 a game it lost vs. Fresno State (due to flooding) with Charleston Southern. Thus, 106 FBS schools will play a total of 111 games vs. FCS foes. The schedule change also made Colorado the 4th FBS team to face 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 20 straight overall. Visits Purdue on Saturday.

Northern Illinois - Won 24 straight at home and 21 straight vs. conference foes. Visits UMass on Saturday.

LSU - Won 45 straight regular season nonconference games. Idle this week.

Michigan - Won 19 straight home games. Visits Michigan State on Saturday.

Oregon - Won 18 straight road games. Idle on Saturday.

Southern Miss - Lost 19 straight overall. Visits Marshall on Saturday.

New Mexico State - Ended an 18-game losing streak. Won 34-29 vs. Division II/FCS transitioning member Abilene Christian on Saturday. The Aggies have lost 20 straight to FBS teams. Visits Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday.

Kansas - Lost 25 straight conference games and 21 straight road games. Visits Texas on Saturday.


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