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College Football Season

Tough Tests Again This Week For Tide, 'Cats

Alabama and Georgia look to clinch SEC Championship game slots

by Dave Congrove
November 5, 2012

A 57-game schedule for Week 11 promises no rest for the top two teams in the BCS Standings as Alabama has to entertain explosive SEC newcomer Texas A&M and Kansas State visits dangerous TCU. The 3rd- and 4th-place teams, Oregon and Notre Dame, draw seemingly safe games at California and Boston College, respectively.

Alabama clinches the SEC West with a win and the Congrove Computer Rankings give the Tide an 8.74-point edge. Kansas State is expected to moves closer to claiming the Big 12 with an 8.41-point win.

The action heats up early this week with a game involving MAC divisional title contenders on both Tuesday and Wednesday. Toledo is essentially tied for the MAC West lead and hosts 3rd-place Ball State on Tuesday. Bowling Green visits Ohio on Wednesday in a battle of MAC East teams that are each a game behind Kent State.

Thursday, two of the three teams tied for the Sun Belt lead face-off when Louisiana-Monroe visits Arkansas State.

Oh yeah, Thursday is also the night Florida State visits Virginia Tech in an ACC battle on ESPN in a game that is missing all the drama and intrigue that this game is generally worthy of delivering. The Hokies have gone from a 4.74-point home favorite in the preseason Congrove Computer Rankings to a current 9.71-point underdog.

On Friday, Pittsburgh visits UConn in a Big East tilt that matches two of the bottom three teams in the league.

Saturday features Oregon State as a whopping 13.95-point computer underdog at Stanford, one week before the Cardinal visits the Ducks and two weeks before the Ducks visit the Beavers.

The SEC East will be decided when Georgia visits Auburn. The Bulldogs clinch with an anticipated 9.14-point win while an upset loss hands the division to Florida.

Louisville looks to stay undefeated overall when the Cardinals visit Syracuse as a 7.09-point favorite. Top contender Rutgers goes out-of-conference to host Army. The two schools are ontrack to meet in a de facto conference championship game on December 1 in Piscataway.

Other games worth watching include Northwestern-Michigan and Penn State-Nebraska in the Big Ten. Also, Wisconsin faces a potential trip-up game at Indiana with both schools in contention for the Leaders division title due to Penn State and Ohio State's probation.

FBS vs. FCS:
FBS teams are 89-10 (.899) on the year vs. FCS teams and are 727-65 (.918) in such games since 2003.

One such matchup takes place this week when McNeese State visits UTSA.. McNeese beat Middle Tennessee on opening weekend.

This year, 101 FBS teams play a total of 108 games against FCS foes. UTSA is in its first year of transitioning from the FCS and plays 4 such schools. Cincinnati, Florida State, Pittsburgh and Texas A&M each play two such games.

Here are the results of the FBS losses to FCS schools this season:
9/29: Stony Brook 23, Army 3
9/15: Cal Poly 24, Wyoming 22
9/8: Sacramento State 30, Colorado 28
9/8: North Dakota State 22, Colorado State 7
9/8: Illinois State 31, Eastern Michigan 17
9/8: Northern Arizona 17, UNLV 14
9/1: Youngstown State 31, Pittsburgh 17
9/1: Tennessee-Martin 20, Memphis 17
8/30: McNeese State 27, Middle Tennessee 21
8/30: Eastern Washington 20, Idaho 3

Alabama - Won 13 straight overall. Hosts Texas A&M on Saturday.

Oregon - Won 12 straight overall and 14 straight road games. Visits California on Saturday.

Northern Illinois - Won 14 straight conference games (MAC), 20 straight home games and 9 straight overall. Next game is Wednesday, November 14 vs. Toledo.

LSU - Won 41 straight nonconference games. Hosts Mississippi State on Saturday.

Michigan - won 12 straight home games (2nd-longest in nation). Hosts Northwestern on Saturday.

Southern Miss - Lost 9 straight overall. Visits SMU on Saturday.

Akron - Lost 25 straight road games, 20 straight FBS games and 14 straight conference games (MAC). Hosts UMass on Saturday.

Kansas - Lost 18 straight FBS games, 18 straight conference games and 17 straight road games. Visits Texas Tech on Saturday.

UNLV - Lost 20 straight road games. Visits Colorado State on Saturday.

28 teams have a new college football coach in the FBS ranks this season. See how they are faring versus their predecessor.

Here are this week's games for each new head coach:

Team Coach Game
Akron Terry Bowden (1-9) Saturday vs. UMass
Arizona Rich Rodriguez (5-4) Saturday vs. Colorado
Arizona State Todd Graham (5-4) Saturday at USC
Arkansas John L. Smith (4-5) Saturday at South Carolina
Arkansas State Gus Malzahn (6-3) Thursday vs. Louisiana-Monroe
Colorado State Jim McElwain (2-7) Saturday vs. UNLV
FAU Carl Pellini (2-7) Saturday at Western Kentucky
Fresno State Tim DeRuyter (7-3) Saturday at Nevada
Hawaii Norm Chow (1-7) Saturday vs. Boise State
Houston Tony Levine (4-5) Saturday vs. Tulsa
Illinois Tim Beckman (2-7) Saturday vs. Minnesota
Kansas Charlie Weis (1-8) Saturday at Texas Tech
Massachusetts Charley Molnar (0-9) Saturday at Akron
Memphis Justin Fuente (1-8) Saturday vs. Tulane
Mississippi Hugh Freeze (5-4) Saturday vs. Vanderbilt
New Mexico Bob Davie (4-6) Saturday vs. Wyoming
North Carolina Larry Fedora (6-3) Saturday vs. Georgia Tech
Ohio State Urban Meyer (10-0) Idle. Next game 11/17 at Wisconsin
Penn State Bill O'Brien (6-3) Saturday at Nebraska
Pittsburgh Paul Chryst (4-5) Friday at UConn
Rutgers Kyle Flood (7-1) Saturday vs. Army
Southern Miss Ellis Johnson (0-9) Saturday at SMU
Texas A&M Kevin Sumlin (7-2) Saturday at Alabama
Toledo Matt Campbell (8-1) Tuesday vs. Ball State
Tulane Curtis Johnson (2-7) Saturday at Memphis
UAB Garrick McGee (2-7) Saturday vs. Marshall
UCLA Jim Mora (7-2) Saturday at Washington State
Washington State Mike Leach (2-7) Saturday vs. UCLA


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