Week 11 Features Oregon-Stanford, LSU-'Bama
Top 3 Teams In Computer Are Idle
Some of the most anticipated battles of the year take place this week. Unfortunately, Thursday night TV watchers will have to channel surf between Baylor-Oklahoma (7:30 ET on Fox Sports 1) and Oregon-Stanford (9:00 ET on ESPN). Saturday gives us LSU at Alabama.
The college football week's 53-game schedule kicks off on Tuesday with a pair of MAC games and features at least one contest each night in advance of Saturday's 45-game feast.
Oregon is the top-ranked team in the Congrove Computer Rankings for the 5th straight week and the 7th week overall this season. Stanford is currently ranked 6th after spending 4 weeks at the start of the year. They are the only teams to be ranked No. 1 by the computer all season.
The computer favored Stanford by 9.12 points in its preseason projections, but now lists Oregon as a slim 1.45-point choice to win its 19th straight road game. The teams have split the last four meetings and the Cardinal used last year's 17-14 victory to claim their first conference title in football since 1999. Last year's game was also the only time the Ducks were held to fewer than 35 points in their last 24 games.
Undefeated and 3rd-ranked Baylor comes into its game against No. 10 Oklahoma in desperate need of a signature win to impress the voters in the Harris and Coaches' polls who collectively rank the Bears 5th. Indeed, Baylor's schedule has been void of any major challenges, but this week's contest starts a 5-game stretch that includes Oklahoma State and Texas, in addition to Texas Tech and TCU. And only this week's game and the Texas contest are in Waco. The computer likes Baylor by 9.45.
No. 16 LSU is in a precarious position at No. 4 Alabama. The Bayou Bengals already have 2 SEC losses (Georgia, Ole Miss) and are all but mathematically eliminated from contention for the division title. LSU's only option is to win the last 3 games and hope the Tide also loses to Auburn and to root for Tennessee or Georgia to beat Auburn. Nevertheless, this is a contest between two perennial powerhouses and the computer leans toward 'Bama by 7.89 points.
No. 2 Ohio State and 9th-ranked Clemson get a bye week.
Among other highly-ranked teams seeing action, 5th-ranked Florida State gets a 21.41-point nod at Wake Forest, and No. 7 Oklahoma State is a whopping 37.46-point home choice over Kansas as the Jayhawks are still looking to end their streaks of 26 conference losses and 22 road losses.
10th-ranked Louisville plays Friday at UConn as a 24.10-point computer pick.
Some other games worth watching include BYU at Wisconsin, Virginia Tech at Miami, Nebraska at Michigan, Notre Dame at Pittsburgh, and Penn State and surprising Minnesota. The Badgers are favored by 3.48, the 'Canes by 7.11, the Wolverines by 5.69, the Irish by 11.33 and the Golden Gophers by 2.64.
FBS vs. FCS:
3 FBS teams face FCS schools this week, though one of those matchups is not a true FBS-FCS battle. Idaho hosts Old Dominion, a school that is in transition from the FCS to FBS and ineligible for a title at either level. The other FBS-FCS matchups have Georgia hosting Appalachian State, while Memphis looks to avenge last year's season opening loss to Tennessee-Martin.
FBS teams have lost 14 such matchups this season after losing just 10 in all of 2012.
The FBS is 87-14 (.861) this season vs. the FCS, and 823-79 (.912) in such matchups since 2003.
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 21 straight overall. Idle this week.
Northern Illinois - Won 24 straight at home and 22 straight vs. conference foes. Idle this week.
LSU - Won 45 straight regular season nonconference games. Visits Alabama on Saturday.
Michigan - Won 19 straight home games. Hosts Nebraska on Saturday.
Oregon - Won 18 straight road games. Visits Stanford on Thursday.
Southern Miss - Lost 20 straight overall. Visits Louisiana Tech on Saturday.
New Mexico State - Lost 20 straight to FBS teams. Hosts Boston College on Saturday.
Kansas - Lost 26 straight conference games and 22 straight road games. Visits Oklahoma State on Saturday.