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Division, Conference Titles Hang In the Balance

Regular season closes for 83 more teams

by Dave Congrove
November 23, 2010

When this weekend is over, we will know the participants in every conference championship game and some other conference winners.

A 54-game schedule started Tuesday and ends on Saturday. 83 teams will play their final regular season game this week, adding to the 7 teams which did so last week. 5 teams are idle - Army, Illinois, Navy, Utah State and Washington State.

This, of course, is also the biggest rivalry week of the season with such matchups as Auburn-Alabama; South Carolina-Clemson; Florida-Florida State; Georgia Tech-Georgia; Notre Dame-USC; Michigan-Ohio State; Oklahoma-Oklahoma State; Mississippi State-Ole Miss; Texas A&M-Texas; Virginia-Virginia Tech and West Virginia-Pitt.

The top 3 teams in the BCS Standings - Oregon, Auburn and TCU - swing back into action after taking last week off, and the top two have very dangerous games. The Ducks host No. 21 Arizona while the Tigers visit No. 11 Alabama. TCU visits a lowly New Mexico (1-10, 1-6 MWC) team in a matchup that won't help the Horned Frogs gain votes or computer points.

The MAC East division winner will be determined on Friday when Ohio visits Kent State. The Bobcats clinch the title with a win, but the Miami RedHawks gain the title with an Ohio loss. Miami stayed alive with a 23-3 home upset of Temple on Tuesday night.

Texas A&M can keep its slim hopes alive for a Big 12 South title if it wins at Texas on Thursday. The Longhorns will be trying to become bowl eligible. More likely, the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game will produce the Big 12 Championship game participant.

A lot can happen on Friday. A Nebraska win at home over Colorado would secure the Big 12 North title; Oregon can clinch the PAC-10 with a home win over Arizona; Boise State can claim the WAC with a win at Nevada; SMU can win the CUSA West title with a win at East Carolina (if SMU loses, Tulsa wins the division with a home victory over Southern Miss).

On Saturday, FIU can be crowned the kings of the Sun Belt with a home win over Arkansas State; N.C. State can win the ACC Atlantic with a victory at Maryland (Florida State goes if the Wolfpack lose); Pitt can clinch the Big East if it defeats the visiting Mountaineers on Friday and UConn loses at home to Cincinnati on Saturday; Missouri can claim the Big 12 North with a win over Kansas, but only if Nebraska loses on Friday; and UCF can clinch the CUSA East division with a win at Memphis.

The Big Ten title is a 3-way race to the wire with Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin. If all three teams win this weekend, the highest-ranked team in the final BCS Standings will receive the conference's top bowl bid. There is an outside chance it could receive a BCS Championship invitation, but is far more likely to be a Rose Bowl bid. Ohio State hosts Michigan this week while Wisconsin hosts Northwestern and Michigan State visits Penn State.

BCS TOP 5
Here are top five teams in the BCS and the Congrove Computer Rankings line on their respective games: Arizona at No. 1 Oregon (-17.95)
No. 2 Auburn at Alabama (-11.66)
No. 3 TCU (-45.28) at New Mexico
No. 4 Boise State (-18.48) at Nevada
No. 5 LSU at Arkansas (-6.56)

STILL UNBEATEN:
Four teams remain perfect on the season - Auburn (SEC), Boise State (WAC), Oregon (PAC-10) and TCU (Mountain West).

STILL WINLESS:
Akron is the nation's only remaining winless team. The Zips host Buffalo on Friday.

FBS vs. FCS:
FBS teams went 83-7 (.922) vs. FCS schools this season and are 547-49 (.918) in such games 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 played a total of 90 games against FCS foes. Five schools played two such games - Arizona State, Ball State, San Jose State, Syracuse and Virginia.

STREAKS:
Boise State has streaks of 24 overall wins, 35 regular season wins, 31 home wins, 61 regular season home wins, and 45 straight conference home victories. BSU has never lost at home to a fellow WAC member (39-0). 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. The Broncos won vs. Fresno State 51-0 on Friday.

Auburn has 12 straight wins overall. (Next: at Alabama on Friday).

TCU has 11 straight overall wins, 24 straight regular season wins and 20 straight home wins. (Next: at New Mexico on Saturday).

Oregon has 10 straight overall wins. (Next: vs. Arizona on Friday).

Virginia Tech has 9 straight overall wins. (Next: vs. Virginia on Saturday).

Oklahoma has 36 straight home victories. (Next: at Oklahoma State on Saturday).

Akron has 11 straight overall losses. (Next: vs. Buffalo on Friday).

Wake Forest has 9 straight overall losses. (Next: at Vanderbilt on Saturday).

New Mexico has 16 straight road losses. (Next: vs. TCU on Saturday).

COACHING CHANGES:
Dan Hawkins (Colorado), Tim Brewster (Minnesota) and Todd Dodge (North Texas) have already been fired.

Hawkins' interim replacement, Brian Cabral, is 2-0

Brewster's interim replacement, Jeff Horton, is 1-3

Dodge's interim replacement, Mike Canales, is 2-2.



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