Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Houston No Longer Unbeaten
ACC, Mountain West Conference Championship Matchups Set
by Dave Congrove
November 22, 2015
Michigan State Beats Ohio State; Baylor Downs Okie State; TCU 4th Quarter Rally Falls Short at Oklahoma
A 41-yard field goal as time expired gave Michigan State a 17-14 upset win at Ohio State, ending the Buckeyes' 23-game winning streak and taking control of the East division title chase in the Big Ten. It's Ohio State's first loss since the second game of the 2014 season when Virginia Tech also won in Columbus.
Oklahoma State also lost for the first time this season, 45-35 at home to Baylor. It was the first win for the Bears in Stillwater since 1939, going 0-9 in the Big 12 era.
TCU rallied from a 30-13 deficit in the 4th quarter to pull within 1 at Oklahoma but failed on a 2-point conversion attempt and the Sooners prevailed 30-29.
Next week, Baylor visits TCU and Oklahoma goes to Stillwater with the Bears, Sooners and Cowboys still in the Big 12 chase.
UCLA Knocks Utah Out Of Division Race; Stanford Clinches North
A few weeks ago, Utah looked like a lock to win the PAC-12 South but a 17-9 loss at home to UCLA on Saturday was the third in five weeks and knocked the Utes out of the running.
Combined with SC's 48-28 loss at Oregon, next week's UCLA-USC game will be the de facto division title contest. The winner will play Stanford for the conference championship as the Cardinal clinched the North division by defeating Cal 35-22 in "The Big Game".
Blown OT Review Gives ACC Coastal Title To UNC
Quinshad Davis never had control of the football on a play ruled as a touchdown in overtime to gift UNC a 30-27 win and the ACC Coastal title, denying Frank Beamer a win in his last home game as head coach at Virginia Tech. His team rallied from a 24-10 deficit in the final 2:54 of regulation to force the extra period and took a 27-24 lead before the ruled North Carolina score came on 3rd and goal from the 5. The Tar Heels now have a shot at their first ACC crown since 1980.
Iowa Cliches Big Ten West
Iowa defeated Purdue 40-20 and the Hawkeyes will play for their first Big Ten title since 2004 when they shared the crown with Michigan.
Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Northwestern won 13-7 at Wisconsin and Michigan won 28-16 at Penn State.
Michigan State captures the Big Ten East with a win at home over Penn State next Saturday. A loss by the Spartans would send the Ohio State-Michigan winner to Indianapolis.
Air Force and SDSU Will Meet In MWC Championship
In the Mountain West, New Mexico's loss to Colorado State gave Air Force the Mountain title, and Nevada's loss to Utah State sealed San Diego State's berth from the West division.
Both CUSA Divisions Have de facto Title Battles Next Week
In Conference USA, Marshall visits Western Kentucky next week to decide the East division, and Louisiana Tech hosts Southern Miss to determine the West.
Temple Steps Closer To American East Title; Houston Upset At UConn
Temple sent Memphis to a third straight loss with a 31-12 win in Philly over the Tigers. The Owls only need to beat UConn at home next week to secure a berth in the conference's first championship game.
Houston was knocked from the unbeaten ranks with a 20-17 upset by UConn, but the Cougars are still alive in the West and host Navy next week in a de facto division title game.
Cupcake Eats South Carolina; Florida Almost Chokes On One; Georgia Survives Georgia Southern
The Citadel stunned South Carolina 23-22 in Columbia on a 56-yard run with just over 6 minutes left. A 94-yard South Carolina touchdown pass/run with 44 seconds remaining was called back for illegal procedure. The Gamecocks fell to 3-8 in a season that has seen them lose their head coach, and have a home game with LSU literally washed out. The Bulldogs also beat South Carolina in 1990 and are now 2-1 in the last 3 meetings.
Meanwhile, Florida pulled out a 20-14 overtime win in "The Swamp" over Florida Atlantic. The Gators scored first in the extra period, but missed the PAT. FAU made it to the 9-yard line before a sack and 3 incompletions sealed the Florida win. FAU tied it at 14-apiece on a recovered fumble in the end zone with 8:03 to play in regulation.
Also, Georgia needed overtime to subdue FBS upstart Georgia Southern 23-17 in Athens.
Number Of Undefeated Teams Shrinks To 2
Houston, Ohio State and Oklahoma State were stricken from the list. That leaves only Clemson and Iowa with perfect records.
Predicting the Playoff Committee Top 4
They have an extremely tough task this week. The top 2 are pretty easy to figure out. Clemson (11-0) is the obvious No. 1, even though the Tigers' 33-13 win over Wake Forest wasn't exactly impressive. Alabama (10-1) stays at No. 2 despite essentially taking the week off to beat up on Charleston Southern (FCS) 56-6.
I May be way off, but I'm going to predict that Michigan State jumps up to 3rd and Notre Dame stays 4th.
Here's how I arrived at that conclusion.
- Ohio State (10-1), which was No. 3, and Oklahoma State (10-1), which was No. 6, take a backseat to some other 1-loss teams and an undefeated Iowa.
- Notre Dame came into the week at No. 4. A 19-16 win over a Boston College team that is 3-8 (0-7 in the ACC) doesn't enhance the resume, but the Irish are 10-1 versus the 17th-toughest schedule and visit Stanford next. I'd leave them at 4.
- Undefeated Iowa was 5th, but has an SOS ranked 80th in the Congrove Computer Rankings. The Hawkeyes are not getting in the top 4 unless they win the Big Ten title.
- Oklahoma was 7th and beat TCU, but almost blew a 17-point lead in the 4th quarter. Had the Sooners gotten out of that game with a 30-13 win instead of 30-29, they would be a shoe-in for a top 4 slot.
- Florida may go down, and not up, from last week's 8th spot after needing overtime to get a home win over FAU.
- Some may be expecting North Carolina to take a big climb from 17th after improving to 10-1 and clinching the ACC Coastal. I don't see it happening as the Tar Heels have not one, but two, wins over FCS schools and a schedule that ranks 70th.
- That brings me to Michigan State as the best candidate to crack the top 4, even though the Spartans were 9th going into the week. Iowa fans won't like it, but Mark Dantonio's team is 10-1 versus the nation's 10th-toughest schedule.
The Congrove Computer Rankings will be released Sunday morning.
Ohio State - Had won 23 straight overall (FBS longest) and 15 straight conference games (FBS longest), but lost 17-14 at home to Michigan State on Saturday.
Clemson - Won 14 straight overall (FBS longest). Won 33-13 vs. Wake Forest on Saturday.
Western Kentucky - Won 9 straight conference games (FBS longest). Won 63-7 at FIU on Saturday.
Florida State - Won 21 straight home games (FBS longest). Won 52-13 vs. FCS member UT-Chattanooga on Saturday.
LSU - Won 52 straight regular season nonconference games (FBS longest). Lost 38-17 at Mississippi on Saturday.
Eastern Michigan - Lost 13 straight conference games (FBS longest). Idle.
Kansas - Lost 14 straight overall (FBS longest). Lost 49-0 vs. West Virginia on Saturday.
Kansas - Lost 35 straight road games (FBS longest). Lost 49-0 vs. West Virginia on Saturday.