"Rout" is the Word on Championship Weekend
'Bama, Oregon, Ohio State among easy victors; FSU dodges Georgia Tech for 29th straight win
by Dave Congrove
December 7, 2014
The results of the games are in. Now it's up to a 12-person committee to tell us what it all meant.
As I tweeted late Saturday night (@cfpoll), my guess is that Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State are in. The first three are a lock, with the last spot coming down to the Buckeyes, TCU or Baylor. I believe Ohio State's win made too much noise to ignore, and that the committee will find it easier to block out both Baylor and TCU then be left to explain choosing one over the other. If it comes down to TCU or Baylor, I hold firm in my choice for the Bears since both teams possess the same record and, if the Big 12 weren't so chicken as to not want to crown an outright champion, Baylor would be it by virtue of the head-to-head win over the Horned Frogs.
The BCS used to promote that "every game matters". That simply meant that wins and losses determined a teams' prospects for advancement. Thus far, the committee has indicated that any number of factors may trump such basic facts as wins and losses, conference championships, and head-to-head results.
We shall see come early Sunday afternoon.
Alabama exploded for 21 points in the 4th to pull away from Missouri 42-13 to win the SEC Championship. The Tide concluded the season with a 12-1 record in capturing its second SEC title in the last 3 years. The win also keeps alive the possibility that a team from the state of Alabama will play for the national title for the sixth straight year.
Oregon avenged its lone regular season loss with a 51-13 rout of Arizona in the PAC-12 championship game on Friday night. Either the Ducks or Stanford have won every PAC-12 title for the last 6 seasons with Oregon taking four of those.
FSU recovered an onside kick after giving up a late TD and downed Georgia Tech 37-35 in the ACC Championship. It was Florida State's 29th straight win overall and 22nd in-a-row over its ACC brethren, not to mention the 'Noles 3rd straight ACC title.
Ohio State, even without J.T. Barrett at quarterback, obliterated Wisconsin 59-0 for the Big Ten trophy. Cardale Jones turned in a MVP performance, throwing for 257 yards and 3 TD's as the Buckeyes earned their first outright Big Ten title since 2009 (they tied for the title in 2010).
The Big 12 says Baylor and TCU tied for their conference crown after the Bears clawed Kansas State 38-27 and the Horned Frogs gigged Iowa State 55-3. However, Baylor's head-to-head win would technically break that tie.
Boise State downed Fresno State 28-14 in the MWC Championship game. The Broncos (11-2) are the likely "Group Of 5" entrant into the "Big 6" bowl games and should be headed to the Fiesta.
Marshall took the CUSA title with a 26-23 comeback win over Louisiana Tech. The Thundering Herd are 12-1 after claiming their first Conference USA crown in their second straight championship game appearance.
Northern Illinois rolled over Bowling Green 51-17 on Friday in a rematch of the 2013 MAC Championship game which was won by BGSU. The Huskies have played in the last 5 MAC title games and have won 3 of those.
Cincinnati and UCF tied Memphis for the American Conference title as the Bearcats beat Houston 38-31 on Saturday, and UCF edged East Carolina 32-30 on Thursday courtesy of a 51-yard Hail Mary pass on the final play of the game. Cincinnati has won or shared 5 of the last 6 Big East/American titles.
Elsewhere, SMU on Saturday averted a winless campaign with a 27-20 upset victory at UConn.
Oklahoma State and Temple became bowl eligible in the 11th hour.
The Cowboys returned a point 92 yards for the tying touchdown with 45 seconds left in their Bedlam rivalry game with Oklahoma, then won 38-35 on a field goal in overtime after the Sooners came up empty on their first OT possession. The victroy was OSU's first over Oklahoma since 2011, and only their second in the last 12 meetings. Overall, the Sooners lead the lopsided series 85-17-7.
Temple scratched out a 10-3 win at lowly Tulane to get to 6-6. The Owls are going bowling for the third time since 2009.
COMPUTER SUCCESS and FAILURES:
It's been a mixed bag of results for the computer this season. The preseason forecast correctly pegged the conference titles in the ACC (Florida State), American (UCF tied), Big Ten (Ohio State), CUSA (Marshall), and Independents (picked BYU to share). It picked additional division winners in the MAC East (Bowling Green), MAC West (Northern Illinois) and MWC Mountain (Boise State). During the season, the computer has picked the winner in over 76.3% of all games played for its 4th-best mark in 22 seasons. But it has hit just 47.9% against the spread for its worst mark ever in that category. It's previous worst was 48.9% in 2010 and its historical average is 53.7%.
FBS vs. FCS:
FBS schools were 100-8 (.926) in matchups vs. FCS teams this year, and they now have a cumulative record of 931-89 (.913) since 2003.
Here are the results from all of this season's FBS losses to FCS schools:
8/30: Bethune-Cookman 14, FIU 12
8/30: North Dakota State 31, Iowa State 14
9/6: Eastern Kentucky 17, Miami (Ohio) 10
9/13: Indiana State 27, Ball State 20
9/13: Abilene Christian 38, Troy 35
9/20: NW State (La.) 30, Louisiana Tech 27
9/27: Yale 49, Army 43 (OT)
10/11: Liberty 55, Appalachian State 48 (OT)
North Dakota State's win over Iowa State on opening weekend was the 5th straight over a FBS team for the three-time defending FCS champions. Since 2010, NDSU has won road games at Kansas, Minnesota, Colorado State, Kansas State, and now Iowa State. Conversely, Iowa State has lost 2 straight to FCS schools after opening last season with a loss to Northern Iowa.
Bethune-Cookman's win over FIU on opening weekend was its second straight over the Golden Panthers.
This year, 103 FBS schools scheduled a total of 108 games against FCS foes. Appalachian State, Army, Ball State, Buffalo and FIU each played 2 such games.
Florida State - 29-game winning streak (FBS longest), 22-game conference winning streak (FBS longest). Beat Georgia Tech 37-35 in ACC Championship.
Alabama - Won 16 straight home games (tied for FBS longest). Beat Missouri 42-13 in SEC Championship at Atlanta.
Baylor - Won 16 straight home games (tied for FBS longest). Beat Kansas State 38-27 at home.
Ohio State - Won 13 straight road games (FBS longest). Beat Wisconsin 59-0 in Big Ten Championship at Indianapolis (not a true road game).
LSU - Won 49 straight regular season nonconference games (FBS longest). Regular season complete.
SMU - Ended 13-game overall losing streak (was FBS longest) with 27-20 win at Connecticut.
Kansas - Lost 30 straight road games (FBS longest). Regular season complete.
Georgia State - Lost 11 straight overall (FBS longest). Lost 14 straight conference games (FBS longest). Regular season complete.