USC Gets By Virginia Tech, 24-13
by Mike Mitchell
It was a light opening weekend in college football with only two games on the schedule, but USC and Virginia Tech began the 2004 season with a bang.
The youthful Hokies, recently transplanted to the ACC from the Big East, had the USC faithful shaking like a California earthquake when they took a 10-7 halftime lead. But the Trojans, led by Reggie Bush's three touchdown catches from Matt Leinart, rallied for a 24-13 win.
The "BCA Classic" was played in front of an estimated 92,000 fans at Fed-Ex Field in Landover, Maryland (just outside of Washington, D.C.).
Virginia Tech entered the game as an 18-point underdog by the oddsmakers. The computer's pick, based on the Congrove Computer Rankings, called for a 10-point USC win and almost nailed it.
The Hokies and Trojans will be among just five teams that won't be playing next weekend when the college football season gets into full gear.
The only other game played Saturday night saw Miami, Ohio romp past 1-AA Indiana State 49-0. The RedHawks draw a much tougher opponent for next Saturday's game when they journey to the "Big House" to take on Michigan.
Streaking: Miami (Ohio) ran the nation's longest winning streak to 14 with its win over Indiana State Saturday night.
Boise State opens the 2004 season on an 11-game winning streak. The Broncos have won 18 straight over WAC foes.
North Texas has won 18 straight over Sun Belt conference opponents.
Army has lost 15 straight.
SMU has lost 12 straight.
That Computes: The Congrove Computer Rankings and Weekly Picks correctly projected the winner of every game for 10 of the 117 Division 1-A teams in 2003. It missed just one time with 16 others.
The computer's 2003 preseason forecast came within two wins or less of predicting the final regular season records of 80 teams. It was exactly right for 16 teams, missed by one win on 32 teams, and missed by two wins on another 32 teams. It predicted the exact conference records of 23 teams.
It correctly projected the winners of both Big 12 divisions, Connecticut as the top independent, Miami (Ohio) as east division winner of the MAC, Georgia as east division winner of the SEC, USC as conference champ of the PAC-10, and North Texas as conference titlist of the Sun Belt.
The 2003 preseason forecast projected 43 of the 56 bowl teams, placed nine in the correct bowl, and identified at least one of the national title game participants for the eighth time in eleven seasons.
The computer finished the season with a straight up record of 589-182, exactly the same as 2002.