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College Football Season

Boise State-Virginia Tech Was Worth the Wait

by Dave Congrove
September 7, 2010

Boise State blew a 17-0 lead, then rallied late to top Virginia Tech 33-30 in a dramatic ballgame at FedEx Field in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Landover, Maryland. Kellen Moore hit Austin Pettis on a 13-yard pass with 1:09 left to secure the win after the Hokies had stormed back to take a 30-26 lead. A fumbled snap, a blocked punt, and two stupid penalties by the same player on the same play helped Virginia Tech dig a 17-0 hole in the first quarter. In the end, the Broncos managed to win their biggest game of the year and the Hokies had lost an opening-day game for the third straight season.

Boise State keeps its No. 1 spot in my Congrove Computer Rankings as it looks toward an early week of rest before traveling to face Wyoming. The next test for the Broncos will come at home on September 25 when they play their home opener against Oregon State.

A Labor Day weekend slate of 78 games kicked off the 2010 season and the best was saved for last. Earlier Monday, Maryland used a goal-line stand to preserve a 17-14 upset of Navy at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

On Sunday, East Carolina won a 51-49 shootout with Tulsa on a 33-yard "Hail Mary" pass as time expired. And the only other game on Sunday saw SMU give Texas Tech fits before bowing 35-27 in Lubbock.

When all was said and done, the computer had forecasted the winner of 69 of the 78 games played, and was 32-7 in contests that featured FBS vs. FBS teams.

The weekend began last Thursday night with Utah's 27-24 overtime victory at home over Pittsburgh. On that same night, South Carolina was an impressive 41-13 winner over Southern Miss.

Thursday night also saw Middle Tennessee stumble 24-17 at home to Minnesota as dual-threat QB Dwight Dasher was forced to sit out while the NCAA investigates the loan he received to play poker. The computer had forecasted MTSU to go 11-1 this season, but the absence of Dasher is huge.

Middle Tennessee's problem, though, pales in comparison to the issues at North Carolina. "Agentgate" and "Tutorgate" continue to be investigated by the NCAA and multiple player suspensions clouded the Chick-fil-A kickoff game in Atlanta with LSU. The Tar Heels fought back admirably after falling behind 30-10, but the comeback fell short with a 30-24 loss.

On Saturday, defending national champion Alabama blasted San Jose State 48-3, despite missing Heisman-winning running back Mark Ingram to injury and defensive end Marcell Darius to the same agent party probe that involves UNC and some other schools.

But the rout of the day, and the weekend, belonged to Oregon which embarrassed New Mexico 72-0. The Ducks led 59-0 at halftime, racked up 720 yards of total offense for the game, and allowed just 107 yards. The Lobos' reward is to host No. 17 Texas Tech this Saturday.

The shocker of the week was Ole Miss' loss at home to Jacksonville State. The Rebels had a 31-10 halftime lead and a 31-13 lead going into the 4th quarter, but a furious rally produced a monumental 49-48 double-overtime upset by the FCS Gamecocks.

Kansas also fell prey to the cupcake opponent, bowing 6-3 at home to North Dakota State in Turner Gill's debut as head coach. The Jayhawks and Ole Miss were the only teams to lose out of the 39 games played between FBS and FCS schools. In fact, FBS schools are 501-44 (.919) in such games since 2003, and 126-7 (.947) since the start of last season.

Somewhat shocking games over the weekend include Oklahoma's narrow 31-24 win over Utah State, and Michigan's relatively easy 30-10 win over UConn. The Sooners were 25-point computer favorites and the Wolverines were 6-point underdogs.

Week two will produce its share of games with BCS Championship implications as No. 4 Alabama hosts No. 10 Penn State, No. 5 Ohio State entertains No. 18 Miami, No. 15 Georgia travels to No. 22 South Carolina, and No. 8 Oklahoma welcomes No. 34 Florida State.

76 teams are 1-0 after the opening week of action; 41 teams are 0-1; 3 schools are 0-0.

Only 44 of the 120 teams don't have a win under their belt, and that includes the three schools that don't open their season until this week - FIU, Louisiana-Monroe and New Mexico State.

FBS vs. FCS:
FBS teams went 37-2 (.949) vs. FCS schools last week, and are now 501-44 (.919) in such contests 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

This year, 85 FBS teams play a total of 90 games against FCS foes. Five schools play two such games - Arizona State, Ball State, San Jose State, Syracuse and Virginia.

Boise State has 15 straight wins after defeating Virginia Tech 33-30. The Broncos also have streaks of 26 regular season wins, 26 home wins, 56 regular season home wins, and 42 straight conference home victories. BSU has never lost at home to a fellow WAC member (36-0). 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 5-1 in their last six matches against BCS conference schools.

Alabama has 15 straight wins overall and 25 straight regular season wins. The Tide defeated San Jose State 48-3.

Cincinnati's regular season winning streak ended at 18 games with a 28-14 loss at Fresno State.

Oklahoma has 31 straight home victories. The Sooners defeated Utah State 31-24.

Utah has 18 straight home wins after a 27-24 overtime win against Pitt.

Western Kentucky has lost 21 straight overall and 26 straight to FBS teams after a 49-10 loss at Nebraska.

Eastern Michigan has lost 13 straight overall after a 31-27 loss at home to Army.

Washington State has lost 10 straight. The Cougars were blown out 65-17 at Oklahoma State.

Colorado State has lost 10 straight. The Rams fell to rival Colorado 24-3 in Denver.

Of the 24 new head coaches this year, 12 are a perfect 1-0. The winners were Jeff Quinn at Buffalo, Dan Enos at Central Michigan, Ruffin McNeill at East Carolina, Jimbo Fisher at Florida State, Joker Phillips at Kentucky, Sonny Dykes at Louisiana Tech, Brian Kelly at Notre Dame, Derek Dooley at Tennessee, Tommy Tuberville at Texas Tech, Lane Kiffin at USC, Skip Holtz at USF and Mike London at Virginia.

However, only McNeill, Phillips, Kelly, Tuberville and Kiffin defeated a school in the FBS ranks.

Fisher and Joker Phillips were head coaches-in-waiting.


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