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Disastrous Day For ACC

by Dave Congrove
September 11, 2010

With two more games in the national spotlight, the ACC had the opportunity to atone for Virginia Tech's Labor Day loss to Boise State. Miami and Florida State could also show the world that they were for real, if they could pull off wins at Ohio State and Oklahoma, respectively. For the most part, neither came close, and the Hokies unraveled further with an inexplicable 21-16 loss to FCS heavyweight James Madison.

The 36-24 final score of Miami's setback is not indicative of the Buckeyes' dominance. And the Seminoles were completely outclassed in a 47-17 whacking in Norman. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, let a 16-7 lead disappear in the rain at Blacksburg as it continued last Monday night's trend of shooting itself in the foot with mistakes. Three turnovers and the lack of a red zone offense contributed to Saturday's disaster.

Let's not leave out Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets went to play a Kansas team that lost its opener 6-3 to FCS member North Dakota State, and managed to leave town with a 28-25 loss to the Jayhawks.

Virginia put up a fight at USC, losing by just 3, but it was just one more stain on the ACC when that game was over and done with. The conference's biggest win was N.C. State's 28-21 triumph at favored UCF.

As a result, Clemson is now the only ACC team in the top 25 of the Congrove Computer Rankings. The 23rd-ranked Tigers may not be there for long as they travel to No. 20 Auburn this Saturday.

James Madison's win over the Hokies was one of four victories by FCS teams vs. FBS teams on Saturday. Akron fell 38-37 in overtime to Gardner-Webb; Ball State lost 27-23 to Liberty; and Minnesota was beaten 41-38 by South Dakota.

Others came close to meeting the same fate. Washington State rallied in the 4th quarter to edge Montana State 23-22; Navy survived a challenge from Georgia Southern 13-7; and Northern Illinois eked past North Dakota 23-17.

Despite the sudden outburst of FBS-FCS parity, the big boys still won 21 of the 25 such games played on Saturday. FBS teams are a cumulative 58-6 (.906) against FCS schools this season.

The computer turned in another stellar performance by forecasting the winner of 60 of the 70 games played, including a 39-6 mark in head-to-head FBS matches. The computer also nailed the only game it forecasted as an outright upset when Rice won 32-31 at North Texas.

While the ACC was stumbling and bumbling, teams at the top of the rankings had little or no trouble dispatching their opponents. No. 3 Alabama made a loud and clear statement with a 24-3 manhandling of then-No. 10 Penn State; No. 2 Texas methodically put away Wyoming 34-7; No. 4 TCU breezed 62-7 past FCS member Tennessee Tech; Florida ultimately shook off pesky USF 38-14, and Oregon overcame a first-half hole to rout Tennessee 48-13.

Some other impressive victories were scored this week by South Carolina (17-6 vs. Georgia); Iowa (35-7 vs. Iowa State); Air Force (35-14 vs. BYU); Stanford (35-0 vs. UCLA); California (52-7 vs. Colorado); and Nevada (51-6 vs. Colorado State).

Michigan and Notre Dame was close and entertaining as the Wolverines rallied to to the 28-24 win on a 2-yard touchdown run with 27 seconds left in the game. Michigan's 2-0 start is not being celebrated, however, as everyone remembers last season's 4-0 start that faded to a 5-7 finish.

Troy and FIU are notable members of the "almost, but not quite" club. The Trojans came up 3 points shy at Oklahoma State (41-38), and the Panthers lost 19-14 at home to Rutgers.

The college football week began last Thursday night with a pair of thrillers as Auburn held off Mississippi State 17-14 and Temple down Central Michigan 13-10 in overtime. Friday night, West Virginia stormed back late from a 21-6 deficit to defeat Marshall 24-21 in overtime. Also on Friday, Houston rolled over UTEP 54-24.

Top games this week involving top 25 teams from the Congrove Computer Rankings pit No. 2 Texas at No. 13 Texas Tech; No. 25 Air Force at No. 8 Oklahoma; No. 10 Iowa at No. 19 Arizona; No. 15 Cal at No. 24 Nevada (Friday); and 23rd-ranked Clemson at No. 20 Auburn.

Other games to watch include Arkansas at Georgia; BYU at Florida State; Florida at Tennessee; East Carolina at Virginia Tech; Georgia Tech at North Carolina; Houston at UCLA; Notre Dame at Michigan State; Nebraska at Washington; Tulsa at Oklahoma State; and Wake Forest at Stanford.

UNDEFEATED TEAMS:
Only 45 teams remain undefeated.

WINLESS TEAMS:
Just 21 of the 120 teams don't have a win under their belt.

FBS vs. FCS:
FBS teams went 21-4 (.840) vs. FCS schools last week, and are now 522-48 (.916) 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
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

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.

STREAKS:
Boise State has 15 straight wins, 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. Boise State was idle.

Alabama has 16 straight wins overall and 26 straight regular season wins. The Tide defeated Penn State 24-3.

Oklahoma has 32 straight home victories. The Sooners defeated Florida State 47-17.

Utah has 19 straight home wins after a 38-10 victory over UNLV.

Western Kentucky has lost 22 straight overall and 27 straight to FBS teams after a 63-28 loss at Kentucky.

Eastern Michigan has lost 14 straight overall after a 28-21 loss at Miami (O.).

Colorado State has lost 11 straight. The Rams fell 51-6 at Nevada.

Washington State ended its 10-game losing streak with a 23-22 comeback win vs. FCS member Montana State. The Cougars have lost 10 straight to FBS schools.

NEW COACHES:
Of the 24 new head coaches this year, only 4 are undefeated - Ruffin McNeill at East Carolina, Joker Phillips at Kentucky, Tommy Tuberville at Texas Tech, and Lane Kiffin at USC.



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