Trojans Go Nuts On Buckeyes
by Mike Mitchell
September 14, 2008
With three weeks in the books, the computer's preseason prediction of a Ohio State-Georgia matchup in the BCS title game is in serious jeopardy. Though there is plenty of football yet to played, it's USC that is standing out from the crowd.
The Trojans have only played two games, but have outscored those opponents by a combined count of 87-10, including Saturday's 35-3 putdown of Ohio State. After the Buckeyes took a 3-0 lead, USC allowed them to do very little else.
Georgia didn't lose the game on Saturday, but the Bulldogs continue to lose ground in the rankings. A 14-7 win at South Carolina caused Georgia to slip behind SEC eastern division cohort Florida in the new CCR Top 120 (Congrove Computer Rankings). The idle Gators took 3rd while Georgia dropped to 4th.
Oklahoma is butting into the national title talk. The Sooners won 55-14 at Washington and ascended to No. 2.
Missouri also continued to make a racket with a 69-17 tattooing of Nevada. The Tigers scored on their first ten possessions and find themselves at No. 5 (up from No. 8).
Kansas, meanwhile, took a step backwards at the hands of USF. The Jawhawks surrendered a 20-3 first-half lead. They eventually lost 37-34 to the Bulls on a 43-yard field goal as time expired (complete story). USF climbed to No. 10 while Kansas dropped to No. 19.
Ohio State's loss wasn't the only Big Ten issue over the weekend. Illinois only beat Louisiana-Lafayette 20-17, Michigan State had a tough time in the rain with FAU but prevailed 17-0, Purdue blew the home upset against Oregon State and lost in 2 OT's 32-26, and Michigan was blown out at Notre Dame 35-17 as it gave up six turnovers.
Aside from USC and Oregon, Oregon State was the only other PAC-10 winner with a 45-7 home trouncing of Hawaii. And the losses were quite embarrassing as UCLA was destroyed 59-0 at BYU, Arizona State lost 23-20 in overtime at home to UNLV, Arizona fell 36-28 at New Mexico, Stanford lost 31-14 at TCU, Cal was beaten 35-27 at Maryland, Washington was clobbered 55-14 at home by Oklahoma, and Washington State was rolled 45-17 at proverbial Big 12 cellar dwelling Baylor.
The Mountain West scored well with Air Force's 31-28 win against Houston in Dallas adding to the conference's aforementioned big victories by BYU, TCU, UNLV and New Mexico.
The WAC got whacked. Fresno State put forth a good showing at home against Wisconsin in a 13-10 loss that saw the Bulldogs miss three field goal tries. Boise State did its job by rebuffing Bowling Green 20-7, and San Jose State throttled San Diego State 35-10. But five other teams got waxed - there was the previously mentioned 45-7 Hawaii loss at Oregon State, a 51-28 Idaho loss at Western Michigan, a 69-17 annihilation of Nevada at Missouri, a 38-7 destruction of New Mexico State at Nebraska, and a 58-10 loss by Utah State at home against rival Utah.
The Sun Belt put up some good efforts, but came up empty. In addition to the Louisiana-Lafayette three-point loss at Illinois and the 17-0 FAU setback at Michigan State, and Middle Tennessee only lost 20-14 at Kentucky.
In the MAC, Buffalo beat Temple 30-28 on a Hail Mary pass on the game's final play to take 1st place in the East division. The Owls lost to Connecticut last week in overtime - the same UConn team that blasted Virginia 45-10 on Saturday.
CUSA's East Carolina almost saw it's BCS bubble burst. The 28-24 win at Tulane came about on a 24-yard touchdown pass with 1:41 left.
The ACC had a mixed bag of results. Maryland's win over Cal was huge, and Duke's 41-31 home win over Navy is worthy of recognition. But Virginia weighed the conference down with its' poor showing at UConn.
HURRICANE IKE (YIKES!) FORCES CHANGES
Hurricane Ike slammed into the Texas coastline Friday night and Saturday morning. The major storm forced the postponement of the Arkansas-Texas game until September 27. Washington State at Baylor was played Friday instead of Saturday, with the Bears cruising to a 45-17 win. Louisiana-Monroes' home game with Alabama A&M was also moved to Friday and the Warhawks managed a 37-15 victory. The Air Force at Houston game was moved to Dallas where the Falcons won 31-28.
New Mexico State opened this week with a 38-7 loss at Nebraska. The Aggies were supposed to begin their season last week, but Hurricane Gustav forced the cancellation of Nicholls State's visit.
LSU returned to action with a 41-3 demolition of North Texas. The Bayou Bengals had to postpone last week's home game against Troy until November 15 because of Hurricane Gustav.
39 teams remain unbeaten through the third week of the season. As the list shrinks, we'll keep track of the survivors. Only Hawaii made it through the 2007 regular season unscathed, and the Warriors were blown out 41-10 by Georgia in the Sugar Bowl. It was the first season since 2002 that no team recorded a perfect record.
Boise State was the only team to finish the entire 2006 season undefeated, while Texas did it in 2005. Auburn, USC and Utah all had unblemished records in 2004.
17 teams remain winless, including FIU. The Golden Panthers defeated North Texas 38-19 in their final 2007 game to avoid ending last season as the only winless team. FIU has lost 25 of its last 26 games. FIU was one of two schools to go winless in 2006 (Duke was the other).
Idaho failed to beat a team from the bowl subdivision last season and has yet to do so this year.
FBS vs. FCS
The divisions were re-named late in 2006. 1-A was given the new moniker of Football Bowl Subdivision
(FBS) while 1-AA was labeled the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).
FBS teams went 10-0 vs. their FCS counterparts over the weekend. FBS teams are a lopsided 63-2 (.969) against FCS teams this season, and 353-37 (.905) since 2003.
Here are the losses by the FBS so far this season:
Cal Poly 29, San Diego State 27 (Week 1)
New Hampshire 28, Army 10 (Week 2)
Wyoming almost took a hit this week. The Cowboys had to rally from a 13-0 deficit and need a 29-yard field goal with 4 seconds left to subdue North Dakota State 16-13.
This year, 82 different FBS teams will participate in a total of 87 games that will pit the FCS against the FBS. Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Texas Tech and Western Kentucky each play two such games.
ACC teams have more games versus FCS schools than any other conference. Here is the number of FCS games for each conference:
||Teams In Conf.
||Games vs. FCS
||Avg. Per Team
BYU owns the nation's longest current winning streak at 13 games. The Cougars have also won 16 consecutive MWC games. BYU clobbered UCLA 59-0.
Georgia has won 10 straight games. The Bulldogs beat South Carolina 14-7.
Boise State has won 45 consecutive regular season home games, and the Broncos have a perfect home record against their fellow WAC conference members (28-0). Boise State defeated Bowling Green 20-7.
Hawaii owns a 15-game winning streak against WAC teams. The Warriors visited Oregon State on Saturday and lost 45-7.
Kent State ended the nation's longest losing streak at 9 games with a 24-3 defeat of FCS member Delaware State. The Golden Flashes have still dropped 9 straight to FBS teams.
UAB took over the nation's longest losing streak at 9 games with its 35-3 loss at Tennessee.
UTEP and Army have each lost 8 consecutive games. Both were idle.
Idaho has lost 17 straight to FBS schools. The Vandals host Western Michigan.
SMU has dropped 12 straight games to FBS teams. The Mustangs lost 43-7 at Texas Tech.
Baylor ended its 9-game losing streak to FBS teams. The Bears beat Washington State 45-17 on Friday.
The2007 season featured 24 new head coaches. Nine led their teamto a bowl game. This year, there are 18 coaching changes. Northern Illinois and Washington State are the only teams still waiting to taste victory.
Ten teams have defeated FBS schools - Arkansas, Baylor, Duke, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Southern Miss, Texas A&M and UCLA. Only Baylor, Georgia Tech and UCLA have defeated a team from one of the "big 6" conferences (ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, PAC-10 or SEC).
||at Texas - postponed (Hurricane Ike)
||Defeated Washington State 45-17
||Defeated Navy 41-31
||Lost at Virginia Tech 20-17
||Lost at Oregon State 45-7
||Lost to Air Force 31-28 (Dallas)
||Lost at Notre Dame 35-17
||Defeated Samford (FCS) 34-10
||Lost at Duke 41-31
||Defeated New Mexico State 38-7
||Lost at Texas Tech 43-7
||Won at Arkansas State 27-24
||Lost at BYU 59-0
||Lost at Baylor 45-17