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College Football Season

LSU, Boise State Bag Big Wins

by Mike Mitchell
September 21, 2008

LSU rescued a 26-21 victory at Auburn, and Boise State bagged a big regular season road win when it held off Oregon 37-32.

LSU and Auburn was everything one would expect from that SEC powerhouse matchup. An 18-yard touchdown pass with 1:03 left gave LSU the win after Auburn had gone ahead 21-20 on a 15-yard pass with 6:40 to go in the game. Auburn had staked out a 14-3 halftime with the help of a 24-yard interception return for a touchdown. LSU then scored the first 17 points of the second half to take a 20-14 lead.

The Congrove Computer Rankings' preseason analysis said that an LSU win would propel it into the SEC Championship game. Of course, that ticket is far from being punched but the annual winner of this game has won the western division in six of the last eight seasons. The home team had won the previous eight games in the series.

Boise State opened a 37-13 lead on Oregon through three quarters and survived a furious rally to defeat the Ducks 37-32 in Eugene. The Broncos had twice defeated Oregon State at home but had never beaten a team from one of the "big six" conferences (ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, PAC-10, SEC) away from home in the regular season.

While Boise State bolstered its' resume for a BCS bowl bid, East Carolina's was negatively impacted by a 30-24 overtime loss at a North Carolina State team that had not defeated an FBS school this season. A 5-yard pass with 1:12 left in regulation put the game into overtime and the win was set-up when the Wolfpack forced a fumble by quarterback Patrick Pinkney in the Pirate half of the extra stanza. N.C. State settled the matter with a 10-yard TD run on its' first overtime possession.

BYU, Utah, Tulsa and Ball State also stayed in the BCS hunt. The Cougars pummeled Wyoming 44-0 while the Utes scored with 58 seconds left in the game to put down Air Force 30-23. Meanwhile, the Golden Hurricane blew past New Mexico 56-14 and the Cardinals won 42-20 at Indiana.

Fresno State averted the upset at Toledo when the Rockets opted to go for a two-point conversion in the bottom half of the second overtime and failed on an incomplete pass. The Bulldogs took home a 55-54 win after Toledo had erased a 41-31 deficit in the final 3:07 of regulation. A 33-yard field goal with 15 seconds remaining tied the score at 41, and a 58-yard attempt by Fresno State missed at the buzzer.

UNLV also won in overtime, defeating Iowa State 34-31. The Rebels pilfered away a 21-0 halftime lead and Iowa State tied the game on a 28-yard pass with 5 seconds left in regulation. Iowa State converted a 37-yard field goal to begin the extra period, but UNLV needed just one play to seal the win with a 25-yard touchdown pass.

Elsewhere, among the computer's top ten teams:
No. 1 USC was idle;
No. 2 Oklahoma was idle:
No. 3 Florida routed Tennessee in Knoxville 30-6;
No. 4 Georgia won 27-10 at Arizona State;
No. 5 Missouri bested Buffalo 42-21 in Columbia;
No. 6 Texas cooked Rice 52-10 in Austin;
No. 8 Penn State blasted Temple 45-3 in Happy Valley;
No. 10 USF won 17-9 as FIU christened its new on-campus stadium.

In other games:

- Michigan State's 23-7 win over Notre Dame broke a three-game home losing streak to the Irish;

- Virginia Tech improved its' ACC road record to 16-1 with a 20-17 win at North Carolina, rallying from a 17-3 deficit;

- Two Florida State QB's combined to throw five interceptions in a 12-3 home loss to Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons have taken three straight from the Seminoles.

The college football week kicked off Wednesday night with the first of three prime time games pitting the Big East against the Big 12.

The Big East won the opener when Louisville beat Kansas State 38-29 by out-rushing the Wildcats 303 yards to 30.

The Big Twelve evened the series on Thursday night as Colorado topped West Virginia 17-14 in overtime. The Mountaineers had a chance to drive for a potential game-winning field goal at the end of regulation, but first-year head coach Bill Stewart opted to run out the clock and play for overtime.

West Virginia then doinked a 23-yard field goal attempt off the left upright, and Louisville subsequently converted a 25-yard attempt to nail down a huge win for the Buffaloes.

A 31-28 UConn win at home over Baylor on Friday night gave the Big East a 2-1 advantage in the three games played. The Huskies improved to 4-0 while Baylor slipped to 2-2. UConn opened last season with five straight wins for its best start since moving up to the FBS in 2000.

27 teams remain unbeaten. 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.

Only 9 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 was one of two schools to go winless in 2006 (Duke was the other). FIU has lost 26 of its last 27 games.

Idaho failed to beat a team from the bowl subdivision last season and has yet to do so this year.

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 12-0 vs. their FCS counterparts this weekend. South Carolina was tied 13-13 with Wofford before pulling away for a 23-13 win, SE Louisiana put up a fight before falling 41-26 at Louisiana Tech, and Syracuse got past Northeastern 30-21.

FBS teams are 75-2 (.974) against FCS teams this season, and 365-37 (.908) since 2003.

Here are the only losses by the FBS so far this season:
Cal Poly 29, San Diego State 27 (Week 1)
New Hampshire 28, Army 10 (Week 2)

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:

Conference Teams In Conf. Games vs. FCS Avg. Per Team
ACC 12 14 1.167
Big East 8 7 0.875
Big 12 12 10 0.833
Big 10 11 9 0.818
MWC 9 7 0.778
WAC 9 7 0.778
SEC 12 9 0.750
Independents 3 2 0.667
MAC 13 8 0.615
CUSA 12 7 0.583
Sun Belt 9 5 0.555
PAC-10 10 2 0.200
Totals 120 87 0.725

BYU owns the nation's longest current winning streak at 14 games. The Cougars have also won 17 consecutive MWC games. BYU beat Wyoming 44-0.

Georgia has won 11 straight games. The Bulldogs won 27-10 at Arizona State.

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 won 37-32 at Oregon.

Hawaii owns a 15-game winning streak against WAC teams. The Warriors were idle.

UAB snapped the nation's longest losing streak at 9 games. The Blazers beat FCS member Alabama State 45-10. They still have a 9-game losing streak against FBS schools.

Army and UTEP assume the longest losing streak at 9 straight games. The Black Knights host 22-3 at home to Akron. The Miners fell 34-33 at home to New Mexico State.

Idaho has lost 18 straight to FBS schools. The Vandals lost 42-17 at Utah State.

SMU has dropped 13 straight games to FBS teams. The Mustangs lost 48-7 at home to TCU.

Kent State has dropped 10 straight to FBS teams. The Golden Flashes lost 44-27 at Louisiana-Lafayette.

The 2007 season featured 24 new head coaches. Nine led their team to a bowl game. This year, there are 18 coaching changes.

Northern Illinois and Washington State defeated FCS teams this weekend for their first victories of the season.

Twelve teams have defeated FBS schools - Arkansas, Baylor, Colorado State, Duke, Georgia Tech, Michigan, Mississippi, Navy, Nebraska, Southern Miss, Texas A&M and UCLA. Only Baylor, Georgia Tech, Navy and UCLA have defeated a team from one of the "big 6" conferences (ACC, Big East, Big 10, Big 12, PAC-10 or SEC).

Arkansas 2-1 Bobby Petrino Lost to Alabama 49-14
Baylor 2-2 Art Briles Lost at Connecticut 31-28
Colorado State 2-1 Steve Fairchild Defeated Houston 28-25
Duke 2-1 David Cutcliffe idle
Georgia Tech 3-1 Paul Johnson Defeated Mississippi State 38-7
Hawaii 1-2 Greg McMackin idle
Houston 1-3 Kevin Sumlin Lost at Colorado State 28-25
Michigan 1-2 Rich Rodriguez idle
Mississippi 2-2 Houston Nutt Lost to Vanderbilt 23-17
Navy 2-2 Ken Nuimatalolo Defeated Rutgers 23-21
Nebraska 3-0 Bo Pelini idle
Northern Illinois 1-2 Jerry Kill Defeated Indiana State (FCS) 48-3
SMU 1-3 June Jones Lost to TCU 48-7
Southern Miss 2-2 Larry Fedora Lost to Marshall 34-27
Texas A&M 1-2 Mike Sherman Lost to Miami, Fla. 41-23
UCLA 1-2 Rick Neuheisel Lost to Arizona 31-10
Washington State 1-3 Paul Wulff Defeated Portland State (FCS) 48-9
West Virginia 1-2 Bill Stewart Lost at Colorado 17-14


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