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College Football Season

Kansas State Upsets Oklahoma; FSU Finishes Strong vs. Clemson

Arkansas still ain't smilin'; LSU gets out of Auburn alive

by Dave Congrove
September 23, 2012

Kansas State, Florida State and Notre Dame were the winners in Saturday's biggest battles while LSU barely escaped and Arkansas still ain't smilin'.

When Clemson staked out a 28-14 lead at Florida State less than 3 minutes into the 3rd quarter, apparently, the Seminoles had the Tigers just where they wanted them. Over the next 21 minutes, FSU rolled off 35 of the next 38 points to take a commanding 49-31 lead and ended up with a convincing 49-37 win vs. their ACC Atlantic division counterparts.

The Tigers used a 35-30 win over the Seminoles last year to propel their way to the ACC Championship and Florida State hopes for the same kind of result for themselves this year.

After opening the season by outscoring three out-manned opponents by a cumulative 176-3, Jimbo Fisher's team needed this win to prove to naysayers that this, indeed, could be the year of FSU's resurgence on the national stage.

Florida State came into the game ranked 3rd in my Congrove Computer Rankings while Clemson was No. 16.

It doesn't hurt Florida State's national title hopes that 2nd-ranked Oklahoma lost 24-19 at home to No. 8 Kansas State. The loss was Bob Stoops' first in 8 games against his mentor, Bill Snyder, and KSU's first win in Norman since 1997 when the Sooners turned in a 4-8 campaign. Oklahoma was the computer's preseason pick to win the BCS Championship game over Virginia Tech. The Hokies were upset last weekend at Pittsburgh.

Arkansas saw its season slip further down the drain with a 35-26 home loss to Rutgers. The Hogs dropped to 1-3 while the Scarlet Knights improved to 4-0. Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson threw 3 TD passes in his return from a concussion suffered in the ULM loss, but he was also intercepted twice. His Rutgers counterpart, Gary Nova, threw for 5 touchdowns without an interceptions

Interceptions were an even bigger issue for Michigan. Notre Dame picked off 5 passes on consecutive Wolverine possessions en route to a 13-6 win in Ann Arbor, giving the Irish their first sweep since 2002 of rivals Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue.

4th-ranked West Virginia received a tougher than expected fight from Maryland in a 31-21 win in Morgantown.

5th-ranked LSU escaped with a 12-10 win at Auburn, handing the school a 3rd September loss for the first time in its football history. The loss also dropped Auburn to 0-2 in the SEC for the first time since 1980.

Other top SEC teams had field days at home with their respective opponents. Top-ranked Alabama toyed with FAU 40-7, 6th-ranked South Carolina slapped around Missouri 31-10, 10th-ranked Florida notched a 26th consecutive win over Kentucky 38-0, and 11th-ranked Georgia dumped Vanderbilt 48-3.

The Big 12, which also dominates the upper echelon of the rankings, had open dates for No. 7 Texas, 17th-ranked Oklahoma State and No. 21 Texas Tech.

12th-ranked Baylor played on Friday night at Louisiana-Monroe where it trailed early before rallying for a 47-42 win. The Warhawks scored a late touchdown to cut into the losing deficit after building a 21-7 lead in the early stages. ULM's home opener drew a rare sellout crowd of over 31,000 after the team had scored a triple-overtime win at Arkansas and an overtime loss at Auburn. Baylor improved to 3-0 on the season and stretched its winning streak to 9 games.

New Big 12 member TCU, ranked 15th, also remained unbeaten with a 27-7 home win over Virginia.

In the PAC-12, 9th-ranked Stanford was idle while 13th-ranked Oregon demolished No. 38 Arizona 49-0. However, the conference saw No. 32 UCLA lose for the first time under new head coach Jim Mora, Jr. as the Bruins fell 27-20 at home to Oregon State.

Colorado finally has something to smile about after getting torched 69-14 at Fresno State last week. Jordan Webb's 9-yard TD run with 9 seconds left completed a comeback from a 28-14 fourth quarter deficit and the Buffaloes prevailed 35-34 at Washington State. Colorado owns a share of the South division lead while Mike Leach's team slides to the basement.

18th-ranked USC rebounded from its loss to Stanford with a 27-9 home victory over Cal, while Arizona State tallied a surprisingly easy 37-7 win over visiting Utah.

The Big Ten had difficulties almost everywhere. Central Michigan upset Iowa 32-31 when the Chippewas scored a touchdown with 45 seconds left to pull within 2 and, after missing the 2-point conversion, recovered the perfectly executed onside kick to set up the 47-yard game-winning field goal.

Illinois was lambasted 52-24 at home by Louisiana Tech.

Additionally, No. 20 Michigan State needed a 14-0 fourth quarter to put away Eastern Michigan 23-7, and 26th-ranked Ohio State downed No. 115 UAB 29-15 after leading by just 6 points more than halfway through the final period. Nebraska, the conference's highest-rated team at No. 19, defeated FCS member Idaho State 73-7.

Don't look now, but Minnesota and Northwestern are each 4-0 and own the best records in the Legends division of the Big Ten. The Golden Gophers beat Syracuse 17-10 while the Wildcats defeated FCS member South Dakota 38-7.

It wasn't a great day for the Big East, either. USF lost 31-27 at Ball State, UConn fell 30-24 at Western Michigan, Temple was knocked off 24-13 at Penn State and Syracuse was beaten 17-10 at Minnesota. The bright spots were Louisville's 28-21 win at FIU to avenge last year's loss to the Golden Panthers, and Rutgers' win at Arkansas. Pitt defeated FCS member Gardner-Webb 55-10 while Cincinnati was idle as it prepares to face Virginia Tech at FedEx Field in the nation's capital this week.

A ridiculous game of streaks took place in the Miami-Georgia Tech game in Atlanta. The Hurricanes scored the first 19 points of the game, then surrendered 36 unanswered points to the Yellow Jackets, only to come back and score the final 23 points for a wild 42-36 overtime win.

Nevada embarrassed Hawaii 69-24 in Honolulu in a Mountain West game.

In an interesting intersectional game between two respected teams of non-AQ BCS conference, Tulsa rallied for a 27-26 win over visiting Fresno State.

Schools from the WAC went 2-2 in games vs. the Mountain West. The WAC won a couple of road trips as San Jose State edged San Diego State 38-34 and Utah State downed Colorado State 31-19. Mountain West teams returned the favor as New Mexico won 27-14 at rival New Mexico State and Wyoming left Idaho with a 40-37 overtime win.

MAC teams fared well, but only Central Michigan's win over Iowa was a genuine upset. The computer called Western Michigan's defeat of UConn and practically everyone had Northern Illinois beating Kansas. Even Ball State's win over USF wasn't that surprising to the computer which forecasted the Bulls, but by a mere 2.24 points. The biggest surprises were how long Akron and Eastern Michigan managed to hang with Tennessee and Eastern Michigan. The Zips trailed by just 30-26 early in the 4th quarter before the Vols ended the game on a 17-0 run. And the Eagles never fell behind the Spartans by more than 2 points until almost midway through the 4th quarter.

On Thursday night, BYU failed to convert a 2-point pass attempt after scoring the only offensive touchdown of the game with 3:37 remaining in the contest at Boise State and the Broncos ran out the clock for a 7-6 victory. Defensive end Michael Atkinson scored the lone touchdown for the Broncos when he intercepted a Riley Nelson pass and rumbled 36 yards to paydirt, breaking a scoreless tie on the third play of the second half. BYU's only sustained drive of the night was engineered by freshman QB Taysom Hill who replaced Riley Nelson after numerous turnovers.

The college football week began on Wednesday night with Kent State taking a 23-7 MAC win at Buffalo.

FBS vs. FCS:
FBS teams went 11-0 versus their FCS counterparts to improve to 85-9 (.904) on the season. Since 2003, FBS schools are 723-64 (.919) in such games.

FBS teams have already lost 3 more games this season to FCS schools than in all of 2011 when they were 91-6 (.938).

This year, 101 FBS teams play a total of 108 games against FCS foes. UTSA is in its first year of transitioning from the FCS and plays 4 such schools. Cincinnati, Florida State, Pittsburgh and Texas A&M each play two such games.

Here are the results of the FBS losses to FCS schools this season:
9/15: Cal Poly 24, Wyoming 22
9/8: Sacramento State 30, Colorado 28
9/8: North Dakota State 22, Colorado State 7
9/8: Illinois State 31, Eastern Michigan 17
9/8: Northern Arizona 17, UNLV 14
9/1: Youngstown State 31, Pittsburgh 17
9/1: Tennessee-Martin 20, Memphis 17
8/30: McNeese State 27, Middle Tennessee 21
8/30: Eastern Washington 20, Idaho 3

TCU - Won 11 straight games overall and 25 straight conference games (24 MWC + 1 in Big 12). Won 27-7 vs. Virginia on Saturday.

Baylor - Won 9 straight games overall. Won 47-42 at Louisiana-Monroe on Friday.

Northern Illinois - Won 8 straight conference games (MAC) and 17 straight home games. Won 30-23 vs. Kansas on Saturday.

LSU - Won 20 straight home games and 40 straight nonconference games (SEC). Won 12-10 at Auburn on Saturday.

Arkansas State - Won 8 straight conference games (Sun Belt). Won 50-0 vs. FCS member Alcorn State on Saturday.

Tulane - Lost 13 straight games overall. Lost 39-0 vs. Ole Miss on Saturday.

Akron - Lost 22 straight road games and 14 straight FBS games. Lost 47-26 at Tennessee on Saturday.

Kansas - Lost 13 straight FBS games. Lost 30-23 at Northern Illinois on Saturday.

New Mexico - Ended a 24-game road losing streak with a 27-14 win at rival New Mexico State on Saturday.

Mississippi - Lost 14 straight conference games (SEC). Won 39-0 at Tulane on Saturday.

28 teams have a new college football coach in the FBS ranks this season. Last season saw 24 new head coaches, 10 of whom matched or exceeded the W-L record of their predecessors' final season.

Here are this week's games for each new head coach:

Team Coach Game
Akron Terry Bowden (1-3) Lost 47-26 Saturday at Tennessee
Arizona Rich Rodriguez (3-1) Lost 49-0 Saturday at Oregon
Arizona State Todd Graham (3-1) Won 37-7 Saturday vs. Utah
Arkansas John L. Smith (1-3) Lost 35-26 Saturday vs. Rutgers
Arkansas State Gus Malzahn (2-2) Won 50-0 Saturday vs. Alcorn State (FCS)
Colorado State Jim McElwain (1-3) Lost 31-19 Saturday vs. Utah State
FAU Carl Pellini (1-3) Lost 40-7 Saturday at Alabama
Fresno State Tim DeRuyter (2-2) Lost 27-26 Saturday at Tulsa
Hawaii Norm Chow (1-2) Lost 69-24 Saturday vs. Nevada
Houston Tony Levine (0-3) Idle this week. Meets Rice on 9/29 at Reliant Stadium
Illinois Tim Beckman (2-2) Lost 52-24 Saturday vs. Louisiana Tech
Kansas Charlie Weis (1-3) Lost 30-23 Saturday at Northern Illinois
Massachusetts Charley Molnar (0-4) Lost 27-16 Saturday at Miami, O.
Memphis Justin Fuente (0-4) Lost 38-14 Saturday at Duke
Mississippi Hugh Freeze (3-1) Won 39-0 Saturday at Tulane
New Mexico Bob Davie (2-2) Won 27-14 Saturday at New Mexico State
North Carolina Larry Fedora (2-2) Won 27-6 Saturday vs. East Carolina
Ohio State Urban Meyer (4-0) Won 29-15 Saturday vs. UAB
Penn State Bill O'Brien (2-2) Won 24-13 Saturday vs. Temple
Pittsburgh Paul Chryst (2-2) Won 55-10 Saturday vs. Gardner-Webb (FCS)
Rutgers Kyle Flood (4-0) Won 35-26 Saturday at Arkansas
Southern Miss Ellis Johnson (0-3) Lost 42-17 Saturday at Western Kentucky
Texas A&M Kevin Sumlin (2-1) Won 70-14 Saturday vs. South Carolina State (FCS)
Toledo Matt Campbell (3-1) Won 38-28 Saturday vs. Coastal Carolina (FCS)
Tulane Curtis Johnson (0-3) Lost 39-0 Saturday vs. Ole Miss
UAB Garrick McGee (0-3) Lost 29-15 Saturday at Ohio State
UCLA Jim Mora (3-1) Lost 27-20 Saturday vs. Oregon State
Washington State Mike Leach (2-2) Lost 35-34 Saturday vs. Colorado


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