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Upsets Rule The Day

by Mike Mitchell
September 29, 2007

On a weekend that featured a trio of games among undefeated teams, upsets stole the stage and six of the top ten teams in the CCR Top 119 were beaten - No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 4 West Virginia, No. 5 Texas, No. 6 Florida, No. 9 Rutgers and No. 10 Oregon.

All but Oregon and West Virginia were at least 15-point favorites. The Ducks and Mountaineers were single-digit picks and lost to teams that were also ranked among the top 17. Additionally, their games were two of the three weekend games that featured a pair of undefeated combatants.

The Sooners lost 27-24 at No. 77 Colorado on a 45-yard field goal as time expired. Oklahoma was pulling away early in the second half after picking off a Colorado pass at mid-field and returning it 33 yards to the Buffs' 17. A touchdown run on the next play gave the Sooners a 24-7 lead. The Buffaloes, however, limited Oklahoma's potent offense to only 39 more yards the rest of the half while scoring the last 20 points of the game.

The Longhorns followed suit with a 41-21 blowout loss at home to No. 38 Kansas State. Unlike Oklahoma in its loss, Texas never led the game. After the Longhorns tied the game at 14-14 in the second quarter, the Wildcats returned the ensuing kick-off 85 yards for a touchdown and never surrendered the lead again. The Wildcats added an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter. Texas is now just 2-4 against Kansas State in Big 12 games. The Sooners and 'Horns meet next week in Dallas in the annual Red River Rivalry.

The Mountaineers lost 21-13 at No. 17 USF on Friday night (CFP Was There! - Exclusive Story, Photos).

The Gators fell 20-17 to No. 43 Auburn in "The Swamp" on a 43-yard field goal as final 3 seconds ticked off the clock. The Tigers actually made the field goal twice, but Florida managed to get a time-out called just as the ball was being snapped on the first attempt. The Gators have lost just two of their last 21 games and Auburn did the deed on both occasions. This time, the Tigers handed Florida its first loss at home in 17 games under Urban Meyer. They also snapped Florida's 11-game winning streak. However, anyone with a short memory should be reminded that last season's loss to Auburn still didn't prevent Florida from winning the BCS title.

The Scarlet Knights lost 34-24 at home to No. 57 Maryland.

California edge Oregon 31-24 when the Ducks committed three turnovers in the closing minutes. The first mistake was an interception at its own 21-yard line that set-up Cal's go-ahead score with just over three minutes remaining. Oregon's next possession ended with an interception at the California 20-yard line. And the final Oregon threat was halted at the goal line when the Ducks fumbled the ball through the end zone with 11 seconds remaining in the game. It was Cal's first win at Oregon since 1987, breaking a 7-game losing streak on the Ducks' home field.

In the other game that featured head-to-head competition among undefeated teams, Wisconsin eked past Michigan State 37-34 in Madison. The Spartans had two opportunities to rally in the closing minutes. After they missed a 53-yard field goal wide left, Michigan State's final drive stalled at the Badgers' 38-yard line.

No. 3 USC barely survived the fallout, edging No. 62 Washington 27-24. The Trojans had to recover an onside kick to secure the win after the Huskies closed to within 3 points with 34 seconds left.

Top-ranked LSU only led No. 103 Tulane 10-9 at the half, but outscored the Green Wave 24-0 after intermission for a 34-9 win.

UCLA scored 40 unanswered points to dig out of an early 14-0 hole and beat Oregon State 40-14. The Bruins went from a 14-12 deficit to a 40-14 lead in a seven-minute span in the fourth quarter.

20th-ranked Clemson fell at No. 36 Georgia Tech 13-3.

Elsewhere: Illinois handed Penn State a 27-20 setback, Florida State got past Alabama 21-14, and SMU blew a 28-7 lead to lose to UTEP in overtime 48-45.

UNBEATEN TEAMS
The weekend began with 23 undefeated teams, but all of the weekend carnage left us with just 15. They are ( in alphabetical order): Arizona State, Boston College, California, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, LSU, Missouri, Ohio State, Purdue, USC, USF and Wisconsin.

WINLESS TEAMS
Middle Tennessee State was the only school that picked up its first win of the season. The Red Raiders handed Sun Belt foe FIU its 17th straight loss, 47-6.

10 schools are still looking for their first victory: Colorado State, FIU, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Marshall, North Texas, Notre Dame, Rice, Temple, and Utah State.

7 others have yet to beat a team from the bowl subdivision: Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, North Carolina, North Carolina State, San Diego State and UAB.

Arizona, Army, Fresno State and Nevada each picked up their first win over a FBS team this weekend. The Wildcats beat Washington State 48-20, Fresno State beat Louisiana Tech 17-6, the Black Knights picked on winless Temple 37-21, and the Wolf Pack victimized state rival UNLV 27-20.

1-A vs. 1-AA
The divisions were re-named late last year. 1-A was given the new moniker of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) while 1-AA was labeled the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

Six teams played FCS schools this week and, for the first time all year, came away without a single loss. Bowl Subdivision teams are now 59-8 against FCS teams this year.

The eight losses are:
Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32 (Week 1)
Nicholls State 16, Rice 14 (Week 1)
Northern Iowa 24, Iowa State 13 (Week 2)
Southern Illinois 34, Northern Illinois 31 (Week 2)
New Hampshire 48, Marshall 35 (Week 3)
McNeese State 38, Louisiana-Lafayette 17 (Week 3)
North Dakota State 44, Central Michigan 14 (Week 4)
Western Kentucky 20, Middle Tennessee 17 (Week 4)

Western Kentucky is currently in transition to become the ninth Sun Belt Conference football playing institution and the 120th Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) member. The Hilltoppers will play six SBC teams in 2008 and will be eligible for the conference title and a bowl berth in 2009.

Bowl subdivision teams were 71-7 in 2006 against FCS schools. Since 2003, FBS teams are 279-33 (.894) in such games.

This season, 78 bowl subdivision teams face schools from the championship subdivision. WAC members New Mexico State and Hawaii double-dip. The Aggies defeated Southeastern Louisiana 35-14 in their season-opener, and squeaked by Arkansas-Pine Bluff 20-17 Saturday on a 37-yard field goal with 1 second left. The Warriors trounced Northern Colorado 63-6 in their opener, and clobbered Charleston Southern 66-10 on Sept. 22.

STREAKS
USC has the nation's longest home winning streak at 35 games. The Trojans won 47-14 at home over Washington State.

Boise State has won 39 consecutive regular season home games. The Broncos also have a perfect home record against their fellow WAC conference members (24-0). Boise State beat Southern Miss 38-16 on Thursday night.

Wisconsin owns the nation's current longest winning streak at 14 games. The Badgers beat Michigan State 37-34.

LSU won its 12th straight game, 34-9 over Tulane.

Florida saw its 11-game winning streak come to an end with a 20-17 home loss to Auburn.

FIU owns the nation's longest current losing streak at 17 games. The Golden Panthers lost 47-6 at Middle Tennessee.

Colorado State has lost 11 straight after falling 24-12 at TCU.

Utah State has also lost 11 straight. The Aggies lost 34-18 at rival Utah.

N.C. State has lost 11 straight to FBS teams. The Wolfpack lost 29-10 at home to Louisville.

NEW COACHES
The 2006 season featured 11 new head coaches. Five led their team to a bowl game.

This year, there are 24 coaching changes for the highest number since 2001 when there were 25. We'll track their progress throughout the season.

This week, there were three games where new coaches faced each other - Arizona State won 41-3 at Stanford, Tulsa downed UAB 38-30 at home, and Louisville won 29-10 at N.C. State.

Here is how each of the new coaches are faring, in order, by won-loss record.

Arizona State, 5-0 under Dennis Erickson, won 41-3 at Stanford.
Boston College, 5-0 under Jeff Jagodzinski, won 24-14 at home over FCS member UMass.
Cincinnati, 5-0 under Brian Kelly, won 52-23 at San Diego State.
Indiana, 4-1 under Bill Lynch, won 38-20 at Iowa.
Miami (Fla.), 4-1 under Randy Shannon, won 24-14 at home over Duke.
Michigan State, 4-1 under Mark Dantonio, lost 37-34 at Wisconsin.
Tulsa, 3-1 under Todd Graham, won 38-30 at home over UAB.
Air Force, 3-2 under Troy Calhoun, lost 31-20 at Navy.
Alabama, 3-2 under Nick Saban, lost 21-14 to Florida State at Jacksonville.
Louisville, 3-2 under Steve Kragthorpe, won 29-10 at N.C. State.
Army, 2-3 under Stan Brock, won 37-21 at home over Temple.
Central Michigan, 2-3 under Butch Jones, won 35-10 at home over Northern Illinois.
Louisiana Tech, 1-3 under Derek Dooley, lost 17-6 at Fresno State.
Stanford, 1-3 under Jim Harbaugh, lost 41-3 at home to Arizona State.
Tulane, 1-3 under Bob Toledo, lost 34-9 at home to LSU.
UAB, 1-3 under Neil Callaway, lost 38-30 at Tulsa.
Idaho, 1-4 under Robb Akey, lost 48-20 at home to Hawaii.
Iowa State, 1-4 under Gene Chizik, lost 35-17 at Nebraska.
Minnesota, 1-4 under Tim Brewster, lost 30-7 at home to Ohio State.
North Carolina, 1-4 under Butch Davis, lost 17-10 at Virginia Tech.
N.C. State, 1-4 under Tom O'Brien, lost 29-10 at home to Louisville.
North Texas, 0-4 under Todd Dodge, lost 66-7 at Arkansas.
Rice, 0-4 under David Bailiff, was idle.
FIU, 0-5 under Mario Cristobal, lost 47-6 at Middle Tennessee.



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