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College Football Season

Oklahoma, Georgia Among Big Winners; USC Fires Kiffin

Stanford Moves Back Into 1st In CCR Top 125

by Dave Congrove
September 29, 2013

Before the USC game even ended, I knew I was going to have to write that Lane Kiffin likely wouldn't last the season. Athletic Director Pat Haden was one step ahead of me and decided Kiffin couldn't stay in his post as head coach for another day.

Kiffin was taken off the team bus and fired after landing in L.A., following a 62-41 loss at Arizona State that dropped USC to 0-2 in the PAC-12. It was the Trojan's 7th loss in their last 11 games. The one promising unit this season had been the defense, but the 62 points they surrendered to the Sun Devils ties for the most points allowed in the history of the program, tying the mark reached by Oregon last year.

Apparently, about the same time I was considering just how long Kiffin might last, Haden and his bosses had pretty much made up their minds as the decision was made during the 3rd quarter of the game. Thus, Kiffin leaves his dream job with a nightmare ending and it doesn't come as a surprise, or a disappointment, to most observers.

Tennessee administrators and fans are likely rejoicing and thanking Karma for a job well done because of the disrespectful manner in which he left Knoxville. The Vols are still trying to recover after his single season produced a 7-6 record that culminated in a 37-14 blowout loss to Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Anyone left in the Oakland Raider organization probably feels further vindicated that Kiffin was fired from that job after going 5-15. The late Al Davis said, "It hurts because I picked the guy. I picked the wrong guy."

Kiffin's overall record at USC was 28-15, including a 17-12 conference mark. The 2011 team would have played for the PAC-12 title were it not for probation tied to the Pete Carroll-led Reggie Bush years. But the 2012 squad that was widely expected to contend for the national title finished 7-6 after losing 5-of-6 down the stretch. USC is 1-5 in its last 6 conference games.

Ed Orgeron will serve as interim head coach. He was Kiffin's associate head coach, recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach. Orgeron's 3-year stint as head coach at Ole Miss produced a 10–25 record and a dismal 3–21 SEC mark from 2005-2007.

Kiffin's firing overshadowed a weekend of games that saw Oklahoma beat Notre Dame for the first time since 1956, Georgia topple LSU, West Virginia upset Oklahoma State, South Carolina escape UCF, Alabama overpower Ole Miss, and Ohio State down Wisconsin.

The tight race between Oregon and Stanford continues for the stop in the Congrove Computer Rankings as the Cardinal move back in front. Both teams notched impressive wins over the weekend as Stanford popped Washington State 55-17 in a neutral field game at Seattle, and Oregon crushed Cal 55-16 at home in Eugene. Oregon had topped the rankings the last two weeks after Stanford began the season at No. 1.

The new CCR Top 125, released early Sunday morning, still has Oklahoma 3rd. The Sooners beat Notre Dame 35-21 for their first win over the Irish since 1956.

Alabama jumped from 8th to 4th with its 25-0 home win over SEC West divisional foe Ole Miss. Idle Baylor dropped 1 spot to 5th.

Ohio State, Clemson, LSU, Washington and Florida State round out the top 10.

Miami checks in at No. 11 to give the ACC 3 teams in the top 11. The PAC-12 has 3 in the top 9, and 4 in the top 12.

LSU's loss to Georgia leaves the SEC with only 1 team in the top 13 as the Tigers fell from 6th to 14th and Georgia rose from 20th to 16th. Both schools have 1 loss, whereas the top 13 teams are all undefeated.

The week wrapped up just shy of 4:00 eastern time Sunday morning with Fresno State's 42-37 win at Hawaii in which the Warriors scored 27 straight points and had a last-chance pass for the win get picked off at the 3.

The 48-game schedule kicked off Thursday with Virginia Tech winning 17-10 at Georgia Tech and Iowa State cruising 38-21 at Tulsa, both of which were technically outright upsets.

The number of undefeated teams dwindled from 29 to 20 after weekend losses by LSU, Oklahoma State, Georgia Tech, Arizona, Mississippi, UCF, Minnesota, Navy and Colorado.

Three teams bid the winless list a not-so-fond farewell. First-time winners over the weekend were Idaho, Iowa State and San Diego State.

The computer was 36-12 in picking straight-up winners of FBS vs. FBS games, and's Mike Mitchell was 11-2 to raise his Feature Picks record to 68-5 for the year (he's 40-33 against the spread). The computer was also 4-3 in outright upset picks.

FBS vs. FCS:
There weren't any FBS vs. FCS matchups this week for the first time this season. FBS teams are 81-14 on the year (.853) and 817-79 (.912) since 2003. FCS teams won just 10 games all season a year ago.

106 FBS schools scheduled a total of 110 games against FCS foes in 2013. Clemson and Georgia Tech each scheduled two such schools. FBS newcomer Georgia State scheduled 3 FCS teams and lost to each of them.

Here are the results of the FBS losses to FCS schools this season:
8/29: Towson 33, Connecticut 18
8/29: Southern Utah 22, South Alabama 21
8/30: Samford 31, Georgia State 21
8/30: North Dakota State 24, Kansas State 21
8/31: Northern Iowa 28, Iowa State 20
8/31: Eastern Washington 49, Oregon State 46
8/31: Eastern Illinois 40, San Diego State 18
8/31: McNeese State 53, USF 21
9/7: UT-Chattanooga 42, Georgia State 14
9/7: Maine 24, Massachusetts 14
9/7: Nicholls State 27, Western Michigan 23.
9/14: Fordham 30, Temple 29
9/14: Bethune-Cookman 34, FIU 13
9/21: Jacksonville State 32, Georgia State 26 (OT)

Eastern Washington, McNeese State and North Dakota State also had wins vs. FBS teams last year.

Ohio State - Won 17 straight overall. Won 31-24 vs. Wisconsin on Saturday.

Northern Illinois - Won 22 straight at home and 17 straight vs. conference foes. Won 55-24 at Purdue on Saturday.

LSU - Won 44 straight regular season nonconference games. Lost 44-41 at Georgia on Saturday.

Michigan - Won 17 straight home games. Idle this week.

Oregon - Won 16 straight road games. Won 55-16 vs. Cal on Saturday.

Southern Miss - Lost 16 straight overall. Lost 60-7 at Boise State on Saturday.

New Mexico State - Lost 16 straight overall. Lost 26-16 vs. San Diego State on Saturday.

Akron - Lost 29 straight road games, 26 straight FBS games and 17 straight conference games (MAC). Lost 31-14 at Bowling Green on Saturday.

Kansas - Lost 21 straight conference games and 20 straight road games. Ended 22-game losing streak vs. FBS teams with 13-10 win over Louisiana Tech 2 weeks ago. Idle this week.

UNLV - Ended 23-game road losing streak with a 56-42 victory at New Mexico on Saturday.


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