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College Football Season

Undefeated List Shrinks To 15

Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Florida and South Carolina Among Those To Suffer First Defeat

by Dave Congrove
October 2, 2011

As the great Jerry Butler sang many years ago, "Only the Strong Survive". Five contests on Saturday pitted undefeated teams against each other and the survivors were Alabama, Wisconsin, Clemson, Texas and Kansas State. Only the latter team won by fewer than 20 points.

At Manhattan, Baylor QB Robert Griffin III threw his first interception of the season on 2nd-and-10 with under 6 minutes remaining in the game. Four plays later, the Wildcats converted a field goal for what proved to be the final points of the game in a 36-35 win. Baylor was looking to become 4-0 for the first time since 1991. Kansas State lost six of its final nine games after reaching 4-0 last year.

Kansas State joins four other teams in the Big 12 that have yet to lose a game - Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech.

The Longhorns knocked Iowa State off the list in a rude 37-14 fashion at Ames where the Cyclones were striving for their first 4-0 start since 2000. Iowa State never had a chance as Texas scored 34 points before the Cyclones got on the scoreboard.

Clemson handed Virginia Tech its first loss ever in an opening ACC contest. The 23-3 upset in Blacksburg makes the Tigers 5-0 for the first time since 2000 and snaps a 5-game losing streak to the Hokies.

Georgia Tech is the only other undefeated team in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets staved off N.C. State 45-35 in Raleigh.

In Gainesville, Alabama scored the final 35 points of the game to chomp Florida 38-10. But Auburn handed South Carolina its first loss of the season by a 16-13 count in Columbia, sending the Gators and Gamecocks into a 3-way tie for first in the SEC East with Georgia which beat Mississippi State 24-10 in Athens.

Wisconsin was anything but friendly in welcoming Nebraska to the Big Ten as the 'Huskers were trounced 48-17 in their first conference game. The Badgers improved to 5-0 to match Illinois in the Leaders Division. The Fighting Illini won the Land Of Lincoln trophy with a 38-35 comeback win over Northwestern. Illinois trailed 28-10 halfway through the 3rd quarter.

USF absorbed its first setback of the season in a 44-17 rout by Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

In other games:

- Michigan State beat Ohio State 10-7 for its first win in Columbus since 1998.

- Syracuse went to overtime for the third time this season in a 19-16 loss to Rutgers.

- Navy rallied from a 28-10 deficit in the 4th quarter to force overtime with Air Force, but the Falcons prevailed 35-34. The game was the first battle this season in the round-robin competition between the three major military academies for the Commander-in-CHief's trophy. Air Force dethroned Navy last year after the Middies possessed the hardware for seven consecutive seasons. The Falcons host Army on November 5.

- Texas A&M blew an 18-point halftime lead in a 42-38 loss to Arkansas at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. Just last week, the Aggies blew a 17-point halftime lead in a loss at home to Oklahoma State.

- Utah State fell to 1-3 with a 27-24 come-from-ahead loss at BYU on Friday night. The three Aggie losses have been by a total of 8 points to Auburn, Colorado State and the Cougars. Meanwhile, BYU's 3 victories have been by a total of 11 points over Ole Miss, UCF and Utah State.

- Washington State improved to 3-1 with a 31-27 comeback win at Colorado. The Cougars trailed 27-17 until scoring 14 points in the final 3:03, sandwiched around a 1-play Colorado possession on which they fumbled. The victory assures Paul Wulff of at least a 3-win season for the first time since taking over the program in 2008. Washington State won a total of 5 games in his first 3 seasons.

- Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns continue to be the surprise team of the Sun Belt. They are 4-1 overall and 2-0 in conference play after edging FAU 37-34 in Lafayette.

- Temple apparently couldn't come back down to Earth after a 38-7 crushing of Maryland last week. The Owls lost 36-13 at home to Toledo.

- TCU's comeback fell short at home against metroplex rival SMU. The Horned Frogs made up a 16-point difference in the last 11:20 of regulation, only to lose 40-33 in overtime and end their home game winning streak at 22 games. It was just the second victory for SMU in the series over the last 12 meetings, yet TCU only leads the series 44-39-7.

- Connecticut fell to 2-3 under first-year head coach Paul Pasqualoini after Western Michigan beat the Huskies in East Hartford 38-31.

22 teams entered Saturday undefeated and only 15 remain - Clemson and Georgia Tech in the ACC; Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin in the Big Ten; Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech in the Big 12; Houston in Conference USA; Boise State in the Mountain West; Stanford in the PAC-12; plus Alabama and LSU in the SEC.

Losing for the first time this weekend were Baylor, Florida, Iowa State, Nebraska, South Carolina, USF and Virginia Tech.

Without Boise State, the WAC has only one team with an overall record above .500 and half the schools have just one victory. Hawaii is 3-2 while Fresno State, New Mexico State and San Jose State are 2-3. The WAC's eight remaining members are a cumulative 9-21 in nonconference games.

Conversely, the Big 12 members are 27-3 in nonconference games.

The Congrove Computer Rankings weekly forecast went 35-20 and has correctly picked 78% of all games played this season.

FBS vs. FCS:
FBS teams were 2-0 (1.000) against FCS schools this week to raise their record to 83-6 (.933) for the season and 630-55 (.920) in such games since 2003.

Here are the results of the FBS losses to FCS schools this season:
9/24: North Dakota St. 37, Minnesota 24
9/24: Sam Houston State 48, New Mexico 45 (OT)
9/24: Southern Utah 41, UNLV 16
9/17: Indiana State 44, Western Kentucky 16
9/3: Richmond 23, Duke 21
9/3: Sacramento State 29, Oregon State 28

93 FBS teams play a total of 97 games against FCS foes this year. Four schools play two such games - Air Force, Eastern Michigan, N.C. State and Wyoming.

Boise State - Won 30-10 vs. Nevada. Has streaks of 34 home wins, 64 regular season home wins, and 46 straight conference home victories. BSU joins the Mountain West this season and leaves the WAC having never lost at home to a fellow WAC member (40-0). The Broncos' last home loss to a conference foe occurred in 1998 when they were a member of the Big West and fell to Idaho in the final regular season game. The Broncos are 7-1 in their last eight matches with BCS conference schools. (Next: at Fresno State on Friday).

Stanford - Won 45-19 vs. UCLA. 12 straight wins overall. (Next: hosts Colorado on Saturday).

Oklahoma - Won 62-6 vs. Ball State. 9 straight wins overall and 39 straight home victories. (Next: vs. Texas at Dallas on Saturday).

TCU - Lost 40-33 vs. SMU in OT. Snapped 22-game home winning streak. Horned Frogs still have an 18-game conference winning streak. (Next: at San Diego State on Saturday).

Virginia Tech - Lost 23-3 vs. Clemson. Ended streaks of 14 regular season wins (excludes ACC Championship game win) and 12 straight conference wins. The Hokies still have a streak of 9 straight road wins. (Next: hosts Miami on Saturday).

Memphis - Lost 38-31 at Middle Tennessee. 13 straight losses vs. FBS schools. (Next: at Rice on Saturday).

New Mexico - Lost 42-28 vs. New Mexico State. 8 straight losses overall and 17 straight road losses. (Next: at Nevada on October 15).

Colorado - 18 straight road losses. (Next: at Stanford on Saturday).

24 teams have a new college football coach in the FBS ranks this season. Last season saw 23 new head coaches, only 8 of whom matched or exceeded the W-L record of their predecessors' final season.

Two of the schools with a new head coach are undefeated, thus far - Michigan and Stanford . Florida lost for the first time this week. The new head coaches are a cumulative 51-41, but only 14 of them have defeated a school from the "Big 6" conferences - Ball State, Florida, Maryland, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, North Carolina, North Texas, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, Stanford, Temple, Vanderbilt and West Virginia.

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

Team Coach Game
Arkansas State Hugh Freeze (3-2) Won 26-22 at Western Kentucky
Ball State Pete Lembo (3-2) Lost 62-6 at Oklahoma
Colorado Jon Embree (1-4) Lost 31-27 vs. Washington State
Connecticut Paul Pasqualoni (2-3) Lost 38-31 vs. Western Michigan
Florida Will Muschamp (4-1) Lost 38-10 vs. Alabama
Indiana Kevin Wilson (1-4) Lost 16-10 vs. Penn State
Kent State Darrell Hazell (1-4) Lost 17-10 at Ohio
Louisiana-Lafayette Mark Hudspeth (4-1) Won 37-34 vs. FAU
Maryland Randy Edsall (2-2) Won 28-3 vs. FCS member Towson
Miami (Fla.) Al Golden (2-2) Won 45-14 vs. FCS member Bethune-Cookman
Miami (O.) Don Treadwell (0-4) Lost 27-0 vs. Cincinnati
Michigan Brady Hoke (5-0) Won 58-0 vs. Minnesota
Minnesota Jerry Kill (1-4) Lost 58-0 at Michigan
North Carolina Everett Withers (Interim) (4-1) Won 35-20 at East Carolina
North Texas Dan McCarney (1-4) Lost 41-24 at Tulsa
Northern Illinois Dave Doeren (2-3) Lost 48-41 at Central Michigan
Ohio State Luke Fickell (Interim) (3-2) Lost 10-7 vs. Michigan State
Pittsburgh Todd Graham (3-2) Won 44-17 vs. USF
San Diego St. Rocky Long (3-1) Idle
Stanford David Shaw (4-0) Won 45-19 vs. UCLA
Temple Steve Addazio (3-2) Lost 36-13 vs. Toledo
Tulsa Bill Blankenship (2-3) Won 41-24 vs. North Texas
Vanderbilt James Franklin (3-1) Idle
West Virginia Dana Holgorsen (4-1) Won 55-10 vs. Bowling Green


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