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Sooners Storm Longhorns; 'Huskers Rally Past Buckeyes

Virginia Tech wins thriller over Miami; Gators get chomped again

by Dave Congrove
October 9, 2011

In my weekly pre-game article, I labeled this as a "make or break week" for several teams and no game had bigger implications riding on the outcome than the Red River Rivalry game in the Cotton Bowl between Texas and Oklahoma.

The Longhorns were a huge underdog by more than 18 points in the Congrove Computer Rankings' analysis, the largest computer margin I can remember in this particular annual matchup. I checked records back to 1998 and each of the last 13 games had forecasted margins of 8 points or less. The question was posed as to whether or not Oklahoma was really that much better than Texas, and the resounding answer in a 55-17 butt-kicking was "yes".

It is the 3rd-most points that the Sooners have ever scored on Oklahoma, which also happens to represent the 3rd-highest point total that either team has ever scored in the 106 meetings.

Nebraska trailed Ohio State at home 27-6 midway through the 3rd quarter before rallying for a 34-27 win. It goes down as the biggest comeback in 'Husker history and drops the Buckeyes to 0-2 in the Big Ten. It was the first-ever home game for Nebraska as a member of the Big Ten.

Virginia Tech avoided its first 0-2 conference start under Frank Beamer with a dramatic 38-35 win over Miami, instead sending the 'Canes to an 0-2 ACC beginning. QB Logan Thomas had 3 TD passes and 2 TD runs, including the 19-yard game-winner with 56 seconds left. Miami had just taken its only lead with 2:51 remaining in a contest that saw 35 points light up the scoreboard in the final period. Thomas finished 23-of-25 for 310 yards.

Florida State joined Miami at 0-2 in the ACC with a 35-30 loss at Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are tied with Clemson for the ACC Atlantic division lead.

Florida followed up last week's 38-10 home loss to Alabama by getting smashed 41-11 at LSU. That loss, combined with victories by South Carolina and Georgia, drops the Gators to 3rd in the SEC East with a 1-2 conference mark. The Gamecocks and Bulldogs are both 2-1 in SEC play with South Carolina owning the tie-breaking win over Georgia.

LSU remains tied atop the SEC West with Alabama which blanked Vanderbilt 34-0, but Auburn saw its 10-game conference winning streak come to a close with a 38-14 loss at Arkansas.

Don't look now, but Rutgers has joined West Virginia atop the Big East standings after a 34-10 thumping of Pitt. The Mountaineers kept pace with the Scarlet Knights by pulling away from struggling UConn in the second half for a 43-16 win.

Texas A&M built an 11-point halftime lead at Texas Tech and didn't blow it, though the 45-40 win wasn't secured until an onside kick was recovered with 38 seconds left to play. The Red Raiders join Texas as the only teams (out of 15) to get bumped from the undefeated list on Saturday.

On Friday, Boise State was unchallenged at Fresno State and the Broncos remained undefeated with a 57-7 runaway.

Maryland came close at Georgia Tech, but the 21-16 win makes the Yellow Jackets 6-0 for the first time 1966.

Missouri's attempted comeback at Kansas State fell short in a 24-17 loss, making the Wildcats 6-0 for the first time since 2000.

The other unbeaten teams won by routs as Oklahoma State blasted Kansas 70-28, Stanford tore through Colorado 48-7, Michigan rallied past Northwestern 42-24, Clemson clubbed Boston College 36-14 and Houston crushed East Carolina 56-3.

Illinois is 6-0 for the first time 1951 after beating Indianan 41-20. Wisconsin was idle.

Michigan and Stanford are undefeated with new head coaches at the helm in Brady Hoke and David Shaw, respectively.

Speaking of new head coaches, Mark Hudspeth has Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns off to a 5-1 start overall and 3-0 in the Sun Belt. Arkansas State (4-2, 2-0) is the only other Sun Belt team without a conference loss. His team walloped Troy 31-17 on Saturday to end a 5-game losing streak to the Trojans. The school hasn't won more than 6 games in a season since 1993 when it finished 8-3.

Southern Miss won 63-35 at Navy and the Midshipmen have lost three straight games for the first time since 2002. The Golden Eagles are 5-1 for the first time since 2004.

COMPUTER ACCURACY:
The Congrove Computer Rankings weekly forecast went 41-11 and has correctly picked 78% of all games played this season.

FBS vs. FCS:
For the first time this season, there were no games on the schedule that pitted FBS teams against FCS schools. For the year, FBS teams are 83-6 (.933), improving their record to 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 Utah41, 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.

STREAKS:
Boise State - Won 57-7 vs. Fresno State. Has streaks of 7 overall wins, 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 Colorado State on Saturday).

Stanford - Won 48-7 vs. Colorado. 13 straight wins overall. (Next: at Washington State on Saturday).

Oklahoma - Won 55-17 vs. Texas at Dallas. 10 straight wins overall and 39 straight home victories. (Next: at Kansas on Saturday).

TCU - Won 27-14 at San Diego State. 19-game conference winning streak. (Next: vs. New Mexico on Saturday, October 22).

Virginia Tech - Won 38-35 vs. Miami. 9-game road winning streak. (Next: at Wake Forest on Saturday).

Memphis - Lost 28-6 at Rice. 14 straight losses vs. FBS schools. (Next: vs. East Carolina on Saturday).

New Mexico - idle. 8 straight losses overall and 17 straight road losses. (Next: at Nevada on October 15).

FAU - Lost 31-17 at North Texas. 8 straight losses overall. (Next: vs. Western Kentucky on Saturday).

Colorado - Lost 48-7 at Stanford. 19 straight road losses. (Next: at Washington on Saturday).

NEW COACHES:
On September 25, New Mexico fired Mike Locksley and named defensive coordinator George Barlow as interim head coach through the end of the season.

24 FBS teams entered the college football season with a new head coach. 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. 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.

Four games this past week sent new head coaches against each other - Temple at Ball State, Colorado at Stanford, Connecticut at West Virginia and Kent State at Northern Illinois.

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

Team Coach Game
Arkansas State Hugh Freeze (4-2) Won 24-19 at La.-Monroe
Ball State Pete Lembo (3-3) Lost 42-0 vs. Temple
Colorado Jon Embree (1-5) Lost 48-7 at Stanford
Connecticut Paul Pasqualoni (2-4) Lost 43-16 at West Virginia
Florida Will Muschamp (4-2) Lost 41-11 at LSU
Indiana Kevin Wilson (1-5) Lost 41-20 vs. Illinois
Kent State Darrell Hazell (1-5) Lost 40-10 at Northern Illinois
Louisiana-Lafayette Mark Hudspeth (5-1) Won 31-17 vs. Troy
Maryland Randy Edsall (2-3) Lost 21-16 at Georgia Tech
Miami (Fla.) Al Golden (2-3) Lost 38-35 at Virginia Tech
Miami (O.) Don Treadwell (1-4) Won 35-28 vs. Army
Michigan Brady Hoke (6-0) Won 42-24 at Northwestern
Minnesota Jerry Kill (1-5) Lost 45-17 at Purdue
North Carolina Everett Withers (Interim) (5-1) Won 14-7 vs. Louisville
North Texas Dan McCarney (2-4) Won 31-17 vs. FAU
Northern Illinois Dave Doeren (3-3) Won 40-10 vs. Kent State
Ohio State Luke Fickell (Interim) (3-3) Lost 34-27 at Nebraska
Pittsburgh Todd Graham (3-3) Lost 34-10 at Rutgers
San Diego St. Rocky Long (3-2) Lost 27-14 vs. TCU
Stanford David Shaw (5-0) Won 48-7 vs. Colorado
Temple Steve Addazio (4-2) Won 42-0 at Ball State
Tulsa Bill Blankenship (2-3) Idle
Vanderbilt James Franklin (3-2) Lost 34-0 at Alabama
West Virginia Dana Holgorsen (5-1) Won 43-16 vs. Connecticut