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'Bama Falls at South Carolina; Unbeaten List Shrinks from 18 to 13

by Dave Congrove
October 10, 2010

In Tuscaloosa, it sounded like the thud heard 'round the world. In Columbia, it sounded like sweet music to the ears.

South Carolina pulled off the biggest upset in its college football history by defeating Alabama 35-21. More surprising than the Gamecocks' win was how thorough the victory was. The Crimson Tide scored first for a 3-0 lead, but never led again and never came closer than 7 points after the 1:06 mark in the 1st quarter.

In the process, Alabama saw its overall winning streak end at 19 games, its SEC winning streak halted at 18 games, and its regular season winning streak cease at 29 games.

Alabama fell from No. 2 to No. 8 in the Congrove Computer Rankings, same as the Coaches' and Sportswriters' polls. South Carolina rose from 26th to 20th. The Gamecocks (4-1) lost 35-27 at Auburn in their last game on September 25.

'Bama was one of five teams to experience defeat for the first time in 2010 as Arizona, Kansas State, Michigan and Northwestern also fell over the weekend, reducing the number of undefeated teams to 13.

Arizona fell from 13th to 24th after its 29-27 home loss to Oregon State.

Kansas State was blown out 48-13 at home by Nebraska, dropping the Wildcats from 38th to 46th while lifting the Cornhuskers from 7th to 6th.

Michigan dropped from No. 24 to No. 35 after a 34-17 loss to Michigan State. The Spartans climbed from 21 to No. 18 after they claimed their third straight win over the Wolverines.

Northwestern took a dive from 22nd to 34th after a 20-17 upset loss at then-No. 82 Purdue. The Boilermakers (3-2) are still only ranked 75th.

LSU continues to live a charmed existence, scoring another last-minute win. Last week, the Tigers needed a second-chance 1-yard run as time expired to beat Tennessee 16-14. This week, LSU scored a 3-yard pass with 6 seconds left for a 33-29 victory at Florida. LSU climbed from No. 12 to No. 9 while and the Gators dropped from No. 9 to No. 21 after their second consecutive loss.

Auburn inches up from 11th to 10th with its 37-34 win at Kentucky. The Tigers saw a 31-14 lead disappear into a tied ballgame, but pulled out the win with a 24-yard walk-off field goal.

Stanford rose two spots from 18th to 16th after a walk-off field goal gave the Cardinal a 37-35 win over USC.

Perhaps the biggest upset of the weekend happened at Penn State where the computer's 19.08-point underdog Fighting Illini thrashed Penn State 33-13. The Nittany Lions plummeted from 35th to 53rd after the setback. Illinois rose from 74th to 61st.

Arkansas moved upward in the rankings from 16th to 15th following its 24-17 victory over Teas A&M at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Florida State registered a 45-17 blowout win at Miami, knocking the Hurricanes from 17th to 28th while raising its own standing from 25th to 17th for the highest ranking of any team in the ACC.

Georgia finally won an SEC game, improving to 2-4 overall and 1-3 in the SEC with a 41-14 smackdown of Tennessee in Athens. The Vols plunged to 2-4 overall, 0-3 in the SEC.

Wake Forest bowed 28-27 at home to Navy, losing in the final minute for the second straight week. Last week, the Demon Deacons lost to Georgia Tech in the waning seconds.

In the WAC, Hawaii scored a big upset win at Fresno State. The Warriors were a 12.82-point computer underdog but walked away with a 22-point win, 49-27.

East Carolina scored the upset at Conference USA East division rival Southern Miss, by rallying from a 20-0 1st quarter deficit to a 44-43 victory.

Northern Illinois flexed its muscle in the MAC with a 31-17 win over visiting Temple. The two schools own the best overall records of all 13 MAC teams at 4-2 and are the only conference teams with winning records.

A 22-yard FG with 1:56 left lifted New Mexico State (1-4) to a 16-14 win over New Mexico (0-6). The Aggies climbed from 117th to 113th with the win, while the Lobos stay firmly planted at No. 120.

Meanwhile, in other games involving ranked teams, TCU wakes up today in 2nd place following Alabama's loss and the Horned Frogs' 45-0 win over Wyoming; Ohio State is up from 5th to 3rd after spanking Indiana 38-10.

Oregon stays at No. 4 after a 43-23 win at Washington State. The margin of victory seems unimpressive, but the Ducks lost QB Darron Thomas early with a shoulder injury and RB Kenjon Barner went down for the count on a 1st-quarter kickoff return. Nate Costa stepped in at QB and scored on a 18-yard run, while LaMichael James had 2 rushing TD's and an 84-yard score on a pass reception.

Idle Oklahoma moved from 6th to 5th; Utah improved from 8th to 7th after a 68-27 rout at Iowa State; and Nevada slipped from 10th to 11th as the unbeaten Wolf Pack scored a 35-13 home win over 114th-ranked San Jose State (1-5).

Oklahoma State climbed from 15th to 12th after a 54-28 win at Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday night; idle Iowa inched upward from 14th to 13th; and red hot Missouri jumped from 19th to 14th after blanking Colorado 26-0.

Idle Texas gained a spot from 20th to 19th; West Virginia jumped five places from 27th to 22nd after a 49-10 home in over UNLV; and Wisconsin stayed in the 23 hole following a 41-23 win over Big Ten cellar-dweller Minnesota.

Virginia Tech resurfaced in the Top 25 at No. 25 after a 45-21 win over Central Michigan gave the Hokies their 4th consecutive win after an 0-2 start.

STILL UNBEATEN:
Five teams lost for the first time over the weekend, leaving 13 schools with unblemished records. Four of those schools reside in the Big 12. There are two undefeated teams in the Big Ten, the Mountain West, the SEC and the WAC. The PAC-10 has one with Oregon. There are no undefeated teams in the ACC, Big East, Conference USA, MAC or Sun Belt, and all three independent schools have at least two losses.

STILL WINLESS:
6 teams entered the weekend winless, but that was destined to change as four of those schools faced each other - FIU defeated Western Kentucky, and New Mexico State edge New Mexico. Akron and Eastern Michigan join New Mexico and Western Kentucky as the four remaining winless teams.

FBS vs. FCS:
None of this past week's games involved FBS schools playing FCS teams. FBS schools are 74-7 (.914) this season in such games. Since 2003, FBS teams are 538-49 (.917) vs. FCS teams.

Here are the results of every FBS loss to the FCS this season:
9/4: Jacksonville State 49, Mississippi 48 (2 OT's)
9/4: North Dakota State 6, Kansas 3
9/11: Gardner-Webb 38, Akron 37
9/11: Liberty 27, Ball State 23
9/11: South Dakota 41, Minnesota 38
9/11: James Madison 21, Virginia Tech 16
10/2: Cal-Davis 14, San Jose State 13

This year, 85 FBS teams play a total of 90 games against FCS foes. Five schools play two such games - Arizona State, Ball State, San Jose State, Syracuse and Virginia.

STREAKS:
Alabama's winning streak was halted at 19 games in a 35-21 loss at South Carolina. It also ends Alabama's streaks of 29 straight regular season wins and 18 SEC wins. (Next: at South Carolina this Saturday).

Boise State has streaks of 19 overall wins, 30 regular season wins, 28 home wins, 58 regular season home wins, and 42 straight conference home victories. BSU has never lost at home to a fellow WAC member (36-0). 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 6-1 in their last seven matches against BCS conference schools. Boise State won 57-14 vs. Toledo.

Ohio State has won 12 straight. The Buckeyes won 38-10 vs. Indiana

Oklahoma has 33 straight home victories. The Sooners were idle.

Utah has 20 straight home wins. The Utes won 68-27 at Iowa State.

Western Kentucky has lost 25 straight overall and 30 straight to FBS teams. The Hilltoppers lost 28-21 at FIU

Eastern Michigan has lost 18 straight overall. The Eagles lost 52-6 at Vanderbilt.

New Mexico State ended its losing streak at 11 straight with a 16-14 win over rival New Mexico.

Washington State has lost 14 straight to FBS schools. The Cougars lost 43-23 vs. Oregon.



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