Saturday Shockers Shake-up Standings
by Mike Mitchell
Vanderbilt downed Georgia. Indiana beat Iowa. Texas A&M dropped Missouri. But wait, there's more.
On a crazy Saturday, conference standings were shaken up in advance of the year's first BCS Standings which are due out Sunday.
Hardly any conference was left out of the upset picture.
In CUSA, east division leader UAB fell to west division cellar-dweller Rice 34-33. It was UAB's first conference loss and the Owl's first conference win.
In the ACC, Wake Forest handed N.C. State its' first conference loss, 25-23.
The Big East didn't produce an upset but Louisville's 23-17 home win over Cincinnati was shockingly close, despite Brian Brohm's return. Rutgers' 34-0 rout of Navy was stunning, as well.
In the Big 12, Colorado beat Texas Tech 30-6 to end its 10-game losing streak and finally give Dan Hawkins his first win as head coach of the Buffaloes.
The MAC's Ohio Bobcats beat the Big 10's Illinois Fighting Illini, 20-17.
In the Mountain West, Wyoming lassoed Utah 31-15 to hand the Utes their first conference loss.
Oregon State picked up its first PAC-10 win with a 27-17 road upset of Washington.
In the SEC, Auburn handed Florida its first defeat (27-17) and Alabama escaped Ole Miss in overtime (26-23).
The Sun Belt's Arkansas State Indians defeated CUSA's heavily-favored Memphis Tigers, 26-23.
In the WAC, Hawaii's 68-37 destruction of Fresno State was shocking for simply producing more puzzling evidence of how far the Bulldogs have fallen.
Six of the Top 25 teams in the CCR Top 119 were defeated - No. 7 Florida, No. 10 Missouri, No. 13 Virginia Tech, No. 20 Iowa, No. 22 Georgia, and No. 24 UCLA.
In the Big 3 upsets of the day:
- Vanderbilt's 24-22 win over Georgia was sealed on a field goal with 2 seconds left as the Commodores defeated the Bulldogs for the first time since 1994.
- Indiana slammed the door shut on any remaining hopes Iowa may have had of winning a Big 10 title. The 31-28 Hoosier win was their second straight, but only their seventh conference win over the last 6 seasons.
- Missouri's run at an undefeated season was halted at Texas A&M, 25-19. The Tigers were looking to go 7-0 for the first time since 1960.
A few other top teams barely managed to survive the carnage:
- No. 2 USC blew a 21-0 lead, then scored a late TD, for a 28-21 home win over Arizona State.
- No. 3 Michigan beat Penn State by a TD, 17-10, though a Nittany Lions' TD with just over 3 minutes left in the game made the final score look even closer than the game.
- No. 4 Louisville, as mentioned earlier, edge Cincinnati 23-17.
On Sunday, Boise State repelled New Mexico State 40-28. But the margin of victory won't help them in their push for a spot in the Top 12 of the BCS Standings which would guarantee them a BCS bowl bid. After all, the Broncos entered the game ranked 8th in the CCR Top 119 while the Aggies were ranked 95th. And, New Mexico State has now lost 17 straight games to 1-A foes. Before the game was played, Sunday's BCS Standings had Boise State ranked 15th, largely on the strength of computer rankings.
Friday night's game between No. 27 Pitt and No. 75 UCF was over soon after it began. The Panthers returned the opening kick-off for a touchdown and scored on their first six possessions as they smacked the Golden Knights, 52-7, in Orlando.
Pitt's 6-1 record is its best at this point in a season since Dan Marino led them to a 7-0 beginning in 1982.
UCF, meanwhile, continues its rags-to-riches, and back to rags, trend. The Knights fell to 2-4 with the loss, and have dropped 6 of their last 8 games over-all. UCF has lost 6-of-7 against 1-A schools. Last year, they ended a 17-game losing streak with a win over Marshall, then won 7 of their next 8 games and captured the CUSA East Division title.
The college football week kicked off in less-than-grand style on Thursday night as No. 13 Virginia Tech suffered a complete meltdown in a 22-3 loss to No. 26 Boston College.
Turnovers, senseless fouls, and an inept offense all contributed to make this an ugly game that Boston College won simply by being composed. In the process, the Hokies fell to 12-2 on Thursday night ESPN telecasts, losing for the first time since 1995 when Boston College turned the trick in the season-opener at Blacksburg.
Frank Beamer's 300th game as a head coach was one that he'll quickly want to forget. The loss dropped his team to 2-2 in the ACC, 4-2 over-all. It was the lowest point total his team was held to since a 42-3 loss to North Carolina in the Gator Bowl after the 1997 season. And the Hokies lost an ACC regular season road game for the first time since joining the league in 2004. They are now 9-1 on such trips.
For Boston College, it was just their second win over Virginia Tech in the last 10 meetings and the first on their own field since 1993. The Eagles improved to 5-1 with the win, 2-1 in the ACC's Atlantic Division.
Also on Thursday night, No. 59 Air Force recovered from a 21-3 halftime deficit to beat state rival Colorado State, 24-21. It was the first conference loss for the No. 40 Rams (4-2, 1-1) while the Falcons moved to 3-0 in Mountain West play and 3-2 over-all. Colorado State's own comeback bid fell short when Air Force intercepted a CSU pass at the 18-yard line with a minute-and-a-half left in the game.
No. 9 Clemson got what they expected from the nation's worst team, No. 119 Temple - absolutely nothing. The Tigers scored touchdowns on all seven first-half possessions as they routed the Owls, 63-9.
A long kick-off return by Temple to open the game, followed by a 30-yard run, helped give the Owls a 3-0 lead in the first minute of play. But Clemson needed just over two minutes to take the lead for good and led 21-3 by the end of the first quarter.
In a fourth Thursday night game, No. 16 FAU took advantage of 1-AA Southern Utah to post its second win in-a-row, 32-7. The Owls beat La.-Monroe in their last game, two weeks ago, 21-19.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER?
When Thursday's games kicked off, the three teams nicknamed "Owls" were all among the nation's eight lowest-ranked teams. The Rice Owls were No. 112, the FAU Owls were No. 116, and the Temple Owls were No. 119.
Rice and FAU each won on Saturday while Temple lost for the 19th straight time on Thursday.
The number of undefeated teams was reduced to 7 as Florida and Missouri fell by the wayside. Those remaining are Boise State, Louisville, Michigan, Ohio State, West Virginia, Rutgers, and USC.
The week began with 8 winless teams but two were able to break through the win column as Colorado beat Texas Tech and Miami downed Buffalo. The remaining winless teams are Duke, Eastern Michigan, FIU, San Diego State, Stanford, and Temple.
1-A vs. 1-AA
3 schools played 1-AA teams this week. FAU downed Southern Utah on Thursday, 32-7. On Saturday, Arkansas romped 63-7 over SE Missouri, and Mississippi State drummed Jacksonville St. 35-3.
1-A schools are 67-6 against 1-AA teams this year. The 1-A teams went 52-2 in such games last year. Since the beginning of the 2003 season, the 1-A schools are now 231-24 in games played against 1-AA teams.
Over 75 schools took the opportunity of a 12th game to schedule a cupcake opponent during the 2006 season.
The NCAA has officially re-named them the Bowl Division (1-A) and the Championship Division (1-AA).
USC has won 38 straight regular season games, a nation's-best 30 consecutive home victories, and 27 straight conference games.
Ohio State owns the nation's longest winning streak at 14 games.
Boise State has won 34 consecutive regular season home games. The Broncos have never lost a home game to a WAC opponent (22-0).
Texas has won 18 straight conference games.
Temple owns the nation's longest losing streak at 19 games. They've lost their seven games this year by an average score of 44 to 7. They lost all 11 games last year by an average result of 45.3 to 9.7.
Duke has lost 14 straight games over-all, 17 straight to 1-A teams.
New Mexico State has lost 17 straight to 1-A teams.
The 2006 season introduces 11 coaching changes. We're tracking their progress throughout the season.
Boise State, 7-0 under Chris Petersen, beat New Mexico State 40-28.
Wisconsin, 6-1 under Bret Bielema, beat Minnesota 48-12.
Idaho, 4-3 under Dennis Erickson, beat Louisiana Tech 24-14.
Kansas State, 4-3 under Ron Prince, lost to Nebraska 21-3.
Middle Tennessee, 3-3 under Rick Stockstill, was idle.
Northwestern, 2-5 under Pat Fitzgerald, lost to Purdue 31-10.
Rice, 2-5 under Todd Graham, beat UAB 34-33.
Buffalo, 1-5 with Turner Gill, lost to Miami (Ohio) 38-31.
Colorado, 1-6 under Dan Hawkins, beat Texas Tech 30-6.
San Diego State, 0-5 under Chuck Long, was idle.
Temple, 0-7 under Al Golden, lost to Clemson, 63-9.