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College Football Season

Upset Weekend

4 teams fell from the unbeaten ranks while the SEC was riddled with surprises

by Dave Congrove
October 20, 2013

A significant upset weekend should have been expected. After all, the season's first BCS Rankings are due to be released on Sunday evening.

After what had been a relatively calm season with the week-to-week changes of the polls and computer rankings, the past week saw 4 teams lose for the first time and multiple upsets shake up the SEC.

On Friday night, UCF scored with 23 seconds left to take a 38-35 win at Louisville after trailing by 21 in the 3rd quarter. That set the stage for Saturday losses by previously unbeaten Clemson, Houston and UCLA, as well as surprising upsets of LSU, South Carolina Texas A&M and Georgia.

A 5-yard TD run with 1:19 left gave Auburn a 45-41 upset at Texas A&M; Tennessee downed South Carolina 23-21 on a 19-yard FG as time expired, and Georgia lost 31-27 at Vanderbilt.

The South Carolina and Georgia losses, combined with Missouri's 36-17 win over Florida, put Missouri 2 games up (in the loss column) over every team in the SEC East. And the SEC upsets continued when Ole Miss beat LSU 27-24 on a 41-yard FG with 2 seconds remaining.

The other conferences seemed immune to the upset bug, though the Big 10 saw Northwestern get upended 20-17 by Minnesota and fall to 0-3 in league play.

Though they entered the week without a blemish on their records, you could hardly call the losses by Houston and UCLA "upsets". The Cougars were edged 47-46 by BYU, and the Bruins lost 24-10 at Stanford.

The week's biggest battle among highly-ranked teams turned into an awkward rout as homestanding Clemson was flattened 51-14 in Death Valley by ACC Atlantic rival Florida State.

Oregon kept its hold on the No. 1 spot in the latest Congrove Computer Rankings released early Sunday morning, but Baylor, Alabama and Florida State cut into the Ducks' lead.

Baylor's 71-7 rout of Iowa State pushed the Bears up from 3rd to 2nd and within 1.89 points of Oregon. Alabama, a 52-0 winner over Arkansas, slipped to 3rd but moved to within 2.98 points of Oregon after trailing by 5.61 points a week ago. Florida State and Ohio State also switched places. FSU is now in 4th place, just 3.79 out of first after lagging by 7.69. The Buckeyes went fractionally in the other direction, slipping 0.17 more points behind.

It's the fifth week this season that the Ducks have been ranked No. 1. Oregon beat Washington State 62-38.

Among the big gainers were Missouri (12th to 8th), Texas Tech (14th to 9th), Oklahoma (13th to 10th) and Oklahoma State (16th to 11th). Northern Illinois remains the lowest-ranked of the 10 remaining undefeated teams, though the Huskies rose from 25th to 19th. Fresno State improved its record to 6-0 and ascended from 18th to 14th.

Texas Tech was a 37-27 winner at West Virginia; Oklahoma was an uninspired 34-19 victor at Kansas; Oklahoma State got past TCU at home 24-10; Northern Illinois rolled 38-17 at Central Michigan, and Fresno State grabbed a 38-14 victory at UNLV.

The newest rankings give the Big 12 four teams within the top 11 while the SEC only has three in the top 17.

The week's biggest rivalry game flew under the radar as neither Notre Dame or USC are challenging for the national title. The Irish improved to 5-2 and rose to 22nd in the CCR Top 125 with their 14-10 home win over USC. The Trojans dropped to 4-3 and are now ranked 49th.

At the bottom end of the rankings, Akron finally ended 3 major streaks of futility with a 24-17 win Miami, Ohio. The Zips had lost 30 straight road games, 28 straight FBS games and 19 straight conference games.

The weekend began with 14 undefeated teams and ended with 10. The unbeaten list still contains Alabama, Baylor, Florida State, Fresno State, Miami (Fla.), Missouri, Northern Illinois, Ohio State, Oregon and Texas Tech.

Only 1 team got off the winless list as Temple defeated Army 33-14. The 7 teams still searching for their first victory are Connecticut, Georgia State, Hawaii, Miami (Ohio), New Mexico State, Southern Miss and Western Michigan.

The computer was 39-10 in picking winners over the weekend, and a crazy 32-15 against the opening line.'s Mike Mitchell was 8-2 to raise his Feature Picks record to 103-11 for the year (he's 64-50 against the spread). The computer was 4-2 with this week's upset winner picks and also 4-2 ATS on those games.

FBS vs. FCS:
Pittsburgh downed Old Dominion 35-24 and Colorado beat Charleston Southern 43-10 in the only FBS vs. FCS matchups this week. Charleston Southern was serving as a replacement game after a September 14th date with Fresno State was cancelled due to heavy flooding in the Boulder region at the time. Fresno State has not scheduled a makeup game.

FBS teams have lost 14 such matchups this season after losing just 10 all of last year. After this week's contests, 13 FBS-FCS games still remain to be played.

The FBS is now 84-14 (.857) this season vs. the FCS, and 820-79 (.912) in such matchups since 2003.

Originally, 106 FBS schools had scheduled a total of 110 games against FCS foes this year. The Colorado schedule change now means the same 106 FBS schools will play a total of 111 games vs. FCS foes.

It also makes Colorado the 4th FBS teams to be facing at least two such schools this year. The others are Clemson and Georgia Tech with 2 apiece while 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 19 straight overall. Won 34-24 vs. Iowa on Saturday.

Northern Illinois - Won 23 straight at home and 20 straight vs. conference foes. Won 38-17 at Central Michigan on Saturday.

LSU - Won 44 straight regular season nonconference games. Lost 27-24 at Ole Miss on Saturday.

Michigan - Won 19 straight home games. Won 63-47 vs. Indiana on Saturday.

Oregon - Won 18 straight road games. Won 62-38 vs. Washington State on Saturday.

Southern Miss - Lost 18 straight overall. Lost 55-14 at East Carolina on Saturday.

New Mexico State - Lost 18 straight overall. Lost 45-19 vs. Rice on Saturday.

Kansas - Lost 24 straight conference games and 21 straight road games. Lost 34-19 vs. Oklahoma on Saturday.

Akron - Ended losing streaks of 30 straight road games, 28 straight FBS games and 19 straight conference games (MAC) with a 24-17 win Miami (Ohio) on Saturday.


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