Two Major Streaks Come To An End
by Mike Mitchell
The weekend saw two major streaks get snapped - one for superiority and the other for inferiority.
USC saw its streak of 38 regular season wins come to an end with a 33-31 loss at No. 47 Oregon State. The No. 3 Trojans were down 33-10 late in the third quarter, but nearly rallied to send the game into overtime. Their fate wasn't sealed until a two-point conversion pass with 7 seconds left fell incomplete.
The Trojans had also won 27 straight PAC-10 games. Both strings began the week after a 34-31 loss at California on September 27, 2003. USC still owns a nation's-best 30-game home winning streak that will be put to a severe test before the season is over with. USC has consecutive home games against Oregon, California and Notre Dame to end the season.
It was just the second time the Beavers had defeated USC in their last 32 meetings.
At the opposite end of the spectrum was Temple's 20-game losing streak. That came to a close with a 28-14 win over No. 79 Bowling Green. The No. 119 Owls lost to the Falcons 70-7 last year. It was the first win for new head coach Al Golden whose team is now 1-8 with games left against Central Michigan, Penn State and Navy.
No. 116 Duke now acquires the "Longest Losing Streak" title with 16 straight defeats after its 45-28 loss to No. 85 Vanderbilt. The Blue Devils have lost 18 straight to 1-A teams.
No. 98 New Mexico State actually holds the longest losing streak to 1-A teams with 19 after a 48-21 loss to No. 49 Nevada on Saturday. The Aggies have won two games this season, but both have come against 1-AA schools.
The weekend produced a few other losses for Top 25 teams as No. 24 Nebraska fell to 52 Oklahoma State 41-29, No. 19 Missouri lost to No. 22 Oklahoma 26-10, and No. 7 Clemson lost to No. 20 Virginia Tech 24-7 on Thursday (see "Weekend Starters" further down in this article).
Luckily for Nebraska, Missouri also lost on Saturday. The 'Huskers and Tigers entered the weekend tied for the Big 12 North lead with 3-1 records and exited the weekend tied for the lead with identical 3-2 marks. They'll go toe-to-toe in Lincoln on Saturday.
A couple of top teams barely avoided upset bids as No. 6 Texas rallied from an early 21-0 deficit to beat No. 35 Texas Tech 38-35, and No. 10 Wisconsin beat No. 104 Illinois 30-24 after trailing 21-3 in the second quarter.
In other conferences:
- BYU seized firm control of the Mountain West with a 33-14 win over Air Force. The Cougars are 4-0 in conference play, a full two games ahead of their closest competitor.
- East Carolina stunned Southern Miss in overtime at Hattiesburg. The 20-17 win puts the Pirates into a first-place tie of the East Division in CUSA.
- Ohio beat Kent State 17-7 to hand the Golden Flashes their first MAC loss of the season. In doing so, the Bobcats control their own destiny to the East Division title. Ohio hasn't won a MAC title since 1968 and has never played in a championship game since the MAC went to two divisions in 1997. Akron won the title last year for the first time in its history.
Meanwhile, Florida State and Miami lost on the same weekend and it wasn't even a major news-worthy event.
The Seminoles dropped to 4-4 over-all, 2-4 in the ACC, with a 27-24 defeat at No. 40 Maryland. FSU had already sunk to No. 37 in the CCR Top 119 entering the game. If they don't win at least one of their final two ACC contests, against Wake Forest and Virginia, they could finish in last-place in the Atlantic Division of a conference they dominated from 1992-2005 with 12 shared or outright titles.
Miami is just 5-3 over-all, and in 4th-place in the Atlantic Division with a 2-2 conference record, after blowing a 10-0 lead at No. 29 Georgia Tech to lose 30-23. The Hurricanes entered the weekend ranked 27th.
No. 20 Virginia Tech used its own running game and a stellar defensive effort to shut down No. 7 Clemson 24-7 on Thursday night in Blacksburg.
On Friday, Tulsa flexed its CUSA muscle as the No. 25 Golden Hurricane beat No. 58 UTEP 30-20.
four of the seven unbeaten teams even saw action over the weekend as No. 4 Louisville, No. 5 West Virginia and No. 8 Boise State, were all idle.
No. 3 USC, however, which was coming off of an idle week last week, lost to No. 47 Oregon State 33-31.
No. 21 Ohio State routed No. 77 Minnesota 44-0. Second-ranked Michigan beat No. 97 Northwestern 17-3. No. 9 Rutgers beat No. 71 Connecticut 24-13 on Sunday night.
Temple's 20-game losing streak came to an end with a 28-14 victory over Bowling Green.
That leaves three winless teams. No. 116 Duke was a 45-28 loser to No. 85 Vanderbilt; No. 115 FIU fell to No. 43 Alabama 38-3; No. 118 Stanford was idle.
1-A vs. 1-AA
2 schools played 1-AA teams this week and one pulled off the upset.
Cal-Poly, lining up against its second 1-A opponent beat San Diego State 16-14. The Mustangs lost 17-7 to San Jose State on September 23.
Portland State, playing its third 1-A opponent of the season, fell 55-12 at Oregon. The Vikings beat New Mexico 17-6 in the season-opener, then lost to Cal 42-16 two weeks later.
1-AA teams are 7-69 for the season. Since the start of the 2003 campaign, 1-A teams hold the upper hand by a huge margin, 233-25 (.903).
Over 75 schools took the opportunity of a 12th game to schedule a cupcake opponent.
USC, which lost 33-31 to Oregon State on Saturday, had won 38 straight regular season games and 27 straight conference games. While those two strings come to an end, they've still won a nation's-best 30 consecutive home games.
Ohio State has won 16 straight games.
West Virginia has won 14 straight 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). Boise State has won 10 straight regular season games.
Texas has won 20 straight conference games. The Longhorns have also won 17 straight road games.
Louisville has won 12 straight regular season games.
Duke now owns the nation's longest losing streak at 16 games over-all. The Blue Devils have also lost 18 straight to 1-A teams.
Temple had lost 20 straight before beating Bowling Green 28-14 on Saturday.
Stanford has lost 10 straight games over-all.
New Mexico State has lost 19 straight to 1-A teams.
The 2006 season introduces 11 coaching changes.
We're tracking their progress throughout the season.
Boise State, 8-0 under Chris Petersen, was idle.
Wisconsin, 8-1 under Bret Bielema, beat Illinois 30-24.
Middle Tennessee, 5-3 under Rick Stockstill, beat Louisiana-Lafayette 34-20.
Kansas State, 5-4 under Ron Prince, beat Iowa State 31-10.
Idaho, 4-5 under Dennis Erickson, lost to Hawaii 68-10.
Rice, 3-5 under Todd Graham, was idle.
Northwestern, 2-7 under Pat Fitzgerald, lost to Michigan 17-3.
San Diego State, 1-6 under Chuck Long, lost to 1-AA Cal-Poly 16-14.
Buffalo, 1-7 with Turner Gill, lost 41-0 to Boston College.
Colorado, 1-8 under Dan Hawkins, lost 20-15 to Kansas.
Temple, 1-8 under Al Golden, beat Bowling Green 28-14.