Texas, Auburn and Cal Go Down
by Mike Mitchell
If you thought Rutgers' win over No. 3 Louisville on Thursday threw a wrench in the BCS, Saturday's slew of upsets tossed the rest of the tool box when the Nos. 5, 6 and 8 teams in the BCS Standings all got whacked.
We learned early in the day of No. 5 Auburn's demise. The unsuspecting Tigers were ambushed by a visiting Georgia team that had lost four of its last five games. The Bulldogs jumped out to a 24-0 advantage in the second quarter, led 30-7 at halftime, and left town with a 37-15 win.
Auburn's loss, coupled with Arkansas's 31-16 destruction of Tennessee, eliminated the Tigers from SEC Championship consideration. Arkansas can claim the West Division title next week with a win at Mississippi State.
Next came No. 8 California. The Golden Bears took a 17-3 halftime lead, only to see lowly Arizona bounce back for a 24-20 upset. It was Arizona's second straight conference win over a BCS Top 25 team. Last week, the Wildcats upended then-No.25 Washington State.
California still controls its own destiny in the PAC-10 title chase. The loss to Arizona dropped the Golden Bears to 6-1. USC has the same conference mark after roasting the Oregon Ducks. California visits USC next week.
Late Saturday night, Kansas State and No. 5 Texas ended a barn-burner with the Wildcats on top 45-42. The loss wrecked the Longhorns' hopes of defending their BCS title. Texas QB Colt McCoy suffered a shoulder injury while scoring the initial touchdown of the game.
Texas still has the upper hand in the Big 12 South Division title chase by virtue of its win over Oklahoma earlier this year. The Longhorns are 6-1 in conference play, while the Sooners are 5-1 and hoping for another slip-up by the Longhorns when they host Texas A&M in their next, and final, game on November 24.
Saturday produced other surprises, too.
Wake Forest rode into Tallahassee and became the first team to ever shutout Bobby Bowden on his homefield. The Demon Deacons rolled 30-0 and are still tied with Maryland for the ACC Atlantic Division lead. The two teams meet at Maryland on November 25.
Maryland beat Miami 14-13, handing the hurting Hurricanes their third straight loss. Miami rallied from a 14-0 deficit, but fumbled an attempted punt return with 1:04 left in the game to seal the defeat.
Boise State overcame a 20-12 4th-quarter deficit to defeat San Jose State 23-20. The winning points came on a 37-yard field goal as time expired.
Florida beat South Carolina 17-16 when the Gators blocked a 48-yard field goal attempt as time expired.
Connecticut upset Pitt in double-overtime 46-45. The loss was the third in-a-row for the Panthers after they began the year 6-1.
Rice handed Tulsa its second straight loss, 41-38, in double-overtime. The win improved the Owls to 5-5 with two home games remaining against East Carolina and SMU.
Meanwhile, Georgia Tech beat N.C. State 7-0 to clinch the ACC Coastal Division title. And Nebraska claimed the Big 12 North with a 28-27 last-second win over Texas A&M.
It was chilly and rainy, but Central Michigan stayed hot on Friday night and moved closer to its' first MAC Championship since 1994. The 31-7 home win over Western Michigan assured CMU of the West Division title as the Chippewas improved to 7-3 over-all, 6-0 in the MAC. Central Michigan has won 5 straight games over-all, and 8 consecutive MAC games dating back to the end of last season. They are 17-15 since Brian Kelly became their head coach in 2004. The Chippewas were 16-41 in the five years prior to his arrival.
Louisville looked like they had their opponent outclassed, and the game in hand, when they jumped out to a 25-7 lead in the first half. But a 28-yard field goal with 13 seconds left sent Rutgers to the biggest win in school history on Thursday night, 28-25 over the Cardinals. The Scarlet Knights finish the season at West Virginia on December 2. They go to Cincinnati next week, followed by a home date with Syracuse.
Fate seemed to be in Rutgers' hands on Thursday night. Their first attempt at the game-winning field goal was no good, but Louisville was flagged for being offside. The kick culminated a drive that began on the Scarlet Knights' own 9-yard line with 5:28 remaining in the game.
Also on Thursday night, BYU whipped Wyoming 55-7 in a Mountain West game. The Cougars are 6-0 in conference play and can claim the league title with a win in either of their last two games. They host New Mexico, then visit rival Utah.
The college football week kicked off without much fanfare Tuesday night when Toledo scored a 17-13 upset of Northern Illinois amid a sometimes heavy fog in Dekalb. The loss dropped the No. 59 Huskies to 5-5 over-all, 3-3 in the MAC. No. 86 Toledo kept its slim bowl hopes alive by improving to 4-6 over-all, 2-4 in the MAC.
Northern Illinois threatened to pull the game out on a last-minute drive, advancing to the Rockets' 2-yard line with the aid of two questionable interference penalties. But three passes and a run failed to advance the ball and a 4th-down pass fell incomplete in the end zone on the final play of the game.
The list shrunk to four teams, as we knew it would, when Rutgers won the survival match with Louisville on Thursday night. The Scarlet Knights` are joined by Boise State, Michigan and Ohio State.
Boise State edge San Jose State 23-20; Ohio State walloped Northwestern 54-10; and Michigan turned back Indiana 34-3.
Stanford was scratched from the list when The Cardinal broke ranks and defeated Washington 20-3. Duke and FIU are the only two teams remaining with goose eggs in the win column. Boston College beat Duke 28-7. FIU fell hard to Louisiana-Monroe 35-0.
1-A vs. 1-AA
There were no games this week between 1-A and 1-AA schools.
1-AA teams are 7-70 for the season against their higher-classified brethren. Since the start of the 2003 campaign, 1-A teams hold the upper hand by a huge margin, 234-25 (.903).
Over 75 schools took the opportunity of a 12th game to schedule a cupcake opponent.
Ohio State has won 18 straight games. The Buckeyes beat Northwestern 54-10 on Saturday.
Louisville saw its' winning streak end at 13 games with a 28-25 loss to Rutgers on Thursday night.
Michigan has won 11 straight games after defeating Indiana 34-3.
Boise State has won 12 straight regular season games, and 10 straight over-all, after a 23-20 win at San Jose State. The Broncos also have 35 consecutive regular season home victories and have never lost a home game to a WAC opponent (23-0).
Rutgers has won 9 straight games, 10 straight regular season games. The Scarlet Knights beat Louisville 28-25 Thursday night.
USC has won a nation's-best 31 consecutive home games.
Texas' 45-42 loss at Kansas State ended the Longhorns' conference game winning streak at 21, and their road game winning streak at 17.
Duke has lost 18 games over-all, and 20 straight to 1-A teams, after a 28-7 loss to Boston College.
Stanford ended its 11-game losing streak with a 20-3 win at Washington.
UNLV and FIU have lost 9 straight games over-all.
New Mexico State has lost 21 straight to 1-A teams after falling to Fresno State 23-18.
The 2006 season introduces 11 coaching changes. We're tracking their progress throughout the season.
Boise State, 10-0 under Chris Petersen, beat San Jose State 23-20.
Wisconsin, 10-1 under Bret Bielema, beat Iowa 24-21.
Middle Tennessee, 7-3 under Rick Stockstill, beat Arkansas State 38-10.
Kansas State, 7-4 under Ron Prince, beat Texas 45-42.
Rice, 5-5 under Todd Graham, beat Tulsa 41-38 in 2 OT's.
Idaho, 4-6 under Dennis Erickson, was idle.
Northwestern, 3-8 under Pat Fitzgerald, lost to Ohio State 54-10.
Buffalo, 2-8 with Turner Gill, lost to Akron 31-16.
San Diego State, 2-7 under Chuck Long, beat UNLV 21-7.
Colorado, 2-9 under Dan Hawkins, beat Iowa State 33-16.
Temple, 1-10 under Al Golden, lost to Penn State 47-0.