Week 14 Recap - Ohio State Routs Michigan; Conference Title Matches All Set

November 25, 2018 by CFP Staff

Ohio State on Saturday scored its most points ever against Michigan in a 62-39 romp in Columbus. The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com had the Buckeyes under the spread in "The Game". Urban Meyer improved to 7-1 all-time vs. Michigan, including 7-0 as head coach of Ohio State. The Buckeyes will face Northwestern in Indianapolis.

Texas and Oklahoma will renew their rivalry in the Big 12 Championship game in Arlington after the Sooners outscored West Virginia 59-56 in Morgantown on Friday. The Longhorns and Sooners met in Dallas on October 6 with Texas pulling off the 48-45 upset over a one touchdown-favored Oklahoma squad. Earlier in the day, Texas made its reservation for the title game by ho-humming its way to a 24-17 win at Kansas.

Washington State was the Pac-12's Obi Wan Kenobi, but Washington ended that conference's only hope for landing a team in the Final Four playoff by caging the Cougars on their home field, 28-15 on Friday night. The Huskies will move on to face Utah in a battle of 3-loss teams in the PAC-12 Championship game in Santa Clara.

Buffalo and Memphis also clinched a spot in their respective conference championship playoff games. Buffalo rolled to a 44-14 win over BGSU to secure a spot opposite Northern Illinois in the MAC title game at Detroit, and Memphis.handled Houston 52-31 to set up a rematch with UCF in the American Athletic Conference Championship game to be hosted by the Golden Knights.

Incidentally, UCF lost QB McKenzie Milton to a dislocated knee in the second quarter of its game at USF. The Knights won the game 38-10 for their 24th straight victory overall, their 17th straight conference win, and their second straight undefeated regular season.

Notre Dame also finished the season undefeated with a 24-17 win at USC.

Boise State downed Utah State 33-24 in a de facto Mountain division championship game in the Mountain West Conference. The Broncos will once again host Fresno State in the MWC title game. This is the 6th season that there has been a MWC championship game and the 5th time that Fresno State has been a part of it. The Bulldogs only win came in the inaugural year of the championship format in 2013. They lost to Boise State in 2014 and 2017, and fell to San Diego State in 2015.

FIU controlled its destiny in its bid to advance to the CUSA title game against UAB, but lost 28-25 at home to Marshall. The Blazers then lost 27-3 at Middle Tennessee and the Blue Raiders will now face UAB again - at MTSU - in the conference championship game.

Appalachian State won 21-10 at home in Boone, North Carolina over Troy in a de facto Sun Belt East division championship game. It was the first and only conference loss of the season for the Trojans. The Mountaineers will host the conference's first title game against Louisiana-Lafayette. The Ragin' Cajuns knocked the War Hawks out of contention with a 31-28 win in Monroe, and also own the tie-breaker with Arkansas State.

Conference Championship Matchups

American - Memphis (West) at UCF (East)
ACC - Clemson (Atlantic) vs. Pittsburgh (Coastal)
Big 12 - Oklahoma vs. Texas
Big Ten - Northwestern (West) vs. Ohio State (East)
CUSA - UAB (West) at Middle Tennessee (East)
MAC - Northern Illinois (West) vs. Buffalo (East)
MWC - Fresno State (West) at Boise State (Mountain)
PAC 12 - Utah (South) vs. Washington (North)
SEC - Georgia (Eastern) vs. Alabama (Western)
Sun Belt - Louisiana-Lafayette (West) at Appalachian State (East)


LSU and Texas A&M set the record for the most combined points in a FBS game on Saturday night with the Aggies' 74-72 home win over the Tigers. It was the fifth game in history to go seven overtimes, and the longest-ever between ranked teams.

To Bowl Or Not to Bowl

Virginia Tech prevailed in overtime, 34-31, over Virginia on Friday. The comeback victory runs the Hokies' winning streak over the Cavs to 15 and sets up a final game next Saturday at home vs. Marshall to determine if Virginia Tech will go to a 26th straight bowl game.

Florida State lost 41-14 to Florida on Saturday to finish 5-7. The Seminoles will not be bowling for the first time since 1991, ending a streak of 36 consecutive seasons.

Tulane scored a touchdown and 2-point conversion with 1:27 left in the game to sink Navy 29-28 and become bowl eligible (6-6) for the first time since 2013. The Green Wave held a 21-3 halftime lead, but the Midshipmen scored 25 unanswered to take a 28-21 advantage with 3:44 to play.

In a battle of 5-6 teams in the Big 12 at Arlington, Baylor beat Texas Tech 35-24 to hand the Red Riders their fifth straight loss and possibly seal Kliff Kingsbury's fate as head coach. While TTU stays home, Baylor will go bowling a year after finishing 1-11. This marks the second time the second time in 3 years that Texas Tech failed to become bowl eligible as Kingsbury's won-loss records slipped to 35-40 overall and just 19-35 in Big 12 games.

TCU got to 6-6 with a 31-24 upset win at home over Oklahoma State which also finished 6-6.

In another Big 12 game, Iowa State scored 21 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to beat Kansas State 42-38 and end the Wildcats' season at 5-7. The Cyclones had lost 10 straight to Kansas State with the last previous win occurring on November 3, 2007.

Wake Forest became bowl eligible at 6-6 with a resounding, and inexplicable, 59-7 win at Duke (7-5). Both teams finished 3-5 in ACC play. The Blue Devils entered the game as 2-touchdown favorites.

Minnesota became bowl eligible with an equally inexplicable 37-15 win at Wisconsin. The Badgers fell to 7-5 for their worst regular season finish since 2012 when they also finished 7-5.

Arizona State scored 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to storm back from a 40-21 deficit and beat Arizona 41-40 in Tucson. The loss kept the Wildcats from becoming bowl eligible as they finished their first season under Kevin Sumlin at 5-7 while the Sun Devils head to the postseason with a 7-5 mark in Herm Edwards' first campaign.

The Lane Train has run off the tracks. Lane Kiffin's FAU Owls were upset at home 27-24 by Charlotte and will not be going bowling after a 5-7 season. Big things were expected in FAU's second season under Kiffin after he led the Owls to an 11-3 record in his initial campaign. Charlotte finished 5-7.

Vanderbilt and Tennessee entered Saturday's game with identical 5-6 records. The winner would become bowl eligible and the loser would stay home for the holidays. The Commodores wound up walking all over the Vols 38-13. Tennessee still leads the series 75-33-5, but Vanderbilt is 5-2 in the last 7.

SMU (5-7) was denied a bowl shot when the slightly-favored Mustangs lost 27-24 at Tulsa (3-9).

Utah outscored BYU 35-7 in the second half to win the Holy War 35-27 and stretch its winning streak in the series to 8. BYU is still going bowling with a 6-6 record after finishing 4-9 a year ago.


Michigan State began the year No. 1 in the Congrove Computer Rankings and ended as a footnote. To be fair, our Big Ten season preview issued a cautionary declaration to "Beware, the last two times the computer lauded Michigan State so highly in the preseason, the outcomes were horrific. In 2009, a 12-0 forecast became a 6-6 reality. In 2016, another 12-0 projection became a 3-9 nightmare."  But we also concluded by saying, "It would be difficult to see that happening this time around, especially when the Spartans return more starters than any other FBS program (10 on offense, 9 on defense, and 3 on special teams)."

Well, it did happen again. On Saturday, the Spartans finished a 7-5 campaign by barely scraping past Rutgers 14-10 after entering the game as a 27-point favorite.

At least it (the computer) got the Western half of the Big Ten projection correct when it forecast Northwestern to be the other participant in the conference championship game. In August, that seemed far less likely to occur than Michigan State winning its division. The Wildcats will play Ohio State next week in Indianapolis for the Big Ten crown.

Louisville began the year projected to finish second behind Clemson in the ACC Atlantic division. On November 11, the school fired Bobby Petrino as head coach. On Saturday, the Cardinals were ambushed 56-10 by Kentucky to end their season with a 2-10 record.

'Bama Breaks Out Heavy Metal in Iron Bowl, and other Rivalry Romps

Alabama exacted revenge on Auburn for last year's 26-14 loss to the Tigers. On Saturday, the Tide rolled 52-21 to wrap up an undefeated regular season.

Other rivalry romps included Georgia blasting Georgia Tech 45-21, and Clemson crushing South Carolina 56-35.


No games this week pit FBS teams against FCS schools. FBS teams are 103-7 (.936) vs. the FCS this season, and 1,322-124 (.914) since 2003.

Here are all of the FCS victories over FBS teams, so far, in 2018:

August 30: UC Davis 44, San Jose State 31
September 1: Villanova 19, Temple 17
September 1: Northern Arizona 30, UTEP 10
September 1: Nicholls State 26, Kansas 23 (OT)
September 2: North Carolina A&T 28, East Carolina 23
September 8: Maine 31, Western Kentucky 28
September 22: Illinois State 35, Colorado State 19


UCF - Won 24 straight overall (FBS longest), Won 17 straight conference games including AAC title last year (FBS longest). Won 38-10 at USF on Friday.

Alabama - Won 26 straight home games (FBS longest). Won 52-21 at home versus Auburn on Saturday.

Oklahoma - Won 20 straight true road games (FBS longest). Won 59-56 at West Virginia on Friday.

Rice - Had lost 11 straight overall (FBS longest). Won 27-13 at home over Old Dominion on Saturday.
(NOTE: Rice's win also ended the longest current conference game losing streak at 14.)

Charlotte - Had lost 12 straight road games (tied FBS longest) until the 27-24 upset win at FAU on Saturday.

Rutgers - Lost 11 straight over-all (FBS longest). Lost 14-10 at Michigan State on Saturday.
(NOTE: Rutgers also now own FBS longest conference losing streak at 12 games).

San Jose State - Lost 13 straight road games (FBS longest). Lost 31-13 at Fresno State on Saturday.