Penn State and Notre Dame opened a can on Michigan and USC, respectively, on Saturday while most of the top-ranked teams had relatively easy outings as we draw closer to the first College Football Playoff Committee Rankings of 2017, to be released on Halloween night.
The Nittany Lions exacted revenge on the Wolverines for last year's 49-10 loss in Ann Arbor as they crushed their Big Ten foe 42-13 in Happy Valley. And the Fighting Irish handed the Trojans their worst loss in the series since 1966 (51-0) with a 49-14 destruction in South Bend.
Top-ranked Alabama didn't help make Butch Jones' job any safer with a 45-7 rout of visiting Tennessee; 3rd-ranked Wisconsin rolled pass visiting Maryland 38-13; and 7th-ranked TCU blanked hapless Kansas 43-0 in Fort Worth.
No. 4 Ohio State was idle, joining 5th-ranked Georgia and 8th-ranked Clemson.
No. 6 Miami had another game go down to the wire, but remained undefeated with a 27-19 home win over Syracuse. The Orange were seeking a second consecutive upset of a top ten team after taking down Clemson last week.
No. 9 USF got out of New Orleans with a 34-28 win at Tulane. The Green Wave made it interesting by cutting a 27-point deficit to 6 with 2:25 to play, but failed to recover the onside kick and USF ran out the clock. The Bulls own the nation's longest active winning streak at 12 game.
No. 10 Oklahoma needed a 22-yard touchdown run with 7 seconds left to flee Manhattan with a 42-35 win over Kansas State.
Virginia Tech became bowl eligible and should be making a trip to the postseason for a 25th consecutive season after routing North Carolina 59-7. It was like the glory days of Beamerball in Blacksburg as the Hokies scored 21 of their points on a fumble return, a punt return, and an interception return. They also blocked a punt.
California went for 2 and failed on the second possession in overtime and handed Arizona a 45-44 win in Berkeley.
Virginia's Cinderella-like 5-1 start was halted by Boston College's 41-10 rout of the Cavaliers in Charlottesville. Virginia is looking to go bowling for the first time since 2011. They are 22-45 since then.
Florida State still needs 4 wins to become bowl eligible after their own fumble led to a last-second Louisville field goal and 31-28 loss in Tallahassee. The Seminoles are just 2-4 and in jeopardy of having their 35-year bowling streak end.
San Diego State lost for the second consecutive week at home. The Aztecs have lost their last two games by a combined score of 58-17 after losing to surging Fresno State 27-3 on Saturday night. SDSU lost 31-14 to Boise State last week.
Iowa State notched a 3rd-straight win with a 31-13 take-down of Texas Tech in Lubbock. The Cyclones are 3-1 in the Big 12 and in a 4-way tie for second place. They are 5-2 overall and their next victory would make them bowl eligible for the first time since 2012.
Southern Miss pulled off the improbable comeback at Louisiana Tech. Trailing 20-16. USM marched to the Bulldog's 1 before fumbling and Louisiana Tech scored 5 plays later to make it 27-16 with 4:08 to play. The Golden Eagles' next drive stalled at the Bulldogs' 32-yard line so they kicked a 49-yard field goal to make it 27-19. A miracle finish became a possibility when Southern Miss recovered the onside kick and a 22-yard touchdown pass, and subsequent 2-point conversion pass, knotted the game at 27 with 31 seconds left in regulation. Louisiana Tech made it to the Southern Miss 47, but missed a 64-yard FG attempt. Both teams threw picks in the first OT before USM took a 34-27 lead on a 25-yard scoring strike on its first play of the second extra period. The Eagles then held the Bulldogs on downs to snare the dramatic victory.
Eight games went to overtime on Saturday, with two of those going to double-OT. Arizona beat Cal 45-44 (2 OT); .Southern Miss beat Louisiana Tech 34-27 (2 OT); Army downed Temple 31-28; Charlotte topped UAB 25-24; SMU squeezed past Cincinnati 31-28; Western Michigan toppled Eastern Michigan 20-17; Northwestern subdued Iowa 17-10; and Oklahoma State edged Texas 13-10.
No FBS vs. FCS battles were staged this week. FBS teams are 82-9 (.901) vs. the FCS this season, and 1,212-117 (.912) since 2003.
These are the FCS victories in 2017:
September 23: Western Illinois 52, Coastal Carolina 10
September 16: North Carolina A&T 35, Charlotte 31
September 16: Idaho State 30, Nevada 28
September 9: South Dakota 35. Bowling Green 27
September 9: New Hampshire 22, Georgia Southern 12
September 2: Liberty 48, Baylor 45
September 2: Howard 43, UNLV 40
September 2: James Madison 34, East Carolina 14
August 31: Tennessee State 17, Georgia State 10.
98 FBS teams are playing 98 games vs. FCS members this year, down substantially from the 110 FBS schools that played 113 games vs. FCS squads last year.
Alabama - Won 39 straight regular season nonconference games (FBS longest). Won 17 straight home games (FBS longest). Won 13 straight road games (tied for FBS longest). Won 22 straight conference games (FBS longest). Won 45-7 vs. Tennessee on Saturday.
Oklahoma - Won14 straight road games (tied for FBS longest). Won 42-35 at Kansas State on Saturday.
South Florida - Won 12 straight overall ( FBS longest). Won 34-28 at Tulane on Saturday.
Texas State - Lost 13 straight conference games (FBS longest). Was idle this week.
Charlotte - Snapped 11-game losing streak (FBS longest). Won 25-24 vs. UAB in overtime on Saturday.
Massachusetts - Snapped 9-game losing streak (FBS 2nd-longest). Won 55-20 vs. Georgia Southern on Saturday.
Kansas - Lost 44 straight road games (FBS longest). Lost 43-0 at TCU on Saturday.