As the Congrove Computer Rankings predicted, the 7-point spread was too much and Texas pulled off the upright upset with a 34-24 win over Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The result ended the Crimson Tide's 21-game home winning streak which had stood as the current longest in the FBS.
Georgia, a 45-3 home winner over Ball State, assumes that streak with 20 straight home wins to go along with 19 over-all and 11 on the road.
For Texas, the win stands as its biggest since beating No. 1 in Oklahoma by a 49-35 count in the 2008 edition of the Red River Rivalry. This win over 'Bama catapulted the Longhorns from 13th to 10th in the Congrove Computer Rankings, from 11th to 4th in the FWAA-NFF Super 16 Poll and the AP Poll, and from 10th to 6th in the AFCA Coaches' Poll.
Alabama fell from 8th to 19th in the computer rankings, and from 3rd to 10th in all three of the aforementioned voter polls.
The bottom line is that Texas is now firmly in the discussion for the 2023 National Championship and elevates the status of head coach Steve Sarkisian. In a ranking of head coaches from CBS Sports and 247Sports that was published just two months ago, 'Sark' was only 8th on the list of Big 12 teams and 37th in the nation out of 68 teams in Power 5 conferences, plus independent Notre Dame.
Texas has moved into a tie with Florida State as the No. 3 National Championship betting favorite, just behind Georgia and Michigan.
For Quinn Ewers, his stats and the win give credibility to the preseason hype as a Heisman contender. Good luck unseating Caleb Williams, but at least he has mounted a challenge after his 349-yard, 3 TD performance.
The Texas-'Bama game was one of just two contests over the weekend that paired Top 25 teams.
The other saw Ole Miss pull away for a 37-20 lead at Tulane after trailing 17-10 at the half. The Green Wave were without starting QB Michael Pratt and the Rebels still didn't pull away until the final 1:53 when a 56-yard field goal made the score 30-20, and a Green Wave fumble that turned into an Ole Miss scoop-and-score put the game away two plays later.
There was only one Top 25 matchup last week, using the AP rankings as the measurement, and there are just two such games this week. No. 3 Alabama hosts No. 11 Texas, and No. 20 Ole Miss visits No. 24 Tulane. Nonetheless, there are some other quality matchups. Let's take a look at the games that stand out on this week's slate.
Outside the Top 25 battles, Deion Sanders and his Colorado Buffaloes continue to bathe in media attention speared by a 2-0 start. The betting on the Colorado-Nebraska game was outpacing the NFL. in the end, the 36-14 home win over the 'Huskers sent the home crowd in Boulder into a field-charging frenzy. And speaking of Heisman contenders, Sanders's son Shedeur has more than a few supporters. In fact, a second Colorado player is also worthy as two-way player Travis Hunter added to his TCU numbers by being on the field for 126 of 140 snaps.
In Miami, a pair of teams faced off that are looking to rebound from disappointing 5-7 seasons a year. The unranked hometown Hurricanes came away with the 48-33 win over then-No. 23 Texas A&M (AP Poll) as Tyler Van Dyke threw for 374 yards and five touchdowns. The victory vaulted Miami to No. 22 in the AP Poll and No. 23 in the Coaches' poll.
In Lubbock and Waco, two games couldn't have played out more differently than expected after the results of week 1 contests.
In Lubbock, Oregon, an 81-7 winner over Portland State faced Texas Tech, a 35-33 upset loser at Wyoming. Former Oregon QB Tyler Shough (pronounced 'Shuck') threw for three TDs and ran for 101 yards but was responsible for four turnovers as the Red Raiders' school-record 23-game winning streak in home openers ended. The third pick was returned 45 yards for a touchdown to give the Ducks a 38-30 lead with only 35 seconds left. And the 4th pick came on a desperation heave as time expired.
In Waco, a Baylor squad that was upset 42-31 by Texas State in week one, faced a Utah team that had opened with a 24-11 home win over Florida. But this one also came down to the final moments as Utah scored twice in the last 1 minute and 59 seconds. QB Nate Johnson's 7-yard run tied the game at 13-all and Cole Bishop intercepted Sawyer Robertson 3 plays later which led to Jaylon Glover game-winning 7-yard TD run with 17 seconds to go as Baylor appeared to allow the score to get the ball back. Now trailing 20-13 , the Bears made it interesting as Hal Presley got behind the defense for a 47-yard reception to the Utes' 22 with 1 second left, but the final play ended with an incomplete pass in the endzone as Ketron Jackson Jr. appeared to be the clear victim of a pass interference penalty that wasn't flagged.
Notre Dame continued it dominance of the ACC as the Irish pulled away for a 45-24 win at NC State. The Irish have 29 straight regular season wins, including 17 straight at opposing ACC venues.
In Chapel Hill, we did not expect North Carolina to have another close game with Appalachian State. Last year, the Tar Heels pulled out a 63-61 win in Boone after the teams combined for 62 points in the 4th quarter with the Mountaineers scoring 40 of those in a wild comeback effort. This time, Appalachian State forced overtime on a 33-yard field goal with 1:22 left and UNC missed from 39 yards on the last play of regulation. Both teams scored TD's in the first extra period, but QB Drake Maye's 13-yard run became the game-winner when App State couldn't answer that score. In the back-and-forth game, the Mountaineers led five times, the Tar Heels four times, and the game was tied four times.
Auburn went on the road to Cal for its Power 5 game for Hugh Freeze as head coach of the Tigers and prevailed 14-10.
In a battle of schools in the San Antonio area, the Texas State squad that upset Baylor in week one came up short on its second upset attempt, falling 20-13 to UTSA in front of just under 50,000 fans at the Alamodome. The Roadrunners prevailed 20-13 over their rival from San Marcos and are 5-0 in the series. The campuses are roughly 50 miles apart.
We asked in last week's preview if Stanford could keep the margin under 60 at USC, and they did. Or should we say that the Trojans allowed the Cardinal to keep under 60 by calling off the dogs after it was 49-3 at the half and Caleb Williams was just a spectator for the second half of the 56-10 USC win.
We also asked in last week's preview if the PAC-12 could stay perfect against outside competition. The answer is 'no' but not for a lack of trying as the PAC-12 schools went 7-3 and are now 20-3 on the year. As mentioned, Utah and Oregon got hard-fought road wins, and Washington State helped out with a 31-22 upset Wisconsin on the Palouse, but the Copper State schools and Cal all came up short. Arizona dropped a 31-24 decision at Mississippi State, Arizona State fell 27-15 at home to Oklahoma State and, as mentioned, Cal lost 14-10 at home to Auburn.
(SEE: Coaching Changes)
There were 25 teams in the FBS that kicked off the season with a different head coach than the one they had at the start of the 2022 season. Only three are still searching for their first win as five more snagged their initial victory over the weekend.
Coastal Carolina: Tim Beck. Won 30-16 vs. Jacksonville State
Navy: Brian Newberry. Won 24-0 vs Wagner (FCS)
Northwestern: David Braun (interim). Won 38-7 vs UTEP
Purdue: Ryan Walters. Won 24-17 at Virginia Tech
USF: Alex Golesh. Won 38-24 vs. Florida A&M (FCS)
Kent State: Kenni Burns. Lost 28-6 at Arkansas
Nebraska: Matt Rhule. Lost 36-14 at Colorado
North Texas: Eric Morris. Lost 46-39 at FIU
This season has 117 of the 133 FBS schools facing one FCS opponent, and Army playing two such games for a total of 118 FBS-FCS matchups.
Of the 16 FBS schools that do NOT play a FCS program, 7 are in the B1G (Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, Wisconsin). 6 more are evenly split between the Big 12 (Houston, Oklahoma, Texas) and Pac-12 (Colorado, USC, Washington). The other three are Liberty (CUSA) , UTSA (American), and Virginia Tech (ACC).
FBS schools were 35-3 this past weekend and are 77-3 this year against the FCS schools. Over-all, the FBS is a collective 1,763-151 (.921) since we began tracking this in 2003.
Here are the FCS wins in 2023, so far:
September 9: Idaho 33, Nevada 6
September 9: Southern Illinois 14, Northern Illinois 12
September 9: Fordham 40, Buffalo 37
Here are the FCS wins in 2022 when the FBS was 112-8 (.933):
September 2: William & Mary 41, Charlotte 24
September 3: Delaware14, Navy 7
September 10: Weber State 35, Utah State 7
September 10: Incarnate Word 55, Nevada 41
September 10: Holy Cross 37, Buffalo 31
September 10: Eastern Kentucky 59, Bowling Green 57 (7 OT's)
September 17: Southern Illinois 31, Northwestern 24
September 24: Sacramento State 41, Colorado State 10
GEORGIA - Won 20 straight home games, 19 straight over-all, and 11 straight true road games.
Last: 45-3 home win over Ball State on Saturday, September 9.
Next: Hosts South Carolina on Saturday, September 16.
ALABAMA - Had won 21 straight home games, but lost to Texas on Saturday.
Last: 34-24 home loss to Texas on Saturday, September 9.
Next: Visits USF on Saturday, September 16.
MICHIGAN - Won 15 straight conference games.
Last: 35-7 home win over UNLV on Saturday, September 9.
Next: Hosts Bowling Green on Saturday, September 16.
NORTHWESTERN - Had lost 12 straight over-all, and 8 straight at home before defeating UTEP on Saturday.
Last: 38-7 home win over UTEP on Saturday, September 9.
Next: Visits Duke on Saturday, September 16.
NEVADA - Lost 12 straight over-all, and 6 straight home games.
Last: 33-6 home loss to FCS member Idaho on Saturday, September 9.
Next: Hosts Kansas on Saturday, September 16.
NORTHERN ILLINOIS - Lost 6 straight home games.
Last: 14-11 home loss to FCS member Southern Illinois on Saturday, September 9.
Next: Visits Nebraska on Saturday, September 16.
USF - Lost 13 straight conference games, 17 straight FBS games, and 19 straight road games.
Last: 28-14 home win over FCS member Florida A&M on Saturday, September 9.
Next: Hosts Alabama on Saturday, September 16.