The Sun Belt Conference had three games against Big 12 foes and won all three on Saturday.
After a pair of afternoon games saw Arkansas State win 35-31 at Kansas State, and Louisiana score a 31-14 knockout at Iowa State, it was up to Coastal Carolina to punch the trifecta ticket. The Chanticleers did just that with a 38-23 win at Kansas.
Over-all, the CollegeFootballPoll.com predictions based on the Congrove Computer Rankings went 15-5 straight up and a solid 10-4 against the spread.
In Manhattan, Arkansas State turned a 21-7 second quarter deficit into a 28-21 lead early in the 4th. But the Wildcats responded with a tying TD at the 6:35 mark and a go-ahead field goal with 2:30 to play. Unfazed, the Red Wolves drove 65 yards in 7 plays for what became the game-winning points on Jonathan Adams' 17-yard catch from Layne Hatcher with just 38 ticks on the clock. Arkansas State's last win over a FBS team came in 2008 at Texas A&M when the Aggies were still a Big 12 team.
Louisiana's win in Ames was more dominating. After spotting the Cyclones a 14-7 lead with 1:17 left in the half, the Ragin' Cajuns shut out the hosts while tallying 24 points of their own. Until Saturday's win, Louisiana was 0-26 against Top 25 teams on the road since knocking off - guess who - Texas A&M in 1996.
You don't have to go back far at all for Coastal Carolina's last win over a Big 12 team. It came last year in the same place - Lawrence, Kansas - in the second game of the season. That one was close, 12-7. This one was pretty much a walkover as the Chanticleers took a 28-0 lead and went on to win 38-23.
Sticking with the Sun Belt, Georgia Southern was at the other end of the spectrum on Saturday as the Eagles needed to rally to get past FCS member Campbell 27-26, AND survive a failed 2-point conversion attempt by the Camels with 15 seconds left in the game.
Another Sun Belt team, Texas State, had seemingly rallied to beat nearby rival UTSA for the first time when a 91-yard punt return made it 41-all with 1:16 left in the game. But the possible game-winning PAT was pulled right by the left-footed kicker and the Bobcats wound up falling 51-48 in double-overtime. The same kicker hooked a possible game-tying FG in the second OT.
South Alabama was looking to go 2-0 against non-conference foes when it hosted Tulane as an 11-point underdog. For most of the game, it looked like the Jaguars would achieve that goal. South Alabama led 14-3 after the first quarter and 24-6 halfway through the 3rd before the Green Wave woke up and scored 21 unanswered points. A 16-yard run with 3:18 left gave Tulane the 27-24 comeback victory.
Sun Belt juggernaut Appalachian State did what it was always does and picked up a 35-20 home win over a pesky Charlotte team from CUSA.
One Sun Belt team didn't fare well at all as Army took down Louisiana-Monroe 37-7. The Black Knights ran roughshod over a second straight opponent as they amassed 436 yards on the ground, paced by Jacobi Buchanan's 106 and 2 scores on 11 carries. Army skunked MTSU 42-0 a week ago.
This week's slate of college football games kicked off on Thursday with Miami (FLA) winning its opener 31-14 at home over UAB. The game was played in front of just 8,153 fans despite having an allowance for 13,000. Miami students are not permitted to attend the first two home games.
The Hurricanes racked up 495 total yards, paced by Houston transfer QB D'Eriq King who threw for 144 and a TD and ran for 83 and another score. Cam'Ron Harris had 134 yards rushing and 2 TD's on just 17 carries.
The Blazers didn't look like they were playing their second game of the season, committing 11 penalties and constantly putting themselves in long yardage situations for 1st-down conversions. They wound up with only 14 first downs and 285 total yards.
Miami is 1-0 for the first time since 2017 when it opened the season vs. Bethune-Cookman. The 'Canes fell to Florida at the start of last season, and LSU in 2018.
Saturday saw the big boys take care of business as Clemson won 37-13 at Wake Forest, Oklahoma took out FCS member Missouri State 48-0, and Notre Dame prevailed 27-13 at home over Duke in that school's first-ever football game as a conference member. Clemson and Oklahoma both took it easy in the second half after building insurmountable leads, but the Irish weren't clear of the Blue Devils until the 4th quarter.
In other action of note on Saturday, Florida State blocked two field goals and a PAT but still managed to lose its 4th straight season-opener, 16-13 to lowly Georgia Tech. It was Mike Norvell's inaugural game as head coach of the Seminoles, which started 30 minutes late due to lighting, and was interrupted again by weather in the first quarter with FSU ahead 7-0. Florida State made it 10-0 after the delay, but the offense largely faded and fizzled after that. Still, it took a strip-sack by the Yellow Jackets at FSU's 11-yard line in the 4th quarter that set Georgia Tech up for what became the game-winning field goal with 8:56 still to play. There were just under 18,000 fans in the stands in Tallahassee.
Not sure if North Carolina was that impressive, or if Syracuse was just that awful, but the Tar Heels squeezed the Orange into pulp, 31-6, at Chapel Hill in front of zero fans.
In late games Saturday, Texas pummeled UTEP 59-3, but Texas Tech needed everything it had to survive FCS member Houston Baptist. Every time the Red Raiders started to pull away, the Huskies charged back. In the end, the visitors fell by just 2 points, 35-33, when an attempted two-point conversion pass failed with 3:23 remaining in the contest. The teams combined for 1,224 yards of offense with 1,002 of that coming through the air. Houston Baptist QB Bailey Zappe threw for 567 yards and 4 TD's with 0 INT's. The Huskies lost 57-31 last week at North Texas and, at this moment, have just one game left on their schedule which will be at Louisiana Tech on September 26th.
There were 6 FBS-FCS matchups this week and the FBS won them all. However two of those were close calls as Campbell missed a late 2-point conversion that would have given the Camels the win at Georgia Southern, and Houston Baptist missed a late two-point conversion that would have tied the game at Texas Tech late in the 4th.
The number of FBS vs. FCS games on the schedule this season increased by two when it was announced that Virginia had added a visit from Abilene Christian, and FIU set a home date with Jacksonville State. That brings the total number of FBS-FCS games 33 with 29 different FBS schools playing at least one such game. Army has 3 such games on its schedule.
There were 4 such games over the Labor Day weekend and FBS team went 4-0.
FBS teams are 10-0 on the year and 1,445-127 (.919) since we began tracking this in 2003.
Last year, FBS teams were 111-3 (.974) in such games.
These were the FCS wins vs. the FBS in the previous 2 seasons:
August 29: Central Arkansas 35, Western Kentucky 28
September 7: Southern Illinois 45, Massachusetts 20
September 14: The Citadel 27, Georgia Tech 24 (OT)
August 29: 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
CLEMSON - Won 30 straight regular season games (FBS longest) games. Won 22 straight conference games (FBS longest). Won 22 straight home games (FBS longest). Won 13 straight true road games (FBS longest).
Last: Won 37-13 at Wake Forest on Saturday, September 12.
Next: Hosts FCS member The Citadel on Saturday, September 19
LSU - 16-game over-all winning streak (FBS longest).
Last: Won 42-25 over Clemson in the national championship game in New Orleans on January 13.
Next: Season opener at home vs. Mississippi State on September 26.
ARKANSAS - Lost 19 straight conference games, 9 straight road games, and 9 straight overall. All of those streaks are the current FBS longest among teams playing this Fall season.
Last: Lost 24-14 at home to Missouri on November 29, 2019.
Next: Season opener at home vs. Georgia on September 26.
UTEP - Lost 15 straight to FBS schools.
Last: Lost 59-3 at Texas on Saturday September 12.
Next: Hosts FCS member Abilene Christian on Saturday, September 19.
RUTGERS - Lost 21 straight conference games (FBS longest). Lost 13 straight road games (FBS longest)
Last: Lost 27-6 at Penn State on November 30, 2019.
Next: Rutgers, and all of the Big Ten, is sitting out the Fall season.
AKRON - Lost 17 straight overall (FBS longest). Lost 8 straight home games (FBS longest).
Last: Lost 52-3 at home to Ohio on November 26, 2019.
Next: Akron, and all of the MAC, is sitting out the fall season.
UCONN - Lost 19 straight conference games.
Last: Lost 49-17 at Temple on November 30, 2019.
Next: UConn, which left the American Conference at the end of last season and became an Independent, is sitting out the Fall season.