Week 4 Preview - Clemson Tries To Run Record to 40-3 in Last 43 Games

September 13, 2017 by Dave Congrove

Another week. Another hurricane, More cancellations. And as I write this, I'm still in Mississippi waiting for power to be restored back in Florida.

Two weeks after Hurricane Harvey blasted southeast Texas, Hurricane Irma took its toll on most of Florida and other parts of the southeast. Seven games have now been canceled altogether, and another moved, due to the subtropical hell that's been unleashed on the U.S.

Houston at UTSA was astoundingly the only game canceled by Harvey. Last weekend, Irma forced the complete cancellations Miami at Arkansas State, Memphis at UCF, USF at Connecticut, Northern Colorado at Florida, and Louisiana-Monroe at Florida State. Stricken from the slate this week are Georgia Tech at UCF, and FIU and Indiana. The Miami at Florida State game was pushed back to October 7.

Additionally this past weekend, FIU and Georgia Southern moved their respective home games against Alcorn State and New Hampshire to Birmingham, Alabama.

If you're keeping track, that means FSU, UCF and Miami will have a 3-week separation between their first and second games. That could be particularly harmful to Florida State which hasn't played since losing quarterback Deondre Francois for the season after he suffered a leg injury late in the loss to Alabama on Labor Day weekend.

The changes in the schedules reduce this week's slate to 65 games with 14 of those pitting FBS teams against FCS schools. That means 116 teams will see action this week while 14 take the week off. The schools that already had an open week are Arkansas, Eastern Michigan, Georgia Southern, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan State, Navy, and UNLV. Now added to that list obviously are FIU, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Miami, and UCF.

The biggest game on the radar this week is an ACC clash that pits the reigning Heisman Trophy winner's team against the defending national champions. Lamar Jackson's Louisville Cardinals are 8.26-point computer underdogs at the Clemson Tigers. Clemson is 39-3 in its last 42 games. The Tigers are ranked 5th in this week's Congrove Computer Rankings while the Cards reside at No. 28.

Texas rolled an opponent like it was suppose to do when it crushed San Jose State 56-0 last week after losing the opener at home to Maryland. But the Longhorns' reward is a trip to USC as a 14.30-point underdog.

Tennessee and Florida was one of the best rivalries in the SEC not that long ago, but an 11-game winning streak by the Gators nearly rendered the annual matchup irrelevant. With Tennessee's win last year, the Vols can now go for 2 in-a-row and try to draw their 20-26 overall record in the series a little closer to 50 percent. The computer gives Tennessee a very slight advantage by just 0.18 points.

Rutgers has won 5 games over the last 2 seasons and 2 of those were vs. FCS schools. They get another FCS school, Morgan State, at home this weekend. But a win won't change the fact that the Scarlet Knights have lost 11 straight to FBS schools and haven't defeated a Power 5 Conference opponent since outscoring Indiana 55-52 on October 17, 2015.

Despite being handed a 41-17 loss at Duke last week, Northwestern has moved from a preseason 21.21-point favorite over Bowling Green to a 25.24-point computer pick now. That's how bad BGSU has been, thus far. The Falcons are coming off a 35-27 loss to FCS member South Dakota.

Nebraska head coach Mike Riley received a 1-year extension to take him through 2020 as the head coach of the 'Huskers after losing 42-35 at Oregon and holding on to defeat Arkansas State 43-36 in the opener. It begs the question, "What has happened to expectations in Lincoln?" The computer only likes Nebraska by 7.41 points when it hosts Northern Illinois on Saturday.

TCU has allowed a total of 7 points in its first 2 games. The Horned Frogs' opponent this week is an SMU squad that has scored 112 in its first 2 games. TCU is a 15.18-point computer favorite.

Vanderbilt has allowed a total of 6 points in its first 2 games. The Commodores' opponent this week is a Kansas State squad that has scored 110 in its first 2 games. Vanderbilt is a 0.47-point computer pick.

Kansas looks to go 0-2 vs. the MAC when it heads to Athens, Ohio to face the Bobcats as a 16.34-point underdog. The Jayhawks fell 45-27 at home to Central Michigan last Saturday. Meanwhile, Central Michigan is only a 4.79-point underdog at Syracuse after being listed as a 17.28-point computer underdog in the preseason.

When Army West Point faces Ohio State for the first time in history this week, it will do so as a Top 25 team. The Black Knights are at No. 23 in this week's Congrove Rankings. The 12th-ranked Buckeyes are a 13.64-point computer pick, which is way under the 30-point Vegas spread.


98 games were scheduled to be played by FBS teams against FCS schools, but the cancellation of Northern Colorado at Florida (due to Hurricane Irma) reduced that number to 97. Then the addition of Charleston Southern at Indiana (to replace the FIU at Indiana game that was canceled due to Hurricane Irma) took us back to 98.

25 of those games took place last weekend with FCS squads picking up 2 victories. South Dakota defeated Bowling Green, and New Hampshire knocked off Georgia Southern. 14 such games take place this week.

FBS schools are now 66-6 vs. the FCS this season (.917) and 1,196-114 (.913) since 2003.

These are the FCS victories in 2017:
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.

The 98-game total for this season is down substantially from the 110 schools that played 113 games vs. FCS schools last year.


Alabama - Won 38 straight regular season nonconference games (FBS longest). Won 11 straight road games. Won 17 straight conference games (FBS record). Hosts Colorado State on Saturday.

Oklahoma - Won 12 straight overall (FBS longest). Won 12 straight road games (FBS longest). Hosts Tulane on Saturday.

Houston - Won 15 straight home games (FBS longest). Hosts Rice on Saturday.

Fresno State - Lost 14 straight FBS games (FBS longest). Visits Washington on Saturday.

Rutgers - Lost 11 straight overall (FBS longest).  Lost 14 straight conference games (FBS longest). Hosts FCS member Morgan State on Saturday.

Kansas - Lost 41 straight road games (FBS longest). Visits Ohio on Saturday.