Alamo Bowl Rematch Kicks Off Week 2
Notre Dame-Michigan, Alabama-Penn State and South Carolina-Georgia Among Highlight Games
by Dave Congrove
September 7, 2011
For the second time in their last three games, Arizona and Oklahoma State will face each other in a Big 12-PAC 12 showdown. This rematch of last season's Alamo Bowl will take place on Thursday night at Stillwater after the Cowboys won the last match 36-10. The QB's in this game are ranked 1-2 in passing yards after 1 week of play. Nick Foles threw for 412 yards, 5 TD's and 0 picks for the Wildcats in a 41-10 win over FCS foe Northern Arizona. The Cowboys' Brandon Weeden passed for 388 yards, 3 TD's and 3 picks - 2 of which were returned for touchdowns - in a 61-34 win over Louisiana-Lafayette.
Friday's slate presents an interesting pair of interconference action as Missouri travels to Arizona State in another Big 12-PAC 12 game, and the Big East's Louisville hosts the Sun Belt's top team in FIU. My Congrove Computer's Rankings call on both games is surprising as it takes Missouri and FIU in a pair of upsets. The Vegas "experts" have Arizona State as a 5-point favorite and Louisville favored by 9, but the computer takes Missouri by 12.29 and FIU by 2.01.
Saturday's action includes Mississippi State at Auburn in a key SEC West battle. The same conference serves up South Carolina at Georgia in a game with huge implications for the Bulldogs and head coach Mark Richt who can't afford to start 0-2.
TCU is in the same boat as Georgia as it heads to Air Force for a Mountain West tussle among two of the preseason projected frontrunners of the conference. Once again, the computer differs from Vegas and tabs the Falcons as a 4.71-point pick.
BYU escaped with a 1-point win at Ole Miss last Saturday and now heads to Texas to face a Longhorn team that is on a mission to wipe out the sour tastes of last year's 5-7 debacle. Texas was a 0.04-pint preseason computer underdog in this game, but is now a 1.73-point favorite.
Fresno State tackles its second big road game in as many weeks. The Bulldogs fell 36-21 to Cal last week at San Francisco's Candlestick Park and now head to Lincoln to take on Nebraska. It should come as no surprise that the Cornhuskers are 3-TD favorites by Vegas and the computer.
The season's first PAC-12 game takes place in Los Angeles when Utah visits USC. Matt Barkley and Co. struggled to a 19-17 home win over Minnesota last week while Utah only managed a 27-10 win over FCS member Montana State.
Alabama visits Penn State on Saturday afternoon (3:30 ET). The Tide opened as an 11-point Vegas favorite and get a 13.88-point line from the computer. Alabama won last year's game in Tuscaloosa 24-3 and have won four of the last five meetings dating back to 1987.
The day ends with the first night game at The Big House when Michigan hosts Notre Dame. The game comes on the heels of the first cancellation ever at Michigan Stadium as last week's game was called due to bad weather with 1:27 left in the 3rd quarter and Michigan leading Western Michigan 34-10. Notre Dame's game was twice interrupted by rain, but managed to be played to its full conclusion with the Irish coming out on the wrong end of a 23-20 result against USF. Michigan has won the last 2 games in the storied series and 4 of the last 5. Big Blue also leads the overall series, 22-15-1.
OPENING WEEK ACCURACY:
In week one, the computer was 71-7 overall and 35-5 in games where both combatants were from the FBS ranks. It also nailed the winner of several key games, including LSU over Oregon and Boise State walloping Georgia. And it went 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS in the five upset games that it forecasted, including Baylor over TCU, Maryland over Miami, and Ball State over Indiana.
FBS vs. FCS:
FBS teams went 36-2 (.947) against FCS teams last week and are 583-51 (.920) in such games since 2003.
Here are the results of every FBS loss to the FCS this season:
9/3: Richmond 23, Duke 21
9/3: Sacramento State 29, Oregon State 28
This year, 93 FBS teams play a total of 97 games against FCS foes. Four schools play two such games - Air Force, Eastern Michigan, N.C. State and Wyoming.
Boise State - 32 home wins, 62 regular season home wins, and 46 straight conference home victories. BSU joins the Mountain West this season and leaves the WAC having never lost at home to a fellow WAC member (40-0). The Broncos' last home loss to a conference foe occurred in 1998 when they were a member of the Big West and fell to Idaho in the final regular season game. The Broncos are now 7-1 in their last eight matches with BCS conference schools after beating Georgia 35-21 in the Chick-fl-A Kickoff Classic at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. (Next: visits Toledo on Friday, 9/16).
Auburn - 16 straight wins overall. (Next: hosts Mississippi State on Saturday)
TCU - 20 straight home wins and 17 straight conference wins. (Next: visits Air Force on Saturday).
Virginia Tech - 11 regular season wins (excludes ACC Championship game win). (Next: visits East Carolina on Saturday).
Oklahoma - 37 straight home victories. (Next: visits Florida State on Saturday, 9/17).
San Jose State - 11 straight losses. (Next: visits UCLA on Saturday).
Memphis - 10 straight losses. (Next: visits Arkansas State on Saturday)
New Mexico - 16 straight road losses. (Next: plays Arkansas in Little Rock on Saturday).
24 teams have a new college football coach in the FBS ranks this season. Last season saw 23 new head coaches, only 8 of whom matched or exceeded the W-L record of their predecessors' final season.
The new head coaches went 14-10 last week, but only two of those teams - Ball State and Maryland - defeated schools from the "Big 6" conferences. Five defeated FCS programs while seven beat schools from other FBS conferences or an FBS independent.
Here are this week's games for each new head coach:
||Hosts Memphis on Saturday
||Visits USF on Saturday
||Hosts California on Saturday
||Visits Vanderbilt on Saturday
||Hosts UAB on Saturday
||Hosts Virginia on Saturday
||Hosts Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday
||Visits Kent State on Saturday
||Hosts Notre Dame on Saturday
||Hosts New Mexico State on Saturday
||Everett Withers (Interim)
||Hosts Rutgers on Saturday
||Hosts Houston on Saturday
||Visits Kansas on Saturday
||Luke Fickell (Interim)
||Hosts Toledo on Saturday
||Hosts FCS member Maine on Saturday
|San Diego St.
||Visits Army on Saturday
||Visits Duke on Saturday
||Visits Akron on Saturday
||Visits Tulane on Saturday
||Hosts Connecticut on Saturday
||Hosts FCS member Norfolk State on Saturday