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Teams Jockey For Position Before BCS Standings Are Released Monday

Updated 10/11/06
by Mike Mitchell

With the first BCS Standings of 2006 due on Sunday, the 55-game schedule isn't rife with major matchups among highly-ranked teams, but it does offer some quality games.

Standing tall above the rest of the slate are Florida-Auburn, Missouri-Texas A&M, Virginia Tech-Boston College, Michigan-Penn State, California-Washington State, Nebraska-Kansas State, Arizona State-USC, Rutgers-Navy, UCLA-Oregon and Wake Forest-N.C. State.

Perhaps only the first four games on that list truly even capture the national interest, but all of those games could go either way.

Twelve teams are idle this week: Akron, Brigham Young, Georgia Tech, Louisiana-Lafayette, Middle Tennessee, Nevada, North Texas, Notre Dame, San Diego State, South Carolina, Tennessee, and TCU.

UNBEATEN TEAMS
All the extra games against 1-AA teams hasn't help preserve the unbeaten ranks. There were 9 teams still undefeated at this point last year and, guess what, there are 9 unbeaten teams now - Boise State, Florida, Louisville, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio State, West Virginia, Rutgers, and USC.

WINLESS TEAMS
Oddly enough, despite all of the extra games against 1-AA schools, there are 8 winless teams compared to just 5 at the same time a year ago - Duke, Eastern Michigan, FIU, Miami (O.), San Diego State, Stanford, and Temple.

TOP 30 CLASHES
All games Saturday unless otherwise indicated.

These involve teams ranked in the Top 30 of the CCR Top 119.

No. 7 Florida at No. 15 Auburn - The two-headed QB at Florida is working well for Urban Meyer. Back-up QB Tim Tebow had 2 TD passes in last week's big win over LSU that ran Meyer's record to 11-0 at "The Swamp". But Meyer's regular season record on opponents' fields is a pedestrian 2-3. Florida is 8-1 in its last nine meetings with Auburn but the teams haven't met since 2002. And the last time they played at Auburn was in 2001 when the Tigers prevailed, 23-20, in Steve Spurrier's final year as the head coach at Florida.

No. 10 Missouri at No. 28 Texas A&M - The computer's preseason projections had Missouri going 6-6 this season with a 4-2 mark at this juncture. But the Tigers have already pocketed six wins and are among just nine remaining teams that have yet to be beaten. The 38-21 win at Texas Tech was impressive last Saturday. This week, they head back to the Lone Star state to invade College Station and the "Home of the 12th Man", Texas A&M's Kyle Field. Missouri has won the last two confrontations with the Aggies after A&M won the first 6 matches between the two schools. They haven't met since 2003. The two schools first played in 1957 and the Tigers didn't have a win over Texas A&M until 2002.

No. 24 UCLA at No. 11 Oregon - The Ducks are stinging from last week's 45-24 blowout loss at California. The Ducks and Bruins are among four teams with one conference loss, sitting behind Cal and USC which are perfect in PAC-10 play. UCLA won when these teams last met in 2004 (at Oregon), but the Ducks have captured four of the last five in the series.

No. 13 Virginia Tech at No. 26 Boston College - The Hokies were soundly beaten at home by Georgia Tech in their last outing, while the Eagles lost to N.C. State in the final seconds of their last ACC contest over two weeks ago. Each team has had extra time to prepare as both were idle this past week. Virginia Tech has won 8 of the last 9 meetings with BC, and is 9-3 all-time against the Eagles.

CONFERENCE GAMES
All games Saturday unless otherwise indicated.

ACC:
Thursday night's ACC game on ESPN is a big one for the second week in-a-row. Last week, N.C. State dealt Florida State a huge blow and the Wolfpack sneaked in to the top spot of the Atlantic Division. This week, Boston College entertains Virginia Tech with each team already one loss down in their respective divisions.

The Wake Forest-N.C.State game on Saturday is also a big one. The Wolfpack lead the Atlantic Division after losing early non-conference games to Akron and
Southern Miss. Wake tumbled out of first with its fourth-quarter brain freeze against Clemson last Saturday.

Virginia Tech at Boston College (Thursday) (also see "Top 30 Clashes" above)
Florida State at Duke
Maryland at Virginia
Wake Forest at N.C. State

BIG EAST:
Most of the Big East teams are playing non-conference games, while Louisville plays its first Big East match of the season.

Cincinnati at Louisville

BIG TEN:
Ohio State travels to Michigan State which has fallen to pieces since its collapse against Notre Dame. But the Spartans always seem to be a team that will pull a surprise on someone every season. Buckeyes beware.

Happy Valley could spell trouble for Michigan, but the Wolverines have won 3 straight there and haven't lost to Penn State since 1996. Michigan's 20-0 shutout in 2001 is the only time Joe Paterno has been blanked at home in his entire coaching career.

Iowa at Indiana
Michigan at Penn State
Ohio State at Michigan State
Minnesota at Wisconsin

BIG TWELVE:
Who would have thought, at the beginning of the season, that Baylor and Texas would be tied atop the south division standings with 2-0 conference marks at this point in the season?

Baylor at Texas
Texas Tech at Colorado
Iowa State at Oklahoma
Oklahoma State at Kansas
Nebraska at Kansas State
Missouri at Texas A&M
(also see "Top 30 Clashes" above)

CUSA:
I'm still trying to figure out the whole Houston thing. They go to Miami and almost beat the 'Canes. Then, they return home and lose to Louisiana-Lafayette for a rare non-conference win for a Sun Belt Team.

East Carolina at Tulsa
Houston at Southern Miss
Marshall at SMU
Tulane at UTEP

MAC:
Kent State and Central Michigan are 3-0 in conference play and lead their respective divisions. The conference standings are practically upside-down from what they usually are.

Ball State at Central Michigan
Eastern Michigan at Bowling Green
Miami (Ohio) at Buffalo
Toledo at Kent State

MOUNTAIN WEST:
Air Force is 2-0 in conference play, along with BYU and Utah. Colorado State is 1-0 in the conference.

Colorado State at Air Force (Thursday)
New Mexico at UNLV
Utah at Wyoming

PAC-10:
A four-team logjam at the top of the PAC-10 standings was cut in half last weekend as Cal clobbered Oregon, and USC squeaked past Washington. Now, there's a four-team pile-up in second place at 2-1.Two of those teams face-off when UCLA visits Oregon as the Ducks try to get back on track in the friendly confines of Autzen Stadium.

Arizona State at USC
California at Washington State
UCLA at Oregon
(also see "Top 30 Clashes" above)

SEC:
I wouldn't be totally shocked if Mississippi beats 'Bama, Vandy knocks off Georgia and Kentucky bounces LSU.

Mississippi at Alabama
Florida at Auburn
(also see "Top 30 Clashes" above)
Vanderbilt at Georgia
Kentucky at LSU

SUN BELT:
There's one Sun Belt conference game on the schedule Saturday and very few people will notice or care.
La.-Monroe at Troy

WAC:
What on earth has happened to Fresno State. The Bulldogs have lost 8 of their 9 games and are on a four-game losing streak after opening the season with a decent win over Nevada. Hawaii could easily extend Fresno State's skid to five games.

For the fourth straight week, Idaho's opponent enters the game winless against 1-A teams.

Hawaii at Fresno State
Idaho at Louisiana Tech
Boise State at New Mexico State (Sunday)

NON-CONFERENCE GAMES
All games Saturday unless otherwise indicated.

The non-conference games don't hold any gems, but there are a few interesting games. Rutgers at Navy is particularly appealing as each team is in the Top 31 of the CCR Top 119. The Scarlet Knights are ranked 16th and the Midshipmen are 31st. With a win this week, Rutgers would be 6-0 for the first time since 1976.

Temple vs. Clemson (at Charlotte) (Thursday) (MAC vs. ACC)
Pittsburgh at Central Florida (Big East vs. CUSA)
Arkansas State at Memphis (Sun Belt vs. CUSA)
Army at UConn (Independent vs. Big East)
FIU at Miami, Fla. (Sun Belt vs. ACC)
Ohio at Illinois (MAC vs. Big 10)
Rutgers at Navy (Big East vs. Independent)
South Florida at North Carolina (Big East vs. ACC)

IN-STATE BATTLES
All games Saturday unless otherwise indicated.

Baylor at Texas (also see "Conference Games" above)
FIU at Miami, Fla. (also see "Non-Conference Games" above)
Toledo at Kent State (also see "Conference Games" above)

POISONED CUPCAKES
All games Saturday unless otherwise indicated.

3 teams play 1-AA schools this week. Over 75 schools took the opportunity of a 12th game to schedule a cupcake opponent.

1-AA schools lost the only game against 1-A teams last week and are 6-64 for the season. Since the start of the 2003 campaign, 1-A teams hold the upper hand by a huge margin, 228-24 (.905).

Southern Utah (1-AA) at FAU (Thursday)
SE Missouri (1-AA) at Arkansas
Jacksonville St. (1-AA) at Mississippi State
(also see "In-State Battles")

STREAKS
USC has won 37 straight regular season games, 29 straight home games, and 26 straight games against conference foes.

Ohio State has the longest over-all winning streak at 13 games.

Boise State has won 34 consecutive regular season home games. The Broncos have never lost a home game to a WAC opponent (22-0).

Texas has won 17 straight conference games.

Temple owns the nation's longest losing streak at 18 games.

Duke has lost 13 straight games over-all, 16 straight to 1-A teams.

Colorado has lost 10 straight games.

New Mexico State has lost 16 straight to 1-A teams. It is 2-0 against 1-AA teams this season.

NEW COACHES
The 2006 season introduces 11 coaching changes. We're tracking their progress throughout the season.

Boise State, 6-0 under Chris Petersen, visits New Mexico State Sunday.
Wisconsin, 5-1 under Bret Bielema, hosts Minnesota Saturday.
Kansas State, 4-2 under Ron Prince, hosts Nebraska Saturday.
Middle Tennessee, 3-3 under Rick Stockstill, is idle.
Idaho, 3-3 under Dennis Erickson, visits Louisiana Tech Saturday.
Northwestern, 2-4 under Pat Fitzgerald, hosts Purdue Saturday.
Buffalo, 1-4 with Turner Gill, hosts Miami (Ohio) Saturday.
Rice, 1-5 under Todd Graham, hosts UAB Saturday.
San Diego State, 0-5 under Chuck Long, is idle Saturday.
Temple, 0-6 under Al Golden, plays Clemson in Charlotte on Thursday.
Colorado, 0-6 under Dan Hawkins, hosts Texas Tech on Saturday.