Bad Week For Big 10
by Mike Mitchell
It was a bad weekend for the top-ranked teams of the Big 10 as Texas and Notre Dame took care of Ohio State and Michigan while Iowa State poured salt into the conference's wounds with a win over Iowa.
Texas stopped Ohio State's string of 36 consecutive wins in Ohio Stadium against non-conference foes with a 25-22 win in Columbus.
Notre Dame got the Charlie Weis era off to a 2-0 start with a 17-10 win over Michigan in Ann Arbor. The Irish led by as much as 17-3 and fended off a rally by the Wolverines.
Iowa lost to Iowa State for the 6th time in the last 8 meetings between the state rivals. The Cyclones dismissed the Hawkeyes 23-3 behind an opportunistic and stingy defense.
It was a major contrast to the opening weekend when every Big 10 team that played emerged victorious.
Hurricane Katrina continued to play into the college football landscape with four games that involved schools affected by the storm.
LSU's home-opener with North Texas was scrubbed on Labor Day weekend and Saturday's home game with Arizona State had to be moved to Tempe. The Sun Devils played gracious hosts to the Tigers, even painting the end zone with "Together We Stand". A see-saw battle ultimately went LSU's way in a 35-31 thriller.
North Texas also got its season started with a 14-7 win at Middle Tennessee. The Mean Green have now won 26 straight Sun Belt conference games. MTSU repeatedly shot itself in the foot with 5 turnovers, including an interception that was returned 99 yards in the third quarter to give North Texas its first score.
Southern Miss, whose Labor Day weekend home-opener with Tulane was also postponed by Katrina, spent over a week at the University of Memphis to prepare for their game with Alabama. The Golden Eagles took a 21-10 lead in the 2nd quarter but Alabama came back for a 30-21 win.
Finally, 1-AA Nicholls State almost pulled off the weekend's biggest upset at Indiana. The Colonels fell 35-31 to the Hoosiers on a touchdown pass with 47 seconds left. Nicholls State had their opener at Utah State canceled because of Katrina and this game had been in jeopardy of not being played until Indiana was able to help the school with its travel arrangements.
Virginia Tech played Duke in Durham, but you wouldn't have known it by the crowd. At least two-thirds of the 25,000 in attendance were Virginia Tech faithful and a sign in one section said "Welcome to Blacksburg." If the small number of Duke football supporters is any indication of Ted Roof's job security, it's not a pretty forecast. It doesn't help when your team manages to gain just 35 yards for an entire game and gives away 68 yards on penalties while getting plastered 45-0.
Georgia got a surprisingly tough battle from South Carolina and escaped with a 17-15 win. The loss for Steve Spurrier was only his 2nd in 13 games as a head coach against the Bulldogs.
Vanderbilt improved to 2-0 for the first time since 1988 with a 28-24 comeback win at Arkansas.
A week after having its 15-game winning streak stopped by Georgia Tech, Auburn shut-out Mississippi State 28-0 for its 11th straight win over SEC teams. MSU has lost 16 straight games against SEC west teams.
TCU was a 21-10 loser to SMU, just a week after the Horned Frogs stunned Oklahoma in Norman.
Oklahoma, meanwhile, had more troubles with a heavy underdog opponent. The Sooners trailed Tulsa 9-7 in the 3rd quarter and led by just 2 points in the 4th before pulling away for a 31-15 win.
Missouri, whose loss to Troy State sent them reeling through the rest of the 2004 season, fell to New Mexico in Columbia. The Lobos scored the final 10 points of the game to break a 35-35 tie and grab a 45-35 victory.
Computer Streak Snapped: When Oregon State kicked the game-winning field goal with 1:03 to play to beat Boise State 30-27, it ended a remarkable streak by the computer. It marked the first time the computer missed a straight up pick on Boise State since November 3, 2001 - a string of 43 consecutive correct calls.
1-AA Schools Strike Out: There were 16 games played between 1-AA schools and their higher-classified brethren. The smaller schools went 0-for-16 but that doesn't mean they failed to provide some uncomfortable moments. Not only did Nicholls State almost upend Indiana, but The Citadel had Florida State fans sweating for a half. The Bulldogs led the Seminoles 10-3 late in the 2nd quarter before FSU awoke and took a 13-10 halftime lead. Florida State then score 49 unanswered points in the 2nd half for a 62-10 win.
Welcome to 1-A: Major college football's two newest teams each fell to 0-2. Florida Atlantic (Boca Raton) lost to Oklahoma State 23-3 on Thursday night and Florida International (Miami) was bombed 56-3 at Texas Tech despite generating almost 350 yards of offense. Both schools are members of the Sun Belt conference.
Streaks: USC owns the nation's longest winning streak at 23. The Trojans also have streaks of 21 straight home wins and 15 consecutive PAC-10 victories. They have won 34 of their last 35 games. USC was idle this weekend.
Boise State's string of 21 regular season wins was halted at Oregon State with a 30-27 loss. The Broncos still own nation's-best streaks of 25 straight home wins and 26 straight conference victories.
Utah has now won 18 in-a-row after a 31-7 victory over Utah State. The Utes have won 11 straight MWC games.
Iowa has won 19 straight home games.
North Texas has won 26 straight over Sun Belt conference opponents. UNT has also won four consecutive Sun Belt titles as they have topped the conference in every year of its existence. They won 14-7 at Middle Tennessee on Saturday.
Central Florida has the nation's longest losing streak at 16. The Golden Knights were idle.
New Coaches: The 2005 season began with 23 coaching changes. Here is how each has fared thus far (list compiled alphabetically by team):
BYU, 1-1 under Bronco Mendenhall, beat 1-AA Eastern Illinois 45-10.
East Carolina, 1-0 under Skip Holtz, was idle.
Florida, 2-0 under Urban Meyer, beat Louisiana Tech 41-3.
Illinois, 2-0 under Ron Zook, beat San Jose State 40-19.
Indiana, 2-0 under Terry Hoeppner, beat 1-AA Nicholls State 35-31.
LSU, 1-0 under Les Miles, beat Arizona State 35-31.
Marshall, 1-1 under Mark Snyder, lost to Kansas State 21-19.
Miami, O., 0-2 under Shane Montgomery, lost to Central Mich. 38-37.
Mississippi, 1-0 under Ed Orgeron, was idle.
Nevada-Las Vegas, 1-1 under Mike Sanford, beat Idaho 34-31.
New Mexico St., 0-2 under Hal Mumme, lost to Colorado 39-0.
Notre Dame, 2-0 under Charlie Weis, beat Michigan 17-10.
Ohio, 1-1 under Frank Solich, beat Pittsburgh 16-10 in overtime.
Okla. St, 2-0 under Mike Gundy, beat FAU 23-3.
Pittsburgh, 0-2 under Dave Wannstedt, lost to Ohio 16-10 in overtime.
San Jose St., 1-1 under Dick Tomey, lost to Illinois 40-19
South Carolina, 1-1 under Steve Spurrier, lost to Georgia 17-15.
Stanford, 1-0 under Walt Harris, beat Navy 41-38.
Syracuse, 1-1 under Greg Robinson, beat Buffalo 31-0.
Utah, 2-0 under Kyle Whittingham, beat Utah State 31-7.
Utah State, 0-1 under Brent Guy, lost to Utah 31-7.
Washington, 0-2 under Ty Willingham, lost to California 56-17.
Western Michigan, 0-2 under Bill Cubit, lost to Toledo 56-23.