A Day Of Upsets and Many Escapes
by Mike Mitchell
Six teams in the CCR Top 119 went down to defeat on Saturday while several others survived upset bids.
The losers were No. 14 Alabama, No. 15 Boston College, No. 16 Arizona State, No. 18 UCLA, No. 20 Wisconsin and No. 23 Michigan State.
Alabama lost 24-23 when it missed the extra point on the first possession of a second overtime. No. 43 Arkansas then scored a touchdown on their possession, and converted the PAT, for the win. Vegas oddsmakers favored the Razorbacks but the computer had tapped 'Bama as a 3.72-point favorite.
No. 74 North Carolina State beat Boston College 17-15 on a 34-yard TD pass with 8 seconds left to play. The catch went to a replay review that upheld the reception, though poor TV network replay angles seemed to indicate the receiver never had control of the ball.
No. 16 Arizona State was destroyed by No. 32 California 49-21. Despite being the lower-ranked team, Cal was favored in the ballgame.
Another PAC-10 upset saw No. 18 UCLA fall at No. 66 Washington 29-19. It was only the second conference win for the Huskies over their last 17 PAC-10 games.
No. 24 Notre Dame scored 19 points in less than eight minutes to rally from a 37-21 deficit and stunned No. 23 Michigan State 40-37. The Fighting Irish scored the game-winning touchdown on a 23-yard interception return with 2:53 left to play and sealed the win with another pick-off on the Spartans' following possession.
No. 4 Michigan broke away from a 10-10 halftime tie to beat No. 20 Wisconsin 27-13 in the Big House to keep the Badgers winless in Ann Arbor since 1994. It was the first loss for Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema.
Meanwhile, No. 1 USC shook-off No. 59 Arizona in the fourth quarter for a 20-3 win. The Trojans' lead was just 10-3 until a 33-yard FG with 9:43 to play gave them a little breathing room. They sealed the win on a 9-yard TD run with 3:11 left in the game.
No. 2 Ohio State scored two touchdowns off interception returns in the final 2:31 to pull away from No. 26 Penn State 28-6. The score was only 14-6 when the first interception was returned 61 yards to paydirt. The second came with 1:07 remaining and covered 55 yards.
No. 5 Virginia Tech overcame a 13-12 third-quarter lead by No. 89 Cincinnati by scoring the games' final 17 points in a 29-13 win. The Hokies' defense recorded a blocked punt for a safety to take a 2-0 first-quarter lead, and secured the game with a 72-yard interception return for a touchdown with 2:01 remaining. Cincinnati led 10-5 at the half.
No. 7 Georgia avoided the upset by scoring two touchdowns in the final 9:11 to edge No. 94 Colorado 14-13. The go-ahead score came on a 20-yard TD pass with 46 seconds remaining. Joe Cox guided the Bulldogs on a 5-play, 43-yard drive for the winning points. On their previous series, Georgia turned the ball over on downs at the Colorado 11-yard line but the Buffaloes went three-and-out and had to punt the ball back to the Bulldogs.
No. 8 West Virginia led No. 88 East Carolina by just 17-10 in the fourth quarter before a 60-yard TD pass gave the Mountaineers a cushion. They added a field goal with 6:13 left for the final 27-10 margin.
No. 31 Navy was the victim of a mild upset by No. 51 Tulsa, falling 24-23 on a blocked extra point in overtime. The Midshipmen were narrow favorites.
- No. 3 Louisville won 24-6 at No. 40 Kansas State, opening the game with a 97-yard touchdown drive.
- No. 6 Auburn defeated No. 113 Buffalo 38-7.
- No. 10 Texas blew past No. 46 Iowa State 37-14.
- No. 11 Florida trailed No. 70 Kentucky briefly, 7-6, in the second quarter. The Gators, however, re-took the lead just before halftime and went on to win 26-7. The Wildcats have now dropped 20 straight games to Florida.
- No. 13 LSU pummeled No. 101 Tulane 49-7.
- No. 17 Boise State got past No. 58 Hawaii 41-34.
- No. 19 Iowa handed No. 103 Illinois its 12th straight loss to 1-A schools. The 24-7 defeat was also the 10th straight Big 10 loss for the Fightin' Illini.
- No. 21 Clemson had no trouble with No. 86 North Carolina in a 52-7 romp. It was their most-lopsided win ever in the series which the Tigers now lead 34-18-1.
- No. 22 Texas Tech hammered 1-AA SE Louisiana 62-0.
- No. 25 Missouri pasted No. 72 Ohio 31-6.
Weather wreaked havoc on Saturday, causing delays of several games. Among the areas affected were Knoxville, Tennessee (Marshall-Tennessee), Austin, Texas (Iowa State-Texas), College Station, Texas (Louisiana Tech-Texas A&M) and Oxford, Mississippi (Wake Forest-Mississippi).
No. 69 Nevada returned an interception for a touchdown with a little over two minutes remaining in the game, then recovered a Northwestern fumble on the ensuing kick-off to seal a 31-21 victory over the No. 57 Wildcats on Friday night in Reno.
Northwestern lost two fumbles, had three passes intercepted, missed a field goal, and had another field goal blocked.
On Thursday night, No. 38 Georgia Tech took a 24-0 lead over No. 65 Virginia and never looked back in a 24-7 ACC win.
Whatever can go wrong for FIU, will go wrong. They lost each of their first two games on missed extra points. Three interceptions and a fumble contributed to a 5-point home loss last weekend. This week at Maryland, QB Josh Padrick was intercepted at the 2-yard line on the last play of the game. FIU has lost its four games by a total of 11 points.
WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN
Last week, Middle Tennessee recorded its largest margin of victory in a game since 2000 when it skunked Tennessee Tech 44-0. On Saturday, it suffered its worst loss since moving up to 1-A in 1999, a 59-0 defeat at Oklahoma.
Colorado is 0-4 after a 14-13 come-from-ahead loss at Georgia. Despite nearly pulling off a gigantic upset, the Buffaloes have still only scored a total of 36 points in four games. If they lose their next contest, the Buffaloes will be 0-5 for the first time since 1984.
Miami (Ohio) is 0-4 for the first time since 1989 after a 34-14 loss at Syracuse.
The number of undefeated teams was cut from 29 to 19 over the weekend. The first-time losers were Alabama, Boston College, Arizona State, UCLA, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Navy, South Florida, Kansas State and Oklahoma State.
15 teams began the weekend without a victory but four teams broke through on Saturday. First-time victors were Air Force (over conference foe Wyoming), Vanderbilt (over 1-AA Tennessee State), Louisiana-Lafayette (over 1-AA North Carolina A&T), and Mississippi State (over UAB).
1-A vs. 1-AA
The NCAA has officially re-named them the Bowl Division (1-A) and the Championship Division (1-AA).
9 teams played 1-AA schools over the weekend and 1 was beaten as North Dakota State downed Ball State 29-24.
1-AA schools are 58-6 against 1-AA teams this year. The 1-A teams went 52-2 in such games last year. Since the beginning of the 2003 season, the 1-A schools are now 222-24 in games played against 1-AA teams.
Over 75 schools took the opportunity of a 12th game to schedule a cupcake opponent during the 2006 season.
COMPUTER HITS AND MISSES
The computer nailed the upset picks of Connecticut over Indiana, and Wake Forest over Mississippi. It just missed on the call of Alabama over Arkansas.
WHAT WERE THEY WATCHING?
The broadcast crew on Ohio State-Penn State on ABC was asleep at the wheel in the 4th quarter when Ohio State's Malcolm Jenkins returned an interception 61 yards for a score. Even though the play was under review for more than just a few seconds and several replays were shown, announcers Tim Brandt and Ed Cunningham only mentioned that they thought it was because they were checking to see if Jenkins stepped out of bounds during the return. Actually, they should have been reviewing his spike of the ball which appeared to have occurred right at the goal line, if not before reaching it. That should have been the topic of conversation at the time. In fact, Jenkins was quoted after the game as saying he was lucky they didn't review him spiking the ball at the 1-yard line. Unfortunately, the talking heads were too busy talking to pay attention to the actual events.
USC has won 35 straight regular season games after handling Arizona 20-3. The Trojans also own a nation's-best streak of 28 home victories. USC has won 24 straight games against conference foes.
TCU owns the nation's longest consecutive wins streak at 13 games. The Horned Frogs were idle this past weekend.
Boise State has won 33 consecutive regular season home games after its 41-34 defeat of Hawaii. The Broncos have never lost a home game to a WAC opponent (21-0).
Temple owns the nation's longest losing streak - now at 16 games - after a 41-7 loss at Western Michigan. It was an improvement over their previous two games when they absorbed back-to-back 62-0 losses to Minnesota and Louisville.
Duke has lost 11 straight games over-all, 14 straight to 1-A teams. The Blue Devils were idle this past week.
Illinois has lost 12 straight games to 1-A teams, 10 straight to Big 10 teams after a 24-7 loss to Iowa on Saturday.
New Mexico State has lost 14 straight to 1-A teams. It is 2-0 against 1-AA teams this season. The Aggies were idle this past weekend.
The 2006 season introduces 11 coaching changes. We're tracking their progress throughout the season.
Boise State, 4-0 under Chris Petersen, beat Hawaii 41-34.
Kansas State, 3-1 under Ron Prince, lost to Louisville 24-6.
Wisconsin, 3-1 under Bret Bielema, lost to Michigan 27-13.
Middle Tennessee, 2-2 under Rick Stockstill, lost to Oklahoma 59-0.
Northwestern, 2-2 under Pat Fitzgerald, lost to Nevada 31-21.
Idaho, 1-3 under Dennis Erickson, lost to Oregon State 38-0.
Buffalo, 1-3 with Turner Gill, lost to Auburn 38-7.
San Diego State, 0-3 under Chuck Long, lost to Utah 38-7.
Rice, 0-4 under Todd Graham, lost to Florida State 55-7.
Temple, 0-4 under Al Golden, lost to Western Michigan 41-7.
Colorado, 0-4 under Dan Hawkins, lost to Georgia 14-13.