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Top Teams Stay On Track

by Dave Congrove
October 11, 2009

It wasn't one of those weekends filled with surprises as 27-of-50 games between FBS schools had double-digit computer spreads and 21 of those teams won.

Among the top-ranked teams, Florida outslugged LSU; Texas pulled away from Colorado; Alabama shut down Ole Miss; Virginia Tech stomped Boston College; Iowa edged Michigan; Arkansas rolled Auburn; Oregon State downed Stanford; and Kansas escaped Iowa State.

Tim Tebow returned from the concussion he suffered against Kentucky. Thanks to a bye week, Tebow never missed a game - it just seemed that way. He and the Gators took a 13-3 win from LSU on a Saturday night in Baton Rouge in a game that produced a total of 489 yards.

Sam Bradford returned to the Oklahoma lineup and threw for 389 yards and a TD in a 33-7 win over Baylor. Bradford was seeing his first action since injuring his throwing shoulder in the opening day loss to BYU. Next up on the agenda is the Red River Rivalry with Texas at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas.

Texas was a 38-14 winner over Colorado, but that's not indicative of the game as the offense only accounted for 17 points. The Longhorns were bailed out by a rash of Colorado miscues after the Buffaloes held a 14-3 lead late in the 2nd quarter. A long bomb cut the score to 14-10 at halftime, and the game really turned early in the second half when Colorado surrendered a blocked punt to give Texas a 17-14 lead. On its next possession, the Buffs drove into position to at least tie the game at 17-apiece, but a poor pass was intercepted and returned 89 yards to finally give the Longhorns some breathing room. A 74-yard punt return made it 31-14 to put the game away early in the 4th.

Jevan Snead threw 4 picks and his Ole Miss Rebels were never a real threat in a 22-3 home loss to Alabama.

Virginia Tech jumped out to a 34-0 lead on Boston College by halftime, and cruised to a 48-14 win. Meanwhile, Georgia Tech outscored Florida State in a wild 49-44 shootout. The Yellow Jackets and Hokies - Coastal division foes - meet next week in Atlanta in a major ACC battle.

All 'eyes' have it in the Big Ten. The Iowa Hawkeyes and Ohio State Buckeyes are the only remaining undefeated teams in conference play after Iowa held off Michigan 30-28, and Ohio State downed Wisconsin 31-13.

Iowa came in to the game leading the Big Ten in turnover margin and took advantage of 5 Michigan miscues to win for the 10th straight time. Midway through the 4th quarter, Wolverine QB Tate Forcier was benched in favor of fellow freshman Denard Robinson. Robinson led a late TD drive that produced the final score, but was intercepted on the next possession.

Auburn's undefeated run came to an abrupt halt in a 44-23 assault at Arkansas. The Razorbacks were 0-3 in SEC games in Fayetteville last year.

Oregon State handed Stanford its' first PAC-10 loss, dropping the Cardinal to 3-1. That cleared the way for the Beavers' state rival, Oregon, to move to the top of the standings as the Ducks beat UCLA 24-10 earlier in the day to improve to 3-0 in the conference.

Late Saturday night, Arizona was on the cusp of improving to 4-1 overall, 2-1 in the PAC-10, when the Wildcats snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. With less than 3 minutes to play in the game, Washington intercepted a pass that deflected off the toe of the Wildcat receiver and returned it 37 yards for the winning points. The win improved the Huskies to 3-3 overall, 2-1 in league play, under first-year head coach Steve Sarkisian.

Undefeated Kansas rebuked Iowa State's upset bid with a 41-36 home win. The Cyclones advanced to the Kansas 31-yard line late in the game but turned the ball over on downs.

Texas Tech exploded for 739 yards in a 66-14 destruction of Kansas State. QB Steve Sheffield had 7 TD passes and 490 yards.

West Virginia beat Syracuse 34-13, and has now scored between 30 and 35 points in every one of its games. Ironically, the 'Cuse has surrendered 34 points three times. Meanwhile, Pitt tripped Connecticut 24-21 to become the first Big East team to get to 2-0 in the conference. This Thursday night, CIncinnati travels to USF for a showdown between a pair of teams that are 5-0 overall, 1-0 in league play.

Big East member Louisville ended an 8-game losing streak to FBS schools with a 25-23 home upset of former CUSA rival Southern Miss.

EXPLAIN THIS
UTEP knocks Houston from the unbeaten ranks last week with a 58-41 smackdown of the Cougars, then becomes Memphis' first FBS victim of the season on Saturday in a 35-20 loss. In fact, it's the first time this season that the Tigers scored more than 16 points vs. a FBS school.

In another shocking CUSA development, SMU upset East Carolina 28-21 in Dallas. June Jones suddenly has the Mustangs sitting at 2-0 in the league's west division, 3-2 overall, in his second season at the helm.

Virginia couldn't get out of its own way in racing to a 0-3 start that included an opening day defeat at the hands of FCS member William & Mary. On Satuday, the Cavaliers clobbered Indiana 47-7 and have now won their last two games (Hoosiers and North Carolina) by a combined score of 63-10.

Idaho ran its record to 5-1 overall with a 29-25 win at San Jose State. The Vandals are 2-0 in the WAC and sit atop the conference standings. Boise State and Nevada are each 1-0 to trail Idaho by a half-game.

UNBEATEN TEAMS:
The list is down to 9 teams as Auburn, LSU, Missouri and Wisconsin all lost for the first time. The remaining undefeated teams are Alabama, Boise State, Cincinnati, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, TCU, Texas and USF.

WINLESS TEAMS:
7 teams are still searching for their first victory of the season. FIU removed itself from that list with a 37-20 win over a Western Kentucky team that is still on the list and owns the nation's longest current losing streak. The others are Ball State, Eastern Michigan, FAU, Miami (Ohio), New Mexico and Rice.

FBS vs. FCS:
FBS teams went 5-0 versus schools from the FCS this week. FBS teams are 79-5 vs. FCS schools for the season, and 454-42 (.915) since 2003.

Here are the results of every FBS loss to the FCS this season:
9/19: Central Arkansas 28, Western Kentucky 7
9/12: New Hampshire 23, Ball State 16. New Hampshire also has wins at Army in 2008 (28-10), Marshall in 2007 (48-35), and Northwestern in 2006 (34-17)
9/5: Richmond 24, Duke 16; William & Mary 26, Virginia 14
9/3: Villanova 27, Temple 24

This year, 87 FBS play a total of 94 games against FCS foes. Duke, Kansas State, Mississippi, North Carolina, N.C. State, Rutgers and USF each play two FCS teams.

STREAKS:
Florida has 15 straight victories. The Gators won 13-3 at LSU.

Iowa has 10 straight victories. The Hawkeyes won 30-28 vs. Michigan.

Texas has 9 straight victories. The Longhorns won 38-14 vs. Colorado.

Boise State has streaks of 22 consecutive home wins, 52 consecutive regular season home wins, and 38 straight conference home victories. BSU has never lost at home to a fellow WAC member (32-0). 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 4-1 in their last five matches against BCS conference schools. Boise State was idle.

Oklahoma has 26 straight home victories. The Sooners won 33-7 vs. Baylor.

Utah has 9 straight conference wins, and 13 straight home wins. The Utes won 24-17 at Colorado State.

Alabama has 18 straight regular season wins. The Tide won 22-3 at Ole Miss.

Western Kentucky has lost 13 straight overall and 18 straight to FBS teams. The Hilltoppers fell 37-20 at home to FIU.

Miami (Ohio) has lost 11 straight overall. The RedHawks fell 16-6 at Northwestern.

New Mexico has lost 10 straight overall. The Lobos fell 37-13 at Wyoming.

Ball State has lost 8 straight after winning 12 in-a-row. The Cardinals fell 24-19 at Temple.

North Texas has lost 13 straight Sun Belt games. The Mean Green fell 38-34 at Louisiana-Lafayette.

SMU ended its' 9-game home losing streak to FBS teams with a 28-21 upset of then-CUSA east division frontrunner East Carolina.

NEW COACHES:
(See Coaching Changes for details)

There are 22 new college football coaches in the FBS ranks this season. 18 have secured their first victory. 5 teams have yet to defeat a FBS school (Ball State, Eastern Michigan, Miami (Ohio), New Mexico and Utah State).

TEAM W-L COACH LAST GAME
Army 3-3 Rich Ellerson Won 16-13 in OT vs. Vanderbilt
Auburn 5-1 Gene Chizik Lost 44-23 at Arkansas
Ball State 0-6 Stan Parrish Lost 24-19 at Temple
Boston College 4-2 Frank Spaziani Lost 48-14 at Virginia Tech
Bowling Green 2-4 Dave Clawson Won 36-35 at Kent State
*-Clemson 2-3 Dabo Swinney Idle
Eastern Michigan 0-5 Ron English Lost 56-8 at Central Michigan
Iowa State 3-3 Paul Rhoads 10/10, at Kansas
Kansas State 3-3 Bill Snyder Lost 66-14 at Texas Tech
Miami (O.) 0-6 Michael Haywood Lost 16-6 at Northwestern
Mississippi State 2-4 Dan Mullen Lost 31-24 vs. Houston
New Mexico 0-6 Mike Locksley Lost 37-13 at Wyoming
New Mexico State 3-3 DeWayne Walker Won 20-17 vs. Utah State
Oregon 5-1 Chip Kelly Won 24-10 at UCLA
Purdue 1-5 Danny Hope Lost 35-20 at Minnesota
San Diego State 2-3 Brady Hoke Idle
Syracuse 2-4 Doug Marrone Lost 34-13 vs. West Virginia
Tennessee 3-3 Lane Kiffin Won 45-19 vs. Georgia
Toledo 3-3 Tim Beckman Lost 58-26 vs. Western Michigan
Utah State 1-4 Gary Andersen Lost 20-17 at New Mexico State
Washington 3-3 Steve Sarkisian Won 36-33 vs. Arizona
Wyoming 4-2 Dave Christensen Won 37-13 vs. New Mexico
*-Dabo Swinney took over halfway through last season when Tommy Bowden stepped down after a 3-3 start. Swinney was 4-3 over the last 7 games of the season.



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