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Three Teams Fall From List Of Unbeatens

Most top-ranked teams win blowouts on the eve of the first BCS Standings of 2011

by Dave Congrove
October 16, 2011

A day before the BCS Standings make their debut for 2011, six of the top seven teams in last week's Congrove Computer Rankings won their games by blowouts of 30 points or more on Saturday. But three teams fell from the ranks of the undefeated to leave ten teams still standing.

No. 8 Michigan saw rival Michigan State score their 4th straight win over the 8th-ranked Wolverines. It's the first time MSU has won four straight in the series since 1959-1962 and It's the third straight year that Sparty has handed Big Blue its first loss of the season. The Wolverines were 5-0 last year before a 34-17 home loss to the Spartans began a 2-6 slide, and Michigan was 4-0 in 2009 before a 26-20 overtime loss at East Lansing instigated a 1-7 spiral.

Ohio State couldn't win at Miami or Nebraska, or even at home against Michigan State, but the Buckeyes held No. 13 Illinois scoreless until the 7:03 mark of the final quarter in a 17-7 win at Champaign. A loss would have dropped Ohio State to 0-3 in the Big Ten.

In its two previous home games, Virginia couldn't beat Southern Miss and needed overtime to survived Idaho, but the Cavaliers knocked off previously undefeated Georgia Tech 24-21 on Saturday. It was Virginia's 9th win over the 21st-ranked Yellow Jackets in their last 10 visits to Charlottesville.

The rest of the undefeated field was met with little or no resistance, even though only one of them played at home.

Top-ranked Oklahoma sleep-walked through the first three quarters before outscoring Kansas 17-0 in the final stanza for a 47-17 win at Lawrence; No. 2 Alabama got 4 TD's from Trent Richardson in a 52-7 laugher over Ole Miss at Oxford; Colorado State was no contest for Boise State's Mountain West Conference opener as the Broncos knocked the Rams senseless 63-13 in Fort Collins; and 4th-ranked LSU won 38-7 at Knoxville for its 4th straight triumph over the Volunteers.

No. 6 Wisconsin hung 83 on Indiana in Bloomington last year, but felt a little more kind on Saturday and stopped well short of a repeat performance in a 59-7 win in Madison. The Badgers, which have won all six of their games by at least 31 points, joined Illinois as the only undefeated teams to play at home.

Washington State hung tough with 7th-ranked Stanford for awhile in Pullman, but the Cardinal and Andrew Luck eventually ran away for a 44-14 win.

No. 5 Oklahoma State took a 38-26 win from Texas at Austin in a game that featured consecutive kick-off returns of 105 yards for touchdowns to begin the 2nd half. The Cowboys stretched an 11-point halftime lead to 28-10 on Justin Gilbert's jaunt, but that was immediately followed by Fozzy Whittaker's return for the Longhorns. Texas later closed to within 28-24 before the Cowboys added a field goal and a 74-yard TD run to reclaim a comfortable 38-24 margin.

10th-ranked Clemson and No. 17 Kansas State needed second-half comebacks to keep their records unblemished. The Tigers trailed Maryland 35-17 in the 3rd quarter before outpointing the Terps 39-10 down the stretch for a 56-45 victory at College Park. And the Wildcats overcame a 28-20 halftime deficit at Lubbock to upend Texas Tech 41-34.

OTHER GAMES OF NOTE:
Oregon was already without RB LaMichael James (elbow injury last week) and trailing Arizona State by 3 points in the 3rd quarter when it lost QB Darron Thomas to an injury. In stepped redshirt freshman QB Bryan Bennett who promptly led the Ducks to TD's on his first two series and Oregon pulled away for a 41-27 win at Autzen Stadium.

Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill outperformed Baylor QB RG3 (Robert Griffin III) by tossing 6 TD passes to Griffin's 3 in a 55-28 rout in College Station.

South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore was held to 39 yards and a TD before leaving the game with a knee sprain in the 4th quarter. Later on the same drive, Connor Shaw threw a jump ball in the end zone to Alshon Jeffery with 3:50 left in the game for a 14-12 win at Mississippi State.

Navy dropped to 2-4 with a 21-20 loss at Rutgers when a 34-yard field goal was blocked with 4:43 left in the game. It's the fourth straight loss for the Midshipmen.

Oregon State slipped to 1-5 with a 38-28 home loss to BYU.

Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns, the consensus pick to finish last in the Sun Belt, improved their records to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in league play with a 30-10 home win over North Texas. The school was ranked No. 117 to begin the season and hadn't won more than 6 games in a season since 1993 when it finished 8-3.

Virginia Tech fell behind 10-0 at Wake Forest in the 1st quarter, then outscored the Demon Deacons 38-7 the rest of the way. Wake entered the game with a 3-0 ACC mark, but the Hokies left town with their 11th straight road win. QB Logan Thomas threw 2 TD passes for Virginia Tech and ran for 2 scores, giving him 9 total TD's (5 passing, 4 rushing) in the last two games.

Florida State and Miami both grabbed their first ACC wins as each improved to 1-2 in league play. The Seminoles prevailed 41-16 at Duke while the 'Canes nearly choked away all of a 27-3 lead at North Carolina before hanging on for a 30-24 win.

The day wasn't as kind to the rest the FBS teams in the Sunshine State as Florida fell 17-6 at Auburn for its 3rd consecutive SEC loss, UCF was dumped 38-17 at SMU, USF came up on the short end of a 16-10 count at Connecticut and FAU was blanked 20-0 at home by Western Kentucky. FIU was idle.

The college football weekend began last Thursday night with San Diego State's 41-27 win at Air Force and USC's 30-9 victory at California. in Friday night's lone contest, San Jose State out-dueled Hawaii 28-27 in a game that saw each team turn the ball over 6 times.

PREDICTION ACCURACY:
Our own Mike Mitchell writes a weekly article called "Feature Picks" where he analyzes the computer's predictions and selects several that he believes have the best chance at becoming reality. He was 16-5 in selecting outright winners this week and a crazy good 14-7 (.667) against the spread.

The computer itself was 30-20 (.600) against the spread this week.

FBS vs. FCS:
For the second time this season, there were no games on the schedule that pitted FBS teams against FCS schools. For the year, FBS teams are 83-6 (.933) to improve their record to 630-55 (.920) since 2003.

Here are the results of the FBS losses to FCS schools this season:
9/24: North Dakota St. 37, Minnesota 24
9/24: Sam Houston State 48, New Mexico 45 (OT)
9/24: Southern Utah41, UNLV 16
9/17: Indiana State 44, Western Kentucky 16
9/3: Richmond 23, Duke 21
9/3: Sacramento State 29, Oregon State 28

93 FBS teams play a total of 97 games against FCS foes this year. Four schools play two such games - Air Force, Eastern Michigan, N.C. State and Wyoming.

STREAKS:
Boise State - Won 63-13 at Colorado State. Has streaks of 8 overall wins, 34 home wins, 64 regular season home wins, and 46 straight conference home victories. BSU joined the Mountain West this season. The Broncos left the WAC having never lost at home to a fellow WAC member (40-0). Boise State's 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 7-1 in their last eight matches with BCS conference schools. (Next: vs. Air Force on Saturday).

Stanford - Won 44-14 at Washington State. 14 straight wins overall. (Next: vs. Washington on Saturday).

Oklahoma - Won 47-17 at Kansas. 11 straight wins overall and 39 straight home victories. (Next: vs Texas Tech on Saturday).

TCU - Idle. 19-game conference winning streak. (Next: vs. New Mexico on Saturday).

Virginia Tech - Won 38-17 at Wake Forest. 10-game road winning streak. (Next: vs. Boston College on Saturday).

Memphis - Lost 35-17 vs. East Carolina. 15 straight losses vs. FBS schools. (Next: at Tulane on Saturday).

New Mexico - Lost 49-7 at Nevada. 9 straight losses overall and 18 straight road losses. (Next: at TCU on Saturday).

FAU - Lost 20-0 vs. Western Kentucky. 9 straight losses overall. (Next: vs. Middle Tennessee on Saturday).

Colorado - Lost 52-24 at Washington. 20 straight road losses. (Next: vs. Oregon on Saturday).

NEW COACHES:
Two coaches have already been fired this season - Arizona fired Mike Stoops on October 10th and named defensive coordinator Tim Kish as interim head coach for the remainder of the season, and New Mexico fired Mike Locksley on September 25th and named defensive coordinator George Barlow as interim head coach through the end of the season.

At the start of the season, 24 FBS teams had a new head coach. Last season saw 23 new head coaches, only 8 of whom matched or exceeded the W-L record of their predecessors' final season.

Stanford is the only school with a new head coach that remains undefeated. Only 15 teams with a new head coach have defeated at least 1 school from a "Big 6" conference - Ball State, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, North Carolina, North Texas, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, Stanford, Temple, Vanderbilt and West Virginia.

3 games this week sent new head coaches against each other - Miami (Ohio) at Kent State, North Texas at Louisiana-Lafayette and Miami (Fla.) at North Carolina.

Here are this week's results for each new head coach:

Team Coach Game
Arkansas State Hugh Freeze (4-2) Idle
Ball State Pete Lembo (4-3) Won 23-20 at Ohio
Colorado Jon Embree (1-6) Lost 52-24 at Washington
Connecticut Paul Pasqualoni (3-4) Won 16-10 vs. USF
Florida Will Muschamp (4-3) Lost 17-6 at Auburn
Indiana Kevin Wilson (1-6) Lost 59-7 at Wisconsin
Kent State Darrell Hazell (1-6) Lost 9-3 vs. Miami (O.)
Louisiana-Lafayette Mark Hudspeth (6-1) Won 30-10 vs. North Texas
Maryland Randy Edsall (2-4) Lost 56-45 vs. Clemson
Miami (Fla.) Al Golden (3-3) Won 30-24 at North Carolina
Miami (O.) Don Treadwell (2-4) Won 9-3 at Kent State
Michigan Brady Hoke (6-1) Lost 28-14 at Michigan State
Minnesota Jerry Kill (1-5) Idle
North Carolina Everett Withers (Interim) (5-2) Lost 30-24 vs. Miami (Fla.)
North Texas Dan McCarney (2-5) Lost 30-10 at Louisiana-Lafayette
Northern Illinois Dave Doeren (4-3) Won 51-22 vs. Western Michigan
Ohio State Luke Fickell (Interim) (4-3) Won 17-7 at Illinois
Pittsburgh Todd Graham (3-4) Lost 26-14 vs. Utah
San Diego St. Rocky Long (4-2) Won 41-27 at Air Force (Thursday)
Stanford David Shaw (6-0) Won 44-14 at Washington State
Temple Steve Addazio (5-2) Won 34-0 vs. Buffalo
Tulsa Bill Blankenship (3-3) Won 37-20 vs. UAB
Vanderbilt James Franklin (3-3) Lost 33-28 vs. Georgia
West Virginia Dana Holgorsen (5-1) Idle