So. Carolina, Auburn Clinch SEC Divisions
6 Teams In BCS Top 25 Lose
by Dave Congrove
November 14, 2010
South Carolina will make its first-ever appearance in the SEC Championship game after clinching the East division title with a 36-14 romp at favored Florida. The Gamecocks will face Auburn which locked up the West division with a 49-31 home win over Georgia.
TCU was the only other team to clinch a conference or division title. The Horned Frogs can do no worse than tie with Utah in the Mountain West. TCU owns the tie-breaker with the Utes, courtesy of its 47-7 rout in Salt Lake City last week. On Saturday, the Horned Frogs nearly gave away a 23-point 3rd quarter lead, but hung on for the 40-35 victory at home over San Diego State. The MAACO Las Vegas Bowl gets the Mountain West's top eligible team if TCU doesn't land a BCS bowl bid.
Given TCU's unimpressive final score against the Aztecs, it is possible that Boise State could jump the HOrned Frogs in the BCS Standings when they are released Sunday night. The Broncos routed state rival Idaho 52-14 on Friday. The issue becomes one of "style" points in the eyes of the human voters.
But if voters are going to punish TCU for a close win, they may do the same with Oregon. The No. 1 team in the BCS Standings merely survived its confrontation at California with a 15-13 win.
Auburn could come under a different kind of scrutiny related to questions surrounding QB Cam Newton's eligibility. Newton led the Tigers to a 49-31 home win over Georgia, helping them pull away from a 28-28 tie in the 3rd quarter. Newton ran for 151 yards and 2 TD's and mixed in two more TD's among his 148 throwing yards. Some human voters may cast their ballots based on concerns of a BCS Championship winner having to later vacate its title if a NCAA investigation finds Newton to have been ineligible to compete. Allegations are that Newton was recruited with the enticement of money.
In other games involving other highly-ranked teams in the BCS Standings, No. 5 LSU steamrolled Sun Belt member Louisiana-Monroe 51-0 and No. 7 Wisconsin was merciless in an 83-20 rout of Indiana. But No. 6 Stanford struggled to a 17-13 win at Arizona State and No. 9 Ohio State needed a 35-0 outburst in the second half to overcome Penn State 38-14. Meanwhile, No. 8 Nebraska downed Kansas 20-3.
Texas lost for the sixth time in its last seven games, falling with a 33-16 thud at No. 10 Oklahoma State. The Longhorns crashed to 4-6 overall, and their 2-5 record in the Big 12 is awful enough for last place in the South division.
Overall, there were six losers from the top 25 teams in the BCS Standings - No. 13 Iowa (21-17 at Northwestern); No. 14 Utah (28-3 at Notre Dame); No. 18 Arizona (24-21 vs. USC); No. 19 Mississippi State (30-10 at Alabama); No. 22 Florida (36-14 vs. South Carolina); No. 24 Kansas State (38-28 at Missouri).
Elsewhere, Florida State beat Clemson on a 55-yard field goal as time expired to keep the 'Noles in the hunt for the ACC Atlantic division title. But N.C. State and Maryland are the teams which control their own destiny. The Terps get Florida State and N.C. State at home in the final two games. On Saturday, Maryland won 42-23 at Virginia while N.C. State crushed Wake Forest 38-3 at home.
Virginia Tech knocked North Carolina from contention for the Coastal division crown with a 26-10 win in Chapel Hill. That win, combined with a Miami (Fla.) loss on Saturday, would have given the Hokies the division title. But the 'Canes jumped all over Georgia Tech in Atlanta, winning 35-10 in a game that featured neither teams' starting QB. The Jackets lost Joshua Nesbitt for the season with a broken arm in last week's loss at Virginia Tech and Miami lost Jacory Harris three games ago in the 'Canes loss at Virginia. The Hokies can secure the title with a win next week in Miami or the following week vs. Virginia.
USF is the among the teams that became bowl eligible. The Bulls' 24-21 overtime win at Louisville improved their record to 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the Big East in Skip Holtz's first season as head coach.
Army became bowl eligible with a 45-28 win at Kent State.
Utah's 28-3 loss at Notre Dame was its second straight blowout loss. The Utes were crushed 47-7 at home by TCU last week.
Northern Illinois can secure the MAC West with a win next week at Ball State. The Huskies bit top challenger Toledo 65-30 last Tuesday to begin the college football week.
UCF's 31-21 home loss to Southern Miss was its first CUSA loss this season, but the Golden Knights still control their destiny in the East division race. Idle SMU was handed command of CUSA's West division after Houston lost 28-25 at home to Tulsa. The Mustangs and Golden Hurricane are each 4-2 in CUSA play, but SMU won the heads-up battle with Tulsa a month ago.
FIU moved into first in the Sun Belt with a 52-35 upset at Troy.
Nevada won 35-34 late Saturday night at Fresno State to improve to 9-1 overall, 4-1 in the WAC. The Wolf Pack host Boise State in two weeks.
Colorado notched its first Big 12 win of the season. The 34-14 home victory over Iowa State came in the Buffaloes' first game after dismissing Dan Hawkins as head coach earlier in the week.
Washington State was a stunning 31-14 winner at Oregon State to end losing streaks of 18 games to FBS teams and 17 road games. The Cougars were a 4 touchdown underdog.
Auburn (SEC), Boise State (WAC), Oregon (PAC-10) and TCU (Mountain West) all remained unscathed.
Akron, which was idle over the weekend, is the nation's only remaining winless team.
FBS vs. FCS:
Football Bowl Subdivisions (FBS) schools are 80-7 (.920) this season in games against Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) teams. FBS teams are 544-49 (.917) vs. FCS schools since 2003. There were no such games this past week.
Here are the results of every FBS loss to the FCS this season:
9/4: Jacksonville State 49, Mississippi 48 (2 OT's)
9/4: North Dakota State 6, Kansas 3
9/11: Gardner-Webb 38, Akron 37
9/11: Liberty 27, Ball State 23
9/11: South Dakota 41, Minnesota 38
9/11: James Madison 21, Virginia Tech 16
10/2: Cal-Davis 14, San Jose State 13
This year, 85 FBS teams play a total of 90 games against FCS foes. Five schools play two such games - Arizona State, Ball State, San Jose State, Syracuse and Virginia.
Boise State has streaks of 23 overall wins, 34 regular season wins, 30 home wins, 60 regular season home wins, and 44 straight conference home victories. BSU has never lost at home to a fellow WAC member (38-0). 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 6-1 in their last seven matches against BCS conference schools. Boise State won 52-14 at Idaho.
Auburn has 12 straight wins overall. The Tigers won 49-31 vs. Georgia.
TCU has 11 straight overall wins, 24 straight regular season wins and 20 straight home wins. The Horned Frogs won 40-35 vs. San Diego State at Utah.
Oklahoma has 36 straight home victories. The Sooners won 42-7 vs. Texas Tech.
Minnesota's 9-game losing streak came to end with the Golden Gophers' 38-34 upset at Illinois.
Washington State's strings of 18 straight FBS losses and 17 straight road losses came to an end with a 31-14 upset at Oregon State.
Akron has lost 10 straight overall. The Zips were idle.
New Mexico's road losing streak was extended to 15 games with a 48-23 setback at Air Force.