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College Football Season

3 Highly-Ranked Teams Avoid Upsets

Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois Clinch Divisions

by Dave Congrove
November 21, 2010

The top 7 teams held their positions in the BCS Standings as LSU, Ohio State and Michigan State each avoided upsets. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech clinched the ACC Coastal and Northern Illinois laid claim to the MAC West division title.

The top 7 teams in the BCS are Oregon, Auburn, TCU, Boise State, LSU, Stanford and Wisconsin. The top three were all idle.

LSU maintained its No. 5 ranking with a 43-36 home win over Ole Miss. The Tigers needed a touchdown and 2-point conversion with 44 seconds left. The Rebels have lost 5 of their last 6 games with the only win coming at home over Sun Belt member Louisiana-Lafayette.

Ohio State never led at Iowa until tallying the game-winning touchdown with 1:47 left for a 20-17 victory. The Buckeyes trailed 17-10 halfway through the final period. Ohio State rose 1 spot to 8th in the BCS.

Michigan State climbed from 12th to 10th after it repelled the upset bid by a Purdue team that fell to 4-7 with the loss. The Spartans trailed 28-13 heading after three quarters and were still behind 31-20 midway through the final stanza before outscoring the Boilermakers 15-0 down the stretch with the help of an interception and a blocked punt. Michigan State scored the eventual game-winning touchdown with 4:32 remaining, set up by the blocked punt.

Nebraska traveled to College Station and lost a 9-6 field goal battle with Texas A&M. The Aggies kicked what turned out to be the game-winner with roughly 3 minutes remaining in the contest. The loss drops Nebraska into a tie with Missouri for the Big 12 North title, but it owns the tiebreaker over the Tigers. Still, the loss sent the 'Huskers plummeting from 8th to 15th in the BCS while Missouri rose to 14th even though both teams have 2 losses.

Texas A&M improved to 5-2 in the Big 12 South, a game behind Oklahoma and Oklahoma State which meet in their annual Bedlam rivalry this Saturday in Stillwater.

Oklahoma State ascended a notch from 10th to 9th after walloping Kansas 48-14. Oklahoma blasted Baylor 53-24 and inched up from 14th to 13th.

4th-ranked Boise State embarrassed Fresno State 51-0 on the smurf turf on Friday night. The Broncos continue to hold the top spot in my Congrove Computer Rankings, also known as the CCR Top 120.

Virginia Tech clinched the ACC Coastal with its 31-17 win at Miami. A home win over Virginia this week would give the Hokies a perfect 8-0 ACC record and a 3-game runaway over its nearest-competitor.

The ACC Atlantic remains in the balance. Florida State knocked Maryland from contention but now needs the Terps to beat N.C. State this week. Otherwise, the Wolfpack and Hokies will stage a rematch in the ACC Championship game.

Northern Illinois is the MAC West champion after destroying Ball State 59-21. The Huskies will face either Ohio or Miami (Ohio), depending on the outcome of this week's games and we may know as early as Tuesday night when the RedHawks host Temple. Miami must beat the Owls and hope the Bobcats fall on Friday at Kent State.

Notre Dame defeated Army 27-3, a week after smacking Utah 28-3.

Colorado is 2-0 since firing Dan Hawkins as head coach. The Buffalos won 44-36 over Kansas State and can become bowl eligible with an upset at Nebraska on Friday.

Pitt established total control of its destiny in the Big East with a 17-10 win at USF. West Virginia and Connecticut trail by a game.

Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin are in a 3-way logjam in the Big 10. If all three teams win again this week, the team with the highest ranking in the BCS Standings gets the conference's Rose Bowl bid.

Oregon can clinch the PAC-10 with a win at home over Arizona.

Oregon State snapped a 2-game losing streak and improved to 5-5 with a surprising 36-7 romp over USC. The Beavers previously lost to to UCLA and Washington State.

Wyoming secured its only Mountain West conference win of the season in its last chance to do so. The Cowboys spanked Colorado State 44-0.

Wrigley Field proved to be a lousy place to hold another college football game. The football field fit so tightly in the baseball stadium that only one endzone could be driven toward by the offense. Illinois broke open a tight game for a 48-27 win over rival Northwestern.

Auburn (SEC), Boise State (WAC), Oregon (PAC-10) and TCU (Mountain West) all remained unscathed.

Akron, which lost 19-14 at home to Miami (O.), is the nation's only remaining winless team.

FBS vs. FCS:
Football Bowl Subdivisions (FBS) schools finished the year with a 83-7 (.922) record in games against Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) teams. FBS teams are 547-49 (.918) vs. FCS schools since 2003.

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 played a total of 90 games against FCS foes. Five schools played two such games - Arizona State, Ball State, San Jose State, Syracuse and Virginia.

Boise State has streaks of 24 overall wins, 35 regular season wins, 31 home wins, 61 regular season home wins, and 45 straight conference home victories. BSU has never lost at home to a fellow WAC member (39-0). 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. The Broncos won vs. Fresno State 51-0 on Friday.

Auburn has 12 straight wins overall. The Tigers were idle.

TCU has 11 straight overall wins, 24 straight regular season wins and 20 straight home wins. The Horned Frogs were idle).

Oregon has 10 straight overall wins. The Ducks were idle.

Virginia Tech has 9 straight overall wins. The Hokies won 31-17 at Miami, Fla.

Oklahoma has 36 straight home victories. The Sooners won 53-24 at Baylor.

Akron has 11 straight overall losses. The Zips lost 19-14 vs. Miami, Ohio.

Wake Forest has 9 straight overall losses. The Demon Deacons lost 30-10 vs. Clemson.

New Mexico has 16 straight road losses. The Lobos lost 40-7 at BYU.

Dan Hawkins (Colorado), Tim Brewster (Minnesota) and Todd Dodge (North Texas) have already been fired.

Hawkins' interim replacement, Brian Cabral, is 2-0

Brewster's interim replacement, Jeff Horton, is 1-3

Dodge's interim replacement, Mike Canales, is 2-2.


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