Week 12 Recap: Big 12, ACC Championship Games Set
by Dave Congrove
November 22, 2009
Four teams claimed division titles and two wrapped up their conference crowns. Texas and Nebraska punched their tickets to the Big 12 championship game, Clemson seized the ACC Atlantic division title, Central Michigan clinched the MAC West; TCU secured the Mountain West and Troy claimed the Sun Belt.
Texas had little trouble in dispensing Kansas 51-20. Colt McCoy notched an NCAA record 43rd victory as a staring quarterback, eclipsing the mark of 42 set by Georgia's David Greene from 2001-2004. Kansas dropped its 6th straight game after a 5-0 start. The Jayhawks must beat Missouri in Kansas City next Saturday to reach their 3rd straight bowl game.
Nebraska claimed its first Big 12 North title since 2006 and only its second since 1999. The 'Huskers hosted Kansas State in what amounted to a divisional playoff game and emerged victorious, 17-3. The loss not only prevented Kansas State from winning a division title in Bill Snyder's first season back at the helm, but also eliminated the Wildcats from bowl consideration. Kansas State finished the season 6-6, but had to reach 7 wins to become bowl eligible due to the scheduling of two FCS teams.
Clemson outscored Virginia 10-0 in the second half of its 34-21 win. The win earned the Tigers the ACC's Atlantic division title and the opportunity to play Georgia Tech in the conference championship game on December 5. Clemson hasn't won a conference title since 1991 and this is its first division title. Georgia Tech lost to Wake Forest in the 2006 ACC Championship game.
Central Michigan's 35-3 win at Ball State on Wednesday night set the stage for the Chippewas to claim their 3rd MAC West title in the last four title. CMU clinched the division when Northern Illinois lost 38-31 at Ohio on Saturday.
Temple is just one win away from punching its ticket to the MAC CHampionship game after blasting Kent State 47-13 on Saturday. The Owls have won 9 straight.
TCU locked up the Mountain West title with a 45-10 rout at Wyoming. The Horned Frogs went on a 35-0 run after Wyoming tied the score at 10-10 on a 90-yard fumble return. TCU returned the ensuing kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown to begin the onslaught. TCU has won or shared five titles in three difference conferences over the last eleven years. The Horned Frogs shared WAC titles in 1999 and 2000, shared a CUSA title in 2002, and won their only other MWC title in 2005. The last seven Mountain West titles have been won by either TCU, BYU or Utah.
Troy has now won or shared four consecutive Sun Belt titles after ripping FAU 47-21 to claim the 2009 crown. The Trojans are guaranteed a berth in the New Orleans Bowl against a CUSA opponent. Troy lost last year's game to Southern Miss in overtime.
No. 8 LSU was the only team to lose among the top 15 of the BCS Standings. No. 16 Wisconsin and No. 17 Stanford were the only other casualties among the top 25. LSU wasn't even the favorite in its game, and the computer won all three of those contests with its picks against the spread.
The biggest shockers of the week came on what could be called the undercard. Oklahoma's 41-13 loss at Texas Tech may have topped them all as the Sooners fell to 1-5 on the road. The previous losses had all been within 7 points.
It can be justifiably argued that Kentucky's 34-27 win at Georgia was a bigger surprise. After all, the Wildcats hadn't won in Athens since 1977.
Another shocker occurred in the Carrier Dome where Syracuse claimed its first conference win of the season with a 31-13 upset of then-No. 18 Rutgers (CCR Top 120). It was only the fourth Big East victory in the last five seasons for the Orange.
Among the weekend's best games were Oregon's 44-41 rally over Arizona in double-overtime, UConn's 33-30 comeback victory over Notre Dame (also in double-overtime), and Florida State's last-minute 29-26 win over Maryland that assured it would run its consecutive bowl appearance streak to 28.
Meanwhile, the closing seconds of Mississippi's 25-23 win over LSU were baffling. The Bayou Bengals reached the Rebels' 5-yard line with 1 second left but, instead of having the field goal team ready to rush onto the field to boot a game-winning field goal, they attempted to spike the ball to stop the clock. The remaining 1 second ticked off and the game was over.
Miami (Ohio) became the first team to close out its 2009 campaign when it fell 42-17 at home to Buffalo on Wednesday night. The RedHawks completed their first year under Michael Haywood at 1-11 after entering the night ranked 118th in the CCR Top 120.
6 teams still remain undefeated - Alabama, Boise State, Cincinnati, Florida, TCU, and Texas. Last year at this time, that list consisted of 4 teams - Alabama, Ball State, Boise State and Utah.
Only 2 teams are left on this list after New Mexico's 29-27 win over Colorado State. Eastern Michigan and Western Kentucky are each 0-11. At this point last year, Washington was the only team with a goose egg in the win column.
FBS vs. FCS:
The final such game of this season took place on Saturday when Alabama blanked UT-Chattanooga 45-0. FBS teams were 89-5 vs. FCS teams on the year (.947), and are 464-42 (.917) 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 teams played a total of 94 games against FCS foes. Duke, Kansas State, Mississippi, North Carolina, N.C. State, Rutgers and USF each played two FCS teams.
Florida has 21 straight victories. The Gators won 62-3 vs. FIU.
Texas has 15 straight victories. The Longhorns won 51-20 vs. Kansas.
TCU has 13 straight victories. The Horned Frogs won 45-10 at Wyoming.
Alabama has 11 straight wins overall and 23 straight regular season wins. The Tide won 45-0 vs. UT-Chattanooga (FCS).
Cincinnati has 10 straight wins overall and 16 straight regular season wins. The Bearcats were idle.
Temple has 9 straight wins overall. The Owls won 47-13 vs. Kent State.
Boise State has streaks of 11 straight wins overall, 23 consecutive regular season wins, 24 consecutive home wins, 54 consecutive regular season home wins, and 40 straight conference home victories. BSU has never lost at home to a fellow WAC member (34-0). 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. The Broncos won 52-21 at Utah State.
Oklahoma has 28 straight home victories. The Sooners lost 41-13 at Texas Tech.
Utah has 17 straight home wins. The Utes won 38-7 vs. San Diego State.
Western Kentucky has lost 18 straight overall and 23 straight to FBS teams. The Hilltoppers were idle.
New Mexico ended its streak of 14 straight losses. The Lobos won 29-27 vs. Colorado State.
Eastern Michigan has lost 11 straight overall. The Eagles lost 47-21 at Toledo.
There are 22 new college football coaches in the FBS ranks this season. 21 have secured their first victory, and those same 21 have also defeated a FBS school. Only Eastern Michigan remains winless.
||Won 17-13 at North Texas
||Lost 35-3 vs. Central Michigan
||Lost 31-13 vs. North Carolina
||Won 36-20 vs. Akron
||Won 34-21 vs. Virginia
||Lost 47-21 at Toledo
||Lost 34-24 at Missouri
||Lost 17-3 at Nebraska
||Lost 42-17 vs. Buffalo
||Lost 42-21 vs. Arkansas (at Little Rock)
||Won 29-27 vs. Colorado State
|New Mexico State
||Lost 63-20 vs. Nevada
||Won 44-41 in 2 OT's at Arizona
||Won 38-21 at Indiana
|San Diego State
||Lost 38-7 at Utah
||Won 31-13 vs. Rutgers
||Won 31-16 vs. Vanderbilt
||Won 47-21 vs. Eastern Michigan
||Lost 52-21 vs. Boise State
||Lost 45-10 vs. TCU
|*-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.