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College Football Season

Ducks Drown, Bears Bashed while Michigan State, Ohio State, Arizona State, Stanford,
Fresno State and Northern Illinois Claim Division Titles

UCF closer to American title; Florida falls To (FCS) Ga. Southern; FSU covers 59-point spread

by Dave Congrove
November 23, 2013

Two big upsets of top 5 teams in the BCS Standings and the Congrove Computer Rankings highlighted the day on Saturday as Baylor and Oregon both got thumped on the road.

The PAC-12 North was given to Stanford by the Ducks who had their feathers plucked 42-16 at Arizona while the Cardinal rolled 63-13 over California in "The Big Game " rivalry. Stanford improved to 7-2 and hosts Notre Dame in a non-conference game. Oregon dropped to 6-2 in conference play and hosts Oregon State in the "Civil War" next week. Oregon State will also enter that game after a big loss as the Beavers were chewed up 69-27 at Washington for their fourth straight loss.

Arizona State toppled UCLA 38-33 to clinch the PAC-12 South and will host the title matchup with Stanford if it beats Arizona next week in the Duel In the Desert for the Territorial Cup. The Sun Devils staked out a 35-13 halftime lead and held off a second-half comeback attempt by the Bruins whose final possession of the game ended at their own 46.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State seized control of the Big 12 with a 49-17 romp over Baylor. The Cowboys can claim the title with a win in the Bedlam rivalry game against Oklahoma on December 7 in Stillwater. The Baylor/Texas winner would be the champ if OSU falls to Oklahoma.

Michigan State methodically routed Northwestern 30-6 on Saturday to and will represent the Legends division in the Big Ten championship game. Ohio State claimed the Leaders division with a 42-14 win over visiting Indiana. Northwestern and Indiana were both mathematically eliminated from bowl consideration with their respective losses. For the Wildcats, it was their 7th straight loss after an 0-4 start to the season.

Fresno State cruised 69-28 over New Mexico to clinch the MWC West while the Mountain division is yet to be decided. Boise State controlled its destiny until it lost 34-31 in overtime at San Diego State, paving the way for Utah State to claim the division with a win next week at home over Wyoming. It was the 2nd overtime contest in-a-row, and the 4th of the season for the Aztecs, who improved to 3-1 in those games. They won 28-21 in OT in Hawaii last week.

Duke won 28-21 at Wake Forest and can claim the ACC Coastal and a 10-win season with a win next week at North Carolina. The Tar Heels beat FCS member Old Dominion 80-20 to improve to 6-5 with their 4th straight victory. Virginia Tech wins the Coastal with a win over UVa and a Duke loss to UNC.

Boston College RB Andre Williams passed the 2,000-yard mark and the Eagles bat Maryland 29-26 on a second-chance FG from 52 yards on the final play of the game. The first attempt missed wide left but was nullified by a Terrapin time out. Williams rushed for 263 yards to give him 2,073 for the season. He is the 16th back in NCAA history to reach the 2,000-yard plateau and the first since 2008. It was his third straight game of at least 263 yards and his 5th game of at least 204 on the year.

Northern Illinois scored the last 21 points of the game to subdue Toledo 35-17 on Wednesday night and lay claim to the MAC West title and a berth in the conference championship game in Detroit on December 6. The Huskies will be aiming for a 3rd consecutive MAC title and a second straight BCS bowl appearance. The MAC East will be decided in a de facto playoff game Friday night when Bowling Green plays Buffalo at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the home of the NFL Bills.

Bowling Green plays at Buffalo on November 29 with the winner capturing the MAC East and the right to face NIU. Buffalo destroyed Miami (Ohio) 44-7 on Tuesday night and will enter that game having won 8 of its last 9 games. BGSU romped 58-7 at Eastern Michigan on Saturday to extend its winning streak to 3 against bottom-tier conference opponents.

Saturday saw one of the year's biggest FCS upset wins over a FBS team as Georgia Southern defeated Florida 26-20. The Eagles totaled 429 yards against the Gator defense and all of it came on the ground as the Eagles only threw 3 passes. Florida dropped to 4-7 with the loss and secured its first losing season since 1979. The Gators also end a 22-year bowl streak which had stood as the second longest in the nation. Florida State has already qualified for the 32nd straight year and Virginia Tech now owns the second longest streak at 21, including this season.

Florida State actually managed to cover a spread that opened at 56 points and closed around 59 as the 'Noles peeled Idaho 80-14. The computer had the game at 61.25 points in favor of FSU.

Notre Dame won the battle of Independent titans, 24-14 over visiting BYU.

Missouri won 24-10 at Ole Miss and can clinch the SEC Eastern division with a home win over Texas A&M next week while a Missouri loss would send South Carolina to the title game. The Aggies were 34-10 losers at LSU on Saturday. Of course, the Alabama/Auburn Iron Bowl winner at Auburn takes the SEC Western division.

UCF rolled Rutgers 41-17 on Thursday night and controls its destiny to the first-ever American Athletic Conference title. Rutgers has now dropped 4 of its last 5 after going 4-1 out of the gate. Now 5-5, the Scarlet Knights must either win at UConn or beat USF at home to clinch a 3rd straight bowl bid.

UNLV became bowl eligible with a 41-21 win at Air Force on Thursday. The Rebels (6-5), who are in their fourth season under Bobby Hauck, last went bowling at the end of the 2000 season and will be making just their fourth-ever bowl appearance. UNLV is 3-0 on the field in bowl games, but later had to forfeit its first bowl game - the 1984 season California Bowl - to Toledo due to UNLV's use of ineligible players earlier in the season.

Also on Thursday, it looked like Rice had only barely managed to keep its CUSA West title hopes alive with a 37-34 overtime win over lowly UAB. But North Texas then lost on Saturday, 21-13 at home to UTSA, giving the Owls the upper hand to the CUSA West title. A home win by Rice over Tulane next Saturday would give the division crown to the Owls. A loss by Rice and a North Texas win at Tulsa would give the division title to the Mean Green by virtue of their 28-16 home win over Rice on October 31.

On Friday, Navy prevailed 58-52 in triple-OT at San Jose State. Navy QB Keenan Reynolds set a new FBS quarterback record by rushing for 7 touchdowns. He also threw for an 8th. SJSU scored on the final play of regulation and converted a 2-point conversion to force overtime at 38-apiece. The Spartans allowed Navy to score and take a 38-30 lead with 2:38 to play, knowing it was likely the only way they would have enough time to tie the game. The plan worked beautifully until the 3rd OT when David Failes threw an INT ion the end zone to give Navy a chance to win the game on its possession. Failes had 5 TD passes in the contest. to keep the Spartans 1 win away from qualifying for the bowl season. SJSU lost for the third straight game and must beat Fresno State at home on Thanksgiving weekend to become minimally eligible at 6-6. Navy (7-4) has already accepted its pre-determined spot in the Armed Forces Bowl and won't play again until it faces Army in Philadelphia on December 14.

The computer was 38-15 in picking the winner of heads-up FBS games, and 36-17 against the spread. So far this season, it has forecasted the winner of just over 80% of all games played while hitting 58% against the spread.'s Feature Picks writer Mike Mitchell is 161-21 with his selections after going 13-2 last week. He is 108-74 against the spread. The computer was 3-5 in outright upset projections (5-3 ATS) and is now 41-42 straight up and 53-30 against the spread with those games.

5 teams are left on the undefeated list after Baylor was knocked off at Oklahoma State. Those remaining are Alabama, Florida State, Fresno State, Northern Illinois and Ohio State.

The winless group was reduced to 4 as UConn removed itslef with a 28-21 win at Temple. Georgia State, Hawaii, Miami (Ohio) and Southern Miss are still searching for their first victory.

FBS vs. FCS:
Florida was upset 26-20 by Georgia Southern, handing the Gators a 6th straight loss after a 4-1 start and ending a 22-year bowl appearance streak which stood as the 2nd longest in the nation. Florida was a 43.11-point computer favorite in that contest.

In all, 6 FBS teams - all from the ACC or SEC - faced FCS schools with computer lines that ranged from a low of 40.65 to a high of 56.99 and the other FBS teams all won by margins ranging from 46 to 60.
- Alabama (-56.99) beat Tennessee-Chattanooga 49-0
- Clemson (-50.73) downed The Citadel 52-6
- South Carolina (-47.95) defeated Coastal Carolina 70-10
- Georgia Tech (-45.77) walloped Alabama A&M 66-7
- North Carolina (-40.65) slugged Old Dominion 80-20.

ODU is in transition from the FCS to the FBS and it was ODU's 5th and final game vs. a FBS team this year. The Monarchs defeated Idaho, and lost to Pitt by 11, East Carolina by 14 and Maryland by 37.

FBS schools were a collective 95-16 (.856) in FBS-FCS matches this season and are 831-81 (.911) since 2003.

Here are the results of the FBS losses to FCS schools this season:
8/29: Towson 33, Connecticut 18
8/29: Southern Utah 22, South Alabama 21
8/30: Samford 31, Georgia State 21
8/30: North Dakota State 24, Kansas State 21
8/31: Northern Iowa 28, Iowa State 20
8/31: Eastern Washington 49, Oregon State 46
8/31: Eastern Illinois 40, San Diego State 18
8/31: McNeese State 53, USF 21
9/7: UT-Chattanooga 42, Georgia State 14
9/7: Maine 24, Massachusetts 14
9/7: Nicholls State 27, Western Michigan 23.
9/14: Fordham 30, Temple 29
9/14: Bethune-Cookman 34, FIU 13
9/21: Jacksonville State 32, Georgia State 26 (OT)
11/9: Old Dominion 59, Idaho 38
11/23: Georgia Southern 26, Florida 20

Eastern Washington, McNeese State and North Dakota State also had wins vs. FBS teams last year.

Originally, 106 FBS schools scheduled a total of 110 games against FCS foes this year. But Colorado later replaced a game it lost vs. Fresno State (due to flooding) with Charleston Southern. Thus, 106 FBS schools will play a total of 111 games vs. FCS foes. The schedule change also made Colorado the 4th FBS team to face at least two such schools this year. The others are Clemson and Georgia Tech with 2 apiece while FBS newcomer Georgia State scheduled 3 FCS teams and lost to each of them.

Ohio State - Won 23 straight overall (FBS longest). Won 42-14 vs. Indiana on Saturday.

Northern Illinois - Won 25 straight at home (FBS longest), 24 straight vs. conference foes (FBS longest), and 15 straight road games (FBS longest). Won 35-17 at Toledo on Wednesday.

LSU - Won 45 straight regular season nonconference games (FBS longest). Won 34-10 vs. Texas A&M on Saturday.

Southern Miss - Lost 23 straight overall (FBS longest). Lost 42-21 vs. Middle Tennessee on Saturday.

New Mexico State - Lost 22 straight to FBS teams. Lost 55-10 at FAU on Saturday.

Kansas - Ended 27-game losing streak to Big 12 teams last week with a 31-19 win over visiting West Virginia. Still has a 24-game road losing streak (FBS longest) after a 34-0 loss at Iowa State on Saturday.

Illinois - Broke 20-game conference losing streak (was FBS longest) with a 20-16 win at Purdue on Saturday.

Kentucky - Lost 15 straight conference games (FBS longest). Lost 59-17 at Georgia on Saturday.


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