College Football Wrap-Up – Week 2
Four Top 25 teams were upset in major college football’s 2nd week of play:
#8 Arkansas was upset by LA-Monroe 34-31 (yes, THAT Louisiana-Monroe), #13 Wisconsin, the once-mighty Badgers, fell to Oregon State 10-7, Bob Pelini’s #16 Nebraska Cornhuskers lost to Jim Mora’s UCLA Bruins 36-30, and #18 Oklahoma State got whipped by Arizona 59-38. Ouch!
Who would have thought that Arkansas, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Oklahoma State would ALL get upset in the same week? The 4 top-ranked losing teams had a combined 43-10 record (81%) last year, and the non-ranked winning teams with upsets had a combined 17-33 record (34%) last year. Go figure.
Four 1-A teams—Colorado, Colorado State, UNLV and Eastern Michigan—all were upset by 1-AA teams, and Arizona State registered a huge victory over Illinois in a non-conference game.
Here is how the AP Top 25 teams fared this weekend:
#1 Alabama shut out Western Kentucky, 35-zip, scoring in every quarter.
#2 Southern California on-the-road beat Syracuse, 42-29, but did not look good doing it. Southern Cal coughed up 29 points to a Syracuse team that went 5-7 last year. Is USC really the 2nd best team in the country? Cal has an offense, but now the defense is really suspect.
#3 LSU knocked an up-and-coming Washington team back on its ears, 41-3. A really porous Husky offensive line was no match for the Tigers defensive front, and Washington QB Keith Price took a beating, with no time to throw to talented receivers, and when he did, far too many catches were barely out-of-bounds, including one in the end zone early in the game following a kickoff fumble recovery. Everything that could go wrong for Washington did.
Alabama and LSU have the two best defenses in the country. So how good is LSU? Glad you asked. The Tiger win over Washington was their 39th consecutive non-conference, regular-season game, equaling an NCAA record of 39 set by Kansas State from 1993 to 2003. LSU has won its last 18 home games. The Tigers are 51-4 in night games under Coach Les Miles, and LSU is 43-0 when rushing for 100 yards and allowing less than 100 yards rushing. LSU’s victory over Washington was a night game in which the Tigers ran for 252 yards and held the Huskies to a total of 26 yards rushing. No wonder they call the LSU home turf Death Valley.
#4 Oregon easily moved past Fresno State 42-25. Don’t let the score fool you. Oregon led 35-6 at the half, and a bunch of non-starters got some valuable experience.
#5 Oklahoma beat AA Florida A&M 69-13 in a cupcake game.
#6 Florida State beat AA Savannah State 55-zip in a cupcake game.
#7 Georgia turned back Missouri, 41-20, in the Tigers SEC league debut game.
#8 Arkansas managed to get upset in overtime by Louisiana-Monroe, 34-31. Believe it, it happened. The Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks were 4-8 last year. The Arkansas Razorbacks were 11-2 last year, lost only to Alabama and LSU, and beat Kansas State 29-16 in the Cotton Bowl. Needless to say, Arkansas is NOT the same team this year.
#9 South Carolina put a whipping on East Carolina, 48-10, in an in-state rivalry game, and the Gamecocks did it without their starting quarterback. With injured QB Conner Shaw on the bench, backup Dylan Thompson came in and threw for 330 yards and 3 touchdowns.
#9 West Virginia was idle. The Mountaineers were tied with South Carolina for the #9 spot in the AP Top 25 Poll.
#11 Michigan State put a 41-7 whipping on Central Michigan that the Chippewas will not soon forget. Spartan Coach Mark Dantonio did something no Top 25 team would ever do: schedule an away game against a non-conference opponent. Dantonio and Athletic Director Mark Hollis did it to help Michigan’s depressed economy. Michigan State’s generosity brought $7+ million in new money to the Mount Pleasant Area as the Spartans and Chippewas played to a sell-out crowd of 33,000+. The Kelly/Shorts Stadium has a 30,255 seating capacity, and is the largest for an on-campus stadium in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Fans came in droves because it was also an in-state rivalry game, and they relished the opportunity to meet an AP Top 25 team at home.
#12 Clemson polished off Ball State 52-27. The Tigers led 45-10 after scoring 32 points in the 2nd quarter.
#13 Wisconsin on-the-road was upset by Oregon State, 10-7. Is Wisconsin on the down slide? You better believe it. Last week the Badgers had a very feeble 26-21 win over AA Northern Iowa. Wisconsin, a powerhouse in the Big Ten in recent years, has fallen on hard times. Oregon State was 3-9 last year; Wisconsin was 11-3 last year, won the Big Ten title, and lost to Oregon 45-38 in the Rose Bowl.
#14 Ohio State is no world beater yet, but the Buckeyes handled Central Florida (UCF), 31-26. Neither team scored in the 4th quarter.
#15 Virginia Tech beat AA Austin Peay 42-7 in a cupcake game.
#16 Nebraska got a very rude awakening from UCLA and its first-year Coach Jim Mora, losing to the Bruins on-the-road, 36-30. The Cornhuskers were outscored by UCLA 9-3 in the final quarter, and that was the difference. Mora’s Bruins are experiencing a very quick revival from being an also-ran in the Pac-12 for a lot of years. UCLA was 6-8 last year; Nebraska was 9-4 last year and lost to South Carolina 30-13 in the Capital One Bowl. Don’t tell me a new coach can’t make a difference.
#17 Texas waxed New Mexico 45-zip.
#18 Oklahoma State was upset by Arizona, 59-38. Arizona scored in every quarter, and led 37-31 after three quarters. When the Wildcats won the 4th quarter, 22-7, it was no contest. This was a HUGE win for Arizona and its first-year Coach Rich Rodriguez. The Cats now are 2-0 under Rich Rod. Oklahoma State is obviously not the team it was last year, when the Cowboys were 12-1, beat Stanford 41-38 in the Fiesta Bowl, and were an absolute contender to play in the National Championship Game. They finished #3 in last year’s AP Top 25 Poll. Arizona was 4-8. Don’t tell me a new coach can’t make a difference.
#19 Michigan was lucky to get by the visiting Air Force Falcons, 31-25.
#20 TCU beat AA Grambling 56-zip in a cupcake game.
#21 Kansas State easily beat Miami of Florida, 52-13.
#22 Notre Dame just barely squeezed by in-state rival Purdue, 20-17. Notre Dame is 2-0, but does not look like a dominant 2-0 team yet.
#23 Louisville had a 35-7 win over AA Missouri State in a cupcake game.
#24 Florida needed a last quarter touchdown to nip Texas A&M, 20-17.
#25 Stanford beat Duke 50-13.
Here are the winners and losers in this week’s other “cupcake games”:
+56 Georgia Tech swamped poor AA Presbyterian 59-3.
+52 Southern Methodist (SMU) put a beat down on AA Stephen F. Austin, 52-zip, to win an in-state rivalry that never was a contest.
+37 Minnesota over AA New Hampshire 44-7. The Golden Gophers needed 3 overtime periods last week in an away game to put away UNLV by a field goal, 30-27, and now they are undefeated in their first 2 games. Give Minnesota some credit—it is NEVER easy to win on-the-road, but, really now, how long can this last?
+32 Brigham Young over AA Weber State 45-13 in an in-state rivalry contest.
+32 San Jose State beat AA UC Davis 45-13 in another in-state clash.
+31 Western Michigan thumped AA Eastern Illinois 52-21.
+28 Marshall beat AA Western Carolina 52-24.
+28 Northern Illinois over AA Tennessee-Martin 35-7.
+27 North Texas whipped AA Texas Southern 34-7 in an in-state rivalry game.
+26 Rutgers (New Jersey’s finest) shut out AA Howard 26-0.
+22 Buffalo over AA Morgan State 56-34.
+19 California over AA Southern Utah 50-31.
+11 New 1-A team Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) beat NCAA Division II Texas A&M Commerce (this simply means the Texas A&M Extension located in Commerce, Texas, if you are wondering), 27-16, to notch its 2nd straight win in the Big Show (the NCAA’s Division 1-A, or, as the feeble-minded NCAA brain trust likes to call it, the Football Bowl Subdivision). You might note that this game was also an in-state rivalry for bragging rights among smaller Texas schools.
+6 South Alabama out kicked AA Nicholls State, 9-6, in a game of field goals.
+4 Washington State outlasted AA Eastern Washington, 24-20, in an in-state rivalry match.
Minus 2 Colorado was upset by AA Sacramento State 30-28 when the Hornets stung the Buffaloes 6-0 in the last quarter.
Minus 3 UNLV was upset by AA Northern Arizona 17-14. Seriously, UNLV (now 0-2), get a life.
Minus 15 Colorado State was upset by AA North Dakota State 22-7. Let me register this correctly. Both major Colorado teams got their butt handed to them by AA teams. Colorado, a Pac-12 team, takes a butt-kicking at home, and Colorado State, a Mountain West team, gets ripped a new one at home by 15 points. Things are not good in the high country. Looks like the Buffalo players and the Ram players have been sucking down too many Rocky Mountain Oysters, and not practicing enough football to beat a AA team.
Minus 17 Eastern Michigan was upset by AA Illinois State 31-14. Eastern Michigan led 14-10 at the half, but was outscored by Illinois State 21-zip in the 2nd half. Now that’s what I call halftime adjustments. Good for Illinois State.
In the first 2 weeks of the season, there were 57 cupcake contests among the 148 games played (38%), and 1-A teams won 50 of the 57 cupcake games (87%).
In other games of note:
Arizona State (new Coach Todd Graham’s desert bandits) stole another victory, this time from Big Ten’s Illinois Illini, 45-14. That’s a 31-point edge. Last week Arizona State opened the season with a 63-6 victory over AA Northern Arizona. Don’t tell me that a new coach can’t make a difference.
Consider this for a moment: Arizona State’s Sun Devils whip Illinois, 45-14, by 31 points; Arizona upsets 18th-ranked Oklahoma, 59-38, by 21 points; and AA Northern Arizona upsets UNLV, 17-14. Wouldn’t you want to be living in Arizona this week rather than Colorado?
Indiana swamped new 1-A entry Massachusetts 45-6. In its season opener, Massachusetts lost to Connecticut 37-0. It appears the Minutemen are making progress, albeit ever so slowly.
Mississippi State beats Auburn 28-10. Wow, Auburn is now 0-2 and Mississippi State is 2-0. Don’t pretend that this isn’t important, it is. Auburn has been a perennial contender in the SEC, and now it appears that the Tigers run has run all the way out. In 2010, Auburn was 14-0 and won the National Championship Game with Cam Newton. Last year Auburn was a tough 8-5.
Houston lost again, this time to Louisiana Tech, 56-49. New 1-A team Texas State-San Marcos beat Houston last week, 30-13. Houston is now 0-2. Do you think the Cougars miss Case Keenum, their record-setting quarterback who stayed in Houston this year, only with the Houston Texans of the NFL.
In an unusual turn of events, 7 Pac-12 teams won this week—Southern California, California, Stanford, UCLA, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona, Arizona State and Washington State. Only 3 Pac-12 teams lost—Washington, Utah and Colorado.
In other in-state rivalries:
Wake Forest slipped by North Carolina 28-27 (Just win, Baby, just win).
Iowa State ruined Iowa’s day by winning 9-6 in a game all about defense.
Utah State took down Utah 27-20.
Texas Tech bombed Texas State-San Marcos 58-10.