Early in the college football season each year the “BCS” teams normally schedule cupcakes from the FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) and lesser FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) conferences. The idea being that teams open up, normally at home, with easy wins to start the season.
If the trend from last week keeps up all season, those easy wins are not going to be so easy. Each of the “BCS” conferences struggled against lesser competition last week.
Here is a quick look at each BCS conference last week.
Maryland needed a late touchdown to beat William & Mary (FCS) 7-6. The Terrapins needed to sneak out of their own stadium to earn the victory.
Wake Forest had to rally in the fourth quarter to defeat Liberty (FCS) at home 20-17. There was more offense from the Demon Deacons than Maryland but Wake fans have to be worried.
The rest of the ACC didn’t have very many problems against out of conference opponents. North Carolina State fell to Tennessee but everyone else beat FCS and non-BCS teams, including Clemson beating Auburn out of the SEC.
Miami (FL) outlasted Boston College 41-32 and Virginia Tech survived Georgia Tech 20-17 in ACC play.
Like the ACC, no Big-12 team lost to a lesser opponent but a couple did struggle. Overall the Big-12 stomped lesser teams including Oklahoma State beating Savannah State 84-0.
Stillwater (OK) where sportsmanship goes to die. Is there really a need to beat a team by 84 points, I don’t think so.
Oklahoma took forever to put away UTEP (non-BCS) and looked very pedestrian all night on offense. The Sooners must play better if they are going to challenge for a national championship.
Iowa State didn’t overwhelm Tulsa (non-BCS) but did earn a 38-23 victory. The Cyclones didn’t look terrible but couldn’t run away from the Golden Hurricane.
No Big-12 lost last week but then again, no Big-12 team faced a tough opponent last week either. The award for weakest scheduling in week one has to go to the Big-12.
It has been fashionable to kick around the Big East the last few year but all in all the conference is not as bad as other writers make it out to be each season. The Big East has its flaws but it stays on par with the ACC most seasons.
Only one Big East team lost to an FCS or non-BCS foe and that was Pittsburgh. The Panthers lost to Youngstown State 31-17 in a game that wasn’t close in the second half.
Rutgers hit the road against Tulane but escaped with a 24-12 win. A big second quarter and fourth quarter helped the Scarlet Knights to victory.
Syracuse lost to Northwestern out of the Big Ten and the rest of the conference didn’t stumble out of the gate. Louisville carried the conference flag beating Kentucky out of the SEC.
Give some big props to Temple who was kicked out of the Big East at one point but is now back. Villanova didn’t stand a chance against the Owls in a 41-10 defeat.
As a whole the Big Ten shouldn’t be very proud of its performance last week. Nearly every Big Ten need to escape against lesser teams.
It started Thursday night; Minnesota needed triple overtime to defeat UNLV 30-27. A late field goal by the Golden Gophers was needed just to force overtime.
Friday night, Michigan State pulled out a 17-13 win over Boise State (non-BCS) with a late touchdown run. It was not the kind of performance the Spartans wanted against a team from a lesser conference and should have inspired tweets against the Michigan offense on Saturday night.
Ohio was able to beat Penn State 24-14 in Happy Valley with an assist from the NCAA. Bobcats outscored the Nittany Lions 21-0 in the second half.
Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin all need late rallies to avoid upsets. The Hawkeyes nearly lost to Northern Illinois (non-BCS) 18-17, Wisconsin escaped against Northern Iowa (FCS) 26-21 at home and Indiana held off Indiana State (FCS) 24-17 to earn the victory.
Ohio State fans boasted proudly about beating Miami (OH). Can you really be that excited about a 56-10 victory over a MAC team, Buckeye fans?
Nebraska took care of Southern Miss in a game that wasn’t in doubt after halftime. Purdue wasted little time Eastern Kentucky in a 48-6 win.
As mentioned earlier, Northwestern needed a late touchdown to down Syracuse 42-41. In the game of the week, Michigan was spanked handedly by Alabama.
If you turned over late, the Crimson Tide had victory in hand before halftime. The Wolverines join a long list of Big Ten teams that couldn’t stay on the field with the SEC.
Pac-12 It was a feast or famine situation last week for the Pac-12. Half the conference didn’t waste time with teams from lower divisions or conferences. Oregon, USC, Arizona State, UCLA and Utah blew out their foes.
The other half of the Pac-12 struggled or lost against weaker opponents. BYU (independent) ruined Mike Leach’s debut for the Cougars in a game that wasn’t close from the kickoff.
Stanford is finding out life after Andrew Luck will not be easy. The Cardinal barely escaped from San Jose State 20-17 at home.
California reopened their stadium after improvements and then saw Nevada (non-BCS) ruin that reopening. Wolfpack stayed with the Golden Bears throughout in a 31-24 win.
In the battle for Colorado, the Rams of Colorado State (non-BCS) proved tougher than the Buffaloes of Colorado. Rams beat big conference Colorado 22-17.
Arizona and Washington had to hold on to defeat lesser teams. The Wildcats won 24-17 in overtime over Toledo (non-BCS) and the Huskies need hold off San Diego State (non-BCS).
Looks like the Pac-12 like last year will be heavy at the top with no middle and a weak bottom. That won’t help USC or Oregon if they stumble.
SEC A couple of teams might have started slowly but every SEC took care of business. The only SEC teams to lose were Auburn to Clemson and Kentucky to Louisville. Both the Tigers and Cardinals are from BSC conferences.
Teams from the SEC playing either FCS or non-BCS schools lost by two or more scores. Alabama carried the conference flag beating the snot out of Michigan.
Now for Winners (winning teams in bold):
UFC at Ohio State
Miami (FL) at Kanas State
Penn State at Virginia
East Carolina at South Carolina
North Carolina at Wake Forest
USC vs. Syracuse (neutral location)
Wisconsin at Oregon State
Fresno State at Oregon
Washington at LSU
Nebraska at UCLA
Florida at Texas A&M
Georgia at Missouri
Duke at Stanford
Vanderbilt at Northwestern
Kent State at Kentucky
Oklahoma State at Arizona
Illinois at Arizona State