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College Football – Week 7 – Only 10 Undefeated Teams Remain – Oklahoma, Missouri and LSU All Lose
Week 7 of college football began with 15 undefeated teams and ended with just 10 as No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 3 Missouri, No. 4 Louisiana State, No. 13 Vanderbilt and No. 20 Auburn were all upset.
Some fans would point out that you can hardly call the Oklahoma and LSU losses an upset since the No. 1 Sooners faced the No. 5 Texas Longhorns and the No. 4 LSU Tigers faced the No. 11 Florida Gators.
The Texas-Oklahoma contest was a shootout that Longhorn coach Mack Brown called “one of the greatest football games I have ever seen.” Texas trailed 11 points twice in the first half and 8 points in the 3rd quarter before winning 45-35 at home.
Longhorn Chris Ogbannaya, a senior making his second start, rushed 15 times for 127 yards, none more important than his 62-yard gain on a no-go run that helped put Texas on top to stay.
Texas junior quarterback Colt McCoy went 28 of 35 for 277 yards with 1 TD pass and no turnovers. Oklahoma sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford was no slouch, going 28 of 39 for 387 yards and 5 touchdowns. Bradford found Jordan Shipley for 11 passes, 112 yards and a touchdown. Shipley also had an electrifying 96-yard return for a touchdown.
No. 3 Missouri isn’t as good as its 5-0 pre-game record and No. 17 Oklahoma State proved that by traveling to Missouri and beating the Tigers at home , 28-23, bringing his undefeated record to 6-0. The loss was the first for Missouri.
No. 11 Florida just brought it to No. 4 LSU, leading 20-3 at halftime and finishing the Tigers 51-21 at home. We no longer have to guess which team is the best.
No. 13 Vanderbilt’s 15-minute brushstroke with glory was over as the Commodores traveled to unranked Mississippi State and quickly lost 17-14 to the Bulldogs. Mississippi improved their record to 2-4 with the win over Vanderbilt. There are no words to describe the No. 20 Auburn Tigers who lost at home to unranked Arkansas 25-22. Auburn fell straight out of the AP Top 25 poll with a thump.
Between Missouri, Louisiana State and Auburn, it wasn’t a good week to be the Tigers. Congratulations to Texas, Florida and Oklahoma State who defended their rankings.
Among the other 13 top-ranked teams to win were No. 6 Penn State on the road to Wisconsin 48-7, No. 7 Texas Tech at home to Nebraska 37-31 in overtime, No. No. 8 Southern California at home 28-0 over Arizona State, No. 9 BYU at home 21-3 to New Mexico, No. 10 Georgia at home 26-14 to Tennessee, No. 12 Ohio State at home 16-2 against Purdue and No. 14 Utah on Route 40 -7 over Wyoming.
Also No. 15 Boise State on the road 24-7 over Southern Mississippi, No. 16 Kansas at home 30-14 over Colorado, No. 21 Wake Forest at home 12-7 over Clemson (another Tiger team), No. No. 22 North Carolina at home 29-24 over Notre Dame, No. 23 Michigan State on the road 37-20 over undefeated and unranked Northwestern, and No. 25 Ball State on the road 24-7 at 1-AA Western Kentucky.
The remaining 10 undefeated teams (in no particular order) include Alabama, Penn State, Texas, Boise State, Texas Tech, Utah, BYU, Ball State, Oklahoma State and Tulsa.
If you look at the Sagarin ratings for schedule strength, here’s how the 10 undefeated teams are ranked from best to worst schedule strength:
Alabama (38th), Texas (43rd), Utah (72nd), Penn State (74th), Oklahoma State (94th), Texas Tech (105th), Ball State (107th), Boise State (111th), Brigham Young (121st) and Tulsa (141st). That would go a long way to explaining why some of these teams are undefeated. There are 119 Division 1-A schools, so you can imagine how well the teams have played the last 5 of these teams undefeated.
Tulsa plays absolutely no one worth mentioning and could go undefeated if they beat Arkansas 3-3. Tulsa’s last win was over a Southern Methodist team 1-6 and the Golden Hurricane (that’s Tulsa) won 37-31. Fortunately, Brigham Young faces Utah in the final game of the year for both schools. Boise State pretty much gets a free ride to Fresno State. Ball State is not really facing anyone.
Alabama, Texas, Penn State, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech will make a living from facing much tougher competition.
Alabama, Virginia Tech, South Florida and Pittsburgh were all inactive this week.
Other notable performances deserve some attention. The Penn State Nittany Lions traveled to Wisconsin and beat the Badgers at home 48-7. It’s not easy beating Wisconsin at home, and for Joe Paterno’s team to tear apart the Badgers was impressive.
Michigan is really disappointing this year, again losing at home in the big house to Toledo 13-10. The loss marked the first time in its storied history that Michigan has lost to a Mid-American Conference team. Toledo entered the contest with a 1-4 mark and an earlier loss to Florida International.
Oregon State has to be the worst 3-3 team in the country. The Beavers beat Washington State 66-13, beat Hawaii 45-7, upset Southern Cal 27-21 and are in no mood to explain their losses to Stanford, Penn State and Utah (all on the road ). They are traveling to Washington this week and I wouldn’t want to be a Husky when they arrive.
After such a strong start to the season, East Carolina is now looking very average, again losing on the road to Virginia 35-20.
The new AP Top 25 poll has the top 10 in that order—Texas, Alabama, Penn State, Oklahoma, Florida, Southern Cal, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Brigham Young and Georgia.
Some games of interest this week include No. 12 Ohio State at No. 20 Michigan State, No. 13 LSU at unranked but dangerous South Carolina, No. 22 Vanderbilt at No. 10 Georgia (the Commodores could lose their rankings), No. 13. 16 Kansas at No. 4 Oklahoma (watch out, Jayhawks), No. 11 Missouri at No. 1 Texas, unranked Michigan at No. 3 Penn State (Joe Paterno’s eyes are getting de bigger and bigger each week, surpassed only by its appetite for wins), and Hawaii at No. 15 Boise State (could the Warriors do the impossible?).
Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley
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