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College Football – Week 7 – Only 10 Undefeated Teams Remain – Oklahoma, Missouri and LSU All Lose
College football started Week 7 undefeated with 15 teams and ended with just 10 as No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 3 Missouri, No. 4 Louisiana State, No. 13 Vanderbilt and No. 20 Auburn all pulled upsets.
Some fans point out that you can’t call the losses to Oklahoma and LSU upsets because the No. 1 Sooners were playing the No. 5 Texas Longhorns and the No. 4 LSU Tigers were playing 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’ve ever seen.” Texas trailed by 11 points twice in the first half and 8 points in the third quarter before rallying for a 45-35 win at home.
Longhorn Chris Ogbnaya, a senior, rushed 15 times for 127 yards in his second start, none more important than a 62-yard gain in a game that helped Texas stay on top.
Texas junior quarterback Colt McCoy went 28-35-35 for 277 yards with 1 TD pass and no turnovers. Oklahoma sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford didn’t have to go 28-of-39 for 387 yards and 5 TDs. Bradford found Jordan Shipley for 11 passes, 112 yards and a TD. Shipley also had an electrifying 96-yard run for a TD.
No. 3 Missouri isn’t as good as its pre-game 5-0 record warrants, and No. 17 Oklahoma State proved it by traveling to Missouri and beating the Tigers 28-23 at home, pushing its unbeaten record to 6-0. It was the first loss for Missouri.
No. 11 Florida just took it to No. 4 LSU, leading 20-3 at the half and finishing with a 51-21 shutout of the Tigers at home. No need to guess which team is better.
No. 13 Vanderbilt’s 15-minute brush with fame is over as the Commodores traveled to unranked Mississippi State and suffered a quick 17-14 loss to the Bulldogs. Mississippi improved its record to 2-4 with the win over Vanderbilt. There are no words to describe the No. 20 Auburn Tigers who beat No. 2 Arkansas 25-22 at home. Auburn fell sharply in the AP Top 25 poll.
Between Missouri, Louisiana State and Auburn, it wasn’t a good week for the Tigers. Texas, Florida and Oklahoma State who defended their rankings.
Other top 13 ranked teams include No. 6 Penn State’s 48-7 win over Wisconsin, No. 7 Texas Tech’s 37-31 overtime win over Nebraska at home, No. 8 Southern California’s 28-0 overtime win at home. Arizona State beat No. 9 BYU 21-3 over New Mexico, No. 10 Georgia beat Tennessee 26-14 at home, No. 12 Ohio State beat Purdue 16-2 at home, and No. 14 Utah beat Wyoming 40-7 on the road.
Also no. 15 Boise State on the road 24-7 over Southern Mississippi, No. 16 Kansas 30-14 over Colorado, No. 21 Wake Forest 12-7 over Clemson (another Tiger team), No. 22 North Carolina at home over Notre Dame 29-24, No. 23 Michigan State 37-20 on the road vs. undefeated and undefeated Northwestern, and No. 25 Ball State on the road 24-7 over 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 strength of schedule, the 10 undefeated teams are ranked from best strength of schedule to worst:
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). This would go a long way in explaining why some of these teams are undefeated. There are 119 Division 1-A schools so you can imagine how tough it was to play the last 5 of these undefeated teams.
Tulsa isn’t playing well to speak of, and they can stay undefeated if they beat Arkansas at 3-3. Tulsa’s last win came against a 1-6 Southern Methodist team and the Golden Hurricane (that’s Tulsa) won 37-31. Brigham Young thankfully faces Utah in the final game of the year for both schools. Boise State gets a free ride to Fresno State. Ball State doesn’t really face anyone.
Alabama, Texas, Penn State, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech will earn their way through facing tougher competition.
Alabama, Virginia Tech, South Florida and Pittsburgh were all idle this week.
Other notable achievements deserve some attention. Penn State’s Nittany Lions traveled to Wisconsin and defeated the Badgers 48-7 at home. Wisconsin isn’t easy to beat at home, and picking apart the Badgers was impressive for Joe Paterno’s team.
Michigan has been really disappointing this year, losing again at home to Toledo 13-10 in the Big House. Michigan has lost to a Mid-American Conference team. Toledo entered the tournament with a 1-4 mark and a loss to Florida International before that.
Oregon State has to be the worst 3-3 team in the country. The Beavers beat Washington State 66-13, beat Hawaii 45-7, beat Southern Cal 27-21 and are in no mood to explain their losses to Stanford, Penn State and Utah (all on the road). They go to Washington this week and I don’t want to be a husky when they get there.
After such a good start to its season, East Carolina now looks pretty average, losing again 35-20 on the road to Virginia.
The top 10 in the new AP Top 25 poll are Texas, Alabama, Penn State, Oklahoma, Florida, Southern Cal, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Brigham Young and Georgia.
Some favorite games this week include No. 20 Michigan State at No. 12 Ohio State, No. 13 LSU at unranked but dangerous South Carolina, No. 10 Georgia at No. 22 Vanderbilt (the Commodores could lose their ranking), No. 16 Kansas at No. 16 Oklahoma (watch out, Jayhawks), No. 11 Texas at Missouri, No. 3 Penn State at unranked Michigan (Joe Paterno’s eyes are getting bigger and bigger every week, only because his hunger for victory is growing), and Hawaii at No. 15 Boise State ( Can the Warriors do the impossible?).
Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley
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