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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 finished with just 10, as No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 3 Missouri, No. 4 Louisiana State, No. 13 Vanderbilt and No. 20 Auburn were annoying.
Some fans would point out that he could hardly call the losses to Oklahoma and LSU as upsets since 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 best football games I’ve ever seen.” Texas trailed by 11 points twice in the first half and by 8 in the third 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 play that went nowhere and helped Texas stay on top.
Texas junior quarterback Colt McCoy was 28 of 35 for 277 yards with 1 TD pass and no turnovers. Oklahoma’s sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford was not far behind, going 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 return for a TD.
No. 3 Missouri isn’t nearly as good as its 5-0 pregame record guarantees and No. 17 Oklahoma State proved it by traveling to Missouri and beating the Tigers at home, 28-23, raising its undefeated record. to 6-0. The loss was the first for Missouri.
No. 11 Florida took it to No. 4 LSU, leading 20-3 at the half and finishing off the Tigers 51-21 at home. We no longer need to guess which team is better.
The No. 13 Vanderbilt’s little 15-minute brush with fame ended when the Commodores traveled to unranked Mississippi State and promptly lost 17-14 to the Bulldogs. Mississippi raised its 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 out of the AP Poll Top 25 with a thud.
Between Missouri, Louisiana State and Auburn, it wasn’t a good week for the Tigers. Congratulations to Texas, Florida and Oklahoma State who defended their rankings.
Among the other top 13 ranked teams to win were No. 6 Penn State on the road over Wisconsin 48-7, No. 7 Texas Tech at home over Nebraska 37-31 in overtime, No. 8 Southern California at home 28-0 over Arizona State, No. 9 BYU at home 21-3 over New Mexico, No. 10 Georgia at home 26-14 over Tennessee, No. 12 Ohio State at home 16-2 over Purdue and No. 14 Utah at Highway 40 -7 on 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. 22 North Carolina at home 29-24 over Notre Dame, No. 23 Michigan State on the road 37-20 over unbeaten and unranked 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 Sagarin’s ratings for schedule strength, here’s how the top 10 undefeated teams rank from best to worst schedule strength:
Alabama (38), Texas (43), Utah (72), Penn State (74), Oklahoma State (94), Texas Tech (105), Ball State (107), Boise State (111), Brigham Young (121) and Tulsa (141). This would go a long way to explain why some of these teams are undefeated. There are 119 Division 1-A schools, so you can imagine how tough the teams that played the last 5 of these undefeated teams were.
Tulsa plays absolutely no one worth talking about 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 last game of the year for both schools. Boise State practically gets a free ride to Fresno State. Ball State doesn’t really take on anyone.
Alabama, Texas, Penn State, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech will all fight their way up against much tougher competition.
Alabama, Virginia Tech, South Florida and Pittsburgh were 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 to beat Wisconsin at home, and for Joe Paterno’s team to tear apart the Badgers was impressive.
Michigan is really disappointing this year, losing again at home in the Big House to Toledo 13-10. The loss marked the first time in its history that Michigan has lost to a team from the Mid-American Conference. Toledo entered the contest with a 1-4 mark and a previous loss to Florida International.
Oregon State has to be the nastiest 3-3 team in the nation. The Beavers defeated Washington State 66-13, outscored Hawaii 45-7, defeated 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 would hate to be a Husky when they arrive.
After a great start to the season, East Carolina now looks very average, losing again on the road to Virginia 35-20.
The new AP Top 25 poll has the top 10 in this 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 in unranked but dangerous South Carolina, No. 22 Vanderbilt at No. 10 Georgia (the Commodores may lose their rank), No. 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 widen). they get bigger and bigger every week, second only to their appetite for wins), and Hawaii at No. 15 Boise State (could the Warriors do the impossible?).
Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley
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