For the first time in nearly two years, there are no games featuring two top-25 teams on Saturday’s schedule , which on the face of it isn’t great. But as ESPN’s Chris Fallica pointed out , Week 7 of the 2017 season — the last such bereft weekend — ended up being full of surprises, starting Friday night when a Syracuse team that would finish 4-8 stunned No. 2 Clemson at the Carrier Dome . Three other top-10 teams would lose that weekend, including No. 5 Washington (to an Arizona State team that would fire its coach at the end of the season), No. 8 Washington State (by 34 points to a California team that would end up 5-7) and No. 10 Auburn.
In all, seven ranked teams lost that weekend, three of them as favorites of at least 16 points.
Fallica continues by noting that at least two ranked teams have lost to unranked teams in each of the past five weekends without a top-25 matchup. The last time that didn’t happen was in 2004.
Maybe, just maybe, we can get some of that sweet upset action when we least expect it Saturday.
Time Game TV Noon No. 6 Ohio State at Indiana Fox Noon Pittsburgh at No. 13 Penn State ABC Noon Kansas State at Mississippi State ESPN Noon Arkansas State at No. 3 Georgia ESPN2 Noon Miami (Ohio) at Cincinnati ESPNU Noon Chattanooga at Tennessee SEC Network Noon Furman at Virginia Tech ACC Network Noon Eastern Michigan at Illinois Big Ten Network Noon No. 21 Maryland at Temple CBS Sports Network Noon N.C. State at West Virginia Fox Sports 1 12:30 The Citadel at Georgia Tech NBC Sports Washington (in D.C. area) 1 North Dakota State at Delaware NBC Sports Washington Plus (in D.C. area) 1 Air Force at Colorado Pac-12 Network 2:30 New Mexico at No. 7 Notre Dame NBC 3:30 No. 2 Alabama at South Carolina CBS 3:30 No. 24 Southern Cal at BYU ABC 3:30 Stanford at No. 17 Central Florida ESPN 3:30 Oklahoma State at Tulsa ESPN2 3:30 Memphis at South Alabama ESPNU 3:30 East Carolina at Navy CBS Sports Network 3:30 Army at UTSA NFL Network 3:30 Georgia Southern at Minnesota Big Ten Network 3:30 UNLV at Northwestern Big Ten Network 4 Morgan State at James Madison NBC Sports Washington (in D.C. area) 4 Arizona State at No. 18 Michigan State Fox 4 No. 19 Iowa at Iowa State Fox Sports 1 4 Southeastern Louisiana at Mississippi SEC Network 4 Colorado State at Arkansas SEC Network 4 Bethune-Cookman at Miami ACC Network 6 Elon at Richmond NBC Sports Washington Plus (in D.C. area) 7 No. 9 Florida at Kentucky ESPN 7 Kent State at No. 8 Auburn ESPN2 7 Lamar at No. 16 Texas A&M ESPNU 7:30 No. 1 Clemson at Syracuse ABC 7:30 Northwestern State at No. 4 LSU SEC Network 7:30 Southeast Missouri State at Missouri SEC Network 7:30 Hawaii at No. 23 Washington Pac-12 Network 7:30 Florida State at No. 25 Virginia ACC Network 7:30 TCU at Purdue Big Ten Network 8 No. 5 Oklahoma at UCLA Fox 8 No. 12 Texas at Rice CBS Sports Network 8 Northern Illinois at Nebraska Fox Sports 1 10:15 Portland State at No. 22 Boise State ESPN2 10:30 Texas Tech at Arizona ESPN 10:45 Montana at No. 15 Oregon Pac-12 Network Noontime [ Georgia fans organize last-minute ‘pink-out’ to honor Arkansas State coach’s late wife ]
Ohio State hasn’t lost to Indiana since 1988 and, if you include an NCAA-vacated victory in 2010, has won 24 straight in the series since a 27-27 tie in 1990. That’s tied for the longest active Football Bowl Subdivision winning streak over one opponent, and it’s the longest streak in terms of teams that still share a conference. (Texas A&M has beaten TCU 24 straight times as well.) Over that span, the Hoosiers have kept the final score within single digits only four times, though recent meetings have been perhaps closer than the final score suggests . Since losing by just three in 2012, the Hoosiers have led late into the third quarter (2014, when they lost by 15), come up five yards short of forcing overtime (2015), gotten within seven points midway through the third quarter (2016, when they lost by 21), again led late in the third quarter (2017, when they lost by 28) and were within single digits entering the fourth quarter (2018, when they lost by 23). …
Pitt and Penn State used to be a classic Eastern independent football rivalry until the Panthers joined the Big East, the Nittany Lions jumped to the Big Ten and petty politics doomed it to more of an occasional affair. Saturday’s game, the 100th in the series, probably will be their last meeting until “some point after 2030,” Penn State Athletic Director Sandy Barbour said earlier this year.
Midafternoon Southern Cal Coach Clay Helton was on the shakiest of ground after last season’s 5-7 debacle, and this week’s firing of Lynn Swann as athletic director probably didn’t give him reassurance: Swann was one of Helton’s biggest supporters and gave him a contract extension last year. But his team might give him a whole lot more confidence in his job status. The Trojans are a somewhat surprising 2-0 even though starting quarterback J.T. Daniels is out for the year with a knee injury suffered in the first half of the team’s season opener against Fresno State. Enter 18-year-old Kedon Slovis, who completed 28 of 33 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns in last weekend’s win over then-No. 23 Stanford. On Saturday, USC visits BYU , which is coming off a double-overtime win at Tennessee, something that doesn’t have the same cache as it once did.
The late show It was all lining up perfectly for Syracuse: Beat Maryland last Saturday and ESPN almost certainly would bring the football version of “College GameDay” to central New York for the first time ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Clemson. And then the Terps scored in less than three minutes and didn’t stop scoring in a 63-20 embarrassment . (In fact, I think Maryland just scored again on the Orange.) After the biggest loss by a ranked team to an unranked team in 20 years, “GameDay” jilted the Salt City in favor of Ames, Iowa, which has to be a horrifying civic embarrassment. Oh, and Syracuse still has to play Clemson , which might result in even more embarrassment if the Orange’s defense doesn’t improve against perhaps the nation’s most talent-stocked offense. Still, recent history suggests the game could be closer than the 27.5-point spread. Under Coach Dino Babers, Syracuse scored an upset of No. 2 Clemson two years ago at the Carrier Dome and then had the No. 1 Tigers on the ropes in Death Valley last year before surrendering 14 fourth-quarter points in a four-point loss .
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LINK ORIGINAL: Washington Post