Monday, September 6, 2010

Will the WAC or ACC make the bigger splash to close out Week 1 on Labor Day?

The WAC heads into Labor Day only 4-3 record in out of conference play, though Fresno State picked up a solid 28-14 win over the #23 Cincinnati (Big East) on Saturday night at home. Utah State came up short 24-31 @ #18 Oklahoma on Saturday, while Hawai'i lost 36-49 at home to USC on Thursday night to open Week 1. #1 Alabama nailed San Jose State 48-3 at home. Idaho, Nevada and Louisiana Tech all opened with victories over FCS programs.

The Big Game of the Week 1

from Landover, MD
non-BCS vs BCS conference
#3 Boise State vs. #6 Virginia Tech
7:00 p.m.

The ACC enters Labor Day at 9-1, but has an opportunity to get two more victories with Maryland and Virginia Tech to close out Week 1 of the 2010 College Football season.

Labor Day Game

Maryland at #24 Navy
from Baltimore
3:00 p.m.

Most of the ACC openers were against FCS competition. Though Clemson beat North Texas out of the Sun Belt 35-10 in their home opener. The ACC lost the top ACC-SEC match up game on Saturday night in Atlanta, when North Carolina, short 13 players due to NCAA issues, lost 24-30 to #12 LSU.

Talk about FCS competition: the SEC and Big 12 witnessed one of their programs falling to a FCS school in Week 1. FCS upsets of Week 1:

  • Jacksonville State knocked off Ole Miss in 2OT 49-48

  • North Dakota State beat Kansas, in Turner Gill's debut as head coach, 6-3

The SEC went 10-2 to open Week 1. In addition to Mississippi's loss, Vanderbilt came up short at home in a Big Ten-SEC showdown with Northwestern, 21-23. The SEC picked up the win in the SEC-ACC match up involving #12 LSU-UNC. The SEC didn't beat the Big Ten, but wins were picked up vs. Big East (Kentucky over Louisville), vs. C-USA (South Carolina over Southern Miss and Mississippi State over Memphis), vs. Sun Belt (Auburn over Arkansas State and #13 Georgia over LA-Lafayette), vs. MAC (# 5 Florida over Miami-OH) and vs. WAC (#1 Alabama over San Jose State). The rest of the opening games came against FCS opponents.

The Big 12 went 11-1 to open Week 1. The loss by Kansas to North Dakota State was the only disappointment. The conference enjoyed wins vs. the Big Ten (Missouri over Illinois), vs. the Pac Ten (Kansas State over UCLA), vs. Pac 10 (Oklahoma State over Washington State), vs. the MWC (Colorado over Colorado State), vs. C-USA (#7 Texas over Rice and #17 Texas Tech over SMU), vs. MAC (Iowa State over Northern Illinois), Sun Belt (#15 Nebraska over Western Kentucky) and vs. WAC (#18 Oklahoma over Utah State). A couple more games won were against FCS opponents.

The Big Ten went 9-2 to open Week 1. As mentioned earlier in our blog, the only losses were to the two Big Ten teams that Iowa will not face in 2010. Two rivalry games went the other way, as Purdue went to 1-12 @ Notre Dame (Independent) and Missouri (Big 12) won sixth straight over Illinois. The Big Ten picked up wins vs. the SEC (Northwestern over Vanderbilt), vs. Big East (Michigan over Connecticut), vs. C-USA (#2 Ohio State over Marshall), vs. Sun Belt (Minnesota over Middle Tennessee), vs. MAC (Michigan State over Western Michigan) and vs. MWC (#10 Wisconsin over UNLV). Other victories in Week 1 were against FCS opponents.

The Pac 10 only went 6-4 to open Week 1. The Pac 10 was knocked off by the MWC (#8 TCU beat Oregon State and #16 BYU over Washington), the Big 12 (Oklahoma State over Washington State and Kansas State over UCLA). The Pac 10 picked up a wins @ MAC (Arizona over Toledo), @ WAC (USC over Hawai'i), vs. MWC (#9 Oregon over New Mexico) and over FCS opponents in Week 1.

The Big East went 4-4 to open Week 1. Syracuse won @ Akron (MAC) 29-3 and three others beat FCS opponents, but four losses came @ the Big Ten (Michigan over UConn), @ the WAC (Fresno State over #23 Cincinnati), @ the MWC (#13 Utah over #22 Pitt) and vs. SEC (Kentucky over Louisville) in Week 1. It was a tough start for the Big East in Week 1.

The MWC went 6-3 to open Week 1. The MWC witnessed wins over Pac 10 (#8 TCU over Oregon State and #16 BYU over Washington), vs. Big East (#13 Utah over #22 Pitt in OT) and over three FCS opponents to open Week 1. Three MWC fell @ Pac 10 (#9 Oregon over New Mexico), vs. Big 12 (Colorado over Colorado State) and vs. Big Ten (#10 Wisconsin over UNLV) in Week 1.

In C-USA play, defending conference champion East Carolina (1-0, 1-0 C-USA) opened up conference play in an inter-division game vs. Tulsa (0-1, 0-1 C-USA). The Pirates beat the Golden Hurricane in a shootout 51-49, in East Carolina's debut of the Ruffin McNeill, the former DC at Texas Tech, who served as interim coach after Mike Leach's firing at Tech. The C-USA went 4-6 in Week 1 in out of conference games. The four wins came against FCS opponents, while the conference lost every OOC game @ Big Ten (#2 Ohio State over Marshall) @ SEC (South Carolina over Southern Miss and Mississippi State over Memphis), vs. Big 12 (#7 Texas over Rice), vs. Big 12 (#17 Texas Tech over SMU) and vs. Sun Belt (Florida Atlantic over UAB) in Week 1.

The MAC opened 6-7 in Week 1. All six wins came against FCS opponents, while the conference lost all seven games against FCS opponents in Week 1. The MAC lost @ Big Ten (Michigan State over Western Michigan), @ Big 12 (Iowa State over Northern Illinois), vs. Pac 10 (Arizona over Toledo), @ SEC (#5 Florida over Miami-OH), vs. Big East (Syracuse over Akron), vs. Independent (Army over Eastern Michigan) and @ Sun Belt (Troy over Bowling Green). Temple (1-0) nearly fell to defending FCS champion Villanova 31-24 and needed a FG in the final seconds to win the game. The game was 22-24 heading into the final seconds and a TD on the final play of the game gave the Owls the 31-24 difference.

The Sun Belt went 2-5 in Week 1. But, Troy and Florida Atlantic picked up nice OOC wins over Bowling Green (MAC) and @ UAB (C-USA) for the Sun Belt. The Sun Belt lost games vs. Big Ten (Minnesota over Middle Tennessee), @ Big 12 (#15 Nebraska over Western Kentucky), @ SEC (Auburn over Arkansas State and #14 Georgia over UL-Lafayette) and @ ACC (Clemson over North Texas).

We received news ahead of Week 1 that #16 BYU was going to leave the MWC after '10 to become an Independent. Depending on the game between #24 Navy-Maryland, the Independents are 2-0 thus far, with Notre Dame winning at home 23-12 over Purdue (Big Ten) and Army winning on the road @ Eastern Michigan (MAC) 31-27 in Week 1.

Week 1 will wrap up on Labor Day with the final two games. Week 2 should be outstanding with some great inter-conference match ups including Ohio State-Miami (FL), Alabama-Penn State, Iowa-Iowa State, Michigan-Notre Dame and Florida State-Oklahoma for starters.


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