Eastern Michigan Eagles

Alabama's head coach Saban instructs his players as they take on the LSU Tigers during their NCAA football game in Baton Rouge
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Checking in on the nation’s longest winning & losing streaks

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Unbelievably, at the end of today, we’ll be more than one-third of the way through the 2016 regular season as the calendar flips from September to October. And, not surprisingly, some teams are faring better than others — and some, suffice to say, are not.

In “water’s wet, sky’s blue” news, defending national champions and undefeated top-ranked Alabama holds the nation’s longest winning streak at 16 in a row. ‘Bama’s last loss came Sept. 19 a year ago against Ole Miss. In fact, the Tide hasn’t really come close to seeing that streak end since as just two of their last 16 games have been decided by 10-plus points, with the lone exceptions being a 19-14 win over Tennessee in October of last year and 43-37 over Ole Miss just two weeks ago.

What might surprise you, though, is the second-longest streak behind ‘Bama. The holder of that honor? San Diego State, which has peeled off 13 wins in a row entering Week 5. Tennessee is the only other team in double digits, with 10 wins in a row dating back to last season.  The Vols’ last loss?  To the Tide, of course, a defeat that UT will get to avenge two weeks from today in the friendly confines of Neyland Stadium.

A total of nine teams will also take the field Saturday with a winning streak of at least five in a row:

7 — Houston, Washington
6 — Louisville, Utah, Western Michigan, Wisconsin
5 — Boise State, Navy, Ohio State

Clemson could join some combination of the above at that five-game winning-streak plateau Saturday, but to get there they’ll have to beat… Louisville.

On the other side of the won-loss ledger, the “proud” owner of the nation’s longest losing streak entering the 2016 season was Kansas* at 15 straight, followed by UCF (13), Charlotte (10), Eastern Michigan (10), Oregon State (nine) and Boston College (eight).

All six of those teams have seen those losing streaks come to a merciful end, with EMU actually off to a 3-1 start to the year. The team that was just behind BC, Wake Forest, carried a six-game losing streak into 2016 before surprisingly (stunningly?) winning their first four games of the season.

So, with all of that winning from last year’s biggest losers, who’s the current “top” loser? That title now belongs to the Northern Illinois Huskies, the winners of the last six MAC West championships — and three of the last six conference titles — who have started this season with four straight losses to stretch their ignominious streak to a nation’s best/worst seven in a row. Just three other teams have a streak that began during the 2015 season: Florida International, which has lost six in a row and already fired their head coach; Arkansas State, which lost its first four of this season to push its streak to five in a row; and Georgia State, 0-3 on the season to add to a loss in the 2015 Cure Bowl for a four-game losing streak.

Two additional teams are winless on the season after winning their last game of 2015: Miami of Ohio and Rice, which are each 0-4 in 2016.

(*While Kansas’ overall losing streak came to an end, they’ve still lost 17 in a row against FBS opponents, with the last one of those coming in early November of 2015 against Iowa State.)

Racial graffiti triggers peaceful protest at EMU game; SMU band members kneel during anthem

DALLAS, TX - SEPTEMBER 23:  A member of the against the Southern Methodist Mustangs marching band kneels during the playing of the national anthem before the Southern Methodist Mustangs take on the TCU Horned Frogs at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on September 23, 2016 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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An off-campus incident in Ypsilanti earlier in the week prompted an on-field reaction from Eastern Michigan students Friday night.

Wednesday, someone spray painted the letters “KKK” in red, white and blue on a campus building.  Another message that read “Leave N******” was left on a courtyard wall.

During last night’s game, a 27-24 win over Wyoming, EMU students chanted “We stand up! We fight back, when black lives are under attack!” as play went on, with the university’ president talking to the students at one point during the second half of the contest.  After the game, the protest bled onto the field as fans gathered peacefully around midfield to further drive home their message.

The protests weren’t limited to Ypsilanti as several members of the SMU marching band took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem prior to the game against TCU.

The state of Michigan? Just one loss amongst five FBS teams

EVANSTON, IL- SEPTEMBER 03: P.J. Fleck head coach of the Western Michigan Broncos reacts after his teams win against the Northwestern Wildcats on September 3, 2016 at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois. the Western Michigan Broncos won 22-21. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
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If you’re an FBS program in the state of Michigan, you’re off to a pretty good start to the 2016 season. In fact, it’s damn-near perfect.

Eastern Michigan, amidst a peaceful protest, was able to hold off Wyoming Friday night to push its record to 3-1 on the young season. That marks the first time in more than two decades that the Eagles have started a season at 3-1.

Not only that, but it continues into Week 4 what’s been a rather remarkable first three weeks of the season for the FBS teams in the state.

Michigan and Michigan State of the Big Ten are 3-0 and 2-0, respectively, thus far. EMU’s directional counterparts, Central Michigan and Big Ten West leader Western Michigan, are each 3-0.

Add it all up, as Bruce Feldman did on his Twitter account, and the five FBS teams from the state of Michigan are a combined 14-1 heading into a Saturday that will see UM (Penn State, 2-1), MSU (Wisconsin, 3-0), CMU (Virginia, 0-3) and WMU (Georgia Southern, 3-0) look to push that mark to 18-1.

In the here and now, though, how does that .933 winning percentage compare to other states with three or more FBS teams at this juncture of the 2016 season? Let’s take a peek.

Colorado — .750 (6-2)
Tennessee — .727 (8-3)
Georgia — .692 (9-4)
Kentucky — .667 (6-3)
Utah — .667 (6-3)
Florida — .619 (13-8)
California — 12-8 (.600)
Indiana — .600 (6-4)
Texas — .595 (22-15)
Alabama — .583 (7-5)
Oklahoma — .555 (5-4)
Pennsylvania — .555 (5-4)
North Carolina — .542 (13-11)
Ohio — .542 (13-11)
New York — .500 (4-4)
Louisiana — .467 (7-8)
Mississippi — .444 (4-5)
Illinois — .222 (2-7)

One note before somebody starts whining despite the three-team stipulation: the state of Maryland is undefeated but has “just” two FBS programs, with both Maryland and Navy sitting at 3-0 each.

EMU’s suspends starting QB Brogan Roback

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 03:  Brogan Roback #4 of the Eastern Michigan Eagles throws a pass against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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With the opener a little over a week way, Eastern Michigan’s quarterback situation is in a significant state of flux.

The Detroit Free Press has reported that Brogan Roback has been suspended by EMU head coach Chris Creighton.  The only reason given was “a violation of our policies.”

EMU opens the 2016 season Sept. 3 against Mississippi Valley State, and it appears Roback will miss at least that contest.

“With the privilege of being a member of the Eastern Michigan University football program there are expectations and standards to which we hold our student-athletes accountable,” a portion of a Creighton’s statement sent to the Free Press read.

Roback took over for Reggie Bell as the Eagles’ starting quarterback after Week 1 last year.  He threw for 2,304 yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in completing exactly 60 percent of his passes.

Bell transferred after the 2016 season, leaving Roback as the presumptive starter.  With Roback’s suspension, it leaves EMU with four scholarship quarterbacks — junior Todd Porter, freshman Isaac Stiebeling, and redshirt freshmen Anton Skupin and James Pensyl.  Only Porter, a junior college transfer, has experience at the collegiate level, and would presumably take over as the starter in Roback’s absence.

GoDaddy Bowl changes name to Dollar General Bowl

MOBILE, AL - DECEMBER 23: Members of the Georgia Southern Eagles celebrate after defeating the Bowling Green Falcons on December 23, 2015 at Ladd Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. The Georgia Southern Eagles defeated the Bowling Green Falcons 58-27. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
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The jokes pretty much write themselves on this one.

The GoDaddy Bowl has changed its name to the Dollar General Bowl effective immediately, it was announced Wednesday.

“Having a title sponsor in today’s world is just fantastic,” bowl president Jerry Silverstein told AL.com. “There are a lot of bowls out there, and for Mobile to get the recognition from a national sponsor, to want to participate in the event we have here, just leads to the national stage of what we try to produce here in Mobile.”

The new sponsor was celebrated in a very, uh, Dollar General way.

Heading into its 18th season, Dollar General Bowl will be the sixth different name and third separate title sponsor for the Mobile, Ala., based game. It was born in 1999 as the Mobile Alabama Bowl, then changed to the GMAC Mobile Alabama Bowl a year later. The name stuck as simply the GMAC Bowl from 2001-10, before the name switched to the GoDaddy.com Bowl in 2011. The “.com” was dropped before the 2014 game.

Representatives from the Sun Belt and MAC will compete in the 2016 game for the eighth consecutive season on the night of Dec. 23 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN). Georgia Southern took last year’s game by a 58-27 score over Bowling Green. The Sun Belt has claimed three of the last four Dollar General Bowls over its northern adversaries.