Category: Appalachian State Mountaineers

Blake Anderson
Associated Press

Arkansas State claims fourth SBC title in five years


There might not be a more impressive Group of Five football program than Arkansas State right now.

The Red Wolves have had five different head coaches since 2010.  This season under Blake Anderson is the first that’s seen the same head coach in back-to-back seasons since 2009-10, with Hugh Freeze (2011), Gus Malzahn (2012) moving on to positions at Power Five schools and Bryan Harsin (2013) taking the job at his alma mater Boise State in that span.

But the most impressive facet of the program?  The success amidst all of the change.

Thanks to ASU’s 52-28 win over New Mexico State, the Red Wolves pushed their 2015 record to 8-3 overall and 7-0 in league play and landed them another Sun Belt Conference trophy.  Appalachian State (6-1 in conference play) had a slight chance at its first outright SBC championship, but they would’ve needed two wins combined with two ASU losses to close out the season.  The Mountaineers could still claim a co-championship with a win next week and a Red Wolves loss, while the latter would claim it outright with a win.

Regardless it’s the first title for Anderson, but the program’s fourth in the past five seasons — three outright, one shared — with all four coming with a different head coach on the sidelines.

Coach Anderson and his program won’t get the credit they deserve nationally, but they should be applauded for building upon and sustaining the foundation they’ve been given by their predecessors.

Group of Five Update: Houston lost, but New Years Six still up for grabs for AAC contenders


Houston may have been upset on the road by UConn on Saturday, but the Cougars remain in a solid position to reach the goal of any Group of Five program. The only thing Houston realistically lost Saturday was an undefeated season. Houston will get a chance to redeem themselves and play for a conference championship if it can score a win against a rising Navy this week. Better yet, the winner of the Houston-Navy game will get to host the first American Athletic Conference championship game, and the AAC is still in the bets possible position to send its champion to the New Years Six bowl line-up regardless if it is Navy, Houston or Temple.

South Florida remains in the AAC mix going into the final week of the season. If USF beats UCF and Temple loses to UConn, the Bulls will play for the AAC title against either Houston or Navy. If you are a Toledo fan, then you are buying a ticket to ride Coach T’s bus in Tampa. USF winning the AAC swings the door wide open for a MAC champion to fill the vacancy in the New Years Six reserved for the highest-ranked Group of Five conference champion. The odds are probably stacked against the MAC champion, be it Toledo, Northern Illinois or Bowling Green, but USF could throw a wrench in the plans for the AAC.

With the final week of the regular season coming up for the majority of the Group of Five conferences, here is a rundown of the division scenarios at play in each. The final week of the season will see five division champions determined, with three being settled on the field between division contenders. Home field advantage is also up for grabs in a handful of contests.



  • Temple wins with a win vs. UConn OR USF loss to UCF.
  • USF wins with win vs. UCF AND Temple loss to UConn.


  • Winner of Houston vs. Navy wins division


  • Navy hosts Temple/USF with win vs. Houston (best conference record)
  • Houston hosts Temple/USF with win vs. Navy (best overall regular-season record vs. Temple; best conference record vs. USF)
  • AAC East winner cannot host conference championship game according to AAC procedures.



  • Bowling Green has clinched the MAC East division and will play in the MAC Championship Game


  • Northern Illinois wins with win vs. Ohio OR Toledo loss to Western Michigan
  • Toledo wins with win vs. Western Michigan AND Northern Illinois loss to Ohio



  • Western Kentucky vs. Marshall winner wins division


  • Louisiana Tech vs. Southern Miss winner wins division




  • Air Force clinched the division when New Mexico lost to Colorado State


  • San Diego State clinched the West Division


Homefield advantage in the Mountain West Conference will be determined at the conclusion of the regular season. The highest-ranked division champion will receive the homefield advantage for the championship game.


  • Arkansas State wins with win vs. New Mexico State or Texas State.
  • Appalachian State wins with wins vs. UL-Lafayette and South Alabama AND Arkansas State losses to New Mexico State and Texas State
  • Georgia Southern wins with wins vs. South Alabama and Georgia State AND Appalachian State losses to UL-Lafayette or South Alabama AND Arkansas State losses to New Mexico State and Texas State


If the College Football Playoff selection committee had to rank the top teams in the Group of Five, here is how I think the remaining contenders would be ranked (Memphis and Boise State, for example, are out of contendion).

  1. Navy: Clearly the team to beat as Keenan Reynolds makes Heisman case.
  2. Houston: Sure, they lost, but are still a top candidate for the big prize
  3. Temple: Owls scored big win against Memphis to put them one step closer to AAC championship game
  4. Toledo: Rockets need some help from Ohio, but if they sneak by Northern Illinois, they remain in the hunt
  5. N/A: The New Year Six spot will only go to one of the above four teams mentioned, so there is no longer a need to rank a fifth team in this spot. Sorry USF, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois and Conference USA. It’s nothing personal.

Week 11, Statistically Speaking

stats word on a lptop computer
Associated Press

A statistical snapshot of the week that was in college football…

.886 — Percentage of plays that have been rushing attempts for Navy (537 of 606) in 2015, the highest in the FBS.

.9 — Yards per carry South Carolina averaged on 23 carries in a 24-14 loss to Florida.

2 — Number of players who caught passes for Northern Illinois in its Thursday night win over Buffalo.  Aregeros Turner hauled in a career-high nine passes for 49 yards, while Kenny Golladay totaled six receptions for 141 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

6 — School-record passing touchdowns for Jake Rudock in Michigan’s double-overtime win over Indiana.  Four of those went to Jehu Chesson, which tied a school record as well.

Miami v North Carolina7 — Career punt returns for touchdowns by North Carolina’s Ryan Switzer, one off the FBS record of eight held by Oklahoma’s Antonio Perkins and Texas Tech’s Wes Welker.

13 — Players who were credited with at least one carry in Navy’s 55-14 win over SMU.

15 — Consecutive 100-yard rushing games for Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott, the top such streak in the country.

21 — Teams that have multiple national championships and produced at least one Heisman winner: Alabama, Army, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Miami (Fla.), Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Pittsburgh, SMU, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M and USC.

23 — Consecutive games in which TCU has scored a first-quarter touchdown.  It’s the second-longest streak the last 20 years, behind only Stanford’s 25 straight from 2009-11.

28 — Consecutive regular season conference games in which Ohio State has scored at least 20 points, the longest active streak among Power Five schools.  Georgia Tech and TCU are next at 20 straight.

Maryland v Michigan State28 — Interceptions Maryland has thrown this season.  The next closest is Charlotte with 21.

31 — Including the Week 11 matchup with Virginia Tech, the number of Thursday night ESPN games Georgia Tech has appeared in, the most of any FBS team.  23 of those games were played at Bobby Dodd Stadium, also the most at this level.  Tech’s opponent this past Thursday, Virginia Tech, is next at 30 total appearances.

32 — Wins for Stanford’s Kevin Hogan and Michigan State’s Connor Cook, the most of any active FBS quarterbacks.  Wisconsin’s Joel Stave and Navy’s Keenan Reynolds are next with 29 each.

55 — Different mascot headgears Lee Corso has donned making his selections on ESPN‘s College GameDay show after picking Baylor to beat Oklahoma.

78— MAC head-coaching wins for Ohio’s Frank Solich, moving him past Bowling Green’s Doyt Perry‘s 77 from 1955-64 and into fourth place on the conference’s all-time list.  Next up is the 79 by Marshall’s Bob Pruett (1997-03).

Wake Forest v Notre Dame98 — Yards on a touchdown run by Josh Adams against Wake Forest, the longest play from scrimmage in Notre Dame history

134 — Touchdowns allowed by the Alabama defense since 2009, the fewest in the FBS. Florida is next with 174, followed by LSU’s 179.

227 — Games Memphis has gone without returning a kickoff for a touchdown.  The last one came in November of 1996 against Tennessee.

230 — Rushing yards for Marlon Mack in USF’s upset of Temple that made the Bulls bowl-eligible.  Mack averaged 11 yards on his 21 carries.

238 — Rushing yards for Jordan Howard in Indiana’s loss to Michigan.

244 — Career-high rushing yards for Appalachian State’s Jalin Moore.  The freshman came into the win over Idaho with 203 career yards to his credit.

248 — Career-high rushing yards for Texas Tech’s DeAndre Washington in a 15-point win over Kansas State.  Washington’s previous best was 188 in a Week 4 loss to TCU.

271 — Career-high passing yards for Karson Roberts in a win over Utah State, the most by an Air Force quarterback since 1989 (Dee Dowis, 306 vs. Notre Dame).  This was the first time Roberts had passed for 200 or more yards; his previous career-high was 156, set just last weekend.

New Mexico v Boise State281 — Career-high receiving yards for Boise State’s Thomas Sperbeck in the loss to New Mexico.

292 — Combined rushing yards for Chase Price (152) and Donnel Pumphrey (140) in San Diego State’s 38-3 win over Wyoming.

402 — Career points for UCLA kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn, breaking the Pac-12 record of 390 set by fellow Bruin kicker John Lee from 1982-85.

405 — Career-high passing yards for Jake Browning in Washington’s come-from-ahead loss to Arizona State.  The true freshman also tossed a career-high three interceptions.

453 — Season-high passing yards for Cal’s Jared Goff.  The junior also tossed a career-high six touchdowns in the 54-24 win over Oregon State.

461 — Career-high yards of total offense (361 passing, 105 rushing) for Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson in the win over Syracuse.

471 — Career-high passing yards for Nick Arbuckle in Georgia State’s 41-19 win over Texas State.  It’s the second time this season and fifth in his career he’s gone over 400 yards in a single game.

493 — Points through nine games for Baylor, the third-best nine-game stretch to a start a season behind only 2013 Baylor (551) and 1944 Army (504).

490147750501 — Passing yards by three Southern Miss players  (Nick Mullens, 386; Tyler Matthews, 109; Tyler Sarrazin, 6) in a 65-10 win over Rice.  The three also combined for seven touchdowns, with Mullens tossing five of them.

503 — Career-high passing yards for Brett Rypien in Boise State’s loss to New Mexico.  The true freshman had set his career-high the previous week with 469.

761 — Combined passing yards for Cincinnati’s Gunner Kiel (386) and Tulsa’s Dane Evans (375) in the Bearcats’ 49-38 win.

1,311 — Games played by Rutgers in its history, the most of any FBS program.

1916 — The last season Arkansas scored 50-plus points in back-to-back-to-back games, a streak that was ended by LSU Saturday.

1980 — The last time North Carolina started 6-0 in ACC play prior to this season.

Group of Five Update: Temple gets the national spotlight opportunity vs. Notre Dame

Robby Anderson, Josh Hawkins
Leave a comment

With another week of college football in the books as we inch closer and closer to the unveiling of the first College Football Playoff selection committee rankings, the Group of Five race continues to be an intriguing one. Toledo rallied to avoid a significant upset at the hands of UMass to keep the Rockets in the running for the New Years Six bowl invitation at the end of the season. Toledo may still continue to be rolling through the MAC, but it is the American Athletic Conference that continues to have the strongest platform for sending its champion to the big bowl line-up at the end of the year.

The AAC has three ranked teams with Memphis, Temple and Houston and all three got through the week without a loss. This week the AAC will be under a national spotlight as well with Temple getting an  chance to host one-loss Notre Dame in Philadelphia this Saturday night. Needless to say, a Temple win puts the Owls in the driver’s seat in the Group of Five race and there would be no debating it. Memphis and Toledo may own a win over SEC West competition, but Temple would own a win over a six-win Penn State team and a top 15 Notre Dame team. In terms of overall body of work, not even Memphis or Toledo would compete with that.

Toledo trailed UMass 28-10 at halftime but went on a wild run in the second half to win 51-35. UMass gave Temple a closer call earlier in the season as well. If it comes down to Toledo or Temple, would the results against Umass ultimately be a deciding factor? Toledo’s biggest hurdle left in the regular season appears to be a mid-November road trip to Bowling Green. In fact, that game could be a MAC Championship Game preview with both teams currently in first place in their respective divisions. Toledo may have to beat Bowling Green twice to keep the New Years Six hopes alive.

This much we know for sure. At least two of the three remaining undefeated teams in the AAC are guaranteed to lose. Memphis and Houston play a division game on November 14. Memphis also plays at Temple on November 21. There will also be a conference championship game to be played, which could be against Temple and Memphis or Houston. There will be losses, and we may be left trying to rank one-loss conference champions from the MAC and AAC up against two-loss Boise State. At this point it looks like the Broncos need a little more help than will be likely to come.

Here is how I would think the College Football Playoff selection committee might rank the top five Group of Five candidates at this point in the season.

  1. Memphis: Tigers have best offense in Group of Five and the best signature win to date
  2. Toledo: Important stretch upcoming for Rockets with NIU and road games at Central Michigan and Bowling Green
  3. Temple: Arguably the best defense in the Group of Five, signature win opportunity this week vs. Notre Dame
  4. Houston: Tom Herman working more QB magic with Greg Ward Jr. Vanderbilt next up
  5. Navy: The Midshipmen have only suffered one loss (to Notre Dame) and are still likely to play a role in the AAC picture in one way or another

On the Radar: Marshall is 7-1 to make a blip on the radar. If Marshall ends season with one loss, they could wiggle into the conversation, but it will be a reach out of Conference USA… Bowling Green and Boise State each have two losses, but are worth monitoring just in case the top contenders fall off a cliff. Bowling green will get a chance to take care of Toledo. Boise State could be out of luck. Appalachian State is 6-1 and in the driver’s seat in the Sun Belt, but the Sun Belt Conference has a long way to go to be in contention for a New Years Six bowl game.

The Fifth Quarter: Week 8 Rewind

<> at Stanford Stadium on October 24, 2015 in Stanford, California.
Getty Images

As is the case each and every season, each and every week, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.

Ohio State showed last year, in the inaugural season of the College Football Playoff, that not only could a team qualify for one of the two semifinals but win a title as well with a “devastating” early loss.

OSU lost to Virginia Tech in Week two last season, then proceeded to win 13 in a row to capture the first-ever CFP championship.  After that 14-point loss to an unranked Virginia Tech, OSU won its next 13 by an average of 26 points per game.  Which brings us to Stanford.

Stanford began the 2015 season with a 10-point loss to unranked Northwestern.  Since then, they’ve ripped off six consecutive victories in impressive fashion, winning each one by an average of 22 points per game.

Over its last five regular season games, OSU faced two ranked teams; over the last five games, Stanford will face a pair of ranked teams.  The biggest difference?  Stanford gets both of those games at home while OSU went on the road for theirs.

Stanford will be favored in the next four regular season games for sure — at Washington State, at Colorado, Oregon and Cal — so the Pac-12 North will be there for the taking.  They’ll very likely be favored at home in the regular-season finale against Notre Dame as well.

Once OSU got past Michigan State last year, it was smooth sailing to the Big Ten championship game and the “inferior” West representative Wisconsin.  The Pac-12 South’s strength took a hit with Utah’s double-digit loss to middle-of-the-road USC that exposed some potentially fatal flaws for the Utes.  If Stanford can “OSU” out, including the league title game, there won’t be anything that can keep them out of the playoffs, even as a one-loss team.

Even as their styles are completely different, the path the Buckeyes took and the one the Cardinal is headed down are eerily similar.  The latter can only hope to see similar results to the former at the end of their journey.

Entering Week 8, there were 14 undefeated teams spread out amongst six FBS conferences.  Exiting it, we’re down to an even dozen.

The two to fall from the ranks of the unbeaten were Florida State and Utah, and they couldn’t have been more disparate in the way they fell.  FSU lost in heartbreaking fashion on your standard blocked-FG-returned-for-a-TD-with-no-time-left.  Prior to that, Utah, which some people had inexplicably trumpeted as the best team in the country a week ago (sheepishly raises hand), was embarrassed by USC.

All of the sudden, two of the Power Five conferences have exactly half of the undefeated teams: the Big 12 (Baylor, Oklahoma State, TCU) and Big Ten (Iowa, Michigan State, Ohio State).  That number will change in the coming weeks as all of the Big 12 teams will face each other, meaning, at most, one team will be left standing unblemished from that league.  MSU and OSU will square off later last month, cutting the Big Ten’s number by at least won, while Iowa has a remarkably easy path to an undefeated regular season.

The ACC and SEC are the other P5 leagues with an unbeaten team.  Clemson seemingly carries the ACC’s playoff hopes on its shoulders.  The biggest obstacle on Clemson’s road to perfection?  A Nov. 7 date with FSU, although they do get the Seminoles at home.  LSU, meanwhile, has arguably the toughest remaining slate of the current unbeatens: road trips to Alabama and Ole Miss, and a home game against Texas A&M.

Of the four remaining undefeateds, three belong to the AAC: Houston, Memphis and Temple.  That will change in the coming weeks, too, as Memphis plays both.  There could either be one undefeated from that conference (if Memphis wins both of those games and wins its other three remaining games as well; Memphis loses one to Houston/Temple, that winner wins out) or two (if Memphis loses both, and the other two win their other games).

The last undefeated comes form the MAC in the form of Toledo.  UT, though, has a rough row to hoe in getting to the end of the regular season without a loss as their remaining four games come against teams that are a combined 18-13 (Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois and Western Michigan).  As far as a spot in a New Year’s Six bowl — there’s almost no chance the Group of Five sniffs a playoff spot — Toledo has to hope that, in addition to winning all its remaining, Memphis beats both Houston and Temple and sees the U of M trip up in one of its other two games.  That would leave the Rockets as the lone remaining unbeaten G5 team.

Eastern Washington v OregonNO DUCKING HEISMAN HANGOVER
In the first post-Marcus Mariota season, it would be an understatement to say that Oregon, 13-2 in 2014, has struggled in 2015.  At 4-3, the Ducks have already lost more games than they have in any season since 2009, and could end up challenging for the program’s worst winning percentage in the last decade — .538 (7-6) in 2006.  Losing the Heisman winner has certainly played a role in the struggles, although, and even as it’s not solely responsible, it should’ve been somewhat expected if recent precedent means anything.

Since 2000, six of the eight teams that have watched their Heisman Trophy winner move on to the next level the season after have seen their record worsen the following year.  Just once has the record actually improved — Carson Palmer won the 2002 Heisman for 11-2 USC; the following season, the Palmer-less Trojans were 12-1.

The 2006 Ohio State Buckeyes, 12-1 under Heisman winner Troy Smith, went 12-1 in 2007 the year after Smith left for the NFL.

Other than that, the records have dropped the first year after a Heisman winner has left.  And, in most cases, they’ve dropped precipitously:

2000 Florida State: 11-2, Chris Weinke; 8-4, 2001
2001 Nebraska: 11-2, Eric Crouch; 7-7, 2002
2003 Oklahoma: 12-2, Jason White; 8-4, 2004
2005 USC: 12-1, Reggie Bush*; 11-2, 2006
2010 Auburn: 14-0, Cam Newton; 8-5, 2011
2011 Baylor: 10-3, Robert Griffin III; 8-5, 2012

(*Vacated due to NCAA sanctions)

While the recent precedent may not assuage the Duck fans’ anguish after so many years of success, there should be some strength found in the numbers that they are most certainly not alone in struggling to replace a program legend.

I won’t debut the initial Fifth Quarter Coaching Hot Seat until Week 9, but here’s a sneak peek: a certain South Beach coach will sit high atop the to-go list — if he makes it that long.

Al Golden came into the 2015 season with his seat absolutely scorching.  Seven games in, his Miami team has done nothing to cool down the talk that Golden will be out at season’s end.  In fact, The U players drove another nail in his coaching coffin with a pitiful display in an embarrassing home loss to Clemson that was the worst in the team’s history.

However you parse the numbers, it’s not a pretty picture for Golden or his woebegone football program.

In his fifth season with the Hurricanes, Golden is 32-25 overall; take away games against FCS teams, and that record drops to 27-25. In ACC play, they’re below .500 at 17-18.  After going 2-1 against ranked teams in his first season in 2011, Golden is 1-9 in games against Top 25 teams and has lost six straight such matchups.  Over the past two-plus seasons, 11 of the 13 losses have come by 10 or more points.

Add all the numbers together, and it’s simply an unacceptable direction in which the program is headed.

And that’s why it’s no longer a matter of if; rather, it’s when Golden’s bosses decide to pull the plug on a tenure that’s been on life support for more than a year.  Given the wealth of talent at its disposal in a recruiting-rich state, there’s no excuse for Miami being this average — or this bad as evidenced by the Clemson debacle — for any length of time, let alone five years under one head coach.  And if Golden’s bosses don’t see that, it might be time for them to go as well.

As for a replacement?  If it’s me, I’m starting my search in Memphis and not leaving until Justin Fuente puts his Herbie Hancock on a contract.

Below is a list of links for all of the Week 8 gamers posted by the CFT crew, placed in one handy and convenient space for you, our beloved and dear readers.

A snapshot look at how my ballot would look Sunday if I, ya know, had a real vote.

1. LSU — Most people, perhaps some voters even, won’t give LSU credit for the win over Western Kentucky, especially because it came by “just” 28 points in Death Valley.  Newsflash: WKU is a quality team, and I’m one who actually considers this a quality non-conference win for the Tigers.  With Utah’s loss, I have no qualms putting Les Miles‘ charges at the top. (Last week: No. 2)
Next up: at No. 8 Alabama, Nov. 7

2. Baylor — After jumping out to a 35-0 lead midway through the second quarter, BU essentially set the cruise control to “meh” and sleepwalked its way to a 45-27 win over Iowa State.  I won’t here, but some voters will likely ding the Bears for their lackluster closeout of a really bad Cyclones squad. (Last week: No. 3)
Next up: at Kansas State, Nov. 5

3. Ohio State — With J.T. Barrett (finally) reinserted under center, tOSU put together arguably its most solid performance in all three phases of the game this season in routing Rutgers.  It’s perhaps the first time this year that the 2015 Buckeyes looked even remotely like the 2014 version that won the national championship. (Last week: No. 5)
Next up: vs. Minnesota, Nov. 7

4. TCU — Being on the bye coupled with the insertion of Barrett and what it will likely mean for OSU’s future triggered a flip in spots between the Horned Frogs and Buckeyes. That’s just how I roll, yo. (Last week: No. 4)
Next up: vs. West Virginia, Thursday Oct. 29

5. Stanford — I very nearly pulled the trigger on Clemson in trying to respect the unbeaten record, but simply couldn’t.  Since its Week 1 loss to Northwestern, Stanford is playing like the best team in the country.  In fact, I could have them ranked too low. (Last week: NR)
Next up: at Washington State, Oct. 31

(Dropped out: No. 1 Utah)
(Others considered: Clemson, Michigan State)

Alton Tenpenny, dismissed by Alabama earlier this year, died in a one-car accident earlier this week.  Despite the circumstances surrounding the split, AU decided to honor the fallen former player during their game against Tennessee.

Dabo Swinney, as many know very well, is a very fiery and passionate head football coach, and known for his preacher-like speeches and postgame interviews.  As if his Clemson players needed a reminder, Pastor Swinney belted out a sermon at halftime of their drubbing of Miami.


Bill Snyder is the 76-year-old head coach of the Kansas State Wildcats.  Bill Snyder is also a 76-year-old head coach who can still take a hit and keep on coaching.

Here’s to guessing Snyder will send a handwritten note of apology to the player for getting in his way.

It’s fair to say that former Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller is getting the hang of this whole receiving thing.

That’s just low, James Madison.  What’d Richmond ever do to deserve this level of vitriol?

Everybody’s favorite draft punching bag, Todd McShay, went to Richmond.  Carry on with the vitriol…

Not only are sports important to the Worldwide Leader, but so, apparently, is teaching geography to a whole new generation of fans.

“We got beat from top to bottom. They outplayed us, they outcoached us. I just told the team, that’s completely my responsibility for not getting them ready to play. They just beat us soundly, in every facet of the game, period.” — Miami head coach (for now) Al Golden following the worst loss in The U’s history, a 56-0 pantsing at the hands of Clemson.

“First of all I want to tip my hat to Mike Riley. He’s a pro’s pro, a coach’s coach and a great friend. As I said to him after the game, I’ve got so much respect for Mike and the way he carries himself, and the way that he’s always run his programs. We knew today was going to be a hard-fought battle. Those Cornhuskers have been through so many tough games this year, gut-wrenchers. They probably feel the same way today after the way today’s went. So I tip my hat to Mike and his young men.” — Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald after Nebraska’s fifth loss this season, all by five points or less.

“To be honest with you, it wouldn’t have upset me if they said we’re not playing today.” — Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, referencing the Homecoming parade tragedy on the OSU campus earlier in the day.

“This is just a football game. As upset as I am right now, it pales in comparison to what these families are going through. I can’t imagine. This university is made up of some resilient folks, because they have been through some tragedy, and I’m amazed at their resilience. It’s impressive.” — Kansas head coach David Beaty, following the loss to OSU.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of how our guys competed in the game. They just found a way to win. We didn’t play that great.” — Alabama head coach Nick Saban, following UA’s five-point win over Tennessee.

Meads Cup Final - North Otago v WanganuiSTREAKING
Eight wins to start the 2015 season have pushed Ohio State’s nation’s best winning streak to 21 straight.  Up next are TCU (15), Memphis (14), Michigan State (12), Clemson (10) and Toledo (10).

On the other side of the won-loss ledger, New Mexico State still owns the nation’s longest losing streak, which now stands at 17 straight.  UCF is next at nine in a row, followed by North Texas and Miami of Ohio at seven and Eastern Michigan at six straight. Kansas deserves its own special sentence as the Jayhawks are the not-so-proud owners of the longest losing streak amongst Power Five conference members at 10 straight.

Entering Week 8, there were 19 teams that had secured bowl eligibility.  Exiting the weekend, there are now 33 teams eligible for  the postseason with five weeks left in the regular season.  The newest additions totaled an even 14: Appalachian State, Boise State, Bowling Green, BYU, Duke, Mississippi State, Northwestern, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Stanford and Wisconsin.

There are 41 bowl games this season — counting the two College Football Playoff semifinals — meaning 82 teams will need to reach the six-win threshold in order for teams with sub-.500 records to remain where they belong: at home during the postseason.

David Cutcliffe is doing the unimaginable at Duke. In the 13 seasons prior to Cutcliffe taking over in 2008, the Blue Devils never won more than five games in a single season; in the last eight years, including 2015, Cutcliffe has guided his team to at least five wins.

Urban Meyer is the only head coach in FBS history to have four 20-game winning streaks in his career, and he’s accomplished that in a career that spans a mere 14 seasons. In fact, no other head coach in FBS history has more than two such streaks.

Urban Meyer
20 – Utah (2003-04) & Florida (2005)
22 – Florida (2008-09)
25 – Florida (2010) & Ohio State (2012-13)
20 – Ohio State (2014-present)

Walter Camp
28 – Yale (1888-89)
27 – Yale (1890-92)

Robert Neyland
22 – Tennessee (1937-39)
20 – Tennessee (1950-51)

Tom Osborne
26 –Nebraska (1994-96)
22 –Nebraska (1982-83)

Joe Paterno
23 – Penn State (1968-69)
20 – Penn State (1993-95)

Barry Switzer
28 – Oklahoma (1973-75)
20 – Oklahoma (1986-87)

Bud Wilkinson
47 – Oklahoma (1953-57)
31 – Oklahoma (1948-50)

George Woodruff
34 – Pennsylvania (1894-96)
31 – Pennsylvania (1896-98)

Fielding Yost
29 – Michigan (1901-03)
26 – Michigan (1903-05)

Other than Camp (eight seasons), every other individual listed had a head-coaching career that lasted at least 14 seasons.

Wisconsin has averaged 35.0 pass attempts per game in 2015, easily the Badgers’ highest total in the last 20 seasons. UW averaged 27.4 passes per game in 2001 for the second-highest mark in that span. From 1996 to 2014, the Badgers averaged 23.7 pass attempts per game.

UCLA is the only school to produce six quarterbacks — Troy Aikman, Steve Bono, Billy Kilmer, Tommy Maddox, Tom Ramsey, Jay Schroeder — to have played that position on a Super Bowl team.

Florida State’s Dalvin Cook leads the nation in yards after contact/attempt by nearly a full yard at 4.50. Baylor’s Shock Linwood (3.53) is second, Penn State’s Saquon Barkley is third (3.50), LJ Scott (Michigan State) is fourth (3.42) and Rutgers’ Robert Martin (3.30) is fifth. LSU’s Leonard Fournette is at 3.05.

In Week 8, Duke played a game as a ranked team for three consecutive years for the first time since 1952-57.

Courtesy of the Hawaii sports information department, detailing the round-trip miles in the regular season that will be flown by the Rainbow Warriors in 2015


Courtesy of the Nevada sports information department, teams that have played in at least nine bowl games the past 10 years

Bowl Games

Courtesy of the Duke sports information department, the best records over the last 26 games

Best Record Last 26 Games

Courtesy of the Florida State sports information department

Active Coaches vs AP Top 25

The Week 8 game against Ole Miss in Oxford was Texas A&M’s first true road game of the 2015 season.  The Aggies had previously played away from Kyle Field twice this season — both at neutral site venues in the state of Texas (NRG Stadium in Houston and AT&T Stadium in Arlington).  The school notes that the Oct. 24 date is the latest for a road opener in 87 years — Oct. 27, 1928 against Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Virginia and North Carolina met for the 120th time Saturday in what’s called the South’s Oldest Rivalry, a series that was first played in 1892. Tied for the second-longest rivalry in FBS history — Minnesota-Wisconsin, 124 games — UVA and UNC first met in 1892 and, since 1919, the series has been played continuously every season following UVA’s two-year football hiatus (1917-18) because of World War I. Cincinnati-Miami of Ohio and Kansas-Missouri (on hiatus) have also been played 120 times.

Baylor entered the weekend as the only school in the FBS to be Top-10 in both passing (sixth, 361.0 yards per game) and rushing offense (second, 348.7 ypg). Whether the Bears hold those positions are in doubt, however, as BU managed a season-low 209 yards passing and “just” 279 yards on the ground against Iowa State.

East Carolina v NavyDID YOU KNOW THAT…

… with two today, Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds now has 75 rushing touchdowns in his career, breaking a tie with Miami of Ohio’s Travis Prentice for second all-time?  Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne holds the record with 77.

Gabe Marks‘ four touchdown catches in the win over Arizona is the first time that’s been done in Washington State history?

Deshaun Watson is the first Clemson quarterback to win 11 of his first 12 starts?  In less than two seasons, the true sophomore is already seventh on the school’s all-time list with 28 touchdown passes.

… Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey has put together back-to-back games of 300-plus all-purpose yards?

… after not having a 1,000-yard rusher the first 11 seasons of his coaching career, Ohio State’s Urban Meyer has had one in each of the last three seasons?  Carlos Hyde topped the 1,000-yard plateau in 2013, while Ezekiel Elliott has done it each of the past two seasons.

North Carolina State v Wake ForestMatthew Dayes is only the fourth North Carolina State running back since 1974 to rush for at least 500 yards in the first six games of the season?  With 205 yards in the game against Wake Forest, Dayes, with 793 yards on the season, is well on his way to becoming the first Wolfpack player since T.A. McLendon in 2002 to top the 1,000-yard mark.

… the six kick returns for touchdowns in the career of UTEP’s Autrey Golden make him the active FBS leader in that category? Duke’s DeVon Edwards is next with five. Interestingly, Golden entered Week 8 ranked 71st nationally in kick return average (21.0), while Edwards wasn’t among the Top 100 — he averages 39.7 yards per return this season, but doesn’t have enough returns to qualify.

… during his time at Ohio State, Urban Meyer is undefeated in the months of October (15-0) and November (12-0)?

… Michigan State is 8-0 for just the sixth time in school history and the first time since 2010? The Spartans also started 8-0 in 1951, 1952, 1965 and 1966.

… Alabama and Iowa are the only teams with two road wins over ranked opponents this season?

… the road team has won each of the last five Clemson-Miami games?

… Duke has a 6-1 record through seven games in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1952 (6-1) and 1953 (6-1)?

… Temple is 7-0 for the first time in the program’s history?  The Owls had been 6-0 in 1935, 1945 and 1974.

… Charlotte and Southern Miss were original members of Conference USA back in 1995, but met in football Saturday for the first time ever?  The 49ers are in their first season as an FBS program.  The university was a non-football member of the league from 1995-2005.

… Marshall and North Texas faced each other in football for the first time since the Div. 1-AA (now FCS) playoffs in 1988?

… Louisiana-Monroe is the only FBS team that will play eight road games this season?