Published 4 days ago
Michigan Blasts Buckeyes 42-27, Enter Playoff Picture
The highly inspired Wolverines finally got over the hump, putting together a stellar game plan that beat Ohio State for the first time since 2011 and the first win in the Jim Harbaugh era. The Buckeye loss eliminated Ohio State from the CFP and will likely elevate Michigan into the Top 4. The next edition of the CFP Rankings will be released Tuesday. Around the Nation: The 10 conference championship games are now set, with Georgia/Alabama in Atlanta taking top billing. Oklahoma State, 37-33 Bedlam winners over Oklahoma will meet Baylor in a rematch in Arlington, while Pittsburgh will face Wake Forest for the ACC Title and Oregon will face Utah for the PAC 12 crown. In a bit of a surprise Michigan will face Iowa for the Big 10 Title. The Hawkeyes beat Nebraska 28-21 Friday and then saw Minnesota upset Wisconsin 23-13 Saturday giving Iowa the West Division Title. In the American, undefeated Cincinnati, 12-0, will face their greatest challenge of the season since Notre Dame against a very good 11-1 Houston team. In Conference USA Texas-San Antonio will try to rebound after a stunning 45-23 loss at North Texas when they host Western Kentucky. The MAC will feature Kent State and Northern Illinois while in the MWC San Diego State will host Utah State. In the Sun Belt Appalachian State will travel to La. Lafayette. Rivalry weekend saw very few surprises. Clemson clobbered South Carolina 30-0, North Carolina State nipped North Carolina 34-30, Purdue pounded Indiana 44-7, Oregon outlasted Oregon State 38-29, Ole Miss beat Mississippi State 31-21, Florida squeaked by Florida State 24-21 and in perhaps the best game of the day Auburn came oh so close but fell to Alabama 24-22 in 4 overtimes.
Ohio State Makes Playoff Statement With 56-7 Destruction of Michigan State
For weeks the Buckeyes have been playing like National Title contenders and this week they removed all doubts with a completely dominating win over the Spartans 56-7. Only arch rival Michigan stands in the way of a spot in the Big 10 Championship game and we won't have long to wait. The 10-1 Wolverines, 59-18 winners over Maryland Saturday, host the high flying Buckeyes this upcoming Saturday morning at Noon ET. Around the Nation: Clemson's 48-27 win over Wake Forest significantly tightened the ACC race. The Tigers are battling North Carolina State for the Atlantic Division crown while Pittsburgh is on top of the Coastal Division. Rivalry weekend, my favorite weekend of the year, is upcoming which means Clemson will face South Carolina Saturday. The Gamecocks were 21-17 surprise winners over Auburn this week. Billingsley's All Time Scores are online again so check out all the great series records under the Historical Data link on the CFRC Home page. Cincinnati quieted a few doubters themselves by destroying SMU 48-14. The Bearcats travel to East Carolina for a tricky game before facing a very good Houston team in the AAC Championship. A lethargic Oklahoma offense got a much needed boost from the Sooner defense in a 28-21 win at home over Iowa State. Bedlam is on the horizon and Oklahoma State did their part to make it a huge game in Stillwater between two 10-1 teams. The Cowboys traveled to Lubbock and shut out Texas Tech 23-0. The Longhorn program is reeling with a 6th straight loss after falling to West Virginia 31-23. Texas returns home to face Kansas State in the season finale. UTSA moved to 11-0 on the season with an amazing 34-31 come from behind win at home over UAB. Notre Dame, the seemingly forgotten playoff contender, moved to 10-1 by blasting Georgia Tech 55-0. Oregon saw their playoff hopes dwindle with a 38-7 shellacking at the hands of Utah. Now the Ducks must recover and fight the civil war with arch rival Oregon State, 24-10 winner over Arizona State late Saturday night. UCLA scored the most points ever in their series with cross town rival USC. The Bruins put up a whopping 62 points against the Trojan's 33. Louisiana-Lafayette completely dominated a very good Liberty team 42-14, moving to 10-1 on the season. The majority of the SEC took a break from conference play this weekend and blasted much lesser competition, but Alabama and Arkansas put on quite a show in Tuscaloosa with the Razorbacks throwing a scare into the Crimson Tide before falling 42-35. Missouri surprised Florida with a two point conversion to nip the Gators 24-23. Watch for Billingsley's Projections to be posted late Tuesday, and don't forget to check out the Billingsley Historical Data Section from the Home Page for a totally new and improved look at Billingsley's Encyclopedia!
Baylor Surprises Sooners, Diminish Oklahoma's Playoff Hopes
A very well prepared Baylor team created a defensive masterpiece Saturday morning, holding the mighty Oklahoma offense to just 14 points in a 27-14 home win over previously undefeated Oklahoma. The Sooners still control their destiny in the Big 12 Conference race, but the loss all but shut the door on Oklahoma's shot at the College Football Playoff. The best the Sooners can hope for now is total chaos in the remaining few weeks of the season among the nations top teams.Around the Nation: The ACC's two top teams in the Atlantic Division squared off Saturday night with the Demon Deacons coming away with a thrilling 45-42 win over North Carolina State. Pittsburgh positioned itself well as the top team in the Coastal Division with a 30-23 win over North Carolina. Cincinnati remained unbeaten with a 45-28 win over South Florida. The Bearcats chances for a playoff spot increase with every win and a conference showdown at home with SMU is looming on the horizon Saturday. Ohio State shot down Purdue's giant killer dreams with a 59-31 win over the Boilermakers. The Buckeyes continue to dominate games like a true playoff contender ever since their loss to Oregon. Michigan continues to impress. The Wolverines went on the road and nipped Penn State 21-17. Texas fans are up in arms after a shocking 57-56 overtime loss to conference cellar dweller Kansas. The Longhorns have now dropped 5 games in a row, the longest losing streak since 1956, the year before Darrell Royal took over the reins in Austin. San Diego State took control of the MWC West Division with a 23-21 win over Nevada. Oregon enhanced their playoff hopes with a 38-24 win over Washington State. A huge game at Utah is upcoming this week. Down in the SEC, Tennessee held tough for a half, but Georgia proved to be the Nation's best team again after pulling away for a 41-17 win. Ole Miss dashed Texas A&M's conference title hopes with a 29-19 win over the Aggies. The loss all but handed the West Division crown to Alabama. Geez.....how about them Hogs! Arkansas is having quite a season. The Razorbacks traveled to Baton Rouge and beat LSU in overtime 16-13. Arkansas now stands 7-3 on the season with games against Alabama and Missouri remaining. Watch for Billingsley's Projections to post late Tuesday.
Purdue Does it Again With 40-29 Win Over Spartans
Only one week after the huge win over arch rival Michigan, Michigan State fell victim to the Big 10 Giant killer….the Boilermakers of Purdue. Iowa was the first victim of Purdue’s magic season falling at home in Iowa City 24-7 on October 16. Purdue, now 6-3 on the season became Bowl eligible with the win.Around the Nation: North Carolina outscored previously undefeated Wake Forest 58-55 in an offensive slug fest in Chapel Hill. Cincinnati’s dream season almost went up in smoke as the Bearcats survived a tense final few seconds in a 28-20 win over Tulsa. SMU dropped it’s second game in a row with a 28-25 thrilling loss at Memphis. Ohio State managed a 26-17 win over an inspired Nebraska squad in Lincoln while Michigan was bouncing back with a 29-7 win over Indiana. The Ohio State/Michigan game is shaping up to be a very important game, not only in the Big 10, but nationally. Don’t look now but very quietly Oklahoma State is creeping up to perhaps be the best team in the Big 12. While the Sooners took the day off the Cowboys traveled to Morgantown to face a good West Virginia squad and promptly took care of business 24-3 in dominant fashion. Bedlam is looming pretty large. Embattled TCU, facing an opponent without Gary Patterson for the first time since 2000, rose to the challenge and surprised Baylor 30-28. Were the Bears looking ahead to the Sooners? The Roadrunners are 2021’s Cinderella Squad. Texas-San Antonio went on the road and beat Texas-El Paso 44-23 moving to 9-0 on the season. LSU put up quite a struggle but fell in Tuscaloosa to the Tide 20-14 while Texas A&M was putting Auburn away in College Station 20-3. Josh Heupel is doing an amazing job at Tennessee. The Volunteers are now only one win away from being bowl eligible after traveling to Lexington and squeezing out a 45-42 win over the Wildcats…..and surprise surprise, the Razorbacks will be going bowling too. Arkansas, the turn around team of 2021 is now 6-3 after a 31-28 win over Mississippi State. Watch for the week 12 Projections late Tuesday.
Michigan State Comeback Spoils Wolverine's Dream Season
Michigan seemingly had the game under control over their in state rival Spartans but Michigan State hung around long enough and the breaks started falling their way just in time to come away with a 37-33 victory over the stunned Michigan fans. The Spartan's remaining schedule is formidable with games at Purdue, home against Maryland, at Ohio State and home against Penn State, but winning all four plus a Big 10 Championship, would surely put Michigan State in the CFP.Around the Nation: The undefeated ranks are shrinking as two more unblemished teams bit the dust Saturday. The SMU Mustangs traveled to Houston and were beaten by a last minute 100 yard kickoff return for a 44-37 Cougar win. Out on the West Coast in a late game Saturday night Fresno State traveled to San Diego and and spoiled the Aztecs unbeaten season with a 30-20 win. Wake Forest kept rolling in the ACC with a 45-7 shellacking of Duke. The Demon Deacons stand at 8-0 with a tough road game at North Carolina looming this coming Saturday. Ohio State held off Penn State 33-24 and still look like the best team in the Big 10, although Michigan State is making things look very interesting. Oklahoma finally got untracked and put together their best win of the season at home against Texas Tech. The Sooners beat the Red Raiders 52-21 on the heels of a stellar performance by Caleb Williams who passed for 405 yards and 6 touchdowns. Spencer Rattler came into the game in the 4th quarter to a standing ovation by the much appreciative Sooner Nation. I wonder if Texas has Tom Hermann on speed dial? If the Longhorns can't compete in the Big 12 how can they possibly survive in the SEC? Baylor, now 7-1, took care of business with a 31-24 win. I don't believe anyone can beat Georgia. I'm beginning to wonder if anyone can even slow them down. The Bulldogs looked invincible in Jacksonville Saturday with a runaway 34-7 win over rival Florida. Auburn put together an amazing performance on the plains Saturday night, slowing down the Ole Miss offensive machine for a 31-20 win over the Rebels. War Eagle travels to College Station for a huge SEC match with Texas A&M this Saturday. Bo Nix looks very capable of leading the Tigers to an SEC West title. And don't look now but the mighty Sun Belt Conference boasts 3 teams in the Top 26 of the Billingsley Report this week. 7-1 Louisiana Lafayette moves to #15 followed by 6-2 Appalachian State at #23 and 7-1 Coastal Carolina at #26. No wonder teams are jumping ship from other conferences to join. The Sun Belt is on fire my friends! Look for week 11 projections to post Tuesday afternoon.
Nittany Lions Fall To Illinois 20-18 in 9 Overtimes.
Long gone are the days you can overlook any team on your schedule. Penn State, a 17 point favorite over Illinois at home in Happy Valley got caught looking ahead to next week’s showdown with Ohio State and paid the price. The Fighting Illini outlasted the stunned Nittany Lions 20-18 in nine overtimes.Around the nation: Miami (Fla.) threw the ACC into chaos with a 31-30 win over North Carolina State. Only the surprising Demon Deacons remain undefeated in the conference. Wake Forest survived an offensive explosion with Army, topping the Cadets 70-56. Pittsburgh positioned itself well in the Coastal Division race with a win over perennial power Clemson, 27-17. AAC league leader and #3 ranked Cincinnati struggled with Navy but came away with a 27-20 win while SMU kept pace by thrashing Tulane 55-26. Are the Bearcats and Ponies headed for an undefeated showdown on November 20th? What a treat that would be for college football fans. One thing is for certain now, there will be no undefeated match in the Bedlam game. Iowa State saw to that with a 24-21 win over Oklahoma State Saturday afternoon. Speaking of being unprepared, Oklahoma’s hopes for a playoff bid almost bit the dust in Lawrence, Kansas. The Sooners, a whopping 38 point favorite were totally unfocused and if not for the 4th quarter heroics by QB Caleb Williams the Sooners would most certainly have bit the dust on the plains of Kansas. Up in the Big 10, Ohio State has been playing like champions ever since their upset loss to Oregon a few weeks back. The Buckeyes destroyed Indiana 54-7. Michigan dismantled Northwestern 33-7 in preparation for next week’s undefeated match with arch rival Michigan State who was idle this week. San Diego State remains unbeaten after going on the road and nipping Air Force 20-14. The Aztecs moved to 7-0 on the season and Appalachian State removed Coastal Carolina from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 30-27 win at home Wednesday night.
Purdue Destroys Iowa's National Title Hopes With 24-7 Win
The Hawkeyes were in the process of creating one of the best teams in program history. Visions of National Championships like 1921 and 1922 were dancing in their heads. After all, they had already defeated arch rival Iowa State and downed national power Penn State. A spot in the Big 10 Championship Game seemed realistic. But a funny thing happened on the way to Indianapolis. Purdue. The great defensive play of 2021 disappeared in the face of the Boilermaker Train. The Hawkeye offense never got untracked and Purdue dominated the game from start to finish. The Iowa loss leaves the Big 10 with only Michigan and Michigan State undefeated on the season.Around the Nation: In the ACC undefeated Wake Forest was idle while North Carolina State was making a huge statement by going on the road and dominating Boston College 33-7. Pittsburgh traveled to Blacksburg and took care of business with a convincing 28-7 win over the Hokies. Cincinnati is making a run at the CFP look realistic. The Bearcats continue to run over opponents in convincing fashion, this time the victim was Central Florida, 56-21. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State appear on a Big 12 Collision Course. Both teams are 6-0 fast approaching mid-season. The Sooners downed the Horned Frogs 52-31 while the Cowboys were victorious in Austin over the Longhorns. Steve Sarkisian is finding life in the Big 12 difficult. Utah handed Arizona State it's first conference loss in the unpredictable PAC 12. Kentucky gave Georgia all they could handle in the first half, battling to a 14-7 deficit, but the Bulldogs proved way to much in the second half pulling away to a 30-13 win over the Wildcats. Alabama took out their frustrations on Mississippi State 49-9. Ole Miss survived a tough road trip to Rocky Top, squeezing by Tennessee 31-26. Watch for the week 9 projections to be posted Tuesday afternoon.
Texas A&M Topples Tide 41-38 On Late Field Goal
Late Saturday night in front of an overflow Kyle Field crowd of 106,815, the Texas A&M Aggies managed to do what no one has been able to do since the end of the 2019 season, slow down Alabama enough to outscore them. Roaring to a 24-10 halftime lead A&M held off the Tide comeback in the second half. Alabama took a 38-31 lead late in the 4th quarter but Texas A&M tied the game and held Bama on their next possession, then methodically moved down filed and kicked a chip shot field goal to end Alabama’s 18 game winning streak.Around the Nation: College Football Research Center Executive Vice-President Steve Billingsley and his lovely wife Jill enjoyed the festivities at the Texas State Fair before attending the Red River Rivalry Game in Dallas where Oklahoma performed a second half miracle rally after falling behind by 21 points. Maneuvering for a potential game winning field goal with seconds left in the game, Kennedy Brooks busted through the line and scored a touchdown giving the Sooners a 55-48 win over the shocked Longhorns. The Top Five showdown in the Big 10 turned into an instant classic with Penn State controlling the game for 3 quarters before the Hawkeye offense managed to put together just enough offense to squeak out a 23-20 home victory. The win puts Iowa at #2 in this week’s Billingsley Report. Michigan held off a noticeably improved Nebraska team, kicking a late field goal to down the Huskers 32-29 in Lincoln. Michigan State also remained unbeaten with a 31-13 win at Rutgers. Texas-San Antonio continues to surprise with a 52-46 win on the road over Western Kentucky. The Roadrunners are undefeated at 6-0 and moved into this week’s Top 25 at #25. Brigham Young suffered their first loss of the season, at home no less to Boise State 26-17. Notre Dame came from behind to spoil Virginia Tech’s upset bid, kicking a late field goal to top the Hokies 32-29. Surprising Kentucky continues to rack up impressive wins, this time over LSU 42-21. The Wildcats are 6-0. Down in the Sun Belt Coastal Carolina moved to 6-0 with a lopsided Thursday Night win over Arkansas State 52-20. Watch for Billingsley’s Projections to be posted late Tuesday.
Cincinnati Makes Playoff Noise With 24-13 Win Over Irish
Notre Dame last played Cincinnati on October 20, 1900. They played in South Bend and the Irish came in a 28 point favorite and won 58-0. I guess it took the Bearcats 121 years to have the courage to try again, but it was well worth the wait. Saturday afternoon Cincinnati took a huge step towards being the first serious Group of Five contender for the CFP by beating Notre Dame 24-13. Although going undefeated in the American Conference will be a challenge for sure, the Bearcts are in a good position. Around the Nation: Wake Forest remained undefetaed at 5-0 with a 37-34 escape over Louisville. Iowa, Penn State, Michigan State and Michigan all remain undefeated. The Big 10 is shaping up to be a wide open very interesting race. Oklahoma State squeaked by a pesky Baylor team 24-14 to remain unbetaen along with arch rival Oklahoma, a 37-31 winner over Kansas State. Texas-San Antonio is very quitely putting together a confernce contending team at 5-0 after a 24-17 win over UNLV. Nevada surprised Boise State on the Broncos home blue turf 41-31. Out in the topsy turvy Pac 12 things remained, well, topsy turvy. Stanford defeated league leader Oregon 31-24 in overtime, diminishing the Pac 12's playoff hopes ( although ther is a lot of football left to play and one loss might not keep the league champion out of the mix). Surprising Oregon State, now 4-1 on the season beat Washington 27-24. Down in the mighty SEC Georgia and Alabama continue to dominate and pull away from the rest of the FBS as clearly being the best of the best. Georgia blasted upstart Arkansas 37-0 while the Tide was silencing Ole Miss 42-21. The Kentucky Wildcats scored the big upset of the week by hosting and holding off Florida for a 20-13 win. Kentucky is still undefeated at 5-0. Week 7 projections will be posted late Tuesday.
Upsets Dominate the Landscape of Week 5 Games.
It all started Thursday Night when Wake Forest surprised Virginia in Charlottesville and it continued right on through late Saturday night when Oregon State shocked the Trojans in the Coliseum.....upsets, upsets and more upsets, 15 total, which is double the normal amount for the weekend slate. The highlight was a stunning defeat of 32 point favorite Minnesota at the hands of Bowling Green. In today's world of college football there is no such thing as an "easy game" . You have to be mentally prepared for every single contest. Around the Nation: Clemson's run as the top team in the ACC may be coming to an end. North Carolina State topped the Tigers 27-21 in overtime. Florida State fell to 0-4 on the season after a 31-23 loss to Louisville. The last time the Seminoles lost their first 4 games was 1974 when they started 0-8. Kudos to the undefeated Roadrunners of Texas-San Antonio who fell behind 21-0 but stormed back to beat Memphis on the road 31-28. Old rivals SMU and TCU tangled Saturday afternoon and the Ponies came away with a 42-34 stunner over the favored Froggies. Notre Dame exploded offensively in the 4th quarter and blew away Wisconsin 41-13. Oklahoma escaped the upset bug, but just barely. The Sooners kicked a field goal with 2 seconds left to hang on for a 16-13 win over a very well prepared West Virginia team. The loss to Arkansas two weeks ago lit a fire under the Longhorns. Texas demolished Texas Tech 70-35. Oregon, the lone undefeated Pac 12 team, pulled away late to smash Arizona 41-19. Alabama has fielded some of college football's best teams ever in the last 10 years, but the 2021 version may be the best yet. The Crimson Tide smothered Southern Miss 63-14. Georgia however, jumped back into the #1 spot in this week's Billingsley report, by the simple virtue of playing Vanderbilt on the road. Alabama played at home. That's how close these two teams are in rating points. The Dawgs downed Vandy 62-0. Wow, what can I say about Arkansas. The Hogs are the surprise team of 2021. First the shocker over Texas now the Razorbacks have beaten another old SWC rival in Texas A&M, and in convincing fashion, 20-10. Watch for the week 6 projections to be posted Tuesday afternoon, and oh, for those of you who have missed Billingsley's Encyclopedia All Time Scores, you are in for a treat. The new, better than ever version is almost ready for launch, hopefully in the first 10 days of October.
Nittany Lions Hold Off Auburn Upset Bid 28-20 In Happy Valley
Penn State moved to 3-0 on the young 2021 season after escaping a furious upset bid in Happy Valley over a very improved Auburn team. The Nittany Lion defense once again proved to be the difference maker, holding Tiger QB Bo Nix in check on Auburn's final drive of the game. Around the Nation: Clemson, an overwhelming 22 point favorite over Georgia Tech at home in Death Valley barely escaped with a 14-8 squeaker over the determined Yellow Jackets. Pittsburgh, big winner over Tennessee in Knoxville last week must have left their mojo on Rocky Top. This week the Panthers returned home an were promptly upset by Western Michigan 44-41. Overall, the 2021 season has not been kind to the ACC. Meanwhile the American Conference is soaring with Cincinnati and Memphis both scoring big wins over Power 5 teams. Cincinnati went on the road to face Indiana and came away with a 38-24 victory while Memphis hosted Mississippi State and squeezed out a 31-29 win over the Bulldogs. Michigan State traveled to Miami (Fla.) and upset the Hurricane 38-17. The Spartans are now 3-0 as are the Michigan Wolverines who put on an offensive show in the Big House, romping over Northern Illinois 63-10. It was far from the "Game of the Century" in Norman Saturday as Oklahoma and Nebraska celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the 1971 game, but it was a nail biter none the less. Nebraska played inspired and Oklahoma looked unprepared as the Sooners struggled but finally won 23-16. Oklahoma State visited the Blue Turf Saturday Night and surprised hosting Boise State 21-20. Kansas State remained unbeaten with a resounding 38-17 win over a good Nevada team. Something has to give this Saturday as undefeated Kansas State travels to Stillwater to take on the undefeated Cowboys. Brigham Young continues their assault on Power 5 teams after defeating Arizona State 27-17. The Cougars have already beaten Utah and Arizona to move to #3 in this week's Billingsley Report. Brian Kelly tied Knute Rockne's all time win record for wins with 105 after beating Purdue 27-13. The Irish have an historic date in Chicago Saturday with Wisconsin. The last time these two teams met was September 26, 1964 when the heavily favored #22 Badgers fell to the Irish 31-7 in Madison. Undefeated San Diego State outlasted Utah 33-31 in 3 overtimes. I'm not a fan of the new overtime rule, in fact, if you know me very well you know I'm not a fan of overtime PERIOD. I've always thought ties serve their purpose. Alabama and Georgia remained #1 and #2 in the Billingsley Report but switched places. The Crimson Tide returned to the top spot by virtue of playing a significantly stronger opponent this week. Alabama beat #14 Florida 31-29 while Georgia was pounding #88 South Carolina 40-13. Watch for the Week 5 projections to be posted Tuesday.
Oregon Surprises Ohio State in Columbus 35-28
In the marquee game of the weekend, Oregon, quickly becoming the pride of the Pac 12, put on an offensive show in the Horseshoe, coming away with a shocking 35-28 win over the favored Buckeyes. A last minute interception by the Ducks sealed the upset, spoiling any hopes Ohio State had of a comeback win. Around the Nation: Iowa continued it's dominance over in state rival Iowa State with a solid 27-17 win over the hopeful Cyclones. Beating the Hawkeyes just seems to be a hurdle Iowa State cannot quite get over. Nebraska pounded Buffalo 28-3 in preparation for the trip to Norman next week for the 50th Anniversary of the 1971 "Game of the Century" with Oklahoma. The Sooners feasted on Western Carolina Saturday night 76-0. So Texas....you want to join the SEC? Well Arkansas said welcome to their old SWC friend by promptly smothering the Longhorns in Fayetteville 40-21. I could hear the Hog Calls all the way down in Southeast Oklahoma Saturday Night. Brigham Young won the Holy War over Utah 26-17 in very late game Saturday Night, about the same time Stanford was upsetting heavily favored USC in the Coliseum. The Cardinal came away with a 42-28 win. Texas A&M squeaked out a 10-7 win over Colorado in Denver, and Georgia demolished a good UAB team 56-7 to remain on top of the Billingsley Report this week. Watch for week #4 projections to be posted Tuesday afternoon.
Defense Dominates as Dawgs Down Tigers 10-3
If you are an old school football fan who loves great defensive performances you were in heaven Saturday night as Georgia smothered Clemson 10-3 in Charlotte, North Carolina. In a game that lived up to all the hype, two of the top 5 teams in the nation battled in a classic showdown. Based on winning the game and the attached strength of schedule Georgia is projected to move to #1 in this week's Billingsley Report which will not be released until late Tuesday after Monday night's Louisville/Ole Miss game. Notre Dame and Florida State face off tonight. Around the Nation: Virginia Tech hosted and surprised North Carolina 17-10, serving notice that the ACC Coastal Division will be a wide open race. Minnesota held tough with Ohio State for 3 quarters on Thursday night but the Buckeye offense came to life in the 4th quarter pulling away from the determined Gophers 45-31. Penn State put on a defensive performance of their own Saturday afternoon, shocking Wisconsin at Camp Randall 16-10. Iowa blasted Indiana 34-6 in preparation for the trip to Ames next Saturday to take on arch rival Iowa State who really struggled Saturday to escape with a 16-10 win over Northern Iowa. The Sooners seemingly had everything under control by the end of the third quarter, holding a 40-22 lead over Tulane until the Oklahoma defense inexplicably let their guard down, opening the door for the Green Wave to come within an inch of a mighty upset before finally bowing 40-35. Texas looked sweet in Sarkisian's debut as the Longhorn's blasted a very good Louisiana team 38-18. Brigham Young defeated old Border Conference foe Arizona 24-16 in Las Vegas late Saturday night. Northern Illinois travelled deep into the heart of Dixie and came away with a shocking 22-21 win over Georgia Tech. UCLA made the Pac 12 proud Saturday night as the Bruins blasted mighty SEC contender LSU 38-27. Washington, not so much as the Huskies fell to Montana 13-7. Defending National Champion Alabama hasn't skipped a beat rolling over Miami (Fla.) 44-13, and the Josh Heupel era at Tennessee started out on a positive note as the Volunteers overpowered Bowling Green 38-6.
Opening weekend offers few surprises. Notre Dame travelling to Tallahassee next Sunday
Five games dotted the landscape for opening weekend with only one very mild upset, at least according to Las Vegas. Over hyped Nebraska fell on the road to Illinois 30-22. The Cornhuskers were a 7 point favorite in Vegas. The Billingsley projection was Illinois by 1. All other games were held on the West Coast. UCLA cruised by Hawaii 44-10, Fresno State crushed Connecticut 45-0, #15 San Jose State continued their winning ways with a 45-14 thrashing of Southern Utah and Texas-El Paso went on the road and soundly defeated New Mexico State 30-3. The Aggies were returning to play after sitting out the 2020 season. Next weekend finds a full slate of games ranging from UAB on Wednesday September 1 right on through Labor Day Monday's Louisville/Ole Miss game in Atlanta. Quite a few intriguing games come on week two including Thursday's Ohio State at Minnesota and Boise State at Central Florida followed by Friday's North Carolina at Virginia Tech. Saturday is loaded with high profile games including Clemson/Georgia in Charlotte, Alabama/Miami (Fla.) in Atlanta, Indiana at Iowa, Louisiana Lafayette at Texas and LSU at UCLA. Sunday night prime time finds Notre Dame at Florida State. Billingsley's projections will be posted on Tuesday.