College football: Top-10 teams are toppled across the nation

Johnny Manziel, Kris Frost
Not even Heisman winner Johnny Manziel could rescue Texas A&M from a 45-41 loss to Auburn.
(Thomas B. Shea / Getty Images)

Sunday’s first release of the Bowl Championship Series standings got a last-minute shipment of adjustments, edits and amendments.

They arrived in a packaged labeled “Saturday.”

The last year of the BCS (sob, sob) is sure going to be fun.

The top 25 got worked over this weekend with defeats suffered by half the teams in the top 10.


The implosion started Friday night when No. 8 Louisville lost at home to Central Florida and then spilled into a bloodbath Saturday.

No. 9 UCLA fell at No. 13 Stanford at about the same time Auburn was pulling off an upset over No. 7 Texas A&M in College Station.

Not even Heisman winner Johnny Manziel could rescue the Aggies from the 45-41 loss.

There was also a guaranteed top-10 loser in the matchup of No. 5 Florida State at No. 3 Clemson, but who expected a 51-14 Seminoles victory?


And, for good measure, No. 6 Louisiana State lost at Ole Miss.

Let’s just say it brought a lot of teams back into the hunt.

Stanford, which dropped eight poll spots to No. 13 after last week’s loss at Utah, will find itself hip-deep in the BCS top 10 and right back in the national title race.

Stanford, remember, still has a Nov. 7 game against No. 2 Oregon.

The Southeastern Conference got turned upside down as Missouri, Vanderbilt, Auburn, Tennessee and Mississippi pulled upsets against Florida, Georgia, Texas A&M, South Carolina and LSU.

The SEC is suddenly a multi-loss mess with Alabama and Missouri — Missouri! — as the league’s last two unbeaten teams.

Only Alabama fans could rest easy as the top-ranked Crimson Tide dismantled Arkansas in Tuscaloosa.



The Michigan-Indiana game outdid Auburn at Texas A&M for the day’s most ridiculous numbers.

After all, Auburn and A&M combined for “only” 86 points, 1,217 yards and 56 first downs at College Station.

That was almost “three yards and a cloud of dust” compared to what happened in Ann Arbor.

In Michigan’s crazy 63-47 win, the teams combined for 110 points, 1,323 yards and 63 first downs.

The Newcomers

Texas A&M and Missouri, two ordinary programs from the Big 12, joined the SEC two years ago.

There were supposed to be growing pains. In fact, many thought the schools would get devoured in America’s best conference.

But Texas A&M, in its first year, became the only team to defeat national champion Alabama.


And Saturday, Missouri improved to 7-0 for the season and took a two game lead in the SEC East.

What is going on down there?

Texas A&M you can sort of understand. The Aggies entered the SEC with Manziel as their starting quarterback,

Missouri’s rise is more surprising. The Tigers went 5-7 last year, 2-6 in SEC play.

Missouri wasn’t really tested early in the season with wins over the likes of Murray State and Toledo.

The Tigers were supposed to get thumped these last two weeks, but were fortunate to face Georgia and Florida teams that have been devastated by injuries.

Missouri defeated Georgia last week in Athens and downed Florida, 36-17, on Saturday.

Give Missouri credit, though, because it is playing without starting quarterback James Franklin.

Missouri holds a two-game lead over South Carolina, which visits Columbia, Mo., next week.

The question now: How long can Missouri make this last?

Bowden Ball

The Spotlight looks for any chance to mention the Akron Zips — one of the best nicknames in sports.

So here it is: Akron defeated Miami of Ohio, 24-17, to earn its first road win since Oct. 18, 2008 at Eastern Michigan.

Akron (2-6) has won more than one game for the first time since that season after three straight 1-11 seasons.

Akron is led by second-year Coach Terry Bowden, who went undefeated at Auburn in 1993. Terry’s dad, Bobby, leads all major college coaches with 377 wins.

House of Cards

Louisville’s path to the national title game was always going to be shaky

The Cardinals simply did not have the schedule strength to keep up with the best teams from the power conferences.

Jeff Sagarin’s ratings had Louisville at No. 125 in SOS this week.

Louisville’s only chance was to go undefeated and then pray all the other top schools lost once, or maybe twice.

Gee, it almost happened Saturday, but Louisville’s 38-35 loss to Central Florida on Friday night effectively ended the Cardinals’ chances.

Or did it?

“It doesn’t damage them at all,” quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said. “We are still 6-1, this is college football and anything can happen and anything is possible.”

If nothing else, Louisville’s stumble will have a ripple effect in the BCS standings.

The loss helped Fresno State and Northern Illinois, as those teams look to snag the last non-automatic qualifier major bowl berth in BCS history.

The highest-rated champion from a league outside the top six earns a bid if it finishes in the top 12 of the BCS standings.

The non-AQ champ also gets the bid, though, if it finishes in the top 16 ahead of a champion from a major conference.

No. 17 Fresno State (Mountain West) and No. 23 Northern Illinois (Mid-American) might have had a tough time reaching the top-12 threshold.

Louisville’s loss, however, gives Fresno State or Northern Illinois a chance to finish 16th or better ahead of the American Athletic Conference champion.

Northern Illinois improved to 7-0 with a win over Central Michigan, as quarterback Jordan Lynch rushed for 316 yards. Fresno State (5-0) hosted Nevada Las Vegas in a late Saturday night game.

Northern Illinois used the BCS clause last year to earn a bid to the Orange Bowl. The Huskies finished No. 15 in the final BCS standings ahead of Big East champion Louisville (21).