Our weekly highlight show of lesser FBS luminaries. Non-AQs and independents, be welcome.
• Broncos and Bulldogs and bustin’. If you follow our pre- and midseason Crystal Ball projections, you know how hilariously bad we are at predicting which teams will land in which bowl games. But after a second loss, even Boise State’s new-money brand-name recognition won’t keep the Broncos afloat in the polls. So what does this mean for our early-season busting favorites, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs? Quoth our designated postseason prognosticator, Stewart Mandel: “Louisiana Tech, No. 20 in the standings this week, may be that group’s lone hope, but the Bulldogs need to beat 8-2 Utah State in two weeks, climb at least four spots and hope BCS No. 16 Nebraska loses so that Tech finishes ahead of an AQ champ.” Same as it ever was when it comes to non-AQs with aspirations of crashing the party: Win big, and hope bigger. A perfect run through November won’t be easy for LaTech. Texas State should pose no problem in Week 11, but neither Utah State nor San Jose State are any kind of pushover.
Sonny Dykes, as ever, prefers to marvel at where he’s gotten this team once he gets there, and only then: “If we go and do not play well Saturday, Texas State will beat us and that will end all of the discussion. We have to worry about playing well this week, and like I said, when it is all over with, we will kind of look up and say, ‘Wow, here we are.’”
• Actual tangible postseason news, actually! The first bowl-eligible team off the board in 2012 is Navy, which accepted a Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl invitation Saturday, immediately following the Mids’ eligibility-clinching win over Florida Atlantic. Navy has one previous postseason appearance in San Francisco to its name, a win over New Mexico in the 2004 Emerald Bowl.
• Tuesday games, man. Elsewhere in can’t-get-no-respect teams getting respect: Toledo ascended into the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2001 and earned the final slot in this week’s BCS Top 25 … and promptly dropped an Election Night decision to Ball State, at the worst possible time and just about the last possible moment. [BOX | RECAP]
Profiles in ownage
• Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois. Has now rushed for 100 yards or more in eight consecutive games, a new record for NCAA quarterbacks, and remains the player whose name we are most likely to misspell as “Lunch” on the first pass. Lynch has actually outrushed Nevada’s Stefphon Jefferson by the slimmest of margins this season, 1342 yards to 1341. And Lynch can also throw the ball a little bit, passing for more than 2,000 yards in 2012 after a 191-yard performance against UMass.
• Terrance Broadway, QB, Louisiana. Threw for 373 yards, rushed for 87 more and accounted for five touchdowns in the Ragin’ Cajuns’ victory over Louisiana-Monroe.
• Trayion Durham, RB, Kent State. Scored two fourth-down touchdowns against Akron, one with 45 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach for the Zips.
• Mike “Bacon” Atkinson, DT, Boise State. Is through with college ball after tearing his ACL against San Diego State, but will remain in our hearts for scoring the first Fat Guy Touchdown of 2012 way back in September against BYU. Godspeed and a swift recovery to our favorite Canadian.
• Geoffery Bacon, LB, Army. The second honoree in our first-ever double-Bacon Profiles in Ownage recorded 13 tackles and an interception against Air Force, aiding in the fight to knock the Falcons out of the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy race entirely. It’s the first time Air Force has lost to both Army and Navy in the same season since 2005.
• Roosevelt Nix, DT, Kent State. Had a career day against Akron with nine tackles, a sack and a forced fumble.
• Colin Lockett, KR, San Diego State. Recorded the Aztecs’ first 100-yard kick return touchdown since 1979 on the opening kick against Boise.
• Reggie Whatley, KR, Middle Tennessee State. Broke a program record with 222 return yards in six tries, including one that went for a 96-yard touchdown, and notched a fumble recovery.
Not sure if serious
Air Force, losing to a 1-7 Army team with a record of 5-3? The same Air Force that played Michigan to within six points? Really? On the bright side, whichever team wins the Army-Navy game now snags the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy, and you can’t not like having the stakes raised there. The Mids have a 10-game winning streak over the Black Knights. Can it hold?
Walking Dead Watch
UMass and Southern Miss both carry 0-9 records into mid-November. We’re not holding out much hope for the Golden Eagles in Week 11 against SMU, or really for the Minutemen against one-win Akron either. Only one of these teams has an excuse.
Case Keenum Memorial Pinballin’ Hi-Score
Keep your eyes on records that could fall in Week 11 thanks to the ever-prolific Bulldogs of Ruston. Louisiana Tech quarterback Colby Cameron can break Russell Wilson’s streak of 379 consecutive passes without an interception with six successful attempts at Texas State. Freshman tailback Kenneth Dixon can break Marshall Faulk and Ryan Williams’ record for first-year rushing touchdowns with two scores in the same game.
Thing UTEP did this week
The Miners were on a bye, but Mike Price did raise the notion of playing three quarterbacks against Central Florida at his weekly media luncheon: “I don’t like the combination of quarterbacks, but that might happen. That’s something we have not seen in college football, and not from my team. What’s really neat about this is you can find out the answer on Saturday at 5:00 in the Sun Bowl.” See how he worked that plug in there at the end? This is why Mike Price makes more money than you.
Non-AQ teams went 0-3 against teams from BCS conferences in Week 10, with close losses from Troy to Tennessee and Tulsa to Arkansas — and one very valiant half of football between New Mexico State and Auburn. This drops Team Profiteroles to 22 -83 for the year, which is still really a record to be proud of, by our standards.
Weeknight games still to come: Bowling Green at Ohio Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET and Louisiana-Monroe at Arkansas State Thursday at 7 p.m. Weekend contests of varying degrees of interest: Army-Rutgers, Louisiana-Florida, Air Force-San Diego State, Tulsa-Houston and Fresno State-Nevada.