Sunday, November 22, 2009
What we learned about the non-AQs, Week 12
By Graham Watson
1. TCU is one win away: The Horned Frogs proved during Saturday's 45-10 win over Wyoming that they don’t have to play at their best to beat some of the teams in the Mountain West Conference. The Horned Frogs had a rough start and turned the ball over three times, but they were dominant on offense and defense throughout the game and Wyoming couldn’t match up. Now, the Horned Frogs are a win away from a Mountain West Conference title and a BCS bowl berth.
2. Nevada makes it interesting: For those who thought Boise State could skate through its conference schedule to another WAC title, think again. Nevada is playing as well as the Broncos, and could be the team to end the Broncos run in the game this Friday. Nevada has been dominant on the ground with three 1,000-yard rushers. It was averaging 353.10 rushing yards per game heading into Saturday's 63-20 win over New Mexico State, when they rushed for 574 yards.
3. Conference USA still up for grabs: Both the East and West divisions of Conference USA are up for grabs in the final week of the season. SMU’s 34-31 loss to Marshall allowed Houston to move back into first place in the West after losing that spot a week ago. If the Cougars beat Rice, it will win the division title. The East will come down to Saturday's game between East Carolina and Southern Miss. The winner will play for the C-USA title.
4. MAC East down to one game: Ohio won the elimination game against Northern Illinois, 38-31, and now has a chance to defeat Temple for the MAC East title. After losing its first two games to start the year, Temple has rattled off nine consecutive wins and has become one of the most dominant teams in the conference. Temple hasn’t won this many games since 1979 and it’s never won the MAC title.
5. Troy makes history: Troy earned its fourth consecutive Sun Belt title with a 47-21 win over Florida Atlantic. The Trojans become just the second school in Sun Belt history to win four consecutive titles. North Texas won four straight from 2001-04. The Trojans now are looking to sweep conference play for the first time while a member of the Sun Belt. The Trojans play Louisiana-Lafayette during their final game of the season.