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One BCS buster busted

Boise makes early statement; wait till next year for TCU

By Matt Murschel, Tribune newspapers

September 5, 2011

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TCU can't get to the Big East fast enough. The Horned Frogs leave the Mountain West next season, which is looking good after their 50-48 loss to Baylor on Friday. If they were in the Big East this season, they'd still have a shot at a BCS bowl.

The Big East should reconsider Villanova as a potential member. The FCS Wildcats have been mentioned as a possible addition, but after their 42-7 loss to Temple on Thursday, maybe Big East officials should rethink that.

Don't mess with success. Steve Spurrier's decision to start Connor Shaw at quarterback instead of Stephen Garcia nearly backfired as Shaw struggled and South Carolina needed Garcia to lead it back from a 17-0 deficit to beat East Carolina 56-37.

Auburn is the king of comebacks. The defending national champion twice found itself down by double digits against Utah State before rallying for a 42-38 victory.

Tommy Rees gives Notre Dame its best chance to win. The sophomore quarterback replaced an ineffective Dayne Crist against South Florida and looked better, throwing for 296 yards and two TDs.

Georgia's Mark Richt and UCLA's Rick Neuheisel are on the hot seat. Both coaches came into the season needing strong showings, and both fell flat. The Bulldogs lost to Boise State 35-21, and the Bruins fell to Houston 38-34.

Boise State is back in BCS-busting form. For the third straight season, the Broncos opened with a victory over a BCS-conference opponent. Their win Saturday opened the door for a run at a BCS berth.

It's not nice to fool Mother Nature. Stormy weather played havoc with a handful of games, including Michigan's victory over Western Michigan that was called in the third quarter and USF's win in South Bend, Ind., where lightning caused two delays totaling almost three hours.

Oregon is not ready for prime time. The Ducks continue to struggle against top nonconference opponents under Chip Kelly, having lost to Boise State, Ohio State, Auburn and now LSU.

It's too soon to write off LSU. After a trouble-filled offseason, many thought the Tigers' title hopes might be slipping away, but not after watching them dismantle Oregon.

mmurschel@tribune.com