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Campus winners and losers

WINNERS

West Virginia: The Mountaineers seemed to have righted the ship after a terrible 49-23 loss at Syracuse on October 21. The win keeps West Virginia hot on the heels of first-place Cincinnati (6-2, 2-0). The Mountaineers host Louisville next weekend and travel to Cincy on Nov. 12 for a game that could decide the Big East title.

Penn State: You have to hand it to the Nittany Lions (8-1, 5-0). They don’t overwhelm opponents, but they find a way to get the win every week. Defensively, Penn State has been playing lights-out football most weeks. Saturday’s 10-7 win against Illinois marked the sixth time this season the Nittany Lions have surrendered 10 points or fewer. Of course this road of joy could end soon with games against Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin the last three weeks of the season. Oh yeah, congrats to coach Joe Paterno (409), who set the record for most career wins in Division I history, surpassing Grambling’s Eddie Robinson.

Oklahoma: Beating the doors off Kansas State and Clemson losing to Georgia Tech opened the door to a possible national championship for the Sooners (7-1, 4-1), who jumped three spots to No.6.

Stanford: The Cardinal (8-0, 6-0) needed that 4OT win against USC to keep their national title hopes alive. Any loss from this point on would likely end Stanford’s national title bid. It doesn’t get any easier for the Cardinal, No.4 in the latest BCS standings, which still has Oregon and Notre Dame left on the schedule. Both games are home, though.

Boise State: How does Boise State win without playing? Simple. Clemson (8-1, 5-1) lost and TCU (6-2, 3-0) won. TCU’s 38-28 home win against BYU kept it a half-game ahead of Boise State for the Mountain West Conference lead and could make its Nov. 12 game against the Broncos a big win. Of course both Boise State (@UNLV) and TCU (@Wyoming) need to take of business next week.

LOSERS

Clemson: The Tigers (8-1, 5-1) are still in line to make the ACC title game, but they can forget about a shot at the national shot after losing at Georgia Tech. The Tigers fell six spots to 11th in the BCS poll.

Syracuse, Rutgers: Both Big East schools had a chance to stay in the chase for the league title. Nothing has been decided yet, but Syracuse (5-3, 1-2) getting shellacked by Louisville, 27-10, and Rutgers (5-3, 2-2) losing to West Virginia, 41-31, for the 11th straight time under Greg Schiano, had dug a huge hole for themselves.

Wisconsin: The Badgers (6-2, 2-2) went from national championship contenders two weeks ago to a squad that could have trouble finishing second in the Big Ten Leaders division. Saturday’s 33-29 loss to Ohio State was especially brutal since the Badgers scored with 1:18 left for a 29-26 lead. The Buckeyes scored a TD with 20 seconds left.
 

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