College Football: September's Toughest Schedules
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College football teams pursue several agendas in the month of September.
Most BCS schools use it to beat up "creampuffs" before opening conference play. The little guys use it to raise cash by playing bigger schools for large payouts. The ones in the middle hope to get attention by upsetting a powerhouse.
As we enter the second month of the season, here are the FBS teams who had the toughest September.
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The Warhawks are a woeful team from the lowly Sun Belt Conference. They are probably one of the 20 worst teams in FBS.
They end September with just one win. That win was against Grambling.
They went to Florida State, TCU and Iowa. Those teams outscored them 117-34.
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LSU is tied with Alabama with a No. 2 ranking. They are gaining ground on Oklahoma. The reason for the increased respect may be their tough September schedule.
They beat Oregon in Dallas to open the season. They won at West Virginia and Mississippi State.
Their only "cupcake" was Northwestern State.
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Troy is another Sun Belt team, maybe one of the better of the conference.
After opening at Clemson and losing 43-19, they looked a little more respectable at Arkansas. They lost there 38-28.
Marshall Thundering Herd
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Marshall spent September losing to West Virginia, Ohio and Virginia Tech.
However, they do get some respect.
Somehow, they got Virginia Tech to come to their house.
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Rice hasn't been relevant in college football in a long, long time. They were one of the old Southwest Conference members who got kicked to the curb when the Big 12 was formed.
Some of those Big 12 schools still schedule them for an easy win. Rice was beaten in September by Texas and Baylor, both by 25 points.
They did gain some respect by beating Purdue 24-22.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
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When you have your own television contract, you can't schedule patsies.
Notre Dame has a high profile, and their schedule is academic and athletically based.
They exit September with a .500 record. Turnovers, and a failure to play for four quarters, cost them their first two games.
They have played South Florida, Michigan, Michigan State and Pittsburgh.
Their tough schedule might cost them a BCS berth.
Nevada Wolf Pack
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Last year Nevada lost only once. Among their wins they beat California and knocked Boise State out of a BCS game.
This year they have already doubled their loss total.
They fell to Oregon 69-20 and narrowly lost to Texas Tech 35-34.
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Arizona has had a brutal month.
After going to Oklahoma State, they hosted Stanford and Oregon.
In these three games they were outscored 130-55. The closest was a 23-point loss to Oklahoma State.
Florida Atlantic Owls
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Florida Atlantic is an anonymous Sun Belt school.
It should be no surprise that the Owls are winless.
Florida Atlantic has lost at Florida 41-3, at Michigan State 44-0 and at Auburn 30-14.
They probably made a boatload of cash, but then again, money isn't everything.
Tulsa Golden Hurricane
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Tulsa pulled a shocker last year by winning at Notre Dame.
They are not afraid of the big boys. They have played three of the top six teams in the country.
Tulsa lost at Oklahoma 47-14, lost to Oklahoma State 59-33 and at Boise State 41-21.
That makes their schedule the toughest of September.