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Breaking out of the basement

The weekend of Oct. 15 produced a rarity in college football: Rice, Duke, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Oregon State won conference games. It was the first time since Nov. 24, 1973, that all five of those schools won on the same weekend.

During the 20 seasons before this, those five teams had combined for 29 winless seasons and just four winning seasons in their conferences.

Here is a look at those schools' league records during the past two decades and the teams they defeated the weekend of Oct. 15.

Team Conf. W-L-T Pct. Oct. 15-16

Oregon State Pac-10 23-125-5 .167 UCLA 23-14

Vanderbilt SEC 22-140-2 .179 Georgia 43-30

Rice SWC 30-122-0 .197 Texas 19-17

Duke ACC 41-85-4 .330 Clemson 19-13

Northwestern Big Ten 25-141-2 .155 Minnesota 37-31

Party poopers

Time was when there was no safer homecoming opponent than Northwestern, but that time is gone. The Wildcats' 20-7 win at Indiana makes them 3-0 on the road this year, and each of those were homecoming games. Northwestern also spoiled the festivities at Air Force and Minnesota. Northwestern has one more chance to ruin a homecoming _ its own, this week against Illinois.

Bring back Red

Before a 19-14 loss to Michigan Saturday, Illinois celebrated the 70th anniversary of its dedication of Memorial Stadium. The dedication game on Oct.

18, 1924, made Red Grange a star. He returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and ran for scores of 67, 56, 44 and 11 yards in the first 12 minutes of a 39-24 victory over the Wolverines. With Grange's widow watching on Saturday, the Illini managed just 40 rushing yards.

No more hair

Iowa broke a five-game losing streak with a win over Michigan State, and coach Hayden Fry could justify his decision to shave off the mustache he had grown back this year to bring the Hawkeyes some luck.

Fry sported a 'stache throughout his best seasons at Iowa but went 6-6 last year while clean-shaven. That's why he grew it back. Then came the five-game losing streak after a 2-0 start.

"That sucker was only good for two wins, so adios," Fry said. "I'd chop anything else off if I thought it would help us."


Wearing it on his arm

Chicago Bears coach Steve Spurrier? Not so fast.

Spurrier may have been seen sporting a Chicago tattoo on his left arm this week, but it did not Bear any significance. Turns out the Florida coach attended a school carnival with his son, Scotty, last week and they both got temporary tattoos. The ink just turned out to be stronger than he thought.

"The dadgum thing won't come off," Spurrier said.

But why the Bears?

"We had to pick some team," Spurrier said, "so we picked Shane's (Matthews)."


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