The 2007 college football season is now eight weeks old and has brought as much excitement as any. If someone were to ask what the experts know about this season in college football, the answer would be “very little.” This has been an amazing year, partially because there are very few answers to questions about which teams are legitimate contenders and which teams are not quite there. What we do know is that no one can predict what will happen, no favorite for the Heisman Memorial Trophy has been established and nothing surprises us anymore.
The season started with a bang. Right out of the gate, a team that until then was anonymous pulled one of the greatest upsets in the history of college football. The team is Appalachian State and they played Michigan. The greatness of the upset came in two parts. Appalachian State is a Division I-AA team and became the first to beat a Division I-A team in the history of the Associated Press Poll. Also, it was played in the “Big House.” This was only the beginning.
The second week of the college football season had two prominent upsets. Another team emerging from nowhere pulled the upset: South Florida. This particular week they traveled to face 17th-ranked Auburn. The game went into overtime. Auburn got the ball first and scored a field goal. South Florida responded with a spectacular touchdown, winning 26-23. Another upset that occurred did not stir up as much press, but it’s still worth mentioning. South Carolina went to Athens, Ga. and defeated 11th-ranked Georgia.
Week three provided us with three more prominent upsets. No. 16 Arkansas went to face Alabama. The game contained SEC excitement, ending on a touchdown pass late in the game, and the Crimson Tide was victorious, 41-38. The last victim was Louisville, who went to face their in-state rivals, Kentucky.
Week four brought us three more upsets. The third team to go down was Penn State. They traveled to face Michigan. The Lions entered the game 3-0 with a No. 10 ranking. The Wolverines pounded the run game and triumphed, 14-9.
Week five produced an astounding seven upsets. The day of upsets continued when Colorado took on No. 3 Oklahoma. Colorado kicked a field goal as time expired and won, 27-24. Upset Central’s next stop was Austin, where undefeated No. 7 Texas was killed 41-21 by Kansas State. Undefeated and No. 10-ranked Rutgers was victimized by an upset as well, hosting unranked 2-2 Maryland. The upset train pulled into Atlanta, Ga., where 2-2 Georgia Tech took on No. 13-ranked and undefeated Clemson. Clemson’s special teams played awful football with four missed field goals and a punt that was blocked, which led to a 14-3 defeat. The Upset Special made an unexpected stop in the “Swamp” in Gainesville, Fla. The No. 4-ranked 4-0 Gators lost on a last-second field goal to Auburn.
The sixth week provided four more upsets. The first upset did not have a huge ripple effect, as South Carolina took down Kentucky at home, 38-23. In Champaign, Ill., the Illini took down No. 5 Wisconsin, 31-26. The most earth-shattering upset was yet to come. A 41-point underdog Stanford traveled to play No. 2 USC. Trailing 23-17 in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals engineered a miraculous drive, culminating in a touchdown pass on fourth and goal. The successful extra point gave Stanford a thrilling 24-23 win.
The next week provided us with the first release of the BCS rankings and four more upsets. The crazy earth-shattering upset of this week goes first. No. 1-ranked and undefeated LSU took on No. 17 Kentucky. The game went three overtimes, with Kentucky scoring a touchdown and then stopping LSU in the third overtime for a 43-37 win. No. 19 Wisconsin was victimized the second week in a row. There was a second earth-shattering upset, this one in Berkeley, Calif. No. 2 California was unable to overcome Oregon State. The last victim of the day was undefeated No. 15 Cincinnati, who lost to 3-3 Louisville.
Week eight provided us with four more upsets. Once again the earth-shattering upset leads off. No. 2 South Florida traveled to Piscataway, N.J. and, for the second straight year, Rutgers pulled a huge Thursday-night upset at home. In Columbia, S.C., No. 6 South Carolina went down 17-6 to Vanderbilt.
This college football season has been unbelievable. It’s far from over.
Gillenson is a member of the class of 2010.