USC loss keeps upset train rolling

first_imgCrazy. Unexpected. Out of control. Call it what you want, but the first six weeks of the college football season have been downright ridiculous. Of the 25 teams ranked in the preseason AP Top 25 Poll, 10 are now unranked and seven of the top 15 teams in this week’s AP Poll were unranked in the preseason (No. 4 Boston College, No. 5 South Florida, No. 7 South Carolina, No. 9 Oregon, No. 11 Missouri, No. 14 Arizona State and No. 15 Cincinnati).The polls have never experienced such shakeup, and there have never been such wild upsets in the history of college football. These upsets have been monumental in the makeup of this season, but where do they rank in history? Let’s take a look at the top five biggest upsets of the past 25 years:No. 5: Sept. 22, 2007: Syracuse 38 at No. 18 Louisville 35Led by Heisman hopeful senior quarterback Brian Brohm, Louisville was ranked No. 10 in the preseason AP Poll. After suffering a 40-34 loss at Kentucky, the Cardinals returned home to face an 0-3 Syracuse team — arguably the worst team in the Big East.On game day, the Cardinals closed as 36-point favorites, according to Las Vegas oddsmakers, and at the time their victory tied for the largest in history, with regard to the point spread.Everyone knew the Louisville offense could put up points; its defense, however, was a major concern. Syracuse quarterback Andrew Robinson torched the Cardinal defense for 423 yards and four touchdowns en route to the shocking Orange victory that knocked the once-Big East title contenders out of the Top 25.No. 4: Oct. 19, 1985: Oregon State 21 at Washington 20Going into the game, these two teams were going in opposite directions; Washington had won four straight games; Oregon State had lost four straight. Washington had also beaten Oregon State in its previous 10 meetings.The Huskies entered the game as 36-point favorites, and they knew it. Husky head coach Don James told the media that he intended to give backup quarterback Chris Chandler (future NFL starter) significant playing time after the game got out of hand.It never did. The Beavers led 14-10 at halftime and after falling behind 20-14, with 1:29 remaining in the fourth quarter, Beavers’ special teamer Andre Todd recovered a blocked punt in the end zone and kicked the extra point for the 21-20 win.No. 3: Oct. 17, 1998: Temple 28 at No. 14 Virginia Tech 24In front of a homecoming crowd of more than 47,000, 5-0 Virginia Tech, favored by 35.5 points, never imagined losing to 0-5 Temple. Coming into the game, the Hokie defense was giving up a stingy six points per game, and the Owls could barely score against anyone.Virginia Tech led the game 17-0, but it never put Temple away. The visiting Owls clawed back and eventually took the lead late in the game. With less than a minute remaining, Virginia Tech had a second-and-two from the three-yard line but could not pick up the first down or punch the ball into the end zone, leaving the Hokies stunned in defeat in Blacksburg.No. 2: Oct. 6, 2007: Stanford 24 at No. 2 USC 23Stanford quarterback Tavita Prichard was making his first career start. No way could the Cardinal take down the almighty Trojans at the Coliseum. No one even gave it a thought.But Stanford hung around the whole game. Each time the Trojans took a two-possession lead, the Cardinal fought back. Finally, with 49 seconds left, Prichard threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Mark Bradford on fourth-and-goal, and the 41-point underdog Cardinal left more than 85,000 fans in utter silence as they snapped the Trojans’ 35-game home winning streak, while becoming the biggest underdogs to pull off a victory in history.No. 1: Sept. 1, 2007: Appalachian State 34 at No. 5 Michigan 32The previous four games all came during in-conference play, meaning the teams were obligated to play each other as part of their regular schedules.Appalachian State is obviously not in the Big Ten with Michigan, meaning Bill Martin, the Wolverines’ athletic director, willingly scheduled the season opener against the Mountaineers as a preseason, warm-up-type game — one Big Blue never expected to be even close.But the two-time defending Division 1-AA Champions were not intimidated by the 110,000-plus fans jammed into the Big House, nor were they scared of the No. 5 Wolverines. With a blocked would-be winning field goal attempt as time expired, Appalachian State became the first Division I-AA team to beat a Division 1 ranked opponent, while ruining the Wolverines’ title hopes along the way.Michigan offensive weapons Chad Henne (quarterback), Mike Hart (running back) and Mario Manningham (wide receiver) all turned down the NFL to return to Ann Arbor for one final shot at a national championship. But after opening day, that dream was already shot. The Mountaineers were pioneers that day, giving future Division I-AA teams hope, and forcing Division 1 athletic directors to rethink future nonconference matchups.last_img

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