The college football season is set to get underway here in the next couple of days, and I'm ready for it. I can't wait to see how many upsets there are going to be this year. You can bet that there will be at least two or three.
Since we're on the subject of upsets, this is a good time to share my recent college football upsets list with you. Before we go on, I said "recent upsets." I'm not going to be digging too far back for these; I'm going to be keeping it current.
Let's take a look at college football's top 25 recent upsets:
25: Tulsa 28, Notre Dame 27, 2010: I'm a Notre Dame fan and this was one of the most heartbreaking games I've ever experienced. G.J. Kinne, the QB of the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, threw two huge passes late in the game to set up the game-winning field goal. The icing on the cake came with 36 seconds left, when John Flanders picked off a Notre Dame pass in the end zone.
24: Nevada 34, Boise State 31 (OT), 2010: I'm putting this game on the list because this is the game that ended Boise State's 24-game win streak. Nevada overcame a 17-point halftime deficit and Boise State kicker Kyle Brotzman missed two short field goals. Who saw this one coming?
23: Sacramento State 29, Oregon State 28, 2011: Sacramento State QB Jeff Fleming hit Brandyn Reed for a touchdown in OT and once again for a two-point conversion to seal the deal. Fleming was a total stud that day, throwing for 257 yards and three scores.
22: South Carolina 35, Alabama 21, 2010: South Carolina QB Stephen Garcia and WR Alshon Jeffery were an unstoppable force. They hooked up time and time again, making play after play. In the end, it was just too much for Alabama to overcome and the Crimson Tide lost their first SEC regular-season game since the end of the 2007 season.
21: Navy 23, Notre Dame 21, 2009: Jimmy Clausen threw for 452 yards and two scores but was sacked in the end zone with a minute left in the fourth quarter to give the Navy Midshipmen their second consecutive victory at Notre Dame Stadium. That loss ended any hope the Irish had for a BCS appearance.
20: Kentucky 43, LSU 37 (3 OT), 2007: LSU could have and should have won this game. The Tigers couldn't muster a first down on four straight running plays. On fourth-and-2, LSU back Charles Scott was stuffed by Braxton Kelley a yard short of the marker, and the No. 1 LSU Tigers fell victim to one huge upset special.
19: Wyoming 13, Tennessee 7, 2008: Wyoming was a four-touchdown dog and was one of the lowest scoring teams in football, but it managed to go into Knoxville and take out the Vols. The turning point of the game came when Ward Dobbs intercepted Tennessee QB Nick Stephens and returned it 24 yards a the score.
18: Ole Miss 31, Florida 30, 2008: The No. 4-ranked Gators turned the ball over three times, and after the shocking loss, Gators QB Tim Tebow took the podium and gave one of his most memorable post-game pressers. The Gators were a horrible 1-11 on third down and Tim Tebow had a costly momentum-changing fumble. He was also stopped on a critical fourth-and-inches. It was not a good day for Tebow and the Gators.
17: Purdue 26, Ohio State 18, 2009: Purdue QB Joey Elliott was the difference here. After getting a text from former Purdue QB Drew Brees, Joey Elliott lit it up. He threw for 281 yards and two scores. The Buckeyes committed five turnovers, with QB Terrelle Pryor accounting for four of them.
16: Arkansas 50, LSU 48 (3 OT), 2007: Darren McFadden was a beast in this game. Remember this one? He ran for 206 yards and three scores and even threw a TD pass to Peyton Hillis in the fourth quarter. And by the way, Peyton Hillis was a stud in this game, too. He had 11 carries for 89 yards and four total scores.
15: Colorado 27, Oklahoma 24, 2007: The Colorado Buffalos were 23-point dogs and Oklahoma had steam-rolled over its last four opponents. Easy win for the Sooners, right? Not so much. Colorado held the potent Oklahoma offense to 230 yards and held the ball for over 38 minutes. Colorado kicked a last-second field goal to clinch the game and complete the upset special. Gatorade baths all around!
14: Navy 46, Notre Dame 44 (3 OT), 2007: I know what you're thinking. Another Notre Dame-Navy game? But wait. Hear me out. This game is on here because it was a streak breaker. Notre Dame's 43-game win streak over Navy came to an end after this one. So now that you know that little nugget, don't you agree with me on this one?
13: Jacksonville State 49, Ole Miss 48 (2 OT), 2010: Jacksonville State was down 31-10 at the half but rallied and scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to send the game into OT. In the second overtime, after a 30-yard TD pass from Gamecocks QB Coty Blanchard, the Gamecocks elected to go for two rather than kick the PAT for the tie. Mission successful, and the Gamecocks pulled off a huge upset.
12: Texas Tech 41, Oklahoma 38, 2011: In this classic upset, Texas Tech snapped Oklahoma's 39-game home winning streak The Red Raiders were a four-touchdown dog, but behind the passing of QB Seth Doege they did the unthinkable and smacked down the Sooners. However, after this huge upset, the Red Raiders would drop their next five games and end up with a losing season.
11: Syracuse 38, Louisville 35, 2007: Man, wasn't 2007 the year of upsets or what? Let's take a look at this one. Louisville was a 37-point favorite in this game. But Syracuse had other ideas. On the game's first play, Syracuse receiver Taj Smith caught a 79-yard touchdown pass and it was on from there. Syracuse went on to win, snapping the Cardinals' 20-game home winning streak.
10: Oregon State 27, USC 21, 2008: Oregon State hadn't beaten a No. 1 team in 41 years. That is until this game. Jacquizz Rodgers was the story here. He had an awesome game. He ran for 186 yards and two scores as the 25-point underdog Beavers dashed the title hopes of the Mark Sanchez led Trojans.
9: Utah 31, Alabama 17, 2009: After this upset in the Sugar Bowl, Utah finished the season with a perfect 13-0 record. Utah QB Brian Johnson threw for 336 yards and three scores, as Utah became the first team from a non-BCS conference to win two BCS games. It was after this game that the rumblings started about having a college football playoff.
8: Louisiana-Monroe 21, Alabama 17, 2007: This was a huge upset. Alabama entered the game as a 24-point favorite and ULM entered the game without having a winning record in 18 years as a FBS school. Easy win for the Tide, right? Nope. Alabama turned the ball over four times and Tide coach Nick Saban fell to 6-6 in his first season.
7: Washington 16, USC 13, 2009: Prior to this game, Washington had lost seven straight to USC. And that's one of the reasons I have this game on the list. Washington kicker Erik Folk banged in two fourth-quarter field goals, one with three seconds left on the clock. Washington only had 293 yards of total offense, but was able to control the clock and hold the rock for 10 minutes longer than USC.
6: Boise State 43, Oklahoma 42, 2007: Talk about an upset. And it happened in the Fiesta Bowl. The Broncos scored 22 points in the final 86 seconds of regulation and OT. It was one of those classic back-and-forth battles that will go down as one of the best games ever played.
5: James Madison 21, Virginia Tech 16, 2010: Remember this one? This was the first time since 1990 that the James Madison Dukes defeated an FBS school. And on the flip side of that coin, it was Va. Tech's first loss to a FCS program in 12 games dating back to 1985. Both of these are very good reasons why this game is in the top five. Don't you think?
4: Pitt 13, West Virginia 9, 2007: The Mountaineers were actually 29-point favorites in this game. They had a solid 10-1 record, and the Panthers entered the game a disappointing 4-7 record. But as the saying goes, "That's why they play the game." West Virginia had a shot at a BCS berth but the stunning upset by the Pitt Panthers squashed all hopes.
3: Iowa State 37, Oklahoma State 31 (2 OT), 2011: This was a crazy game! The 10-0 Oklahoma State Cowboys allowed over 560 yards of offense and turned the ball over a ridiculous five times. They could've escaped with a win had they made a 37-yard field goal. The Cowboys failed to convert, Iowa State won the game, and Oklahoma State's hopes of playing for a national title were smashed.
2: Stanford 24, USC 23, 2007: USC QB John David Booty threw four--count them, four--INTs in a game where the Trojans were 41-point favorites. The clincher came on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Mark Bradford from Stanford back-up QB Tavita Pritchard with 41 ticks remaining. And to add insult to injury, Stanford's victory snapped USC's 35-game home win streak.
1: Appalachian State 34, Michigan 32, 2007: The 2007 season was no doubt the year of upsets. This game was totally a foreshadowing of what was to come. This game has to go down as the biggest upset in recent college football history. I tried to think of another one but couldn't. There have been some great upsets, past and present, but, in my opinion, there is none greater than this one.
Dylan Davis has been loyal to the Fighting Irish since he was old enough to hold a football. He actually bleeds blue and gold. He owns the movie, "Rudy" and can quote it verbatim.
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