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Has there ever been a college football season like 2007?
Will there ever be one again?
Not a chance.
The year that saw Tim Tebow go from a gimmick to Heisman Trophy winner was much crazier than just seeing his star rise.
Incredible upsets were had on a weekly basis and the chase for the national championship only got more insane the deeper into the fall we went.
The untimely passing of Colt Brennan recently put my mind to work, as I thought about the insane college football season that occurred my senior year of college. I put the proverbial pen to paper while going down memory lane a bit.
What made the 2007 season so great?
Here are 10 things to refresh your memory.
10. Mountaineer sized upset of Michigan
Greatest Upsets #1
Appalachian State 2007
At the time the Mountaineers were an FCS program. They stormed into the Big House & took down #5 Michigan 34-32. pic.twitter.com/ZtGquZHQKG
— CFB Blitz (@BlitzCfb) August 13, 2019
In the first college football game ever broadcast on the Big Ten Network, an all-time upset played out as little-known Appalachian State went into the Big House on the first Saturday of the season and upset No. 5 Michigan, 34-32, an upset that will never be forgotten.
9. USC falls as 41 point favorite
To put into context just how ridiculous that fall was, the Appalachian State win at No. 5 Michigan might not have even been the biggest upset that season.
Previously 1-3 Stanford went to No. 2 USC in early November as a 41 point underdog and shocked the world as first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh earned his first Pac-10 victory by upsetting the Trojans and knocking Pete Carroll and company out of national championship contention.
Game 16-Stanford at USC 2007
No. 2 USC 23
Entering the contest as a 41-point underdog, Stanford stuns the Trojans and the entire nation with a road win. The Cardinal victory was the largest point spread upset of a time until 2017.https://t.co/ytc4sbIId0 pic.twitter.com/5VVpL7TDqh
— Andrew Hammond (@ahammFreePress) September 3, 2019
8. Disaster for the Domers
Sep. 15, 2007; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Jimmy Clausen (7) drops the ball in the third quarter against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Michigan beat Notre Dame 38-0. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Coming off back-to-back BCS appearances it was assumed Notre Dame would take a step back as Brady Quinn, Jeff Samardzija, Darius Walker, and plenty others were moving on, but nobody saw the disaster coming that did as the Irish started the season 0-5 with no game being played within closer than 14 points and eventually wound up just 3-9, the lowest Irish win total since 1962 saw them go 2-7.
Notre Dame also lost a triple-overtime affair to Navy after having beat the Midshipmen the previous 43 meetings.
7. Hawaii 5, er, 12-0
Jan 1, 2008; New Orleans, LA, USA; Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan (15) signals to the Warrior fans as he exits the field after the Georgia Bulldogs defeated the Hawaii Warriors 41-10 in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, LA. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Led by Heisman Trophy finalist Colt Brennan, Hawaii had a perfect regular season going 12-0 and winning the WAC and reached the Sugar Bowl where a star-studded Georgia team handed them their only blemish on the year.
For passionate college football fans, the Warriors were must-watch late-night television, essentially being “Pac 12 after dark” before Twitter was a thing.
6. Illinois upsets Ohio State
Nov 10, 2007; Columbus, OH, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini linebacker J Leman (47) celebrates with the student section after a victory against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ohio Stadium. The Fighting Illini beat the Buckeyes 28-21. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
The Illinois Fighting Illini had a downright fascinating year that saw them pick up upset wins over No. 5 Wisconsin and No. 21 Penn State early on, but stumbles at Iowa and against Michigan in mid-October.
The Illini put things back on track in upsetting No. 1 Ohio State in the Horseshoe on November 10 and ultimately earned a berth in the Rose Bowl where they’d fall to USC.
Those Buckeyes would go on to play for the national championship but come up short.
5. South Florida was once ranked No. 2
Dec 31, 2007 El Paso, TX, USA; South Florida Bulls running back Benjamin Williams (30) prepares to hand off to wide receiver Taurus Johnson (89) on a reverse against the Oregon Ducks at the 2007 Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl Stadium. Final score Oregon Ducks defeated the South Florida Bulls 56-21. Mandatory credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
Just how crazy was 2007?
It was real life, not a video game dynasty that saw South Florida ranked second nationally before falling at Rutgers, 30-27, on October 18. It was just one of the incredible seven times that No. 2 would be upset in 2007!
The Bulls would ultimately earn a trip to the Sun Bowl to take on Oregon.
(More on the Ducks, soon)
4. Rock Chalk Jayhawk
Jan 3, 2008: Miami, FL, USA: Kansas Jayhawks head coach Mark Mangino holds an orange after defeating the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2008 Orange Bowl at Dolphin Stadium. Kansas won the game 24-21. Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
In another “video game dynasty” type happening, Mark Mangino led Kansas to a season where they were ranked as high as second nationally before falling to Missouri. The Jayhawks were still given a berth to the Orange Bowl that year where they beat Virginia Tech to cap what was easily their best season in recent history.
3. Oregon's missed title chance?
Oct 27, 2007; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon (10) passes against the Southern California Trojans in the first quarter at Autzen Stadium. The Ducks defeated the Trojans 24-17. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Oregon has never won a national championship but it feels like only because of 2007 essentially being a curse for them.
The Ducks were seemingly as good as anyone nationally and ranked second before Heisman frontrunner Dennis Dixon suffered a knee injury at Arizona in mid-November and the Ducks spiraled from 8-1 to 8-4 to close the regular season.
Had Dixon not got hurt chances are great that he would have won the Heisman Trophy and that Oregon would have at least played for a national championship.
2. Down go No. 1 and No. 2 - 3x!
Dec 6, 2008; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Pat White (5) walks to the sideline during the fourth quarter of a football game against the South Florida Bulls at Milan Puskar Stadium. West Virginia won 13-7. Mandatory Credit: Don Wright-USA TODAY Sports
Entering 2007 both No. 1 and No. 2 hadn’t lost on the same weekend since 1996.
In 2007 that happened on three separate occasions alone:
Oct. 13: Kentucky over LSU, 43-37 (3 OT), Oregon State over Cal, 31-28
Nov. 24: Arkansas over LSU, 50-48 (3 OT), Missouri over Kansas 36-28
Dec. 1: Oklahoma over Missouri 38-17, Pitt over West Virginia 13-9
1. Two-loss national champions
Jan 7, 2008: New Orleans, LA, USA: LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles (center) holds up the coach’s trophy as quarterback Matt Flynn (15) and defensive lineman Ricky Jean-Francois (90) celebrate after defeating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the BCS National Championship game at the Louisiana Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
For as long as I live I don’t think I’ll ever see a two-loss team win a national championship again like LSU did after beating Ohio State to close the year.
To LSU’s credit, their only losses that year both came as triple-overtime road losses but good luck ever seeing anything like that, or the insanity of the 2007 season happen again as a whole.