Sunday, September 28, 2008

College football: it's crazy upset weekend.

Maybe I'm just imagining it: I haven't looked back at what happened in previous seasons, but I have this feeling that around the fifth week, sometime on the cusp of September/October, there's this weekend when lots of highly ranked teams get their comeuppance. Here's who got theirs this weekend:

Number one, USC, falling to unranked Oregon State 27-21 on Thursday night, as previously reported here.

Number three, Georgia, losing to number eight, Alabama, 41-30.

Number four, Florida, embarassed by unranked Ole Miss, 31-30. I kind of expected this after the Gators' romp over Tennessee last week. This seems to be the time every season at which their heads swell so much they can barely fit in their helmets.

Number nine, Wisconsin, edged by unranked Michigan, 27-25.

Number sixteen, Wake Forest, upended by unranked Navy, 24-16. Deacons coach Jim Grobe had the following enlightening observation about his team's loss: "I think the ability to not throw the football without turning the ball over was what hurt us today."

Number twenty, Clemson, bested by unranked Maryland, 20-17. The Terps established themselves as giant killers a couple of weeks ago by upsetting California.

Number 24, East Carolina, trounced by unranked Houston, 41-24. Pirates sunk twice in a row, so goodbye to top 25 and a Cinderella season.

Non-upset of the day: my South Florida Bulls crushed North Carolina State, 41-10. Perpetual fusspot that I am, I worry about Pitt next week.

9/29 update: AP and USA Today polls both have South Florida ranked tenth. All the more reason to worry about Pitt next Saturday. Then, again, they got all the way to number two last year before losing to Rutgers. Speaking of the Big East, Connecticut has just cracked the top 25, on the strength of victories over Hofstra, Temple, Virginia, Baylor, and Louisville.

Have I managed to get this far into the season without mentioning the Nittany Lions? They're 5-0 and ranked sixth. Hope I didn't curse them by mentioning this.