Remember when then-No. 5 Michigan lost to Appalachian State, and it was called, without a doubt, the biggest upset in college football history?
Well, the way the 2007 college football season has played out, the history books should note that game was simply a sign of things to come.
Six games into the year, Louisiana State is the lone unbeaten remaining from The Associated Press preseason top 10. In the past two weeks, nine top-10 teams have fallen victim to the upset bug. And with so many of upsets, there’s been room for some newcomers like Arizona State and Missouri, who have flown under the radar despite their unblemished records. This weekend, both the Sun Devils and Tigers get the chance to prove they belong in the BCS Championship race.
No. 1 Louisiana State (3-0 SEC, 6-0 overall) at No. 17 Kentucky (1-1, 5-1) – 3:30 p.m., CBS
It was beginning to look a lot like one of those magical seasons for Kentucky. Quarterback Andre Woodson played like a Heisman candidate and a first-round NFL draft pick while the team started with five straight wins, including consecutive victories over Louisville and Arkansas. But the magic sputtered out quicker than a Tommy Amaker-run offense with the Wildcats’ 38-23 loss to South Carolina last Thursday. Kentucky had three fumbles, including one returned for a touchdown.
Now, to keep pace in the SEC race, Kentucky must find a way to make Louisiana State do its best Southern Cal impression. The Tigers are coming off a game against Florida they had no business winning. Tim Tebow shredded Louisiana State’s vaunted defense repeatedly, but luck always seemed to be on the Tigers’ side. And every National Champion needs good fortune to make it through a season unscathed.
Saturday’s game gives Woodson a chance to shine in the national spotlight and improve his already soaring draft status. But no matter how well he plays, I think Louisiana State is just too good to succumb to a single player. If the Tigers were going to be lose this year, it would have happened last week.
No. 1 Louisiana State 31, No. 17 Kentucky 17
No. 11 Missouri (1-0 Big 12, 5-0) at No. 6 Oklahoma (1-1, 5-1) – 6:30 p.m.
While the Tigers of Louisiana State have soaked up all the attention sitting atop the national polls, the Missouri Tigers have quietly gone undefeated.
Their impressive record hasn’t come against a cupcake schedule, either. Missouri’s neutral-site win over Illinois to start the season looks even better after the Illini’s upset of Wisconsin last week. And the Tigers are coming off a 41-6 thrashing of then-No. 25 Nebraska.
They face yet another stiff test this week, traveling to Norman, Okla., to face a Sooner team that righted the ship with a 28-21 win over Texas last week. Quarterback Sam Bradford has already thrown for 18 touchdowns, and bounced back nicely after bombing in Oklahoma’s loss at Colorado two weeks ago.
If this game were in Missouri, I might pick the Tigers. But Missouri has started out the season 4-1 or better in three of the past four years and then flamed out each time. Something tells me the slide will start anew this weekend.
No. 6 Oklahoma 34, No. 11 Missouri 14
Washington (0-2 Pac-10, 2-3) at No. 14 Arizona State (3-0, 6-0) – 10:15 p.m.
Bet you had no idea the Sun Devils were still undefeated. Well, it’s easy to get lost in the Pac-10 shuffle this year. California, Oregon and Southern Cal are all ranked in the top 10 and are in the mix to make the BCS National Championship game.
In the coming weeks, Arizona State gets the opportunity to show there’s more to Tempe than promiscuous hotties and drunken debauchery. After this week’s matchup with Washington, the Sun Devils have a home game against the Golden Bears followed by a trip to face the Ducks in Eugene, Ore.
The Huskies have struggled this season, but gave Southern Cal a run for its money two weeks ago. Although this is a home game for Arizona State, my gut says Tyrone Willingham won’t allow that many good-looking women and an undefeated football team to be on the same campus.
Washington 38, No. 14 Arizona State 31