3 College Football Teams on Upset Alert in Week 6
Week five was just another weekend full of big time upsets.
We have reached that point in the season where a team's goals can end with a loss, which was evident in a week five full of upsets and close calls. If you missed any of the action, here is what you missed:
- Florida took care of business at home and knocked off Ole Miss, 38-10.
- Ohio State avoided a catastrophe by stopping Indiana late in the game to hold on to a 34-27 win.
- Michigan State also had to fight to avoid a weekend disaster. Purdue gave them all they wanted, but the Spartans survived by a final score of 24-21.
- Arizona State shocked the country by taking down UCLA, 38-23.
Upsets always shake up the rankings. Now, more than ever, these upsets can officially ruin a team's postseason plans.
Here are top three games we think you should keep an eye on if you want to see one of those "postseason ruining" upsets:
**Note: All stats, unless otherwise noted, are courtesy of cfbstats.com**
In 2007, Notre Dame's 43-game win streak against Navy was snapped in triple overtime. The Midshipmen have beaten the Fighting Irish two more times since then, and they have the potential to do it once again this season.
Injuries are the biggest problem facing Notre Dame at the moment. Granted, they have managed to hold their own despite the injuries, but the lack of experience may eventually catch up to them. The defensive line in particular has suffered due to injuries and eligibility issues, which is a major concern when facing Navy, a team known for running the triple option.
Navy knows they are being given a rare opportunity to take down an ailing rival. That still does not mean that this upset is a "lock." The Irish currently have a top 20 offense nationally, and the Midshipmen may be put in a position where they have to score quickly. That is not so easy to do when you run the triple option. With that being said, Navy can go North and South efficiently and eat up plenty of clock.
Historically, the odds are not in Navy's favor, especially on the road. A big part of taking down a highly favored rival is taking advantage of their weaknesses, and Notre Dame's thin depth chart is a pretty glaring weakness.
It may seem a little odd to see Michigan on upset alert despite being ranked lower than Northwestern, but oddsmakers made Jim Harbaugh's team a touchdown favorite. The Wildcats have looked impressive but knocking off the red hot Wolverines in the Big House would let the country know that they have arrived.
This time last year, Michigan was the type of team to be on the good side of an upset alert, but Jim Harbaugh has quickly changed the attitude in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines currently have the best total defense in the Big Ten. A new attitude does not protect you from upsets though. They are coming around on offense, but the passing game still has some work to do before they can be potent.
When most think about upsets they think about the team that lost doing everything wrong. However, sometimes the losing team can do everything right and still lose. Northwestern's style of football allows for them to take control of games and not lose grasp. The Wildcats force a lot of turnovers and they have the fewest penalties in the conference. Combine that with a top notch defense, and you have a recipe for an upset.
It has never been easy to take down Michigan in the Big House. It will not be an easier doing it while the Wolverines are riding a hot streak. With that being said, Northwestern is undefeated and riding a hot streak of their own. This could be one of the more interesting games of the week.
Highly ranked teams are always in danger of being upset when they are playing on the road. This is especially true when traveling to Manhattan (the one in Kansas) to take on a Bill Snyder-coached team.
Snyder is literally the root to all of Kansas State's success, but he will need to do one of his best coaching jobs ever if he plans on pulling off the upset over TCU. The Wildcats have been plagued with injuries - particularly at quarterback - where they are flirting with the idea of having to use a sixth-string. It may seem improbable that they even hang with the Horned Frogs. However, they have managed to play well despite injuries so far this season.
Meanwhile, TCU is stringing together one of the more impressive seasons in college football. They have been nearly unstoppable on offense, and Gary Patterson can thank Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson for that. Boykin has already thrown for over 1,800 yards, Doctson has accounted for nearly half of those yards. The only issue appears to be on defense. A poor defensive performance almost led to an upset earlier this season.
The biggest problem for TCU is not their talent because they are equipped to take on any team in the country. The real issue is having such a big target on your back when competing on the road in conference play. It will be interesting to see how they handle the pressure.