College Football Teams on Upset Alert in Week 3
It comes as no surprise that we've had at least one upset in each of thre first two weeks of the college football. Last Saturday, Ohio State fell victim to Virginia Tech in a 35-21 upset loss. It was Urban Meyer's first loss at home since becoming head coach of the Buckeyes.
Upsets inside the top 25 are not a guarantee each and every week, but sometimes it's the upsets outside of the rankings that make the most difference in the long run. There are plenty of potential upsets this week, but here is our list of who we think should be on the lookout:
It was Oklahoma's big win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl in January that stirred up talks of the Sooners making a national title run in 2014. So far this season, they have given no reason why they shouldn't be considered for a potential playoff spot. Quarterback Trevor Knight has continued to play well since the bowl game, and the Sooners currently average 50 points per game. This Saturday's game against Tennessee may reveal just how legitimate this team is. The Vols are far from the best team in the SEC, but they will be the toughest opponent Oklahoma has faced this season.
No one expected this to be the year the Vols climbed back on top. One reason being they were the only team in the country that replaces every offensive and defensive lineman from last year's team. One detail that was overlooked was the returning talent at wide receiver. Tennessee returned their top 5 leading receivers including Marquez North and Pig Howard. Combine that with a improved Justin Worley and a defense led by AJ Johnson and you have yourself a possible sleeper in the SEC. What better way to prove that than by beating Oklahoma in Norman?
The Sooners have home field advantage and an overall more experienced team. However, Butch Jones has done a terrific job recruiting and has slowly began to install his preferred system. If the Vols can come out with a win, you can go ahead and label this one of the top upsets of the year.
If you do not believe in bad luck then just review Florida's 2013 season and you will become a believer. But this is a brand new Gators squad, or at least a more healthy Gators squad. Will Muschamp brought in Kurt Roper to revive Florida's offense, and if last week's 65-0 win over Eastern Michigan means anything, then it it was a good hire. Defensively, there was never a real concern because, even with an injury plagued season, Muschamp's defense still was one of the best in the country. As odd as it may seem, Florida cannot look ahead to next week's game against Alabama because they face a much improved Kentucky this week.
The Wildcats have been fighting to make it out of the bottom of the SEC East. This past off-season, Stoops brought in the best non-basketball recruiting class in Kentucky's school history, and Mark Stoops' team has already jumped out to a 2-0 start, which matches last year's win total. Of course, this Saturday's game will be their first true test. It will be difficult to win in the Swamp, but Kentucky has yet to prove that they are not capable of doing so.
If history means anything, Florida come out on top. The Gators have beaten Kentucky the last 27 times they have faced each other. That is the longest in-conference streak in SEC history. All streaks must come to an end and Kentucky may finally have enough talent to do just that.
Oklahoma State was almost on the positive end of an upset earlier this season. If not for a late fumble, the Cowboys might have taken down Florida State. The Cowboys weren't receiving much hype coming into the season because they only returned eight total starters, and one of those returning starters was quarterback JW Walsh, who might be out for the season with an injury. Mental errors cost them the upset of Florida State and allowed Missouri State to keep it close last week. They cannot make those same errors this week against UTSA.
The Road Runners almost pulled an upset of Arizona last week and will be looking to make it happen against the Cowboys. This is UTSA's first year of bowl eligibility after making the switch to join the FBS so a big win could put them on the map. They are loaded with experience on both sides of the ball with a total of 20 returning starters.
Traveling to Stillwater and winning is not an easy task for any team, however, if the Cowboys are not careful, they will have a sour start to their 2014 season.
Rich Rodriguez has done a good job at Arizona so far. He was able to beat Oregon last season, but he also lost some big games including one to in-state opponent Arizona State. The Wildcats had to replace their starting quarterback and running back from last season, which is a nightmare in Rich Rod's style of offense. A week one blowout of UNLV silenced those worries for a short period of time, but Arizona then traveled to UTSA and needed a very late interception to seal the win. To be fair, the Wildcats still have a talented team led by a strong receiving corps. However, it spells trouble when they go in as 16-point favorites over a team that has already beaten a member of the PAC 12.
Nevada is not a team Arizona or anyone else should overlook. The Wolf Pack is favored to win the Mountain West thanks to senior quarterback Cody Fajardo. He's a dual threat athlete that will give Arizona's defense a headache. A win over the Wildcats would put them one step closer to a top 25 ranking, which has not happened since 2010.
Head coach Bill Polian is doing a great job of getting Nevada on track after going 4-8 in his inaugural season. The only real concern for the Wolf Pack in this game is figuring out how to slow down Arizona's offense. If they contain the offense then watch out for Nevada.
Arizona has the advantage, but if they play like they did against UTSA then it could be a bad day for the Wildcats.