Every Friday, we bring you the Rant Sports College Football Upset Alert, tipping you off to a few games on the Saturday slate that could shake up the landscape.
Here are this week’s upset alert picks:
Shannon Smallwood has his eyes on two games as potential upsets in the making. Shannon sees the Central Florida Golden Knights knocking off the Missouri Tigers in Orlando. The weather won’t be to the Tigers’ liking– as it’s still hot and humid as ever in Florida– and George O’Leary has had two weeks to prepare his senior-laden team for the Mizzou visit.
Shannon also sees the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles knocking off the Louisville Cardinals, who have generated plenty of early buzz due to their explosive offense and dark-horse Heisman Trophy candidate Teddy Bridgewater. Louisville coach Charlie Strong has a history of losing highly winnable games, and Hattiesburg can be a tough place to play. Chalk this one up for Brett Favre‘s alma mater.
Mike Amato likes the Indiana Hoosiers to knock off the Northwestern Wildcats in Bloomington in one of the early slate of games tomorrow morning. Mike notes that Northwestern may be starting to believe a little of their own hype too soon, and could be looking ahead to the bigger fish they have to fry down the road in Big Ten conference play. Indiana has a top offensive unit– in the top 35 in both rushing and passing–and could surprise the Wildcats before they have time to recover.
James Gomez sees the Baylor Bears making a successful trip to Morgantown to knock off the Top 10-ranked West Virginia Mountaineers. Baylor signal-caller Nick Florence hasn’t missed a beat since taking over for Robert Griffin III, and has one of the nation’s deepest receiving corps to work with on Saturday. The power run game favored by West Virginia should be neutralized by the strong Bears defensive ends, and the Mountaineers’ porous secondary is vulnerable– a dangerous combination to say the least.
Ryan McCart sees the Lousiana Tech Bulldogs– a talented team flying under the radar– as having a shot to knock off the Virginia Cavaliers at home. Louisiana Tech’s explosive offense could be too much for Virginia to handle, especially given how soundly they were beaten by the TCU Horned Frogs in Fort Worth last Saturday.
Justine Hendricks agrees with Ryan that Louisiana Tech is one to watch here given that the Bulldogs are 19th in the country in sacks and Virginia is having issues at quarterback. Justine also notes that the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 56-13 in the first quarter, and Virginia has been outscored by a total of 35-13 in their last three first quarters. Advantage, Bulldogs.
Daniel Irwin sees the downtrodden Arkansas Razorbacks making a trip to College Station and pulling off an upset against SEC-newbie, the Texas A&M Aggies. Dan notes that the Hogs won’t be intimidated by the Aggies– especially given the 42-38 come-from-behind win at Texas Stadium in 2011–and basically have nothing to lose at this point. Teams with nothing to lose are very dangerous, and this certainly won’t be an exception.
David LaRose thinks the Tennessee Volunteers will pull off the biggest upset of the weekend and knock off the top 5 Georgia Bulldogs in Athens Saturday afternoon. Tennessee’s dangerous passing attack led by an ever-improving Tyler Bray could be a challenge for the Georgia defense, and, if the Vols’ defense can slow down the Bulldogs’ rushing attack, forcing a shootout, things could tip in Tennessee’s favor quickly.
Chris Hengst sees the Wisconsin Badgers getting back on track and knocking off the Nebraska Cornhuskers tomorrow night in Lincoln. Wisconsin has been effective this season in stopping the run, and if they can force Taylor Martinez into uncomfortable passing situations, the tables could quickly turn into a ball-control match-up which greatly favors the Badgers.
Enjoy the games tomorrow and always make sure to check back every Friday for the Rant Sports College Football Weekly Upset Alert!
Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.
Kris is also the host of the Rant Sports College Football Hour on the TSC Radio Network on Sunday evenings at 8 Central Time and Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.