College Football Upset Alert: 10 Teams That Should Be Worried In Week 4
College Football: 10 Teams On Upset Alert In Week 4
In Week 3, the Akron Zips nearly pulled off the upset of the year by knocking off then No. 11 Michigan, a more than five-touchdown favorite, in the Big House. It took a last-second goal line stand by the winningest program in college football to hold off a team with three-straight one-win seasons that hasn’t won a road game in nearly five years. The 28-24 result may have been the Wolverines’ worst ever win, but at least it wasn’t its worst upset defeat in history.
Not a week goes by in college football without an upset or two. You can always bet on a few good teams laying eggs and/or a few mediocre or bad teams rising up and playing beyond their known potential. Week 4 will be no different. The only question: Which teams should be on upset alert?
There are several teams coming off bad Week 3 results that could be a bit hungover and prone to losing to an inferior opponent. There’s one team that’s trying to overcome its historical stigma as a team that always finds a way to derail potentially great seasons. Another team is playing its first “real” game of the season, benefiting from an extremely lax schedule through three weeks. Still, other teams just flat out aren’t playing that well or have off-field distractions that could result in a loss.
Let’s find out which 10 teams are on upset alert in Week 4.
10. Nebraska Cornhuskers
Opponent: South Dakota State (3-0)
Reason to be concerned: Just pull one out of the hat. There’s the distraction from the Bo Pelini tirade about Nebraska fans. There’s the uncertainty of QB Taylor Martinez’s health. Most troubling, however, is the complete absence of any defensive resistance by the Cornhuskers. Anybody can score on this team, even the Jackrabbits.
9. No. 20 Baylor Bears
Opponent: Louisiana-Monroe (2-1)
Reason to be concerned: Baylor is portraying the persona of a top-level team, but the Bears have been skating by with a complete lack of competition so far this season. Baylor has looked impressive through two games, but beating up on Wofford and Buffalo is nothing to brag about. La.-Monroe should be able to push the Bears a lot more than their first two opponents. We’ll see how Baylor responds.
8. No. 3 Clemson Tigers
Opponent: North Carolina State (2-0)
Reason to be concerned: Historically, this is the game in which Clemson pulls a “Clemson” and loses as a heavy favorite to an unranked team. This Tigers team is undoubtedly good, and we keep hearing this year is different. We’ll find out tonight.
7. No. 24 Wisconsin Badgers
Opponent: Purdue (1-2)
Reason to be concerned: Wisconsin might not have moved on from the bizarre, and controversial, ending to its 32-30 loss at Arizona State. The Boilermakers looked much better last week against Notre Dame and could come out and bury the Badgers while they’re down.
6. No. 19 Florida Gators
Opponent: Tennessee (2-1)
Reason to be concerned: Have you seen the Florida offense play? Sure, Tennessee was spanked by 45 points at Oregon last week, but make no mistake, these Gators are no Ducks offensively. Expect the Vols to be a very motivated team this week, not only because of what happened last week, but because of the last eight years – each of which included a loss to Florida.
5. No. 6 LSU Tigers
Opponent: Auburn (3-0)
Reason to be concerned: Auburn is getting better each week, becoming a more well-rounded football team. The Tigers from Alabama showed last week against Mississippi State they can pass the ball pretty well if the rushing attack doesn’t work. Though LSU is heavily favored, games between these two Tigers always seem to be close. You can bet Auburn will out for blood, considering it hasn’t won in Death Valley this century.
4. No. 22 Notre Dame
Opponent: Michigan State (3-0)
Reason to be concerned: At this point, given what we’ve seen from Notre Dame, it’s borderline to call this an upset. The Spartans' ineptitude offensively in two of three games and the fact the Irish are ranked and State is not are the only reasons to characterize it as such. Defensively, however, Michigan State is extremely physical and is not giving up much. The Irish could be in big trouble Saturday.
3. USC Trojans
Opponent: Utah State (2-1)
Reason to be concerned: Number one, Lane Kiffin is the head coach so anything (good or bad) is possible for the USC Trojans. Number two, Utah State QB Chuckie Keeton has thrown for more than 900 yards and 12 touchdowns through three games. He’s very athletic and is leading an offense that averages more than 49 points a game. If last week’s offensive outburst by the Trojans was just a one time thing and they go back to sludging around this week, the Aggies may put what could be the final nail in Kiffin’s coffin (that has a nice ring to it, huh?).
2. No. 5 Stanford Cardinal
Opponent: No. 23 Arizona State (2-0)
Reason to be concerned: Both teams are ranked, so this wouldn’t be a monumental upset. However, Stanford is one of the favorites to win the Pac 12 and compete for a BCS title, so a loss to anyone other than Oregon in the regular season would be an upset. The Cardinal didn’t exactly dominate Army last week in a 34-20 win, while the Sun Devils are surging after their win over Wisconsin. Arizona State looks like its tough enough on both sides of the ball to take down Stanford in the conference opener for each.
1. Virginia Tech Hokies
Opponent: Marshall (2-1)
Reason to be concerned: Virginia Tech doesn’t score very many points, but the Thundering Herd, well, does. The Hokies are 89th in scoring offense, while Marshall is 12th, averaging 46 points per game. The two are tied at 23rd in scoring defense, each allowing 16 points a game. If Virginia Tech hasn’t found some answers offensively by Saturday, the Thundering Herd, led by athletic QB Rakeem Cato, could roll right over the Hokies.