10 College Football Teams That Are On Upset Alert In Week 5
Upsets and College Football
College football is a sport unlike any other in that each and every game is truly up for grabs, as on any given day, one of the top teams is liable to lose to a team that everyone thought had no chance to win. This had repeatedly played itself out in each and every college football season of recent memory, and last year specifically as we saw three different teams that were ranked No. 1 -- USC, Alabama and Oregon -- in the nation fall to an underdog.
During the 2013 season, this trend of upsets in college football has continued itself thus far in the form of FBS schools losing 13 games to FCS schools this season. These losses have came from a number of conferences -- including Oregon State, Kansas State, South Florida and Iowa -- showing that the gap between the haves and have nots is only getting smaller.
Heading into week five of the college football season, it is likely that the upsets we are seeing will trend back toward the upsets of the big dogs, as inter-conference play is starting up full time for nearly every BCS conference. With this comes the big rivalries that college football fans, players, coaches and the media all love to be around, but which can also be nerve-wracking because of the fact that rivalries pay no attention to what is supposed to happen.
With this nerve-wracking period of college football in mind, we have decided to compile a list of the 10 teams who are on upset alert in week five of the college football season.
With Oklahoma State in the midst of what can only be described as a huge scandal, it will be a challenge every week for Mike Gundy to keep his team focused. Keeping this issue off of the minds of players on the team when going to face a West Virginia program that has only lost seven home games in the last five years will be no easy task.
Coming on the back of a very tough loss to Georgia Tech, the North Carolina Tar Heels will have to be wary of playing against an ECU team that normally treats in-state games as a de-facto bowl game. It is not as if ECU is a slouch either, as they lost a very tight 15-10 game to Virginia Tech last week and are one of the favorites in Conference USA.
As a result of Jadeveon Clowney struggling early on in the season, the University of South Carolina's defense has struggled. This will surely be a worrying prospect when going to face a UCF team that has averaged 36.7 points per game thus far in the season, and held opponents to a mere 12.7 points per game. Head coach Steve Spurrier could have a real ball game on his hands with this one.
Thus far in 2013, the Florida Gators have appeared lost when on offense and are now giving the reins to inexperienced junior Tyler Murphy. He will surely need some time to adjust to the rigors of being a starting quarterback, and could be liable to turn the ball over a few times in this game. Doing so would afford Kentucky the chance to get good field position a couple times, and converting these chances could be the little jolt of momentum needed on their home field to pull off what would be a huge upset.
Stanford will be in danger against Washington State if the game turns into a shootout. Washington State's quarterback Connor Halliday has been a machine in 2013, with his 1,288 passing yards ranking fifth in the nation, and has the ability to tear up any defense. Stanford, meanwhile, has not been nearly as potent on offense, with their 1,197 total offensive yards ranking behind Halliday's total passing, and will have to turn this game into a physical battle in order to win.
NC State will have to avoid their propensity to fall down to their opponents level -- which they showed when they nearly lost to Richmond in week one because of a slow start -- this Saturday when they take on Central Michigan. On top of this, NC State will have to continue to deal with starting quarterback Brandon Mitchell still being out to injury, with their backup quarterbacks proving to be erratic since he went down in Week 1. Given a slow start and continued erratic play from their quarterback, we could find NC State is fighting for their lives in this game.
On paper, it would appear that Fresno State should have a cake walk playing against Hawaii, but football games are not played on paper. The reality of this game is that Fresno State will have to shake off jet lag to play a 12 p.m. game on Sunday morning after traveling all the way to Hawaii; no easy task for a group of young college students. When this is compounded with the fact that Fresno State has won their two games against FBS opponents by a combined total of two points, it is clear they are no dominant force, and could be going out of the top-25 rankings the same week they entered the them.
The Washington Huskies will have their hands full against an Arizona team that ranks fifth in the NCAA in rushing yards per game and third in points allowed per game. Keeping their offensive unit on the field will be crucial for the Huskies, or they could be starting off a three-game losing streak with games coming up against Stanford and Oregon.
Ohio State's first Big Ten matchup of the season has not proved to be a favorable one. This is because they are facing a Wisconsin team that is one of the best at rushing the football in the nation, and will likely keep the ball for a large chunk of Saturday night's game. On top of this, they have the ability to make life miserable for whoever ends up playing quarterback for Ohio State -- Kenny Guiton has been playing the last three weeks as Braxton Miller nurses a knee injury -- and will be looking to avenge last season's 24-17 overtime loss. This game is shaping up to be the toughest test of the Urban Meyer era yet, and appears likely to break his perfect 16-0 record with the Buckeyes.
In what would be the biggest upset of the season thus far, Alabama could be in danger of losing to Ole Miss. Miss will surely have to play the perfect game to pull this one off, but with their mix of effective running and turnover-free pass game thus far in the season, it appears on paper they have the perfect mix to go up against a stout Alabama defense. Now actually stopping Alabama's offense may be quite difficult. It is not impossible, though, and Ole Miss will likely be the Crimson Tide's most dangerous opponent until they face LSU.