Week 9 Upset Alert: Is the Upset of All Upsets Brewing?
Last week was one of the wildest weeks in recent memory in the world of college football, but which favorites should be weary of their opponents in week nine?
One, in particular, may shock you. Brace yourselves, people.
#9 Clemson Tigers (at Maryland)
This is the We Got Embarrassed By Florida State Bowl. On the surface, you would probably think that Maryland's 63-0 loss to the Seminoles was the worst of the two. But when you consider that Clemson was ranked third in the nation AND playing at home in primetime, the 51-14 trouncing that the Tigers received might have been worse. Plus, the score doesn't even do this shellacking justice. It was worse than a 37-point beating.
That's why this game is so interesting. The Terrapins followed up their loss to FSU with a bad loss to Wake Forest. So, naturally, we shouldn't expect them to give Clemson much of a game, right? That's where I think we're wrong. And to me, this is more about Clemson's state of mind. I can't imagine Dabo Swinney's team being mentally ready to go on the road in a tough environment and play spectacularly. I don't care how talented they are. It's a bad spot where a potential letdown could occur. So, that's why the Tigers should most definitely be on upset alert this week.
#6 Stanford Cardinal (at Oregon State)
A lot of people were initially shocked to see a one-loss Stanford team ahead of some of the undefeated teams in the first set of BCS rankings. It's due to them playing a challenging schedule thus far (three Pac-12 games against Top 25 teams), and to be honest, it gets even tougher the next couple of weeks. It all starts with this game against Oregon State. The Beavers have been completely flying under the radar to this point, and it's simply because they haven't played anyone.
Beating Stanford would certainly prove to everyone that Oregon State is for real, and they have the offensive firepower to score enough points to do it. Sean Mannion has been an absolute beast at quarterback in throwing for nearly 3,000 yards and racking up 29 touchdowns through the air. The Beavers are averaging 44 points per game, but this Stanford defense will be a different type of challenge. My guess is that Mannion and the rest of the offense will be up to the challenge, and that we'll have a tight game late in the fourth. Whichever team gets the ball last just might win.
#1 Alabama (vs. Tennessee)
I may be the only person on the planet that thinks that Tennessee has a shot against the undefeated Crimson Tide. But Butch Jones has found something in Knoxville. His quarterback is playing well, his receivers are breaking out, and his defense is finding playmakers. Many point to Connor Shaw's injury being the reason that the Vols were able to pull out of the win last Saturday. In my opinion, it was more than that. It was a season-changing type of win for Jones and his team, which makes me wonder if that momentum will create a memorable performance in Tuscaloosa this weekend.
Yes, I'm well aware that Bama has only allowed 16 points in its last five games. I'm aware that they've only allowed over 10 points one time this season. I'm also aware that they allowed zero points, had zero turnovers, and committed zero penalties against Arkansas last week. So, statistically, there is not one single reason to believe that Tennessee could pull the upset of the year and beat this flawless Alabama team. But for whatever reason, and however crazy it may seem, I truly think the Vols hang with the Tide and have a chance to win it in the fourth quarter.
Which teams do you think should be on upset alert? Let us know by commenting below! And for more college football-related talk, follow @FanIQ or myself on Twitter!