One of the great things about college football is that every week there are results that you could have never seen coming, and the 2011 season was no exception.
The following five games are my picks for the top upsets of the year:
Just about everyone expected this game to be a blowout, only they got the winner and loser reversed. While Syracuse wound up finishing dead last in the Big East, its lone conference win happened to come in this game against eventual Big East champs, West Virginia. All Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen could say was, "Syracuse beat us physically on all three sides of the ball. They outplayed us and out-coached us. It's as simple as that."
TCU had a very good season, sweeping its Mountain West conference opponents, but the team had an uncharacteristically poor performance against Southern Methodist of Conference USA. In fact, the Horned Frogs needed a 23-point fourth quarter surge just to bring the game to overtime, where they were unable to score. This loss almost certainly kept TCU from earning a BCS bowl berth, and instead the team will head to the Poinsettia Bowl.
Although Wisconsin will be playing in the Rose Bowl this season, it looked to be a contender to play in the championship game before this road game against Ohio State. Despite being huge underdogs, the Buckeyes went toe-to-toe with the Badgers, and the game ended in spectacular fashion with both teams scoring two touchdowns in the final 4:39. But it was Ohio State's score with 20 seconds remaining that resulted in this Big Ten shocker.
This game looked like it would be a blowout; No. 3 Oklahoma was 6-0, and Texas Tech was widely regarded as one of the weakest Big 12 teams. But what made the Sooners look nearly invincible was the fact that they had won 39 home games in a row. However, Oklahoma struggled on defense, giving up 572 total yards, and the Red Raiders pulled off a huge upset. It was probably a fluke, as Texas Tech lost its last five games of the season after this victory.
When this late season game started, the Cowboys were undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the nation, and were only two wins away from guaranteeing themselves a spot in the BCS championship. However, the far inferior Cyclones team put up a fight, and came back from a 17-point deficit to put the game into overtime. After both teams put up 7 points, Iowa State running back Jeff Woody rushed into the end zone to knock off Oklahoma State in the second overtime. The Cowboys will now have to make due with a trip to the Fiesta Bowl.
Floyd Saunders is a college football fanatic, and he closely follows every season.