7 College Football Teams Laughing at Thought of Being on Upset Alert

Randy ChambersAnalyst ISeptember 6, 2012

7 College Football Teams Laughing at Thought of Being on Upset Alert

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    The first week of the college football season didn't really reveal much because most teams were playing high schools disguised as college programs. And while Week 2 still has plenty of cupcake matchups, there are some hidden gems in the upcoming college football schedule.

    There is not a single game where two ranked teams square off, but there are several teams in the polls that should be on upset alert. These are teams that could have their season destroyed if they get caught looking ahead. These are also those matchups that make college football so exciting, as anything can happen on any given Saturday.

    With the weekend right around the corner, here are seven teams that may be laughing now but crying later.

Miami (FL) at No. 21 Kansas State

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    How the Underdog Can Win

    In order for Miami to win this game, it must stop shooting itself in the foot. In last week's victory over Boston College, the Hurricanes had one turnover and nine inexcusable penalties, which resulted in 78 yards moving backward. Miami also needs to let true freshman running back Duke Johnson run like a mad man, as he appears to be the only real offensive threat this team has at the moment.

     

    Prediction

    Last year's meeting came down to the final seconds, with the Kansas State Wildcats shocking everyone in South Florida. This matchup will take place in Kansas, and as of right now, the Wildcats look like the more complete team. Miami let a Boston College team that will be lucky to win five games this season hang around all game long. Kansas State is a legit contender in the Big 12 and should end up winning this ball game.

No. 2 USC vs. Syracuse

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    How the Underdog Can Win

    Pray, and keep the ball away from the offense of the Trojans. USC looked scary good against Hawaii last week and with the Syracuse defense allowing 42 points to Northwestern, things could get ugly if the Orange don't find a way to keep Matt Barkley and company on the sidelines.

     

    Prediction

    Syracuse does have two things going for them, and that's the fact that USC is the one traveling across country to East Rutherford, N.J. The Orange also should have some type of confidence, considering they did play this team close last season, only losing by three touchdowns. (Hey, it could have been much worse.)

    Overall, I just see no way this Syracuse team can pull off an upset, especially with the way that Trojan offense is capable of moving the football with ease.

Purdue at No. 22 Notre Dame

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    How the Underdog Can Win

    This will be a key matchup in the trenches, as Notre Dame has one of the best and experienced offensive lines in the country, while Purdue has a top-five defensive line in the Big Ten. The Irish did a terrific job of protecting the quarterback last week, but that was against an undersized defensive line in the Navy. This will be much different, as the Boilermakers have a projected first-round NFL draft pick in defensive tackle Kawann Short.

     

    Prediction

    It seems like everybody is back on the Notre Dame bandwagon after their Week 1 victory over the Midshipmen. And while Purdue may not be the best team in the Big Ten, they do have a solid defensive front and an experienced quarterback in Robert Marve, who played well in last week's victory.

    Even with this game taking place in Notre Dame, I see a possible upset taking place here. The Irish have a first-year starting quarterback who will get rattled if pressure is generated like I think it will be.

No. 24 Florida at Texas A&M

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    How the Underdog Can Win

    Although the Aggies are the favorites, according to the point spread, the Gators are the team that is ranked heading into this matchup. Texas A&M can simply win this game by stopping the running game of Mike Gillisle. Florida is extremely shaky at the quarterback position, so forcing Jeff Driskel to throw the ball more than he would like would certainly give the Aggies an advantage.

     

    Prediction

    This game is being played in Kyle Field, one of the most difficult places for any college football team to walk out with a victory. But while the home-field advantage favors the Aggies, this is a Florida team that is used to hectic atmospheres playing in the SEC. This will also be the first game of the season for Texas A&M, a team that has a new coaching staff and a true freshman starting at quarterback.  

    Good luck against one of the better defenses in the country.

Washington at No. 3 LSU

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    How the Underdog Can Win

    We all know that Washington has a terrific offense, but look at West Virginia last season and see how the Mountaineers fared against the Tigers. In order for the Huskies to win this game, the defense is going to have to play better than what we are used to seeing from them. We know Washington can score, but can the defense create big plays and become a difference-maker?

     

    Prediction

    While quarterback Keith Price is capable of pulling off an upset if he gets his rhythm down, I just don't see a finesse team going into Tiger Stadium and winning a night game. We are talking about arguably the most physical team in the country, playing in their house, which is considered by many to be the toughest place in college football to play.  

    If an offensive juggernaut like Arkansas couldn't do it last season, Washington likely will fall short as well.

No. 16 Nebraska at UCLA

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    How the Underdog Can Win

    Contain quarterback Taylor Martinez. The dual-threat quarterback was not considered much of a passer last season, but surprisingly, he completed 76 percent of his passes for 354 yards in last week's victory over Southern Miss. It will be up to the front seven of the Bruins to make him beat them with his arm again, as he is still considered a below-average passer, regardless of what he did a week ago.

     

    Prediction

    UCLA had a solid debut under first-year head coach Jim Mora, but it was against Rice, a team that could not stop a dead guy from scoring a touchdown. Nebraska will be a much tougher task, as they are a balanced football team that actually plays defense. Good news for UCLA is that running back Rex Burkhead is questionable for this game, which would make the defense's job a little bit easier if he can't go.   

    Even with that, I still have to go with the Cornhuskers, as they have won six of the past seven meetings and are the more proven team of the two.

No. 7 Georgia at Missouri

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    How the Underdog Can Win

    Play defense. Very similar to what was said in the Washington slide, we know that Missouri is capable of scoring a large amount of points, but can the defense slow down an equally explosive Bulldogs offense?  The Tigers did a great job of holding Southeastern Louisiana to just 223 total yards, but this is a completely different animal.

    If Missouri is able to create a few turnovers, and keep the crowd in the game, the Tigers could shock the rest of the SEC.

     

    Prediction

    I think this game could go either way, but with the game taking place in Columbia, I see a possible upset taking place here. Quarterback James Franklin is more than capable of taking over a game and leading the Tigers to victory, while Georgia looked shaky last week against a terrible Buffalo team.

    The Bulldogs are still without key defensive players, and against a balanced offensive attack, that could cost Georgia their top-10 ranking at the end of this week.