Predicting the 25 Greatest College Football Upsets in 2013
The upset is one of the most intriguing parts of college football, and like any other year, the 2013 season should be filled with them.
There are upsets that have a dramatic impact on a season, while others are not as important.
It is never easy to predict an upset, and even though there are certain to be some this coming season, it is hard to pinpoint exactly where and when they will come.
We are going to give it a shot and predict the biggest upsets of the 2013 college football season.
While some are more of a stretch than others, there is a possibility that they all could happen.
Here in no particular order are 25 upsets that could define the college football season.
*Upsets would be games that will have an estimated point spread of seven or more
Vanderbilt over South Carolina
Everybody knows how talented South Carolina is, but Vanderbilt proved last season that it could hang with the big boys.
The Commodores won nine games a year ago, including the final seven. That momentum should carry very well into the 2013 season.
In Week 3, Vanderbilt takes to the road for the first time on the season when it takes on South Carolina.
Wide receiver Jordan Matthews could be a matchup problem for the Gamecocks' secondary and this could be a huge early season SEC upset.
Toledo over Florida
Florida is a team that will need to put some points on the board to have a successful season, and while that might happen in the season opener against Toledo, the Rockets offense can put some points on the board as well.
Toledo won nine games a season ago. The Rockets bring back quarterback Terrance Owens and running back David Fluellen.
These are two of the most explosive players in the MAC. Toss in wide receivers Bernard Reedy and Alonzo Russell and the Rockets have an offense that can move the ball with anybody.
The Gators are at home, but might want to be on upset alert in this one.
Northwestern over Ohio State
Northwestern finally got over the hump last season, winning 10 games and earning a bowl victory.
This year the Wildcats will have a bigger target on their back, but should be up to the challenge all season long.
One team who the Wildcats always seem to give trouble is Ohio State
The Buckeyes struggled a few times on the road in 2012. This could be a tough one for Ohio State, one week after a night game against Wisconsin.
Stopping Northwestern running back Venric Mark will be a huge challenge for Ohio State.
Arizona State over Notre Dame
Notre Dame managed to dodge a few upsets last season, and it is hard to imagine that happening again in 2013.
One upset that might happen in the middle of the season is Arizona State over Notre Dame
This game will be played at Cowboy Stadium, and while it might be a neutral crowd, there could be a home-field advantage if Arizona State can hang around.
The Sun Devils won eight games last season, and quarterback Taylor Kelly will begin his second full season as the starter.
Notre Dame might have some trouble running the football with defensive tackle Will Sutton clogging the middle for the Sun Devils.
That could be the difference in this one.
Kentucky over Louisville
The legend of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater continues to grow for Louisville. The Cardinals have a shot to be in national championship contention, but will have to win every game to do so.
Louisville takes on rival Kentucky the third game of the season, and there is a lot of hoopla surrounding the Wildcats this season with new head coach Mark Stoops taking over the program.
Kentucky is going to be more pumped for this game than any other this season, and it is going to take a complete effort for Louisville to come out on top.
A few Bridgewater picks and this could get interesting.
Georgia Tech over Georgia
This is another rivalry game that always has chance to go either way.
In recent years, Georgia has been the much more talented team, and that is likely to be the case once again in 2013.
Everybody knows about the talent of Georgia, but this game is not necessarily a pushover.
Georgia Tech is an interesting team and might be better at the end of the season with Vad Lee taking over for Tevin Washington at the quarterback position.
He is a dual threat who could be very tough to stop by the end of the year.
That might be bad news for the Bulldogs defense.
Arkansas over South Carolina
It might take Arkansas some time to get back to where it once was, but by the time the Razorbacks take on South Carolina midway through the season, it might be well on its way.
Arkansas is likely going to try to run the football, and South Carolina has a defensive front that is one of the best in college, led by defensive end Jadeveon Clowney.
The Arkansas running attack has the potential to give this group some problems.
South Carolina has a very easy SEC schedule midway through the season, but should not overlook this game.
Miami over Florida State
Miami might still be a year away from being back in the national spotlight, but the Hurricanes can pull off an upset or two this season.
The game will take place in Tallahassee, and it comes midway through the season.
Running back Duke Johnson should be one of the best in the ACC. No question that he will be the biggest concern for the Florida State defense coming into this one.
The development of Florida State freshman quarterback Jameis Winston might be the key to this game.
Vanderbilt over Florida
Vanderbilt is a team that could pull off a number of upsets in 2013, and Florida is a team that could suffer a few of its own.
This game is in Gainesville, which will make the upset a little harder to come by, but Vanderbilt will be looking to enact some revenge after suffering a 31-17 home loss in 2012.
The 2013 version of this game might be lower scoring than the 2012 contest, and the talented Florida secondary will have to try to find a way to stop Vanderbilt wide receiver Jordan Mathews.
If that does not happen, an upset could be in store for Florida.
Syracuse over Clemson
Syracuse never has a problem hanging with the big boys, and taking down a team as talented as Clemson is no easy task.
The Orange are not only joining the ACC, but they also have a lot of talent to replace including quarterback Ryan Nassib.
This is a home game for Syracuse. The Orange have the perfect balance of offense and defense to hang around in this one.
An upset could be in the making.
Ole Miss over Texas
Ole Miss was manhandled by Texas at home last season, and even though the game is on the road in 2013, Ole Miss will be much improved.
The 2012 game was the best the Texas offense played all season, winning 66-31.
No chance that happens again, as Ole Miss will be more talented than last season.
The upset chances for Ole Miss will likely hinge on the play of Texas quarterback David Ash.
Mississippi State over Oklahoma State
This game is another SEC/Big 12 battle that will be one of the best matchups of opening weekend.
The game will be played at Reliant Stadium in Houston and Oklahoma State is certain to be a favorite in this one.
The Mississippi State defense has enough talent to slow down the talented Oklahoma State offense and this game should be close from start to finish.
There is no question that this game could go either way.
Nevada over UCLA
Nevada is always a dangerous team. The Wolf Pack begin the season with a road game against UCLA.
The Bruins started off the season very strong in 2012, but that is going to be hard to duplicate in 2013.
Sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley will have to do it without star running back Johnathan Franklin.
UCLA will likely be ranked in the top 25 to start the season, but that seems to be a little too high as the season approaches.
Quarterback Cody Fajardo should be much improved entering his junior season and he could be the difference in this one.
Tulsa over Oklahoma
This one might seem a little far-fetched at first, but upon further review it is very possible.
The Tulsa Golden Hurricane won 11 games last season and return running backs Trey Watts and Ja'Terian Douglas.
Those two guys will be a load for the Sooners to handle. The Oklahoma defense has been susceptible to dynamic offenses. That is exactly what Tulsa possesses. The Golden Hurricane finished in the top 30 in offense last season.
It is in Norman, but is the third game of the season. Tulsa might have an advantage with the early game as Oklahoma is still searching for a quarterback.
Washington over Oregon
Oregon only has a few games in which it could stumble, but one of them might be a road game against Washington.
The Huskies are very talented, particularly at the skill positions with running back Bishop Sankey and quarterback Keith Price.
There is enough talent up front for the Huskies to control the ball and possibly keep the Oregon offense off the field a little bit.
Bishop Sankey will be a key to an upset for Washington.
Northwestern over Michigan
Northwestern has the benefit of getting Ohio State and Michigan at home.
While it is not likely, there is a chance it could win both games.
The Wildcats have a dynamic rushing attack that ranked in the top 20 in the country last season, averaging over 225 yards a game on the ground. The Michigan front seven will be severely tested.
Look for running back Venric Mark to try to control the game. The combination of defense along with the rushing attack could allow the Wildcats to hang close and possibly pull off the upset in this game.
Vanderbilt over Georgia
Vanderbilt is on this list more times than once, and for good reason.
The Commodores have the defense and coaching to hang around with anybody, and a home game against Georgia in the middle of October will be another potential upset.
Georgia can beat teams with its running back tandem or through the air with quarterback Aaron Murray.
The Vanderbilt defense has the talent to slow the team down. The Commodores ranked 15th in the country last season, only allowing 18.7 points a game.
This one could be closer than some may expect.
San Diego State vs. Boise State
Boise State has a schedule that could allow it to win every game. There are however a few stumbling blocks.
One of those is the last road game of the season against San Diego State.
The Aztecs are very talented, going 9-4 last season and finishing in a three-way tie with Boise State and Fresno State in the Mountain West.
San Diego State did lose quarterback Ryan Katz, but running back Adam Muema is coming back.
The Boise State front seven will be severely tested in this one against a team that ranked 20th in the country last year averaging over 220 yards a game on the ground.
California over USC
This may not seem like an upset to some, but Cal only won three games last season and USC returns a ton of talent.
Cal is at home and the Golden Bears could be a very interesting team in 2013.
New head coach Sonny Dykes will bring an offensive mind to the program and Cal will be throwing the ball around as much as possible.
The Trojans secondary will be tested big time.
This has upset written all over it.
Purdue over Ohio State
Ohio State has trouble with Purdue more often than some people might think.
The first weekend of November, Ohio State comes to West Lafayette in a game that could ruin the perfect Ohio State season.
Purdue has defeated Ohio State three of the past seven matchups and nearly ruined the Buckeyes undefeated season in 2012.
The Boilermakers have also won three of the last four in West Lafayette.
This is always a scary game for Ohio State, and new head coach Darrell Hazell will have Purdue headed in the right direction for sure.
BYU over Notre Dame
BYU nearly knocked off Notre Dame last season. This year the game is in South Bend, so the task will not be easy, but the Fighting Irish are not going to be as talented as last season, and the Cougars have plenty coming back.
The schedule is not easy for BYU, but it takes on Notre Dame a week after playing Idaho State, so the Cougars should be ready for this one.
The Notre Dame secondary will have to find a way to slow down BYU wide receiver Cody Hoffman.
If it can't, BYU will win this game and enact some revenge on the Fighting Irish.
Cincinnati over Louisville
Louisville travels less than 100 miles north to take on Cincinnati in the season finale.
The game could be for the conference title, but it could also be a huge upset.
There is no question that the Cardinals will be ranked in the top 10 to kick off the season and could very well be undefeated heading into the finale.
This is a huge rivalry game, but could be the last time these two teams play for a while with Louisville heading to the ACC in 2014.
Cincinnati can get to the quarterback and that might be the difference in helping force turnovers and disrupt Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Miami over Florida
As mentioned earlier, Miami is a very talented team, but it is also still relatively young.
The clash with Florida is only the second game of the season, and that might not be a good thing for a Hurricanes team that is still very young.
They do have Duke Johnson, however. The running back could be one of the most explosive in the country by the end of next season and is already as good a special teams player as there is in the country.
Miami is at home and this will be a huge way to get the season started off right for the Hurricanes.
The Miami defense has its weakness, but the Florida offense is not much better either.
Three touchdowns could win this game and the Hurricanes might be able to get just that.
Syracuse over Florida State
There is one game every season in which Florida State does not show up, and this might just be that game.
The Orange are not afraid to pull off an upset once in a while, and the Seminoles are certainly susceptible to them.
The game is in Tallahassee, but that does not seem to matter.
Catching Florida State looking ahead to Florida two weeks down the road is the best hope for Syracuse to pull off the upset.
Vanderbilt over Texas A&M
The final game on the list is another potential Vanderbilt upset.
Texas A&M might be one of the best teams in the country, but Vanderbilt has the defensive talent to hang around with the Aggies.
The game is in College Station, but Texas A&M lost two games there last season and Vanderbilt has some playmakers on offense to put some points on the board.
Look for this game to be closer than a lot of people might expect. An upset here is certainly possible.