As much as the upset is a part of college football, so too is the Houdini-like escape of a national power to avoid such a fate.
On Saturday, we saw not one, but two teams pull exactly that, and let another week go by without any questions about where this college football season is going having been answered.
In fact, only one top-25 team fell victim to an upset from an unranked opponent (Miami), although Michigan State and Tennessee did almost everything in their power to add to that number.
In Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide hosted a very hungry Volunteer team that stifled the Crimson Tide attack that had eaten up other SEC defenses. Missed and blocked field goals held the Volunteers from claiming a lead late in the game, but it seemed to not matter, as they lined up for a game tying field goal with four seconds left.
But Terrence Cody, who had blocked an earlier field goal, worked his magic at the point of attack once again, and blocked a second Daniel Lincoln attempt to save the Tide’s hope for a national title run.
Iowa did not have the convenience of home field advantage to aide in their last second touchdown drive of 70 yards on 10 plays, but they used every last tick of the clock to their advantage, saving their season on a Ricky Stanzi touchdown pass with no time left on the clock to send the Hawkeyes to 8-0 for the first time in school history.
Iowa and Alabama were not alone on Saturday as many top teams faced conference opponents who ended up giving them all they could handle, although Miami was the only one to fall. Florida, USC, Utah, and West Virginia all struggled for victories, but were able to make good on their favorite status, claiming victories late in their matchups.
TCU-BYU, which had been the story heading into the weekend, turned into a non-contest, with the Horned Frogs holding down Max Hall and the BYU offense, 38-7.
The second BCS standings are due tomorrow, and likely will look very similar to the ones you saw last week, quite simply because no one loss. One change that might just be in the works would be Iowa taking the No. 5 spot away from Cincinnati.
Last week the Hawkeyes were .0001 points behind the Bearcats, and with the Hawkeyes beating a Michigan State team (4-4) with victories over teams like Michigan and Northwestern.
Cincinnati, on the other hand, beat Louisville (2-5), a team with a slightly less impressive track record, and will likely see the consequences of that in their computer rankings this week.
Without much information on hand, including the very unpredictable nature of the human poll voters, it looks like the Hawkeyes will jump the Bearcats in tomorrow’s BCS standings, but much of the rest of the standings will look very familiar to college football’s faithful.
Without any polling information, here is a quick stab at what the BCS top eight might look like tomorrow.
Projected BCS Standings October 25