College Football Roundup: Underdogs Impress, Even in Defeat

Paul Augustin, Jr.Senior Analyst ISeptember 7, 2008

College football is well underway now with two weeks in the books.  On paper, Week Two seemed like a snoozer.  It's a good thing these games aren't played on paper.  Several teams pulled off or nearly pulled off huge upsets.

Let's take a look at three key headlines.

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

Just in case you thought East Carolina's win in Week One was a fluke, the Pirates went out and put a hurtin' on the West Virginia Mountaineers—the previously No. 8 in the country West Virginia Mountaineers.

Not only did Skip Holtz's squad slow down Pat White's high-flying offense, they nearly shut them out.  The Pirates take their show on the road next week as they open up conference play against Tulane.  Don't expect an upset here.  The Pirates should be heavily favored.

Oh(io) so close, Bob(cats)!

THE Ohio State University was supposed to roll over its in-state opponent.  Even without superstar running back Beanie Wells, the Buckeyes were 33-point favorites. 

Despite committing five turnovers, THE Ohio Bobcats led the No. 3 team in the country 14-12 in Columbus.  They limited QB Todd Boeckman to 110 yards passing and offensively converted nine third downs.

In the end, THE Ohio Bobcats remembered who they are.  They muffed a punt and later allowed the Buckeyes to return one of their own for a score. 

Take that, Ol' Ball Coach!

After winning his first 14 games as a head coach against Vanderbilt, Steve Spurrier's teams have now dropped two straight.  The Commodores' upset win over the Gamecocks sure will knock South Carolina out of the top 25.

To get the win, Vanderbilt leaned on their running game to gain 135 yards on the ground with two touchdowns and on their defense to force three turnovers.

South Carolina must rebound quickly as they host the Georgia Bulldogs.  Vanderbilt has a chance to start the season 4-0 as they host the Rice Owls and visit the Ole Miss Rebels for the next two ballgames before hosting the Auburn Tigers.

Buy: East Carolina's BCS bowl chances.  After dusting off No. 17 Va Tech and No. 8 West Virginia, the Pirates should be favored in the rest of their games.

Sell: West Virginia's BCS title game chances.  The Mountaineers continue a tough non-conference schedule.  Next week they travel to play the Buffs in Boulder, CO and still must play host to Auburn. 

Buy: Chris Todd as Auburn's starting quarterback.  Auburn came into the season with questions at quarterback.  Consider those questions answered after Todd completed 21 of 31 for nearly 250 yards.

Sell: Alabama as a top 15 team...for the moment.  After destroying an over-hyped Clemson team, Bama needed all of its special teams' heroics to fend off a lowly Tulane team at home.  John Parker Wilson completed less than half of his passes for 73 yards.

Top 10

Team                This Week                   Last Week

Oklahoma           1                                2

USC                   2                                3

Georgia              3                                4

Ohio State          4                                1

Missouri             5                                 5

Florida               6                                 6

Arizona State     7                                 8

Texas Tech         8                                 9

LSU                   9                                 10

Auburn              10                                NR

Dropped out: No. 7 West Virginia

Knocking on the door: Texas, Wisconsin, East Carolina

Comments on top 10:

1) Ohio State gets dropped below USC because I now think that USC will beat the Buckeyes on Sep. 13.

2) I was surprised to see how long it took for Florida's offense to really get untracked against Miami.  They only had nine points after three quarters.

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