College Football: 5 Upset Alerts for September
It's never too early to have major upsets in college football. With more parity in the game, there is seemingly an upset a week by a heavy underdog over a top 25 team.
This September may be no different. With more teams stepping up their non-conference schedule in their search for winning over the BCS computers come October, it is inevitable that several preseason top 25 teams will go down.
Who you ask?
Well we start on the first Saturday of the season where Jesus will be looking on.....
Sept 3, South Florida at Notre Dame
Notre Dame was up and down last year but ended on a high note with a convincing bowl win over Miami.
USF could have been a few plays from winning 11 games, and a few more from just winning five games. They ended with a bowl win over Clemson.
2011 will see these two teams open up at Notre Dame Stadium with the Irish being a heavy favorite. Do not overlook the Bulls.
B.J. Daniels can play at a high level, and with Bobby Eveld waiting for him to make a mistake, look for Daniels to play solid against Notre Dame. Perhaps the real game-breaker is return man Lindsay Lamar, who led the Big East in kick return yards.
Skip Holtz knows what it is like to win in upset fashion on opening day, having done so in 2008 when his East Carolina squad defeated Virginia Tech.
Notre Dame looks past the Bulls and to the Michigan game the following week and falls just short against USF. USF is more athletic and is looking for a signature program win to start the season.
Sept 17, Penn State at Temple
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When Temple coach Al Golden left for Miami, many people in the college football realm said, "That was a nice ride for Temple, now it's back to their losing ways."
That will not be the case, as the Owls still have plenty of talent and a new coach that is used to winning.
Bring in former Florida OC Steve Addazio and you get a proven winner and a new spread option. You also get JUCO recruit Clinton Granger behind center, a position that has hurt the Owls over the past several years.
So how can little old Temple beat Penn State?
The Nittany Lions will be licking their wounds after Alabama has beaten them soundly the week before. Addazio knows the Penn State game plan defensively, having schemed it against them in the Outback Bowl while at Florida.
Look for Temple to control the ball and attack a Penn State run defense that was iffy last year and could be just as iffy this year.
Temple gets a HUGE victory over a major college football power house.
Sept 17, Utah at BYU
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Utah is a Pac-12 South favorite.
BYU is now an independent looking for wins whenever they can get them.
Last year victory escaped the Cougars by a single point in the annual Holy War. This year look for them to get their revenge against a Utah team that will be playing their second straight tough road game.
BYU has an offense that is more than capable of putting up points. Running back J.J. Di Luigi had over 1,000 all purpose yards, and QB Jake Heaps played well down the stretch. The question for the Cougars is on defense, but let the fans at LaVell Edwards Stadium help them out.
BYU in a mild upset over what should be an unbeaten top 20 Utah team.
Sept 24, Florida State at Clemson
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Playing in Death Valley is no laughing matter, unless you're a Clemson Tiger.
When Florida State comes into Memorial Stadium, they will likely be nursing their wounds from a beat down the week before at the hands of Oklahoma. Last year a more talented Seminole team survived by a single field goal at Doak Campbell against the same Clemson team.
The Tigers have new players all over the place, and a new offensive coordinator in Chad Morris that will lean on the legs of Andre Ellington in his run-oriented attack.
Clemson runs the ball, controls the clock, and lets the crowd keep the Seminole offense out of sync. Death Valley celebrates a huge win over a slightly favored FSU team.
Sept 24, LSU at West Virginia
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The Bill Stewart-Dana Holgorson drama is over, and the offensive-minded Holgorson is now the head man in Mountaineer country.
Over the past several years Holgorson has coached Case Keenum and Brandon Weeden, who had exceptional years in his system. Bring in a talented Geno Smith and more of the same is expected in Morgantown.
LSU should be the top team in the nation, and if not, No. 2. They are athletic and quick all over the field, but this will be their first true road test. The Tigers and Les Miles have had their share of issues late in the game. Is another one on the horizon?
Look for West Virginia to stun the nation and open up the national title picture even more heading into October.