College Football: 6 Greatest Upsets of the Past 10 Years
As college football fans, we love upsets. Well, unless our teams are on the wrong end of them.
Those "David vs. Goliath" matchups are usually great not only because they are shocking, but because the games themselves are intriguing to watch.
Some of the greatest moments in college football history come from these games and they are often passionately remembered by respective fanbases.
This article lists the six greatest upsets of the past 10 years in college football.
No. 6: Kansas State Routs No. 1 Ranked Oklahoma
Oklahoma entered the game as the top-ranked team in the land. They were already penciled into the National Championship Game without having even won their conference by many analysts on ESPN and the general media.
The problem was, Kansas State was in their way.
The Wildcats scored 35 unanswered points against the Sooners' defense and shut down Oklahoma's potent offensive attack in the process.
Darren Sproles had 235 yards rushing and 88 yards receiving, along with one touchdown, spearheading the attack and helping Kansas State win the game, 35-7.
Controversy shrouded college football after the game. The Sooners still made the National Championship Game after losing by 28, instead of a deserving USC team.
In the end, the Wildcats and Sooners both barely lost their contests in the Fiesta and Sugar Bowls respectively.
No. 5: Pittsburgh Beats Up No. 2 West Virginia in the Backyard Brawl
The 100th Backyard Brawl will always be remembered for the ramifications that it created.
After playing flawless football all year in the Big East, West Virginia was one victory away from being in the National Championship, with unranked and 4-7 Pittsburgh in their way.
With all of this on the line, the Mountaineers lost to the LeSean McCoy led-Panthers, 13-9.
The story of the game was Pittsburgh's defense, which was able to shut down West Virginia's potent offensive attack after taking Pat White out of the game early.
Mountaineer fans will always remember this game in disgust, thinking back to the two missed field goals in the game and the three costly turnovers.
West Virginia stepped up in their Fiesta Bowl matchup, destroying Oklahoma, 48-28.
No. 4: FCS James Madison Defeats No. 13 Virginia Tech
After losing to Boise State in Landover a week before in heartbreaking fashion, the Hokies were in for a bigger surprise.
James Madison, an FCS school, would beat them at home 21-16, dominating the second half and playing stellar defense against Virginia Tech's elite running game.
Dukes starting quarterback Drew Duzik was apart of all three touchdowns, throwing a 73 yard bomb and scoring two on the ground.
With 5:21 left in the game, the Hokies were driving, hoping to take the lead and avoid the upset.
However, Darren Evans inexplicably fumbled the ball, giving away the game as James Madison ran down the clock to end the contest.
The Hokies bounced back to win 10 straight games, winning an ACC Championship and earning a berth in the Orange Bowl, where they were throttled by No. 4 Stanford.
No. 3: No. 9 Boise State Uses Trickery to Dethrone National Power Oklahoma
OK, I know, Boise State was ranked No. 9 before this much anticipated contest, which was two spots higher than Oklahoma.
However, no analysts or networks were really giving the Broncos a shot against the Big 12 Champion Sooners, especially with top running back Adrian Peterson returning from injury.
Instead of faltering under the criticism, Boise State came out with a fast start, taking an early 28-10 lead in Glendale.
Oklahoma came back late in the game, tying the score with 1:26 remaining and securing the two point conversion. Chaos ensued after this play.
Boise State's starting quarterback Jared Zabransky threw a "Pick Six" on the next play from scrimmage and the Broncos hopes seemed to be dashed.
However, on a 4th-and-18, coach Chris Petersen drew up a "Hook and Ladder" play, which resulted in a touchdown, sending the game into overtime.
After a quick Peterson touchdown, the Broncos responded with a score of their own. Instead of taking the extra point, Petersen went for two, calling the "Statue of Liberty," giving Boise State a 43-42 win.
No. 2: Tavita Pritchard-Led Stanford Upsets USC in the Coliseum
In Jim Harbaugh's biggest win at the time, the 41-point underdog Stanford Cardinal beat the USC Trojans at the Coliseum, ending their 35-game home winning streak.
Yeah, that 41 is not a misprint.
What makes it even more shocking is that Stanford was playing their backup quarterback, Tavita Pritchard, because the starter T.C. Ostrander was out.
After Trojans quarterback John David Booty threw a 47 yard passing touchdown to Ronald Johnson with a little more than 11 minutes remaining, the game was believed to be out of reach for the Cardinal, as USC now led by nine at home.
However, Pritchard did not give up, getting a field goal with 5:43 remaining in the game, making it a one possession game.
After the defense stopped the Trojans offense, Pritchard led one of the most improbable drives ever. On fourth-and-goal from the 10-yard line, the previously backup quarterback threw a strike to Mark Bradford, giving the Cardinal the lead with 49 seconds remaining.
Stanford would hold this advantage, winning 24-23.
USC would still win the Pacific-10 conference and the Rose Bowl, while Stanford stumbled to a four-win season.
No. 1: A Big Upset at the Big House- Appalachian State Shocks No. 5 Michigan
The greatest upset ever. If "David vs. Goliath" were to be personified in a college football sense, Appalachian State vs. Michigan fits the mold perfectly.
Michigan was supposed to contend for a National Championship. With Chad Henne, Mike Hart and Jake Long, this was one of the elite teams in the nation.
No one expected what would transpire in the Big House.
Armanti Edwards led Appalachian State's offense to a 28-14 lead in the second quarter, being apart of all four touchdowns on the board for his team.
The second half would turn out to be a very close defensive battle, where the Wolverines seemingly took the lead, after Mike Hart scored on an improbable 58 yard touchdown.
With 4:36 remaining and down by one point, Edwards engineered one more huge drive, putting the Mountaineers in field goal range without any timeouts. Kicker Julian Rauch converted a 26 yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining, stunning the sold out crowd.
Michigan mounted one last attempt to win the game, with Chad Henne hooking up with Mario Mannigham for a 46 yard reception. Michigan was now on the 20 yard line and needed a field goal for the win.
However, the kick was blocked and Appalachian State ran the clock out by returning the kick to the 5-yard line.
When all was said and done, the Mountaineers prevailed, 34-32. Michigan was knocked out of the Top 25 after their defeat.