Part of the charm of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship are the upsets courtesy of, supposedly, mid-major schools. It’s been happening for years.
“Smaller” schools taking down their bigger adversaries in football – and we’re talking about FCS schools beating FBS teams – is a newer phenomenon.
Six years ago, Michigan fell to Appalachian State and that victory significantly enhanced the reputation of an entire division (FCS) of college football. Suddenly, it became believable for those schools to compete with higher profile teams.
Last weekend, 8 FCS schools defeated Division 1A programs. Five of those defeats (UConn, Kansas State, Iowa State, Oregon State and South Florida) were suffered by schools in Bowl Championship Series conferences.
Frequently, it’s a breakout performance by an individual that ignites one of these upsets.
In Ames Saturday, Panther David Johnson rushed for a career-best 199 yards and scored four touchdowns, in UNI’s 28-20 win over Iowa State.
“He’s a great player and a Big 12-talented back,” Coach Paul Rhoads said. “There’s no question about that.”
Eastern Washington’s Vernon Adams passed for 411 yards, rushed for 107 and accounted for six TDs in a 49-46 win over the Beavers and Brock Jensen led an 18-play, 8-minute drive for the game-winning score in North Dakota State’s upset in Manhattan.
Perhaps, last week’s results will serve as an “upset alert” for teams this week.
If so, that means Arizona State, Louisville, TCU, Wisconsin, Rutgers, Iowa, Purdue, Clemson, Virginia Tech, UMass, Colorado, Fresno State, Utah, Georgia State, Boise State, Central Michigan, Mississippi State, Maryland, Cal, North Carolina State, Akron, Marshall, SMU, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Mississippi, Texas State, Kansas, Louisiana Tech, La.-Monroe, Texas Tech, Troy, Western Michigan, Vanderbilt and Nevada should be on the lookout.
There will likely be a few more “bracket busters” this week.