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Andy Wittry | | November 10, 2017

Looking back at the 2007 season, the year of the upset

  Arkansas upset No. 1 LSU in triple overtime in 2007.

For the first time in the four-year history of the College Football Playoff, the top four teams in the selection committee's rankings stayed the same in the first two weeks they were released. Even the first team on the wrong side of the playoff cutoff, No. 5 Oklahoma, maintained its position. But have no fear, chaos can, and assuredly will ensue in some form or fashion, because this is college football.

If you want proof, consider the 2007 college football season, which began with Appalachian State's upset of No. 5 Michigan at the Big House, and ended with both the No. 1 and No. 2 teams losing in Weeks 13 and 14.

RELATED: College Football Playoff reactions: Miami, TCU rise in second poll

Let's turn back the clocks 10 years and re-visit "The Year of the Upset," when ranked teams lost to a lower-ranked or unranked opponent 62 times during the regular season and conference championship games, and 29 of those losses were by top 10 teams.

The Year of the Upset: By the numbers

–A ranked team lost to a lower ranked or unranked opponent 62 times during the regular season

–Top 10 teams lost 29 times

–The No. 1 team lost four times

–The No. 2 team lost seven times, all in the final nine weeks of the season

–The No. 1 and No. 2 teams lost in the same week three teams, including in Weeks 13 and 14

–Multiple top 10 teams lost in the same week in nine of the 14 weeks of the regular season, including five top 10 losses in Week 5

–LSU, the eventual national champion, lost twice as the No. 1 team, in Week 7 to Kentucky and in Week 13 to Arkansas

–Oregon lost to an unranked opponent each of the final three weeks of the regular season while being ranked No. 2, No. 9 and No. 17

–Ranked teams from Florida were upset by an unranked team four times, while those same schools upset a ranked opponent three times

Week 1

Number of upsets: Two

Highest-ranked team to lose: Appalachian State def. No. 5 Michigan 34-32

The college football season was all of three days old when Michigan paid Division I-AA opponent Appalachian State to travel to Ann Arbor and the Mountaineers left with a 34-32 win, thanks to a blocked field goal attempt in the final minute. Like many teams in 2007, the Wolverines were on both sides of heartbreak. After falling out of the rankings, they climbed back to upset No. 10 Penn State 14-9 in Week 4, eventually earning the No. 12 ranking in the AP poll, only to be upset by unranked Wisconsin in Week 11.

Week 2

Number of upsets: Three

Highest-ranked team to lose: South Carolina def. No. 11 Georgia 16-12

The second week of the 2007 college football season was the most mild in terms of upsets. Just three ranked teams lost – No. 11 Georgia, No. 17 Auburn and No. 22 Boise State – and two of those outcomes were decided by less than a touchdown.

Ultimately, all three teams ended with respectable seasons. The Bulldogs finished tied for first in the SEC East (although Tennessee won the tiebreaker), the Tigers finished second in the SEC West, and the Broncos finished second in the WAC, only behind Hawaii, which went undefeated in the regular season.

Week 3

Number of upsets: Four

Highest-ranked team to lose: Kentucky def. No. 9 Louisville 40-34

Kentucky, although commonly perceived — for good reason — as a basketball school, was involved in some of the most exciting football games a decade ago. The Wildcats seemed to flip back and forth all season long between playing the role of spoiler and the side whose dreams were spoiled. Their first big win of the season came against in-state rival Louisville, which was ranked ninth in the country at the time.

Week 4

Number of upsets: Four

Highest-ranked team to lose: Michigan def. No. 10 Penn State 14-9

Michigan and Georgia got their chances at redemption in Week 4 after both schools suffered upset losses to unranked opponents in the first three weeks. The Wolverines leaned heavily on running back Mike Hart for 44 carries for 153 yards and the game-winning touchdown against Penn State, the second victory of an eight-game winning streak, and the Bulldogs knocked off Alabama in overtime on Matthew Stafford's touchdown connection with Mikey Henderson.

Week 5

Number of upsets: Eight

Highest-ranked team to lose: Colorado def. No. 3 Oklahoma 27-24

The final weekend of September 2007 was one that will forever be cemented in college football lore. Eight top 25 teams were upset (seven by an unranked opponent), including three teams in the top 5 and half of the top 10, plus a ninth ranked team lost to a fellow ranked opponent. That's roughly one-third of the supposed best programs in the country losing on the same day.

Colorado kicker Kevin Eberhart kicked a 45-yard field goal – the longest he'd made up to that point in his career – as time expired to knock off No. 3 Oklahoma.

Week 6

Number of upsets: Five

Highest-ranked team to lose: Stanford def. No. 2 USC 24-23

Stanford visited USC with backup quarterback Tavita Pritchard under center. In Pritchard's first start of his career, he connected with Richard Sherman – yes, that NFL stud Richard Sherman – on 4th-and-20 to keep the Cardinal's game-winning drive alive, which ended with a touchdown pass on 4th-and-goal. Stanford picked off USC quarterback John David Booty four times in the game.

Week 7

Number of upsets: Six

Highest-ranked team to lose: No. 17 Kentucky def. No. 1 LSU 43-37

Kentucky handed top-ranked LSU its first loss of the season when the Tigers traveled to Lexington for a triple-overtime thriller. LSU kicker Colt David missed a 57-yard field goal as time expired, forcing overtime, where both teams traded a touchdown, then a field goal, before the Tigers couldn't answer the Wildcats' touchdown in the third overtime period. Did we mention that No. 2 California also lost by three points despite having the ball on Oregon State's 12-yard line with five seconds to play? Four other ranked teams were upset in Week 7.

Week 8

Number of upsets: Six

Highest-ranked team to lose: Rutgers def. No. 2 South Florida 30-27

Here is the list of teams that held the No. 2 ranking in the AP Poll in 2007: LSU (seven weeks), USC (two weeks), California, South Florida, Boston College (two weeks), Oregon, Kansas, West Virginia and in the final poll, Georgia. Being ranked second appeared to be the kiss of death 10 years ago, as the No. 2 team lost seven times in the final nine weeks of the regular season.

South Florida was among the victims as a Thursday night game in Piscataway, N.J., against Rutgers as Ray Rice rushed 39 times for 181 yards and Jeremy Ito's 51-yard field goal in the fourth quarter proved to be the game-winner.

Week 9

Number of upsets: Five

Highest-ranked team to lose: No. 23 Connecticut def. No. 10 South Florida

What a tough stretch it was for South Florida, climbing the AP Poll to No. 2, only to lose three consecutive games. In terms of major upsets, Week 9 was mild compared to the rest of the 2007 season. The Bulls were the highest-ranked team to lose as UConn built a 16-0 lead that it never relinquished.

Week 10

Number of upsets: Three

Highest-ranked team to lose: Florida State def. No. 2 Boston College 27-17

After starting the season 8-0, including a pair of road wins over top 15 teams, Boston College reached No. 2 in the AP poll. However, the Eagles lost three times in a five-game stretch, starting with a home loss to Florida State. Matt Ryan threw three interceptions, including a game-sealing pick-six with 1:10 left in the game as the Seminoles upset the Eagles 27-17.

Week 11

Number of upsets: Five

Highest-ranked team to lose: Illinois def. No. 1 Ohio State 28-21

We're entering Week 11 of the 2017 college football season, so if you're looking for perspective on how wild of a week it was 10 years ago, imagine No. 1 Georgia, No. 8 Wisconsin and No. 12 Michigan State all losing this weekend. The teams with those same rankings lost in Week 11 of 2007. If that happened this year, the College Football Playoff ramifications would be extreme. This is all hypothetical of course, but these scenarios provide current day perspective on the upsets of 2007: Georgia would have to win the SEC Championship to make the Playoff, Auburn would be a win away from clinching the SEC West instead of Alabama, and the losses suffered in the Big Ten might rule the conference out of the Playoff.

Week 12

Number of upsets: Three

Highest-ranked team to lose: Arizona def. No. 2 Oregon 34-24

There were just three upsets in Week 12 of the 2007 season, but boy were they big ones. With the season winding down, Arizona knocked off No. 2 Oregon and Texas Tech defeated No. 4 Oklahoma. Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon suffered a knee injury in the first quarter, which derailed the Ducks' season.

It was the second loss for both teams, which normally would have eliminated them from the national title hunt, but in 2007, the top six teams in the final AP Poll finished with two losses. However, Oregon finished the season 9-4 and ranked No. 23, while Oklahoma went 11-3 and finished eighth.

Week 13

Number of upsets: Five

Highest-ranked team to lose: Arkansas def. No. 1 LSU 50-48

The college football games between Nov. 22-24, 2007 highlight the madness of the 2007 season as much as any week. LSU lost its regular season finale in a 50-48 triple-overtime affair against Arkansas, which rushed for 385 yards and five touchdowns, including Darren McFadden's 32-carry, 206-yard, three-touchdown performance on the ground. Peyton Hillis ran in the game-winning score in overtime and Felix Jones converted the two-point attempt.

However, the Tigers rallied to beat Tennessee in the SEC Championship, then Ohio State in the BCS National Championship.

No. 2 Kansas, No. 6 Arizona State, No. 9 Oregon and No. 13 Texas were also upset in Week 11.

Week 14

Number of upsets: Three

Highest-ranked team to lose: No. 9 Oklahoma def. No. 1 Missouri 38-17

What a way for conference play to end. No. 1 Missouri lost in the Big 12 Championship. No. 2 West Virginia lost to a Pittsburgh team that entered the game with a 4-7 record. Both the Big 12 and Big East's national title hopes went out the window, opening the door for LSU to climb five spots in the AP Poll in Week 15 to set up the eventual national title game against Ohio State.

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