|Upsets and Surprises Across the NCAA Football Landscape|
|Tuesday, 02 October 2007 16:00|
College Football Shakeup
It was upset Saturday in the colleges as the dogs went hunting and nabbed victories over nearly half of America's top-rated clubs while September 2007 made it's swan song amid significant shakeups in major rankings polls.
Top-ranked USC avoided an upset, but highly-rated teams such as Florida, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia bit the dust.
Rutgers, the best consensus bet in the Las Vegas Leroy's College Challenge went down, as did three of the other Top 5 picks, with only Cincinnati managing a win.
USC managed to cling to the No. 1 rating in the USA Today Coaches Poll, but LSU narrowly nosed out the Trojans for the top spot in the cosest Associated Press balloting in five years.
AP had it LSU, USC, Cal -- which beat Oregon as a dog -- Ohio and Wisconsin, while the coaches checked in the same way, except at the top.
Professional Handicappers League member Steve Zukiel agrees with the new AP lineup and is high on South Florida, which catapulted into the Top 10 after beating West Virginia 21-13.
"LSU is the best team in football right now," Zukiel said.
"USC definitely is a close second.
"The next three don't have the same luster as the previous Top 5 did, but I love No. 6.
The sheer number of upsets made picking the biggest a bit tough, but Zukiel chose defending national champion Florida's 20-17 loss to Auburn in a key SEC encounter.
"The Tigers were the only team to defeat the Gators last season, so I really expected them to come out firing," he said.
One of the biggest rivalry games in college football is this weekend's annual Red River Shootout in Dallas between Texas and Oklahoma, but Zukiel considers the gild off that lily due to Saturday losses by both.
"Absolutely!" he said.
"It really doesn't mean that much right now."
The Canadian-based handicapper also says the Big Ten has seen some monumental changes over the past month that have dispatched veteran Coach Joe Paterno and his Penn State eleven to the outside of Happy Valley looking in.
"Oh God yes!" Zukiel said.
"They really hadn't defeated anybody worth mentioning, with home wins against Florida International, Notre Dame and Buffalo.
"Now they have lost two straight to Michigan and Illinois.
"I love Wisconsin and they and the Wolverinesare the teams to beat in the Big 10."
Zukiel says Saturday's slaughterhouse just supports what Longhorns Coach Mack Brown said entering the campaign.
"Brown said it at the beginning of the season that you are starting to see a lot more parity in college football and upsets are going to be a big part of the picture," Zukiel declared.
"With that being said, yes, I can see the Trojans getting knocked off. Will they is a totally different story."
by: Michael Cash - theSpread.com - Email Us
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