College Football Week 7: Five teams on upset alert

These five teams are on upset alert heading into Week 7 of the college football season.

What a season it has been so far. College football fans have to be pleased at the amount of quality action that has come from the 2016 campaign. Some teams are standing out as clear national title contenders while others are just trying to stave off upsets.

While everyone loves top-10 and top-five matchups, upsets are what make college football so exciting. Sure, there can be upsets in top-10 matchups, as you will see in our Week 7 upset alert, but the best underdog victories are those that no one sees coming.

I’m talking Central Michigan over Oklahoma State or North Carolina over Florida State. Upsets like those are what bring college football fans back for more while also making new fans of the sport.

There have been a couple of near-upsets this season that would have truly shaken the college football world. In the first week, Tennessee nearly dropped a home game to Appalachian State, winning in overtime. Clemson nearly fell to Troy, Georgia almost dropped an early contest to Nicholls State and Michigan had a tough time putting away Colorado.

Despite all of the near-upsets, there have also been some great headline-worthy defeats by top programs to unranked foes. Heck, just ask Stanford, Houston and Iowa about that.

Mark my words when I say that the best upsets have yet to happen, though, and Week 7 could be a historic week for underdogs around the country.

Take a look at the five teams that will be on upset alert in Week 7.

Oct 1, 2016; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers quarterback Skyler Howard (3) throws a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the Kansas State Wildcats at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

5

West Virginia Mountaineers

4-0, at Texas Tech

West Virginia has been one of the most impressive teams from the Big 12 this season that no one has talked about. Starting 4-0, the Mountaineers are quietly putting together a College Football Playoff run and are hoping to sneak up on other top dogs in the conference.

However, West Virginia has yet to beat an inferior team soundly this season and it has yet to play a game on the road. In fact, West Virginia’s two largest margins of victory were 15 points against Missouri and 17 against Youngstown State. Those two programs aren’t exactly setting the world on fire.

Couple that with the fact that West Virginia hasn’t seen an offense like Texas Tech’s this season, a serious upset alert must be cast on this contest.

The best pass offense West Virginia has faced this year were Missouri and BYU and they averaged about 262 yards per game through the air against the Mountaineers. Texas Tech is going to exploit that secondary with the top passing offense in college football.

Patrick Mahomes and the Red Raiders might have a field day, at home, against West Virginia in Week 7.

Oct 8, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes tight end Christopher Herndon IV (23) is tackled by Florida State Seminoles defensive back Trey Marshall (20) during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

4

Miami Hurricanes

4-1, vs. North Carolina

For the second consecutive week, the Miami Hurricanes have made my upset alert list. After losing to Florida State at home, the confidence level of the Hurricanes has to be wavering, ever so slightly. Beating Florida State may have vaulted this team into a playoff run, but now that it has dropped to No. 16, confidence could be an issue.

However, there’s a chance to regain some of that early-season mojo this week with a home game against North Carolina. The Tar Heels began the season ranked in the AP Top 25 but fell out after a loss to No. 18 Georgia.

They definitely have the talent to make it back into the rankings, and they proved it a couple of weeks ago with a road win over the same Seminoles team that Miami fell to at home last week. However, North Carolina returned home and basically laid an egg against Virginia Tech, losing 34-3.

It’s tough to put a gauge on just how good this North Carolina team can be. Will the Tar Heels come out and play like the team that beat the Seminoles on the road a couple of weeks ago or the one that was blown out at home against an unproven Virginia Tech team?

My guess is that it will be the impressive Tar Heels as Mitch Trubisky, one of the top quarterbacks in the country, rebounds from his worst career game.

Oct 1, 2016; Lincoln, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini defensive tackle Chunky Clements (11) tackles Nebraska Cornhuskers quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr (4) in the second half at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska won 31-16. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

3

Nebraska Cornhuskers

5-0, at Indiana

Nebraska is off to a hot start in Mike Riley’s second season as the head coach. After a disappointing first year in which the Cornhuskers lost six games by one score or less, the program is looking to make a turnaround. That’s quite evident with the 5-0 record and No. 10 ranking in the latest AP Poll.

The Cornhuskers are getting back to the basics and the team looks to be playing good football through six weeks. However, it’s hard to tell if that’s the product of a favorable schedule or the fact that the Cornhuskers learned from 2015 mistakes.

Looking at the schedule, the toughest game for Nebraska thus far may have been the home contest against a clearly overrated Oregon team which has since dropped to 2-4 on the year. If that wasn’t the toughest game, then it had to have been Northwestern, a team that has already lost to Western Michigan and Southern Illinois this season.

The Indiana Hoosiers are sure to be the toughest matchup thus far as Nebraska will be forced to head down to Bloomington to face one of the toughest offenses in the conference to defend.

This could definitely be an upset special seeing as the Hoosiers pulled off a shocking home win over No. 17 Michigan State just two weeks ago.

Oct 8, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) takes in the touchdown run during the 2nd quarter against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State Buckeyes lead 24-10 at half. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

2

Ohio State Buckeyes

5-0, at Wisconsin

Ohio State is arguably the best team in college football through six weeks. Although Alabama might be ranked No. 1 overall, the Buckeyes have made their case with five blowout victories, one which came on the road against then-No. 14 Oklahoma a few weeks ago.

Facing its toughest test of the season thus far, Ohio State will be traveling to Wisconsin to take on the No. 8 Badgers. While a No. 8 team taking down a No. 2 team might not seem like much of an upset, the Buckeyes will be considered overwhelming favorites in the eyes of anyone who has seen them play this season.

The Buckeyes have been dismantling opponents without breaking a sweat and it seems like Urban Meyer has put together another young team with a ton of potential. He lost guys like Mike Thomas, Joey Bosa, Darron Lee, Eli Apple, Ezekiel Elliott, Braxton Miller and Cardale Jones from last year’s team, but Meyer is proving the Buckeyes don’t rebuild, they reload.

J.T. Barrett is putting together a nice Heisman campaign, but he’s also coming off his worst game of the season. Traveling to Camp Randall is a daunting task for visitors, and that will be that case for Ohio State on Saturday night.

This won’t be an easy win, by any means.

Oct 8, 2016; Fayetteville, AR, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick (29) intercepts a pass against the Arkansas Razorbacks and returns it for a touchdown during the fourth quarter at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium. Alabama defeated Arkansas 49-30. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

1

Alabama Crimson Tide

6-0, at Tennessee

Alabama on upset alert? Yes, indeed. If my upset alert proves to be correct this week, we might have new No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the AP Poll for Week 8. The Crimson Tide will be traveling to Tennessee to take on the No. 9 Volunteers.

Each year, it seems like the Tide either lose a game or come close to falling to a tough opponent, but yet they still tend to make a run at the national title. Tennessee looks to be that team on Alabama’s schedule.

Just look at the Crimson Tide’s remaining schedule. There is one more game that has the potential to end in an upset, but it doesn’t have the same chance as this one. I know what you’re thinking, No. 6 Texas A&M is the better team on the schedule for next week, but I have to say a home game for the Crimson Tide reduces the chance for an upset dramatically.

Texas A&M might be better right now, but Alabama traveling to Knoxville to take on the Tennessee Volunteers has upset written all over it.

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