WEEK 8 – College Football Crisis Management Award Winner

And then there were none.  While tracking the come-from-behind games each week to identify the one team that overcame the largest deficit for that week, we also tracked teams that had never trailed in a game.  That list was trimmed down to one team two weeks ago – the Louisville Cardinals.  The Cardinals managed to maintain that lone status for one more week by beating Rutgers without trailing in the game, but they fell from the perch this week against UCFUCF not only knocked the Cardinals off of the list of teams to never trail, but also knocked Louisville out of the Top 10 Rankings and off of the list of undefeated FBS teams.  The Knights of UCF achieved all of this by coming back from a huge deficit themselves and almost securing the Week 8, Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award, but one team did them 1 point better.


So far, the 2013 College Football season has been full of fun and excitement, but Week 8 was our first real “WOW” week of College Football – both in terms of football excitement in general and in terms of come-from-behind victories.  Five teams in the AP Top 10 lost in Week 8 – WOW!  Twelve of the 24 teams that won after trailing at some point in the game overcame deficits of 10 points or more – WOW!

After back-to-back weeks of rather timid come-from-behind victories, Week 8 overpowered us with terrific come from behind wins in crucial football games with prominent teams in participation.  Of those 12 games with double-digit comebacks, 6 of them included ranked teams; either as the victors or the victims – WOW!  Louisville, our last remaining team never to have trailed in a game coming into Week 8, not only suffered its first deficit of the year, but ended up losing to UCF which came back from 21 points down to pull off the upset – WOW!  And that wasn’t the biggest comeback of the week – WOW!

In all, 24 of the 49 games played this week with FBS participants were won by teams that trailed at one point or another in the game.  Of the 25 games in which the winning team never trailed, 16 of them were won by the home team.  Thirteen (over half) of the 24 teams that came from behind to win, were visiting teams.  Of the 12 teams which overcame double-digit deficits before pulling out the victory, 9 of them were visiting teams – WOW!

After watching the Friday Night matchup between UCF and Louisville, I was kind of hoping that the 21 point come-from-behind victory would stand up over the weekend.  It just seemed fitting that Louisville, the team that went the deepest into the season without ever trailing, would be the victim of a huge come-from-behind victory in the first game in which they ever trailed.  Given the results of the past few weeks, a 21 point comeback appeared to be a good bet for winning the week, but that was before Duke did them one point better in their comeback over Virginia to win the Week 8 Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award – and get a WOW!

All in all, a terrific week of college football right before the first BCS rankings came out.  Now, let’s hope for some more WOWs to shake up those rankings each week.

Duke Helmet


Duke FootballYes, Virginia, they do play football at Duke.  A traditional college basketball powerhouse, the Duke Blue Devils’ football squad has been a bottom dweller in the ACC Football standings throughout the years.  But, that is starting to change – not the basketball side of the equation, that’s the same, but football is starting to get better.

The Blue Devils were still looking for their first ACC victory of the year (0 – 2, coming into the game) but their overall 4 – 2 record is a sign of a changing culture for Duke Football.  Virginia, also 0 – 2 in conference play coming into the game, was a disappointing 2 – 4 after opening the 2013 campaign with an impressive 19 – 16 victory over BYU.  With both teams looking to get their first win in Conference Play this game would start out as a blow out by one team and end up as a blow out by the other.

Virginia started off the game with an 11 play, 78 yard drive ending with a Kevin Parks 1 yard touchdown run for a quick 7 – 0 lead.  Parks would punch in another 1 yard touchdown run near the end of the first quarter and put the Cavaliers up, 14 – 0.  Early in the 2nd Quarter, when Parks scored his third touchdown of the day on the end of a 13 yard touchdown toss from QB David Watford, and Virginia was successful on a 2 point conversion, the route was on – Virginia 22, Duke 0.  But, as Lee Corso likes to say, “Not so fast”.

Just before halftime, Duke mounted a drive of their own, mostly on the shoulders of QB Anthony BooneBoone accounted for all but 4 yards of Duke’s 62 yard touchdown drive.  Boone ran for 9 yards and completed passes totaling 49 yards, including the drive ending 6 yard touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder.  Still down by 15, Duke was able to go into the halftime locker room with momentum changing to their side.

Although Duke’s first drive of the 3rd quarter ended with a Boone interception at the Virginia 28 yard line, the Blue Devils cut into Virginia’s lead with a 25 yard Ross Martin field goal on their next possession.  Following a 3-and-out by Virginia, Duke started their next drive at their own 47.  On 1st down, Boone connected on a 42 yard pass to Crowder.  Two plays later, Brandon Connette ran in from 6 yards out and the Blue Devils had pulled to within 5 at 22 – 17.

The Blue Devil comeback continued into the 4th quarter as they hit on a Brandon Connette to Braxton Deaver 47 yard touchdown pass.  Making good on a 2-point conversion of their own, Duke had rallied all the way back from being down 22 – 0 to take a 25 – 22 lead and the wind was out of the Cavaliers’ sails.

Virginia missed a would-be game-tying 44 yard field goal on their next possession and Duke put the pedal to the metal continuing their onslaught.  Duke’s 9 play, 73 yard drive was capped off by a Boone to Deaver 24 yard pass and the Blue Devils were now on top by 10.

The Blue Devils added one more Martin field goal, this one from 32 yards out, for good measure to complete their victory.  After allowing Virginia to march out to a 22 point lead early in the game, the Blue Devils piled up 35 unanswered points to secure their first ACC win of the season and take home the Week 8 Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award.

Certificate - Week 8 - Duke


Businesses, just like college football teams, can experience huge deficits from business interruption events in which they must rally from behind to stay in the game.  In the area of Crisis Management, game day is the arrival of the tornado; the coming floods; the day the hurricane strikes; a fire; a regional pandemic; technology failures; or any of a variety of risks and threats that can interrupt your business processes and/or the technologies that support them.  And, just like college football teams, your ability to overcome these deficits is directly related to the time and effort you put into planning your strategies and practicing your emergency response, business continuity and disaster recovery plays.

Safe Harbor Consulting has assisted companies and organizations, large and small, in preparing and exercising their crisis management and business continuity playbooks.  To learn more about how Safe Harbor Consulting can help you prepare for your greatest comeback, please visit our website at www.safeharborconsulting.biz; visit us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Safe-Harbor-Consulting/204353729604053; or, call us at (253) 509-0233.

Congratulations once again to the Duke Blue Devils for overcoming adversity and rallying back from the largest deficit faced by a winning team during Week 8 of the 2013 college football season.   Week 8 shook up the BCS standings before they even came out and, while pundits discuss who should and/or should not be near the top of the rankings, we will patiently wait to watch the rest of the season unfold and work itself out – the same way it seems to every year.

Week 8 – Honorable Mention

UCF coming from 21 behind to beat Louisville 38 – 35.


Week 7 – Winner  (To read the Week t article, click here.)

San Diego State coming from 14 behind to beat Air Force 27 – 20.


Week 6 – Winner  (To read the Week 6 article, click here.)

San Jose State coming from 11 behind to beat Hawaii 37 – 27.


Week 5 – Winner  (To read the Week 5 article, click here.)

San Diego State coming from 16 behind to beat New Mexico State 26 -16.


Week 4 – Winner  (To read the Week 4 article, click here.)

Northern Illinois coming from 20 behind to beat Eastern Illinois 43 – 39


Week 3 – Winner (To read the Week 3 article, click here.)

UNLV coming from 21 behind to beat Central Michigan 31 – 21


Week 2 – Winner (To read the Week 2 article, click here.)

SMU coming from 17 behind to beat Montana State 31 – 30


Week 1 – Winners (To read the Week 1 article, click here.)

North Dakota State coming from 14 behind to beat Kansas State 24 -21

Troy coming from 14 behind to beat UAB 34 – 31

Thank you for your input.