WEEK 9 – College Football Crisis Management Award Winner

Compared to last week’s WOW week in College Football, Week 9 was a bit timid and, yet, still very exciting.  Two of the 10 teams that were undefeated coming into Week 9 received their first lost and, as a result, fell in the BCS rankings: Missouri, which lost to South Carolina fell from #5 to # 9 in the BCS; and, Texas Tech, losers to Oklahoma, fell from #10 to # 15.  Of the 8 teams which remain undefeated on the 2013 college football season, 6 of them rank in the BCS top 7: Alabama at #1; Oregon, #2; Florida State, #3; Ohio State, #4; Baylor, #6; and, Miami (FL), #7.  Fresno State (BCS #16) and Northern Illinois (BCS #17) are the other two undefeated teams, looming large as BCS Busters.

As an equal opportunity blogger, we wish to note the five FBS teams that remain un-victorious.  Still looking for their first win of the 2013 college football season are: Connecticut, Southern Mississippi, Miami (OH), Hawaii, and Georgia State.  None of those teams are ranked in the BCS.

In last week’s blog, we suggested that the Duke Blue Devils – our Week 8 Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award winner – were changing the culture at Duke Football and learning how to win.  Well, to prove us right, the Blue Devils pulled off an upset over #14 Virginia Tech, 13 – 10.  Thanks for making us look smart – it happens so infrequently.


After having two weeks in a row (Week 6 and Week 7) in which the College Football Crisis Management Award winner overcame relatively small deficits to win our award, Week 9 was the second week in a row in which our winner overcame a deficit of more than 20 points.  Last week, Duke bested Virginia after trailing by 22 points and, this week, SMU came back from 21 points down to defeat Temple, 59 – 49 and become our second two-time award recipient.

Of the 56 college football games that included at least one FBS member, 29 of them were won by teams that trailed at one point or another in the game.  Of those 29 teams, 7 overcame deficits of 10 or more points.  Of the 27 games in which the winning team never trailed, 19 of them were won by the home team.

There were 10 undefeated teams entering Week 9 – two of them took their first lost.  Both teams taking their first lost did so to teams which trailed at one point in the game: Oklahoma overcame a 7 point deficit to hand Texas Tech its first lost, 38 – 30; and, South Carolina overcame a 17 point deficit to defeat Missouri in overtime, 27 – 24.  South Carolina’s feat was good enough to win our Honorable Mention this week.

Of the 8 remaining undefeated teams: 5 of them never trailed in their Week 9 contest; Miami (FL) had to overcome an 11 point deficit to defeat Wake Forest in the last minutes of their game to remain undefeated; Fresno State came back from 7 points down to defeat San Diego State in overtime; and, Oregon trailed UCLA by 7 early in their contest before pulling away in the second half to win easily, 42 – 14.

As the calendar turns to November, each week in college football has the potential to either clear up or muddy up the BCS picture.  This just helps take the excitement of college football to a higher level.  As we continue to keep a close eye on those undefeated and high ranking teams, we will also hope that the games that impact the standings include some great come-from-behind victories.

smu helmet


SMUThe Southern Methodist University Mustangs have become a familiar program in our promotion this year.  The Mustangs were our Week 2 winners after rallying back from 17 points behind to defeat Montana State, 31 – 30.  Then, in Week 6, the Mustangs were recognized as an “almost” winner after rallying from 21 points down to force overtime against Rutgers before falling in the 3rd OT period.  Now, once again, in Week 9, SMU is back in our blog as the second, two-time winner of the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award joining San Diego State which won our award in Weeks 5 and 7.

SMU, playing in the inaugural season of the American Athletic Conference (AAC), was set to host the Temple Owls on Homecoming Saturday with an opportunity to go 2 – 1 in the conference and remain in the running for the AAC’s automatic BCS bid.  Temple, already 0 – 3 in conference play and coming off of their first win of the season, over Army, came into Dallas hoping to build on last week’s momentum.

The Mustangs got the Homecoming crowd into a good mood when they scored early in the 1st Quarter on a Traylon Shead 11 yard touchdown run for a 7 – 0 lead.  But, the mood soured quickly when Temple hit for two long touchdown passes before the 1st quarter expired.  The first pass was a 42 yarder from P.J. Walker to Robbie Anderson and the second one was an even longer 82 yard end around pass to Anderson from wide receiver Jalen Fitzpatrick.

The Owls then connected on two more passing touchdowns early in the 2nd quarter to put Temple up 28 – 7 in front of a stunned and silenced Homecoming crowd.  Both 2nd quarter passes were 18 yard strikes; one from Walker to John Christopher and the other from Walker to Ryan Alderman.

SMU was able to reach the end-zone just before the half ended on a Garrett Gilbert to Keenan Holman 19 yard pass to make the score somewhat respectable and give the returning alumni something to cheer about while mingling with old friends.

I am not sure what Head Coach June Jones fed those men at halftime, but the Mustangs that showed up for the 2nd half of football appeared to be a different club then the one the entered the locker room at halftime.  The first Mustangs’ possession of the 3rd quarter ended with a 17 yard touchdown pass from Gilbert to Der-rikk Thompson to pull SMU to within 7 points at 28 – 21.  Temple answered on their next possession with a P.J. Walker rushing touchdown from 6 yards out following a 50 yard run from scrimmage by Zaire Williams, but the Mustangs were just getting started.

The Mustangs’ second possession of quarter number 3 ended with a Gilbert 10 yard run to bring SMU back to within 7.  And the third Mustangs’ possession tied it up at 35 – 35 following a Gilbert to Holman 64 yard touchdown pass.

And, the Mustang stampede continued into the 4th quarter when SMU scored on their 4th straight possession of the 2nd half on a Prescott Line 2 yard touchdown run to put the Mustangs on top at 42 – 35, their first lead since it was 7 – 0.

Temple tied the game up at 42 – 42 on a Walker to Kenneth Harper 4 yard touchdown pass, but they could not slow down the Mustang offense.  On possession number 5 of half number 2, SMU hit on a Chase Hover 21 yard field goal.  On possession number 6, it was another Gilbert to Holman long touchdown bomb – this one 50 yards.  And on possession number 7 of the second half, Gilbert ran in for his second rushing touchdown of the afternoon to make the score SMU 59, Temple 42.

Temple scored one more touchdown on a Harper 2 yard run to make the score appear closer and, finally, the SMU offense was stopped – but, only by the final gun, ending the game.

When the final statistics were tallied, it showed that Garrett Gilbert had amassed an amazing 635 yards of total offense (538 yards passing / 97 yards rushing) and accounted for 6 touchdowns (4 passing / 2 running).  209 of the 538 passing yards went to Keenan Holman who was on the end of 3 of the touchdown passes.

At the end of the day, the homecoming crowd was happy with a win; SMU had a winning conference record at 2 – 1; and, the Mustangs had won their second Safe Harbor Consulting Crisis Management Award for 2012, joining San Diego State as a two time winner of this award.

Certificate - Week 9 - SMU


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 SMU Mustangs for overcoming adversity and rallying back from the largest deficit faced by a winning team during Week 9 of the 2013 college football season.   Now, bring on November and bring on Week 10.

Week 9 – Honorable Mention

South Carolina coming from 17 behind to beat Missouri, 27 -24 in OT.


Week 8 – Winner  (To read the Week 8 article, click here.)

Duke coming from 22 behind to beat Virginia, 35 – 22.


Week 7 – Winner  (To read the Week 7 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.