Archive for Joe Flach

College Football Crisis Management Award – Week 9

Yes, Week 9 in college football did have three games with 100+ points scored; yes, Week 9 did have two double-overtime games with Big 5 opponents; yes, Week 9 did have a Top 4 team lose, thus, shaking up the playoff picture; but, given what we have grown accustomed to, Week 9 was a pretty tame week in FBS College Football.  Or, maybe, I’ve just gotten spoiled.

Week 9 consisted of a total of 49 college football games with at least 1 FBS contestant.  For the first time since Week 3, over half of those games were won by teams that never trailed in the game; 27 games (55%).  With a year low 22 games with some kind of comeback, only 5 of those games, for the second week in a row, included comebacks of 10 points or more.  And, to top off the relatively uneventful week, the largest comeback, achieved by two teams, was a rather pedestrian 15 point comeback.

The Mustangs of SMU continue to struggle through their 2014 football campaign losing once again without ever having a lead – this time, to Memphis by a final score of 48 – 10.  Georgia Tech and UCF both played their first games of the year that did not include some kind of comeback, meaning there are no more FBS teams that have played in games that always included some kind of comeback win.  In Georgia Tech’s case, the Yellow Jackets never trailed in their 56 – 28 victory over Pittsburgh; in Central Florida’s case, they beat Temple, 34 – 14 without ever giving up the lead.

In losing to Toledo, 42 – 35, after having held a 13 point lead, Massachusetts joins Western Kentucky as the two teams with the most loses after holding a double-digit lead.

TEAMS THAT HAVE NEVER HELD THE LEAD

SMU

TEAMS WITH THE MOST DOUBLE-DIGIT COMEBACKS

3: Iowa     2: Bowling Green, California, Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Illinois, Kentucky, LSU, Nevada, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Florida, Toledo, UAB, Washington

TEAMS WITH THE MOST DOUBLE-DIGIT COLLAPSES

4: Massachusetts, Western Kentucky    3: Ball State    2: BYU, Buffalo, Colorado, Florida International, Georgia State, Hawaii, Iowa, Iowa State, Louisiana-Monroe, Purdue, South Carolina, Troy,

In the Week 9 double digit comebacks: Nevada had to overcome a 10 point deficit in the early morning hours, defeating Hawaii, 26 – 18 out in the islands.  As mentioned above, Toledo rallied back after being 13 points down against Massachusetts, handing the Minutemen their fourth loss of the season after they lead by 10 points or more.  And, North Carolina eeked out a one point victory over Virginia, 28 – 27 after the Cavaliers scored the first 14 points of the game.  But no team overcame a larger deficit in Week 9 than the Safe Harbor College Football Crisis Management Award co-winners did!

And, the winners are … Ball State and Texas State!!

The Ball State Cardinals were first on the scoreboard against Akron, after kicking a field goal on their first possession, but found themselves trailing by 15 at 21 – 6 as halftime approached.  The Cardinals scored a touchdown just before half to cut the lead to 21 – 13, and added an additional 22 unanswered, second half points to take the victory, 35 – 21, and earn a share of the Week 9, Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award.

Certificate - Week 9 - Ball State

The Texas State Bobcats were shut out in the first half and spotted the Warhawks from Louisiana-Monroe a 15 – 0 lead early in the third quarter before starting their rally.  With one 3rd quarter touchdown, followed by two more in the 4th quarter, Texas State completed their come-from-behind victory by a final score of 22 – 18 against their Sun Belt foe.  The 15 point, come-from-behind victory was enough for the Bobcats to be recognized as co-winners of the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award for Week 9.

Certificate - Week 9 - Texas State

Congratulations Cardinals and Warhawks!

Week 9 ended up being a little bit less exciting than past weeks in college football, but, maybe we needed to take a little breath to get ready for an exciting second half of the season.  With the first Playoff Committee Top 25 Ranking coming out on Tuesday, we are positioned to watch the landscape change from week to week.  Let the posturing begin.

You can read our Week 1 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 2 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 3 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 4 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 5 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 6 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 7 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 8 report by clicking here.

Another BCP Acronym

Yes, I realize that the last thing we need in Business Continuity Planning practices is another acronym, but, hey, what’s the fun in writing a blog if you can’t cause trouble?  So here goes – another BCP acronym …

I have been stating for a while now, that the BCP Methodology needs to be revisited.  I think that the tried and true practice of conducting BIAs is a bit flawed.  In practice, I think, the methodology attacks middle management and department level areas in the organization without first establishing corporate-wide and senior level objectives for business during a crisis.  When we ask people to establish RTOs and RPOs (more of those lovely acronyms – see the chart below) what are they basing their answers on?  When we ask for impacts of being down, to set those recovery objectives, what business objectives are they being designed to meet?

I think that the BCP Methodology needs to add a step in the beginning of our analyses in which we establish – are you ready for it, here it comes, the new acronym, in three, two, one – our ABOs, Adjusted Business Objectives.  I think part of the fallacy in our current process is that RTOs (or MADs if you prefer that acronym) are set with the assumption that the company is still aiming to hit its established business objectives for the year.  And, I think that is wrong.  During times of crisis, I think management’s expectations of what the company should achieve are adjusted.  During times of crisis, we may not have the same Income Targets, Profit Targets, Sales Targets, Margin Targets, Production Targets, etc.

Every company establishes business objectives for the year – assuming we operate in a normal business environment.  Once that “normal” environment is compromised due to a disaster, I think those business objectives get adjusted.  And, I think it is important to relay that information to the management team that is responding to our BIA questions.  We should be asking what the critical timeframes are for conducting business functions given we need to meet these Adjusted Business Objectives or ABOs.

Department objectives are, I hope, based on meeting the overall corporate objectives.  Once we know our ABOs we can translate that down to the department level and establish more meaningful RTOs, RPOs, MADs and what have yous.

The real challenge here is, however, getting senior management involved enough in the process to establish these ABOs.  One reason I think we don’t do that today is because it is much easier beginning the process with middle management.  The savvy manager, however, I think, is the one that asks, “During a time of crisis, what are my department’s objectives?  What is senior management expecting us to get done throughout the crisis period?”

So, there it is, a new BCP acronym – ABOs – just what we needed … NOT!

ACRONYMS USED IN THIS ARTICLE – FOR THE UNINITIATED

BCP – Business Continuity Planning

BIA – Business Impact Analysis

RTO – Recovery Time Objectives

RPO – Recovery Point Objectives

MAD – Maximum Acceptable Downtime

 

College Football Crisis Management Award – Week 8

College Football Week 8 was an interesting one in that it had the fewest number of games in which the winning team never trailed and, yet, also the fewest number of games in which the winning team came back from a double digit deficit.  There was only one upset of a Top Ten team by an unranked opponent, and, the only real shuffling of Top 25 teams was caused by ranked teams playing each other, which minimized the shakeup.  Week 8 also saw the last remaining team to never trail finally find themselves behind in a game but, still left us with our one lone team looking for its first lead.  An exciting week, as they all are, but no Week 6.

Of the 53 games played in Week 8 with at least one FBS football team participating, a year-low 19 (36%) were won by teams that never trailed.  When Florida International put a touchdown on the board near the end of the first quarter, Marshall experienced its first deficit of the entire 2014 season.  The Thundering Herd did go on to gain the victory, 45 – 13, but that now leaves us with no teams that have never trailed.  SMU, however, was unable to get a lead against Cincinnati and remains the last team on that dubious list.

Both North Texas and South Alabama played their first games in which the winning team had to overcome a deficit of some kind.  North Texas ended up losing to Southern Miss, 30 – 20, after holding a field goal lead at one point, and South Alabama beat Georgia State 30 – 27 after once trailing by 4.

We have added a Crisis Management List to our chart to now identify teams that have the most double-digit, come-from-behind victories.  After 8 weeks, Iowa tops our chart with three such comebacks. Interestingly enough, in Iowa’s two losses, including this week’s loss, they also blew double-digit leads.

TEAMS THAT HAVE NEVER HELD THE LEAD

SMU

TEAMS THAT HAVE PLAYED GAMES THAT ALWAYS INCLUDED A COMEBACK WIN

Georgia Tech (5 – 2), UCF (4 – 2)

CRISIS MANAGEMENT LEADERS

TEAMS THAT HAVE OVERCOME 3 DOUBLE-DIGIT DEFICITS

Iowa

TEAMS THAT HAVE OVERCOME 2 DOUBLE-DIGIT DEFICITS

Bowling Green, California, Colorado State, Florida Atlantic, Illinois, Kentucky, LSU, North Carolina State, South Florida, UAB, Washington

Of the year-high 34 games that included some kind of comeback in the game, a year-low 5 games included comebacks of 10 points or more.  Minnesota had to overcome an 11 point deficit before beating Purdue 39 – 38 on a late, fourth quarter, 52 yard field goal by Ryan Santoso.  Maryland dug themselves a 14 – 0 hole before rallying back and holding off Iowa for a 38 – 31 Big Ten victory for the conference newcomers.   Nevada scored 4 second half touchdowns to overcome a 15 point halftime deficit against BYU to secure a late night, west coast victory by a score of 42 – 35.  And, Florida Atlantic trailed Western Kentucky by 17 at half before rallying back and finally taking the lead on a late, 4th quarter 61 yard pass from Jaquez Johnson to Lucky Whitehead and securing a 42 – 38 victory.  But no team overcame a larger deficit in Week 8 than the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award winner did!

And, the winner is … South Florida!!

In a bit of irony, the South Florida Bulls traveled all the way to Tulsa, Oklahoma just to experience another hurricane – of the golden variety.  And, the Bulls must have been tired from the trip; the Golden Hurricane put a first half hurting on South Florida and ran into the halftime locker room with a 20 point lead, 27 – 7.

Marlon Mack started the Bulls second half comeback with a 54 yard TD run to make the score 27 – 14.  After a Tulsa field goal, South Florida’s QB, Andre Davis threw TD passes of 15 yards, 15 yards and 85 yards – all to Mike White – to put the Bulls up, 35 – 30.  The Bulls then added a late field goal for good measure to cap off the amazing, come-from-behind victory, 38 – 30 and secure the Week 8 Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award.

Congratulations Bulls!

Certificate - Week 8 - South Florida

I’m not sure we will ever have another week like we did two weeks ago in Week 6, but I’m anxious for the coming weeks to find out.  Now, bring on Week 9!

You can read our Week 1 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 2 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 3 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 4 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 5 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 6 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 7 report by clicking here.

College Football Crisis Management Award – Week 7

We have already reached the halfway point of the inaugural FBS Playoff season and the projected playoff line-up looks nothing today like it did at the start of the season.  And, my bet is, it will look nothing at the end of the season like it looks today.  The Mississippi schools have muddied the water, the Pac 12 schools have thrown in a wrench and the B1G Ten schools have vacated the premises.  Not to mention that the lone remaining team from most analysts’ original playoff predictions is currently involved in a scandal that could cost them the services of their high profile, Heisman-holding quarterback.  Looking ahead, every one of the remaining weeks shows promise of further changing the playoff landscape and keeping us all on our toes and biting our nails.

Week 7 of the 2014 college football season didn’t quite match the fury of Week 6, but it did offer up plenty of excitement and plenty of opportunity to shake up the Top 4 and Top 25 rankings.  Week 7 included a total of 54 games with at least one FBS football team participating in which 26 (48%) were won by teams that never trailed.  Marshall, with its 49 – 24 victory over Middle Tennessee State, is left as the only FBS team to have never trailed at any point this season.  Baylor gets removed from that list in remarkable fashion, but, more on that later (spoiler alert).

SMU, by virtue of having a bye this week, remains the only FBS football team to never hold a lead in any of their contests so far.  But, I don’t think the Mustangs will stay there for much longer.  Hopefully, a week off is just what the doctor ordered and they can find themselves on the positive end of the scoreboard sometime soon.

The list of teams that have played in games in which the lead never changed hands has been trimmed down to two.  That is also true for the list of teams that have played in games that always included a comeback of some sort.  In the case of the latter list, Georgia Tech remains on that list, but, for the first time this season, they were on the losing end of the score, having lost to Duke after having a 3 point lead at one point in the game.

TEAMS THAT HAVE NEVER TRAILED

Marshall

TEAMS THAT HAVE NEVER HELD THE LEAD

SMU

TEAMS THAT HAVE PLAYED GAMES IN WHICH THE LEAD NEVER CHANGED

North Texas (2 – 4), South Alabama (2 – 3)

TEAMS THAT HAVE PLAYED GAMES THAT ALWAYS INCLUDED A COMEBACK WIN

Georgia Tech (5 – 1), UCF (3 – 2)

Of the 28 Week 7 games that involved some kind of comeback, 12 of those games experienced comebacks of 10 points or more, and, for the first time this season, two games tied for the honor of the largest come-from-behind victory for the week.  Four teams – LSU, East Carolina, Texas San Antonio (UTSA), and Eastern Michigan – all rallied back for victories after trailing by 10 points at some time in their games.  Kentucky overcame an early 11 point deficit before easily dispensing UL Monroe, 48 – 14.  And, a total of five teams – Hawaii, Houston, Notre Dame, West Virginia and Central Florida (UCF) – had to come from two touchdowns, 14 points, down before securing their victories in Week 7.  But, no teams had to overcome a larger deficit than the two teams that tied for this week’s Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award  did.

And, the winners are … the Baylor Bears and the Western Michigan Broncos!!

Baylor entered its game against Texas Christian (TCU) as one of only two teams that had yet to trail at any point in 2014.  This game was one of Week 7’s highest profile games, featuring two Top 10 ranked teams that promised to have serious playoff picture implications.  The build-up leading into this game promised plenty of fun and excitement, and, it delivered all of that in spades.

These two teams include high octane offenses, so it was not too surprising to see lots of points put on the board.  TCU jumped out to a quick 14 – 0 lead, but the scoring was fast and furious and the game remained close through the first three quarters.  TCU held the lead most of the time, although Baylor did manage to tie the game once, at 24 – 24, and, generally, remain within striking distance of the Horned Frogs.

When TCU padded their lead with two quick touchdowns in the 4th quarter, to go ahead by 21, 58 – 37, it looked like the Horned Frogs were going to vault themselves into the playoff picture, but, Baylor was not yet done.

Baylor immediately answered TCU’s last touchdown with a 4 play, 45 yard touchdown drive that took all of 59 seconds off of the clock to draw back to within 14 points.  After getting the ball back 2:39 later at their own 8 yard line, the Bears marched 92 yards in 5 plays to pull within one touchdown of a tie.

With the Bear defense holding TCU to a 3 and out, the offense started their next drive at their own 9 yard line and moved 91 yards in a 5 play, 59 second drive to tie the game up at 58 – 58.

On TCU’s next possession, while trying to get within field goal range to reclaim the lead, the Baylor defense stopped a 4th down and 3 attempt at the Baylor 45 yard line to take possession of the ball with just a little over 1:00 left on the game clock.  The Bears were able to move the ball down to the TCU 11 where Chris Callahan booted a 28 yard field goal as time ran out on the clock, to win the game.  It was Baylor’s only lead in the entire game and put the finishing touch on a remarkable, 21 point, come-from-behind victory.  Not only was it the first time Baylor had ever trailed in a game this season, but they trailed by 21 points before claiming their hold of the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award for Week 7.  An honor they would share with Western Michigan.

Certificate - Week 7 - Baylor

The Western Michigan vs Ball State football game was, admittedly, a little less of a high profile game than Baylor v TCU.  A few less TV sets and fans were watching this game, and no playoff implications rested in the balance of the outcome.  But, a 21 point, come-from-behind victory is no less amazing when two teams from the same conference take the field against one another.

The Broncos of Western Michigan dug their 21 point hole deficit earlier in the game than Baylor did, finding themselves down by a score of 28 – 7 late in the 2nd quarter.  A 75 yard touchdown pass near the end of the first half – followed up by a Ball State field goal – made the halftime deficit 17 points.

Two Western Michigan touchdowns against one Ball State touchdown in the 3rd quarter allowed the Broncos to enter the 4th quarter down by 10.  A 54 yard touchdown run by Jaryion Franklin followed up by a 12 yard touchdown pass from Zach Terrell to Daniel Brayerman put the Broncos on top for the first time, 42 – 38 with just over one minute to play.

The Cardinals, trailing for the first time, marched the ball down field in attempt to rescue back the lead, but failed to get the ball into the end zone, being stopped on a 4th and goal play after four incomplete passes from the Broncos 8.  It was a nail biter at the end, but when the final gun sounded, the Broncos were 21 point come-from-behind winners and co-winners of the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award for Week 7.

Certificate - Week 7 - Western Michigan

Congratulations to both the Baylor Bears and the Western Michigan Broncos.  A great way to end the half-way point of the 2014 season!  This week just goes to show, that there is just as much fun, excitement and entertainment in a mid-major conference football game as there is in a game of national attention with playoff implications – college football at its best.

Now, let’s go ahead and shake up the playoff picture again in Week 8!

You can read our Week 1 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 2 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 3 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 4 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 5 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 6 report by clicking here.

Your Plandemic – The Plan to Plan Plan

Now that the Ebola virus has made its way to the United States and we enter the traditional US Flu season, companies are beginning to revisit and/or develop Pandemic Plans to address this scare.  But, Pandemic Planning is a little bit different than your standard business continuity plan development process.  I have often chastised organizations for saying they have business continuity or disaster recovery “plans” when all they really have are plans to create plans, but, in the case of pandemic planning, I think, that is actually the right approach to take.

The reason why it is so important to have well developed and relatively detailed business continuity plans, strategies and solutions in place today is that most disasters occur without warning and do not provide the luxury of time to figure out what to do after the incident occurs.  Pandemics represent an evolving threat that comes in various shapes and sizes and does afford us a luxury (if that word really applies here) to construct a response plan based on the particular pandemic that poses the threat.

The “Pandemic Influenza Risk Management / WHO Interim Guidance” published by the World Health Organization in 2013 (click here to read this document) states:

“Member States had prepared for a pandemic of high severity and appeared unable to adapt their national and subnational responses adequately to a more moderate event.”

And recommends,

“a risk-based approach to pandemic influenza risk management and encourages Member States to develop flexible plans, based on national risk assessment, taking account of the global risk assessment”

I think this applies to individual company plans, as well.  The Pandemic Plans that now sit on the shelves of most companies today include the best practices recommended for addressing the Avian Flu or Swine Flu or H1N1 – whichever scare was prevalent at the time they wrote their plan.  Although these plans may still contain lots of terrific practices for any epidemic or pandemic, it will probably need to be adjusted to address whatever pandemic actually occurs in their area.  It is for this reason that I believe the best approach to pandemic planning is to establish an environment in which you “plan to plan” for whatever pandemic might present itself.

The recommended, new WHO Pandemic Model has been simplified to include only 4 Pandemic Phases:

“Interpandemic phase: This is the period between influenza pandemics.

Alert phase: This is the phase when influenza caused by a new subtype has been identified in humans. Increased vigilance and careful risk assessment, at local, national and global levels, are characteristic of this phase. If the risk assessments indicate that the new virus is not developing into a pandemic strain, a de-escalation of activities towards those in the interpandemic phase may occur.

Pandemic phase: This is the period of global spread of human influenza caused by a new subtype. Movement between the interpandemic, alert and pandemic phases may occur quickly or gradually as indicated by the global risk assessment, principally based on virological, epidemiological and clinical data.

Transition phase: As the assessed global risk reduces, de-escalation of global actions may occur, and reduction in response activities or movement towards recovery actions by countries may be appropriate, according to their own risk assessments.”

I recommend that your Pandemic Program establish actions to take during each of these phases.

During the Interpandemic Phase, your Business Continuity Department (or Human Resources or Health Department, perhaps) should monitor WHO, CDC and local Health Agencies tracking of developing health risks and threats.

Should a situation occur where the Pandemic Level is raised to the Alert Phase, you should begin to develop more specific Prevention, Response and Contention strategies based on the health organization’s recommendations for the particular health risk that causes the alert.  You will likely be able to leverage many of the solutions developed in your previous pandemic plan, but your final plan will be geared towards this particular threat.

Should this threat result in either a regional epidemic or world-wide pandemic, you then put that plan into action.

Once the threat has been normalized and we enter the Transition Phase, your course of action should be to remain poised for a second wave of this particular pandemic while also documenting lessons learned to be considered should another threat develop.  You then “shelve” this particular plan and return to your tracking and monitoring position in the Interpandemic phase.

So, in effect, your Pandemic Program provides the basis for you to wait for a threat to develop and then jump into action developing the “plan” for this particular threat – in other words, you plan to plan.

Now, of course, there is also that part of the plan in which you must consider continuity of operations given that your work force is depleted or immobilized and/or given that key senior management have been impacted (ill or even died).  This is where you would deploy contingencies you have in place for such impacts.  (See the “Scenario Based vs Impact Based Planning” blog for more discussion on contingency planning.)

This approach will not work for other common business interruption risks and threats, but, I think, is the appropriate approach for addressing Pandemic Planning.

Meanwhile, promote day-to-day health and sanitation practices in your work environment – always a good way to combat any seasonal flu or more serious health risks.

Good luck, and stay healthy.

Scenario Based vs Impact Based Planning

I have participated in a number of conversations where people argue what the basis for business continuity plans should be.  Some people say you should have plans designed for specific threats inherent in your environment and others say that “what” happens is not important; plans should be based on the impacts of what happened and not the event itself.  I say, they are both right, in a way.

Business continuity planning, I think, has evolved over time and has expanded in scope of what it tries to achieve.  I’m not sure why we have gotten away from the term “contingency plans”, but I think Business Continuity Planning today includes both emergency response components and contingency planning components.

Considering these two components of the overall program, I think the Emergency Response part, that part that addresses how an organization responds to an incident should, in fact, have scenario specific components for the known risks and threats in the area where you do business.  If you have facilities in hurricane regions, you absolutely should have Hurricane Preparedness Plans.  Same goes for if you have facilities on fault lines; in flood plains; near active volcanoes; near nuclear power plants; etc.  When specific threats arise, like pandemics, for example, your organization should develop a scenario specific plan for prevention and contention techniques for that exact threat.

But, on the contingency side of things, the focus should be on the impact.  Contingency plans should be developed based on impacts, such as: loss of access to the building; loss of access to technology tools, applications and data; interruptions in workflow; depleted or immobilized work force; etc.

Then the entire program should allow a cross mapping of the two plan components.  The threats, for which you have specific plans, could result in any or all of the impacts for which you have contingencies.  Take Pandemic Plans for example.  Many companies attack this issue as if it is an entirely new challenge and try to develop Pandemic Plans as holistic, stand-alone, programs.  Once you realize that the impacts of a Pandemic might be a depleted or immobilized work force and interruptions to critical workflows, you realize that you should be able to leverage those contingency plans already developed and focus on the health and safety of your work force and work environment for the particular pandemic that poses the threat.  The pandemic response might be unique to this threat, but the contingencies could be leveraged for any event that impacts your work force availability, such as; transit strikes; civil unrest in the area; etc.

So, if you are responsible for developing plans that address both response and contingency components of the overall program, I suggest that you will be doing both – developing scenario specific and impact based policies, procedures, strategies and solutions.  Then, you may even create a matrix that identifies which contingencies might come into play under each specific scenario.  I do, however, think you still need that generic response plan to handle those scenarios for which specific response plans have not been created.  These plans should focus on the logistics for getting decision makers together to address the challenges of an unplanned for interruption in an effective and efficient manner and adequately communicating decisions and instructions to the impacted parties.

Good luck.  No one said this job was going to be easy.

College Football Crisis Management Award – Week 6

As fun and exciting as Weeks 1 – 5 in College Football have been, Week 6 blew them all away.  In the inaugural FBS Championship Playoff season, Week 6 just muddied up the waters something awful … and I love it!!  Given some of the teams that were involved in this week’s upsets, I guess you can call the playoff picture a Mississippi Mud Pie.  I happen to believe that Week 6 was just the tip of the iceberg and each subsequent week will result in more upsets; more shuffling of the top ranked spots; more heartache and frustrations from select fan bases; more jubilation and field rushing from other fan bases; and, yes, more fun and excitement.

The College Football slate for Week 6 included a total of 57 games with at least one FBS football team participating.  Of those 57 games played, 24 (42%) were won by teams that never trailed.  Both Ole Miss and TCU come off the list of teams that have never trailed, but, both also ended up winning their games in come-from-behind fashion beating top 5 ranked teams and adding to the Week 6 playoff predictions shuffle.  That leaves us with just two teams, Baylor and Marshall, which have yet to trail in any of their 2014 football contests.

SMU remains the only FBS football team to never have a lead in any of their contests so far.  But, the Mustangs did show some life in their game against a very good East Carolina squad and, as they get into American Athletic Conference play, I am confident they will soon achieve their first lead, and, come away with their first victory.

In addition to Baylor, Marshall and SMU, there are 4 other teams, Appalachian State, Kansas, North Texas and South Alabama who have had the first team to score never relinquish the lead in every game they played.  And, there are 4 FBS teams that have had every game they played in include some kind of come from behind victory.  Georgia Tech, with their win over Miami (FL), in which they once trailed by 7, remains the only undefeated team to rally back from a deficit in each of their victories.

TEAMS THAT HAVE NEVER TRAILED

Baylor, Marshall

TEAMS THAT HAVE NEVER HELD THE LEAD

SMU

TEAMS THAT HAVE PLAYED GAMES IN WHICH THE LEAD NEVER CHANGED

Appalachian State (1 – 3), Kansas (2 – 3), North Texas (2 – 3), South Alabama (2 – 3)

TEAMS THAT HAVE PLAYED GAMES THAT ALWAYS INCLUDED A COMEBACK WIN

Georgia Tech (5 – 0), Iowa (4 – 1), UAB (3 – 2), UCF (2 – 2)

Week 6 included 33 games in which the winning team trailed by at least 1 point or more at some time in the contest.  Of those 33 games, 7 included comebacks of 10 points or more.  Ole Miss knocked Alabama out of the playoff picture (for the time being) with an incredible 11 point comeback against the mighty Crimson Tide.  Bowling Green also came back from an 11 point deficit to defeat Buffalo, 36 – 35.  UAB had to comeback after being 13 points down against Western Kentucky before securing their victory, 42 – 39.  Two teams that have figured into the past two Crisis Management Award winning games, California, on the losing end of Week 4’s award and Washington State, the winner in Week 5, played in a barn-burner in which California eventually won, 60 – 59, after being down by 14 several times in the contest.  Georgia Southern came back after being 14 points down to beat New Mexico State, 36 – 28.  And, Kentucky upset South Carolina, 45 – 38, after trailing by 14 points, legitimizing their standing in the tough SEC.  But, no team came back from a larger deficit in Week 6 (or, any other week this season) then our Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award winner did!

And, the winner is … the Red Hawks from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio!!

How ironic is it that in a week with so many games of ranked team versus ranked team; a week with 11 top 25 teams getting beat; a week that muddies up the top 10 rankings and throws a wrench into the volatile inaugural championship playoff picture, that the one game with the largest come from behind victory; the one game with enough excitement to entertain any college football fan; and, the game that produced this Week’s Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award winner, was the game that featured two 0 – 5 teams vying for their first win of the season?

In the 5 games Massachusetts had lost prior to the Week 6 contest against Miami, OH, they held the lead in three of those loses – twice blowing leads of more than 10 points.  Miami held 7 point leads in three of the 5 games they had lost coming into Saturday.  You knew one of the two teams had to come away with a victory – you just didn’t know it would be in such amazing fashion.

UMass put up the first two touchdowns, ending the 1st quarter with a 14 – 0 lead.  They built that lead up to 27 points at 41 – 14 with 2:00 left in the first half and it looked like the Red Hawks were headed to yet another embarrassing defeat.  The touchdown Miami scored just before the half ended, to get within 20, still didn’t seem like it put them back into the game.

But, UMass may have already thought they had the victory sealed and failed to come out of the locker room with that same first half intensity and Miami was not yet done playing football.  Miami put up the only score in the 3rd quarter to get within 13 at 41 – 28.  And, two more touchdowns in the 4th quarter while holding UMass at bay completed an amazing 27 point come from behind victory and secure the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award for Week 6.

Certificate - Week 6 - Miami OH

 

I guess it’s fitting that this historic week should include the year’s largest come from behind victory to date.  And, I love the fact that games like this – otherwise buried behind all the Top 25 matchups and Top 5 upsets, can be just as exciting and demand our attention and recognition.  Way to go Red Hawks!!

Now, I can’t wait to see what muddies up the waters next week.

You can read our Week 1 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 2 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 3 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 4 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 5 report by clicking here.

College Football Crisis Management Award – Week 5

Every week I rant and rave about how much I love college football.  And, every week I try to find new superlatives to express how fun and exciting the past week was.  Well, Week 5 was no different but I am running out of words and I hate to be redundant.  This week’s excitement included, for the second week in a row, a comeback from more than 20 points down and a big comeback from the number 1 ranked team in America – but, first, the week in review.

The College Football slate for Week 5 included a total of 54 contests with at least one FBS football team.  Again, we see how more intra-conference play and fewer FCS teams on the schedule results in fewer games being dominated by one team.  Of the 54 games played, only 24 (44%) were won by teams that never trailed.  Coming into Week 5, there were six FBS schools that had yet to trail at any point in any game they played this year.  Coming out of Week 5, four of those teams remain.  The 2 teams that fell off of that list both played games that included a double-digit come-from-behind victory.  Arizona State ended up on the losing end of their game; while Texas A&M rallied back to, at least, remain undefeated.  Baylor, Ole Miss and Texas Christian all stay on the list of teams that have never trailed by adding to their winning streaks and Marshall did so by watching games on their bye week.

There were only 3 FBS schools that had yet to hold the lead at any point in any game this season and two of them get to come of this list.  Rice not only got their first lead of the season, but they never relinquished it, being one of the 24 teams to not trail this week in their defeat of Southern Mississippi, 41 – 23.  Kent State got an early 7 point lead, their first of the season, against Virginia, but could not manage to hold on to it as they eventually fell by a score of 45 – 13.  Only SMU remains on this infamous list after failing to put up any points at all against one of the teams on the happier list, TCU.

TEAMS THAT HAVE NEVER TRAILED

Baylor, Marshall, Ole Miss, TCU

TEAMS THAT HAVE NEVER HELD THE LEAD

SMU

As a matter of interest, in addition to the teams listed in the chart above, there are 6 other teams that have not yet played a game in which the lead ever changed hands – but they have won or lost at least one of those games.  And, there are 6 teams in which every game they have played in so far included some sort of come from behind victory.  Georgia Tech is the only one of those six teams to have come out as the winner of each of those games coming back from being down 2, 7, 3 and 10 points in their four victories to start the season.

For the second week in a row, there were exactly 30 games in which the winning team trailed by at least 1 point or more at some time in the contest.  In Week 5, however, the number of games that included comebacks of 10 points or more increased from 7 to 12.  Three teams, Fresno State, Iowa and Georgia, each had to overcome 10 point deficits before securing their wins in Week 5.  UCLA and Florida Atlantic each bettered that by 1 point in overcoming an 11 point deficit.  In UCLA’s case, they did so at the expense of Arizona State, knocking them off of the list of teams that had never trailed.  Missouri had an exciting fourth quarter rally to come back from 13 points down to defeat South Carolina, 21 – 20.  Another FCS school appears on our list of come-from-behind winners as Yale defeated Army in overtime, 49 – 43 after trailing by 14 points earlier in the game.  After being on the losing side of Week 4’s award winning game by forfeiting a 22 point lead to Arizona, California ended up on the winning side of a 14 point, come-from-behind victory against Colorado.  Texas A&M also had to overcome a 14 point deficit, their first of any kind this year, before beating Arkansas in overtime, 35 – 28.  Colorado State also came back from 14 points down to eventually knock off Boston College, 24 – 21.  And, the number 1 ranked team in the country, Florida State, had to overcome a 17 point, 1st quarter deficit against NC State before notching a 56 – 41 victory to remain undefeated.  But, no school overcame a larger deficit than the Week 5 Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award winner did.

And, the winner is … the Washington State Cougars!!

Washington State entered Week 5 as a team you just couldn’t figure out.  They looked disappointing in losses to Rutgers and Nevada to start the season, but looked impressive in beating FCS Portland State, and even looked impressive in losing a close game to #2 ranked OregonUtah, on the other hand, looked like a surprise team for 2014 with three very impressive victories to start the season, including last week’s win against Michigan in the big house.

After jumping out to a 21 – 0, 1st quarter lead following an interception return for a TD, a punt return for a TD and a 76 yard TD run from scrimmage, it looked like things were pretty well figured out; Utah was an impressive team and Washington State was an enigma.  But, college football games are made up of 4 quarters and Washington State, who looked like they were on holiday in the first quarter, had a Halliday of their own to rely upon to throw them back into the game.

Three quarters and four Connor Halliday touchdown passes later, and by holding Utah to only 2 field goals over that timeframe, Washington State had rallied all the way back to take a 28 – 27 point lead halfway through the 4th quarter.  But, Utah still had time to come back.  The Cougar defense held tight, however, and stymied two Utah fourth quarter drives by denying fourth down attempts to seal their victory and their spot as the Week 5, Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award Winner!

Certificate - Week 5 - Washington State

 

So, for the second week in a row, our winner was not determined until the conclusion of the late night West Coast slate.  For me, I kind of like that – it keeps my interest all day long wondering what is yet to come.  For a long time on Saturday, it looked like the number 1 team, Florida State, was going to be our award winner, but the Cougars from Washington State had a different plan in mind.  Congratulations Cougs!!

Now, bring on Week 6!

You can read our Week 1 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 2 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 3 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 4 report by clicking here.

College Football Crisis Management Award – Week 4

Wow!!  But, I am getting ahead of myself.  Let’s take a look at Week 4 in College Football before we get to that Wow!! part.

The College Football schedule for Week 4 had a total of 57 games that included at least one FBS football team.  For the first time this year, less than 50% of those games were won by teams that never trailed in the game.  Of the 57 games played, 27 games (47%) were won by teams that never trailed.  And, only 6 of those teams got dressed in the visitors’ locker room.  Of the 13 teams that had never trailed at any point in this season, only Marshall and Texas A&M won their games without trailing.  Arizona State, Baylor, Ole Miss and TCU all stay on the list of teams that never trailed by virtue of having a bye in Week 4.  Auburn, BYU, California, Cincinnati, Florida State, Oklahoma and Utah all trailed at some point in their game, but, all but California (spoiler alert) eventually won their respective games.

Of the 5 teams that had never led at any point in a game during this season, only 3 teams remain: Rice and SMU, by failing to get a lead; and, Kent State by taking the week off.   Fresno State and New Mexico not only achieved their first advantage in a football game this season, but, both teams also held onto the lead when the final gun sounded to secure their first win of the season.

TEAMS THAT HAVE NEVER TRAILED

Arizona State, Baylor, Marshall, Ole Miss, TCU, Texas A&M

TEAMS THAT HAVE NEVER HELD THE LEAD

Kent State, Rice, SMU

Of the 30 Week 4 games in which the winning team trailed by at least 1 point or more at some time in the contest, 7 of them were won by teams that had to overcome a deficit of 10 points or more.  Once again, another FCS team appears on our list as the Demons from Northwestern State rallied back from a 10 point deficit with less than 5 minutes remaining in the game to defeat Louisiana Tech by a final score of 30 – 27.  Iowa came back from a 10 point, first half deficit to beat previously undefeated (and, our Week 3 winner of this award) Pittsburgh, 24 – 20.  Georgia Tech, after trailing by 10 points in the 2nd quarter, put up 17 4th quarter points to beat ACC rival Virginia Tech, 27 – 24.  South Carolina spotted Vanderbilt 2 first quarter touchdowns before sinking the Commodores by a final score of 48 – 34.  The Washington Huskies trailed Georgia State 14 – 0 at halftime before waking up and scoring 45 unanswered second half points of their own to secure the win.  And, Illinois saved the Big Ten yet another embarrassing defeat by rallying back from a 15 point deficit late in the 2nd quarter to ultimately defeat Texas State, 42 – 35.  But, no team overcame a larger deficit to win their game than our Week 4 Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award winner did!

And, the winner is, in truly amazing fashion, … the Arizona Wildcats!

California entered its football game against Arizona as one of 13 teams that had yet to trail in a 2014 football game.  After jumping out to a 14 – 0 lead in the first quarter, and stretching that lead to 28 – 6 at halftime, it looked like a safe bet that they would remain one of those teams at the end of Week 4.

California still held a seemingly comfortable 18 point lead going into the 4th quarter and was still up, 45 – 30 with under 4:00 remaining in the game.  Then … Wow!!

At the end of an 8 play 75 yard TD drive that ended with 3:30 left on the clock, Arizona got to within 8 at 45 – 37.  After recovering the following on-side kick, Arizona scored another touchdown on a 4 play 41 yard drive that took all of 43 seconds off the scoreboard clock.  Failing to convert on the 2 point, would be tying, conversion, Arizona still trailed by 2.

Arizona kicked off conventionally this time and it looked as if California might be able to run down the clock, but their drive stalled with 1:52 remaining in the game after missing a 47 yard field goal attempt.  Arizona moved the ball down to the California 47 yard line but only had enough time from one more play.  On what might just have been the very last play of all College Football games for Week 4, Anu Solomon launched a Hail Mary pass towards the end zone and, the Arizona prayer was answered in the hands of Austin Hill resulting in a 47 yard, game winning, touchdown!! Wow!!

After trailing by as many as 22 points, this remarkable, come-from-behind victory lands Arizona as the recipient of this week’s Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award.  Congratulations Wildcats!!  And, thanks for the excitement.  (PS – As a West Coast resident, I was privileged to see this miracle victory occur live on my TV which occurred while most all other college football fans were safely tucked into their bed under their favorite team’s comforter.)

Certificate - Week 4 - Arizona

At the end of each exciting week of college football, all I can say, after catching my breath, is, “I can’t wait until next week.”  Wow!!

You can read our Week 1 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 2 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 3 report by clicking here.

College Football Crisis Management Award – Week 3

Week 3 of the FBS college football season was short of high profile matchups but long on excitement and entertainment.  There are fewer FCS teams showing up on the schedule, but we are still not yet into the conference schedules where we see more competitive matchups.  But, and this is why we love college football, the surprises and upsets are there, just the same as they are every week.  You just never know which games are going to surprise you.

That’s also one reason I love this promotion we are doing at Safe Harbor Consulting – every game, every team, is relevant.  No matter how many wins you have, or losses; no matter where you are in the standings; no matter your history, your size, your conference or your chances to get into the playoffs; you can always be this weeks’ SHC College Football Crisis Management Award winner by pulling off a remarkable come from behind victory in that week’s game.  And, we check the results of every game played to find out who you might be.

Now that we are in Week 3, as said above, there are more FBS on FBS matchups.  And, with a few more teams starting to hit their bye weeks, we end up with fewer games on the schedule.  Week 1 had a total of 84 games played with at least 1 FBS team; in Week 2, it was a total of 74 games; and, this week we were down to just 58 games.  But, fewer games does not mean less excitement.  Week 3 had plenty of that.

Of the 58 games played in week 3, 31 contests were won by teams that never trailed (54% of the games).  After just 3 weeks into the season, there are 13 FBS teams left that have never trailed in any of their games and 5 teams that have yet to hold the lead in any of their games played.  There are also 15 other teams that have not yet played a game in which there was a lead change – but they have won and lost at least one of those games.

TEAMS THAT HAVE NEVER TRAILED

Arizona State, Auburn, Baylor, BYU, California, Cincinnati, Florida State, Marshall, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, TCU, Texas A&M, Utah

TEAMS THAT HAVE NEVER HELD THE LEAD

Fresno State, Kent State, New Mexico, Rice, SMU

Of the 27 Week 3 games in which the winning team trailed by at least 1 point at some time in the contest, 10 of them were won by teams that had to overcome a deficit of 10 points or more.  Penn State rallied back after being 10 points down to spoil Rutgers’ Big Team Conference debut.  Middle Tennessee overcame a 10 point deficit to defeat Western Kentucky in a thrilling overtime struggle.  Boston College came back after being 11 points behind to stun USC in one of the week’s biggest upsets.  Iowa State walked away with the Cy-Hawk trophy after coming back from 11 points down to beat their in-state rival, IowaIndiana State, one of the few remaining FCS teams on the schedule, overcame an 11 point deficit to defeat Ball StateBowling Green secured another MAC conference victory over the B1G Ten by defeating Indiana, 45 – 42, after trailing by 11 points.  Another FCS over FBS victory was secured by Abilene Christian after they rallied back from a two-touchdown, 14 point deficit, to defeat the Trojans of TroyUAB spotted FCS Alabama A&M 14 points before scoring 41 of their own to wrap up their victory.  And, Vanderbilt overcame a 14 point deficit, to avoid starting the season 0 – 3, in their come-from-behind victory over Massachusetts.  But, no team overcame a larger deficit than the Week 3 Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award winner.

And, the winner is … the Panthers from the University of Pittsburgh!

The Pittsburgh Panthers went on the road to Miami, FL to take on some Panthers of another color – the Golden Panthers from Florida International University (FIU).  The Panthers from Pittsburgh apparently didn’t come out of the locker room in the 1st quarter, spotting the Golden Panthers a 16 point lead before starting on the comeback trail.  Pittsburgh cut the lead to 2, 16 – 14, at half, and added 3 more unanswered touchdowns in the 3rd quarter to take control of the game.  By the time the final gun sounded, the Panthers from up north had secured a rather comfortable, 42 – 25 victory, but not until after a 1st quarter wakeup call and not before spotting their southern cousin panthers enough of a lead to qualify them as the Week 3 winner of the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award.

Certificate - Week 3 - Pittsburgh

More conference games start appearing on the schedules in Week 4 and we look forward to some more excitement in the world of college football.  Thank you for following along.

You can read our Week 1 report by clicking here.

You can read our Week 2 report by clicking here.