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.
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 Oregon. Utah, 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!
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.