College Football’s Rivalry Week lived up to all the fun and excitement it was hyped to be. We had close games; gutsy calls; and historical finishes that will be talked about for years to come. We had unbeaten teams take their first loss; winless teams get their first victory; a major shake-up in the BCS standings; and, our largest come-from-behind victory of the year. Yes sir, the college football world is abuzz and is likely to stay so throughout Championship Week and into the Bowl Season. Gosh, I love college football.
We entered Rivalry Week with 5 undefeated teams in FBS football; we leave Rivalry Week with 3 still standing – and some of those on wobbly legs. Fresno State entered Week 14 at 10 – 0, having had one game (against Colorado) cancelled due to flooding in the area, and, although they scored 52 points and led by 6 points on several occasions in the game, lost by 10 to San Jose State sending their chances at a BCS game down the tubes. By easily handling Western Michigan on Tuesday night, 33 – 14, Northern Illinois stays standing as the lone BCS buster for 2013. The Huskies have one more challenge to hurdle, a MAC Championship Game against Bowling Green on Friday night, to finish 13 – 0 and land themselves in a BCS Bowl Game.
Florida State faced off against rival Florida and easily kept their unbeaten season going at 12 – 0 with a convincing, 37 – 7 victory in a game in which they never trailed. Florida State’s last challenge to remain undefeated and land a spot in the National Championship Game is the ACC Championship Game against the surprising Duke Blue Devils on Saturday Night.
Ohio State survived a huge scare from rival Michigan in a game that included one of the more gutsy calls of the year. Having scored a potential game-tying touchdown with just 32 seconds left in regulation, Michigan’s Brady Hoke opted to try to a game-winning 2-point-conversion to put an end to the Ohio State two year winning streak. In rivalry games like this, when you have nothing to lose and can possibly ruin the whole year for your rival, this is the kind of calls you get. In this case, the Wolverines were unsuccessful on the conversion and the Buckeyes live to play another week as an undefeated team vying for a spot in the National Championship Game. The Buckeye’s remain challenge is against another team from “up north”, the Michigan State Spartans in the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday.
And, in what just might be the Game-of-the-Year with what just might be the Ending-Play-of-the-Century, the two-time defending National Champions, Alabama Crimson Tide had their perfect season come to an end on a missed field goal returned for a touchdown in the last second of regulation by the Auburn Tigers. I could hear screams of joy and shouts of agony emanating from Alabama all the way up here in the state of Washington as I watched the play unfold in amazed disbelief. What a great Rivalry Week!
The list of undefeated teams has now been whittled down to the following 3 teams:
UNDEFEATED FBS TEAMS
- Florida State (defeated Idaho, 80 – 14)
- Northern Illinois (defeated Western Michigan, 33 – 14)
- Ohio State (defeated Michigan, 42 – 41)
And, we are happy to report, as the season comes to a close for many a team that do not have a 2013 Bowl Game in their future, two teams managed to end an otherwise trying year on a winning note. After coming so close on numerous occasions throughout the year, only to fall short 11 games in a row, the Hawaii Warriors end their 2013 campaign with a win against the Black Knights of Army. And, the Golden Eagles from Southern Mississippi got off the two-year snide with a rather convincing 62 – 27 thrashing of UAB to end the nation’s longest losing streak.
Unfortunately, the other two winless teams did not fare so well and ended their years with the same number of wins as they started the year – 0. Georgia State’s 12th loss came by way of a 38 – 17 beat down by South Alabama and Miami of Ohio’s 12th loss of the year was administered by Ball State, 55 – 14. Neither winless team ever held a lead in either game.
The two FBS teams that end the 2013 year without a victory are:
WINLESS FBS TEAMS
- Georgia State (lost to South Alabama, 38 – 17)
- Miami, OH (lost to Ball State, 55 – 14)
WEEK 14 RECAP
Week 14 of the College Season coincided with Thanksgiving Week this year and consists of numerous end-of-the-year rivalry games that always makes for lots of fun and lots of angst. Of the 59 FBS games played throughout the week, 27 teams were thankful for a victory in which they never trailed. Of the 32 games in which the winning team trailed at one point or another in the game, 5 were won by teams that came back from deficits of more than 7 points. Four teams had to overcome deficits of 14 or more points including two teams that came back from 20 or more points down!
And, on this, the last full season of FBS college football games, the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award winner overcame a 24 point deficit – the largest come-from-behind victory of the year!
Rivalry games are great. But, with the changing conference landscape of late and teams going from one conference to another, some rivalries have become distant memories and other rivalries are starting to form. When the West Virginia Mountaineers moved into the Big 12 Conference they left behind one of the more storied rivalries, the Backyard Brawl, against the University of Pittsburgh, and are looking to find a new rivalry amongst their geographically distanced conference foes. Perhaps, after the way this game played out, they may have found one.
On paper, this game looked like two teams just playing out the season and waiting to pack it in. But, in college football, last games of the season are last games of careers for many a senior football player and, nobody playing the last game they may ever play in a sport they have loved for years, just mails it in. Despite a 2 – 9 Iowa State playing a 4 -7 West Virginia; despite the fact neither team has a chance to earn a Bowl Game birth; despite this not really being a rivalry game between these two, relatively new combatants; this was a game both teams wanted to win – for their pride and for their seniors. And, this was a game the two teams would play to the end – an end that included 3 overtime periods. And, this was a game that the victor would overcome the largest deficit faced by an FBS team prior to winning the contest.
The home-standing Mountaineers started this game with a flurry and rushed out to a 1st quarter 17 – 0 lead on a Josh Lambert 49 yard field goal; a Charles Sims 7 yard touchdown run; and, a 38 yard fumble return for a touchdown by Karl Joseph.
The shocked Cyclones did manage to score before the end of the 1st quarter on a 54 yard Grant Rohach touchdown run, but West Virginia added to their lead early in the 2nd quarter. After a Clint Trickett to Kevin White 17 yard touchdown pass and a Sims long, 76 yard touchdown run, the Mountaineers were on top 31 – 7 and looked to be running away with a season ending victory. Even with a Rohach to Quenton Bundrage 10 yard touchdown pass making it 31 – 14 at half, it was looking like a long afternoon for the Cyclones.
The 3rd quarter consisted of a few long, time-consuming drives that ended with a blocked field goal and a fumble at the 1 yard line, but no points. So, Iowa State entered the last quarter of their 2013 football season still trailing the Mountaineers by 17.
Early in the 4th quarter, Iowa State scored on Shontrelle Johnson 3 yard touchdown run to pull within 10, but the Mountaineers responded right back with a 1 play, 76 yard touchdown drive on a pass from Trickett to Mario Alford to push the lead back to 17. The Cyclones got it back down to 10 on a long touchdown pass of their own from Rohach to Bundrage for 62 yards to make the score 38 – 28.
After recovering a Mountaineer fumble at the West Virginia 38 yard line, Cole Netten connected on a 31 yard field goal to pull the Cyclones within 7 with 4:21 left on the clock and in their season. When Jacques Washington intercepted a Trickett pass at the West Virginia 33, Iowa State was only 33 yards away from a tying touchdown with 2:46 left to score. Turns out they only needed 1:46 as Rohach hit Justin Coleman on a 19 yard touchdown pass to, amazingly enough, tie the game in which they once trailed by 24 points. West Virginia had enough time to move the ball close enough for a last second, hail-Mary shot at the end zone, but Jacques Washington of Iowa State once again came up with the interception and the two teams would extend their last game of the season into overtime.
In the first overtime, both teams connected on field goals: Iowa State’s Netten was good from 41 yards out; and, West Virginia’s Lambert connected from 40 yards out. In the second overtime period, each team’s offense moved the ball closer to a touchdown, but both settled for 26 yard field goals to keep the game tied.
On the first play of the first possession in the third overtime, Iowa State’s Rohach hit Justin Coleman on a 25 yard touchdown pass and made good on the mandatory 2-point-conversion with a pass from Rohach to E.J. Bibbs.
West Virginia moved the ball down to a first and goal from the 3 yard line, but could not cross the goal line in 4 tries. And, after trailing by 24 in the 2nd quarter and still down by 17 to start the 4th quarter, the Iowa State Cyclones end their 2013 football season with the largest come-from-behind victory of the year by any FBS team to win the Week 14 Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award. Boy, what a game! Boy, what a week! Boy, what a year!
SAFE HARBOR CONSULTING
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 Iowa State Cyclones for overcoming adversity and rallying back from the largest deficit faced by a winning team during Week 14 of the 2013 college football season.
There is still some football left to be played with the Week 15 Conference Championship Games and a few leftover contests for teams from conferences without a Championship Game; the Army Navy game in two weeks; and Bowl Games, BCS Bowl Games and the National Championship game in weeks to come. For those teams whose seasons are done – thanks for the effort. For teams who still have games to be played … man, I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next.
Week 14 – Honorable Mention
Georgia coming from 20 behind to beat Georgia Tech, 41 – 34.
Week 13 – Winner (To read the Week 13 article, click here.)
Connecticut coming from 21 behind to beat Temple, 28 – 21.
Week 12 – Winner (To read the Week 12 article, click here.)
Baylor coming from 14 behind to beat Texas Tech, 63 – 34
Week 11 – Winners (To read the Week 11 article, click here.)
Old Dominion coming from 14 behind to beat Idaho, 59 – 38.
San Diego State coming from 14 behind to beat San Jose State, 34 – 30.
Week 10 – Winner (To read the Week 10 article, click here.)
Louisiana-Lafayette coming from 21 behind to beat New Mexico State, 49 – 35)
Week 9 – Winner (To read the Week 9 article, click here.)
SMU coming from 21 behind to beat Temple, 59 – 49.
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