There are 126 teams playing FBS football, but it only took us 7 weeks to produce our first two-time winner of the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award. And, there remains only one team that has yet to trail in a football game this season: although Rutgers did give Louisville a bit of a challenge in their Thursday Night football game, the Cardinals never trailed in the game and remain the only team to have accomplished that feat all season long. This week, Louisville faces another prime-time foe on Friday Night in the UCF Knights (two night games in a row and two Knight games in a row), which should be another challenge and, may be the last real challenge they face all year.
Hawaii is becoming the “almost” team of the year for our award. After “almost” rallying all the way back from an amazing 39 point deficit against Fresno State in Week 5, but falling short, they overcame a 19 point deficit, large enough to be this week’s winner, with 1:44 left in the game, only to give up a last second 44 yard field goal to lose to UNLV. And, the Mountain West Conference is becoming the Conference of the Year for this award. This will mark the fourth week out of seven that the award has gone to a Mountain West team – that’s pretty amazaing.
Lastly, before the weekly recap and game winning summary, I want to thank Kirk Herbstreit for taking a minute to pose with my son following this week’s ESPN GameDay show in Seattle. Being a college football fan(atic), I am a season ticket holder for the Washington Huskies. Being from his same home town, Centerville, OH, and also being an Ohio State University alum, I am a Kirk Herbstreit fan. On Saturday, those two worlds collided and Mr. Herbstreit was nice enough to stop and pose with my son on his way off the set – what a nice man. And, now, Week 7.
WEEK 7 RECAP
Now that we are well into Conference play, games are more competitive; now that games are more competitive, there are fewer large leads to overcome; now that there are fewer large leads to overcome, there are a lot fewer chances for significant come-from-behind victories. More competitive games also means more excitement and more ranked teams starting to fall. Week 7 saw a number of ranked teams take it on the chin and has started to reshuffle the top 10 and BCS picture. This is when the real fun begins.
Of the 51 college football games played this week including at least one FBS team, 29 of them were won by teams that trailed at one point or another in the game, but only 4 of those teams overcame deficits of greater than 7 points. The Louisville Cardinals came into Week 7 as the only team in the nation to have never trailed in any of their games and came out of the week owning that same distinction. The 4 teams that came back from more than 7 points behind were: Army, overcoming an 8 point deficit to eventually double up Eastern Michigan 50 -25; Marshall, rallying back from 9 points down to edge out Florida Atlantic, 24 – 23; Penn State, rebounding from a 10 point deficit to defeat Michigan in overtime, 43 – 40; and, our Week 7 Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award winner, and our first two-time recipient of this award, San Diego State, overcoming a 14 point deficit to best Air Force, 27 – 20.
SAN DIEGO STATE
Two weeks ago, San Diego State travelled to Las Cruces, NM and rallied back from a 16 point deficit to secure their first win of the year and the Week 5 Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award. Last week, the Aztecs beat Nevada in overtime after the Wolfpack rallied back from a 4th quarter 21 point deficit to force the extra period. This week, San Diego State would win their third game in a row and second Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award in three weeks. It hasn’t taken us long to learn to never give up on following an Aztecs football game no matter what the score may be – a comeback is likely to occur.
This week’s game would take place in Falcon Stadium at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO on a Thursday Night contest. The Air Force was looking to get their first Mountain West Conference victory to go along with 4 early season conference losses. After losing their first three games of the 2013 college football season, San Diego State was looking to secure their third straight victory – the first two being notable for in game comebacks (or, almost comebacks).
San Diego State started off the game with a long, sustained drive that ended with a missed, 37 yard field goal attempt. After recovering a fumble three plays later at the Air Force 27 yard line, they were stymied on a fourth and goal attempt on the Air Force 3 yard line. The Aztecs had dominated the first 9 minutes of the game, but had no points to show for it. Then, with under 30 seconds left in the 1st quarter, the Aztecs connected on a 44 yard Quinn Kaehler to Eric Judge touchdown pass. After missing the extra point attempt, the Aztecs went into the 2nd quarter with a 6 – 0 lead. The next two quarters, however, would belong to the Falcons.
The Air Force scored a go-ahead touchdown on their first possession of the 2nd quarter on a Nate Romine 16 yard run. The extra point put the Falcons up by 1 at 7 – 6. San Diego would have trouble maintaining possession of the ball on their next two possessions, first losing a fumble at their own 36 yard line and then throwing an interception at the Air Force 34. On each occasion, however, the Aztec defense rose to the challenge and prevented Air Force from capitalizing on the turnovers. The Falcons did, however, add a 48 yard Will Conant field goal on the last play of the half to enter halftime with a 10 – 6 lead.
Air Force started the 3rd quarter the same way they ended the 2nd, and added another Conant field goal, this one from 52 yards out, to go up by a score of 13 – 6. And, on their next possession, the Falcon’s Nate Romine connected with Sam Gagliano for a 71 yard scoring pass to make the margin 20 – 6. But, this is the Mountain West Conference and, furthermore, this is the San Diego State Aztecs – both already showing a knack for comebacks in 2013.
Entering the 4th quarter down by 14, the Aztecs apparently had the Falcons just where they wanted them. The comeback began on the Aztecs’ first possession of the final stanza. Throwing the ball on every play of this possession, San Diego State moved the ball 80 yards in 6 plays ending with a Kaehler to Donnell Pumphrey 20 yard touchdown pass. The extra point made the score Air Force 20, San Diego State 13.
The next Aztec possession included a running play, 19 yards by Pumphrey, and a pass play, 62 yards from Kaehler to Ezell Ruffin for a game-tying touchdown. And, San Diego State’s third possession of the quarter ended with their third touchdown of the quarter following a 13 play, 77 yard drive capped off by a Donnell Pumphrey, game-winning 10 yard touchdown run.
The Falcon’s attempt to tie the game up fell short, failing on a 4th and 4 with just under one minute left in the game. Once again, San Diego State rallied from behind to win a football game and, by doing so, becoming the first two-time recipient of the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award Winner.
SAFE HARBOR CONSULTING
Businesses, just like college footba
ll 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 San Diego State Aztecs for overcoming adversity and rallying back from the largest deficit faced by a winning team during Week 7 of the 2013 college football season. Week 7 resulted in changes in the top 10 and changes in the BCS landscape. We look for more of the same from each week left in the college football season … we can hardly wait.
Week 7 – Honorable Mention
Penn State coming from 10 behind to beat Michigan 43 – 40 in overtime.
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.)
Week 3 – Winner (To read the Week 3 article, click here.)
Week 2 – Winner (To read the Week 2 article, click here.)
Week 1 – Winners (To read the Week 1 article, click here.)