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.
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.
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.