There were plenty of upsets on the card this weekend, with undefeated teams falling left and right. Four previously unbeatens were all upset by unranked teams, and there were a few other near-misses, too. We will see a massive shakeup in the polls, and by the end of the year one of the teams that lost this week will likely look at Week 7 as the one that kept them out of the College Football Playoff.
Biggest Win of Week 7 – LSU 27, Auburn 23
This game looked like it was going to be an Auburn blowout after the first quarter. Auburn raced out to a 20-0 lead and looked unstoppable on offense, with its first four drives each going at least 45 yards and ending in points. However, LSU put the clamps on Auburn in the second half. It forced Jarrett Stidham to beat the Bayou Bengals through the air, and he could not.
It was the second big win in as many weeks for Ed Orgeron, who is winning big games just like his predecessor Les Miles did. Coach O and LSU now have a very winnable schedule the rest of the way outside of Alabama.
Biggest Upset of Week 7 – Syracuse 27, Clemson 24
Friday the 13th gave us a double dose of shock results, with Clemson’s loss to Syracuse sending reverberations throughout the college football world. It was a shock to see Clemson’s offense unable to do anything against Syracuse’s defense, and the Orange did just enough on offense to pull out the win.
For Syracuse, the win was a sign that the Dino Babers hire might be a home run. Babers has continually turned programs around in his second year on campus, and this was a validation that what he does works. His extremely up-tempo offense eventually wears defenses down, and his pace is tough for teams to match. Clemson has a major question, though, as starting quarterback Kelly Bryant suffered a concussion and is out for a couple weeks in all likelihood.
Surreal Score of Week 7 – California 37, Washington State 3
The second game on Friday the 13th was even crazier than Clemson falling to Syracuse. Perhaps we should have seen Cal’s win over Washington State coming, but no one expected the Cougars to lose in the fashion they did. Luke Falk threw five interceptions, and he fumbled it away once in a nightmare night that also saw him sacked nine times. Washington State’s offense was completely held in check by Cal’s defense, as the Cougars were unable to block the Golden Bears up front, which led to a terrible night for Falk. The Cougars defense wasn’t bad, allowing 365 total yards of offense, but it received no support from its offense.
Biggest Close Call of Week 7 – USC 28, Utah 27
Clay Helton and the Trojans were very fortunate because a loss would have likely completely eliminated the school from any shot at making the College Football Playoff. Utah was in front for most of the game after a strong first half, but USC rallied late and took the lead for the first time with under five minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Utah came down the field and scored with 42 seconds left, but a two-point conversion to take the lead came up short to spare USC. Don’t overlook the fact that the Trojans had touchdown drives of 98, 88 and 93 yards in the second half on this defense, but now they have to play Notre Dame in South Bend.
Biggest Letdown of Week 7 – Arizona State 13, Washington 7
Washington’s offense just didn’t show up on Saturday night in Tempe. The Huskies managed just 230 total yards of offense as Jake Browning had a terrible night leading the team. He averaged 4.6 yards per pass and was unable to connect with Dante Pettis for any long gains. The loss should send the Huskies freefalling in the rankings, and the Pac-12 might be in the most perilous spot for the CFP thanks to the loss by Washington State and the near-loss by USC.