The landscape of college football is changing from the traditional powers dominating everyone every single week to one in which any team, any week can knock off a highly ranked opponent.
The Michigan Wolverines are a great example of this.
Iâ€™ve never seen a team take a faster fall from grace than the Michigan Wolverines have in the first two weeks of the season.
Before the season began, the Wolverines were considered by most experts as one of the best teams in the nation. Their offense was supposed to run their opponents into the ground with the teamâ€™s seniors (Mike Hart, Chad Henne) coming back for one last chance at a national championship. The Michigan defense that gave up 30 or more points in the last two games of last year against Ohio State and USC was supposed to be much improved and by the end of the season Michigan would be in the hunt for a national championship.
The storybook season every Wolverine fan hoped for in Ann Arbor, Michigan turned to dread when 110,000 people watched with horror as all the positive buzz going into the season was gone in a three-hour period.
The Wolverines were upset at home by a D-1AA schoolÂ no one had heard of called Appalachian State.
Appalachian State didnâ€™t just beat Michigan. They controlled the entire game against the school that has the most wins in D-1 history, is one of the most respected programs in all of sports and was supposed to be one of the top five teams in all of college football.
Appalachian State didnâ€™t show any fear as they stepped on the field with the mighty Michigan Wolverines. They not only proved they could play with a team of Michiganâ€™s caliber, but also showed athletes are everywhere now a days. Appalachian Stateâ€™s players may have been smaller than Michigan, but the players Michigan had on the field could not keep up with the fleet footed Appalachian State players who ran circles around the Wolverines all game long. In the game, the Wolverines went from being a goliath of college football to a laughing stock of it.
All off-season Michigan had been touted as one of the best teams in the nation. The team hoped to go undefeated, beat Ohio State, win the conference and go to the national championship. These dreams are almost all but dashed after the performance the Wolverines put up this week against the Oregon Ducks at home once more.
Once again, 110,000 people filled the Michigan stadium seats to see if the week before was a fluke or if the once national championship contenders were really as bad as Appalachian State made them look.
Oregon dominated Michigan from the start, scoring long touchdown after long touchdown against an awful Michigan defense. By halftime the score was 32-7 Ducks, and Michigan was falling apart.
Their quarterback, senior Chad Henne got hurt. Senior running back Mike Hart aggravated an injury of his own, and the teamâ€™s best receiver, Mario Manningham, was dropping passes that turned into interceptions.
I watched the game on television and as I watched, I noticed the Wolverines trying to get in Oregonâ€™s face. They were probably trying to get into the Oregon players heads by saying some stuff that couldnâ€™t be repeated off of the football field. If I was an Oregon player, I would have just brought up the week before and how much they disgraced D-1A football.
It took two weeks for the Wolverines to go from the top of college football to the bottom. In years past, the crowd, the team and everything that had to do with Michigan football intimidated teams who came to play there. Not anymore!
Though Michigan is the biggest example of the traditional powers losing their stranglehold on college football, there are other examples of this happening around the nation.
A University of South Florida team came into Auburnâ€™s stadium and beat them in overtime. The South Carolina Gamecocks went to Georgia, who had just beaten a good Oklahoma State Cowboys team by 30, and won. Washington ended the nationâ€™s longest winning streak by beating Boise State. Iâ€™m sure there are more examples around college football that I canâ€™t think of right now as well but you get the point.
If there is anything that you can take out of the first two weeks of the college football season is that anything can happen and there are no easy games in college football anymore. The best team in the nation can be beaten by anyone if they donâ€™t play to their ability. Michigan is a great example of what could happen if a team isnâ€™t prepared.