Upsets are the lifeblood of college football and there were plenty of shocking results last season. Remember when Troy beat LSU in Baton Rouge? What about when Iowa State beat Oklahoma? Or when Syracuse beat Clemson?
It was virtually impossible to see those upsets coming, but what games may yield similar results in 2018? Here are five of the biggest potential upsets that could happen in 2018:
5) Michigan Wolverines over Ohio State Buckeyes - Nov. 24
Michigan has lost six games in a row to the Buckeyes, but that has to change sometime, right? The Wolverines have come close to beating the Buckeyes each of the past three seasons but Jim Harbaugh has not managed to knock off Ohio State yet. In fact, Urban Meyer has not lost to Michigan since taking over the Buckeyes.
There are some signs that this may be the year things change despite Ohio State's streak. The Buckeyes are breaking in a new quarterback and have to find replacements for a large number of players on the defensive side of the ball. On the flip side, Michigan returns almost all of their production and should have the country's best defense - plus the best quarterback they've had under Harbaugh in Shea Patterson.
This game has also had major playoff implications two years in a row - Ohio State's double-overtime win in 2016 sent them to the playoff despite not winning the Big Ten and their win in Ann Arbor in 2017 propelled them to the Big Ten title (though they narrowly missed out on the CFP). What will the stakes be this time around?
4) South Carolina Gamecocks over Georgia Bulldogs - Sept. 8
Many expect Georgia to return to the College Football Playoff this season - or at least be in the mix all season long - but they'll face a really stiff test in Week 2 against South Carolina.
The Gamecocks are a team that will be on the fringe of the top 25 at the start of the season but return virtually all of their production from last season's team and quarterback Jake Bentley will be in his third year as the starter.
An early season test plus a tough road environment could mean an early loss for the Bulldogs. Remember, South Carolina was one of just three teams last season that stayed within 14 points of UGA.
3) Vanderbilt Commodores over Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Sept. 15
The Irish had to deal with plenty of youth last season, yet still found a way to win 10 games. Running back Josh Adams and wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown are gone, so the offense is counting on quarterback Brandon Wimbush to really develop. However, he didn't show anything last season to indicate he can carry the offense.
Vanderbilt has gradually been improving under head coach Derek Mason. They got off to a fast start last season and have a stingy defense, two things that really play into their hands in this matchup.
If things go the wrong way early for Wimbush, we could be looking at an upset in South Bend. And, if that happens, Brian Kelly could find himself firmly on the hot seat.
2) Fresno State Bulldogs over UCLA Bruins - Sept. 15
UCLA is going to be really good under head coach Chip Kelly, but it's going to take some time for him to really put his stamp on the program. They're making the adjustment from a pro-style system to Kelly's wide-open spread system, and those two personnel styles don't exactly match up - meaning the Bruins may have some major struggles in 2018.
That's not the case for Fresno State, who went 10-4 last season, have an excellent defense and return nine starters on offense. The Bulldogs are not a team that will back down from the Bruins and, if UCLA is still experiencing some early-season hiccups, Fresno State will make them pay.
This certainly isn't the most likely upset on this list but it would be the most shocking. These were two of the country's most explosive offenses last season and FAU returns most of their starters, including quarterback De'Andre Johnson. Kyler Murray will be tasked with replacing Baker Mayfield for Oklahoma, but after being drafted No. 9 overall by the Oakland Athletics, there are questions about his status for the upcoming season.
The best case for the Sooners is that he'll play, but he'll still be a first-time starter with a baseball career potentially ahead of him in the spring. And, given FAU's potent offense and Oklahoma's history of falling short in games like this, it's certainly worth watching. Even if the upset doesn't happen, this one is guaranteed to be an entertaining shootout.Back to the NCAA Newsfeed