clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Any Given Saturday...

There's three kinds of college football seasons.

There's the King Kong Season, when one team proves themselves so much better than everyone else that it seems almost embarrassing that they have to beat someone by 40 in the National Championship game just to prove it. (See Nebraska, '95, Florida State '99, USC '04).

There's the Last Man Standing season, where a small group of teams slowly but surely separate themselves from the pack and either pick each other off or wait for one of them to be upset in order to whittle down two combatants for the title. Of course, since we have the dumbest system possible in place, this sometimes ends in a split National Champion.  (See LSU/USC '03, Florida '08).

Then there's the Free-For-All season, in which no one team or even 2-3 teams seem like they're guaranteed a spot in the title game.  Or at least, the teams that do spend most of the season near the top of the rankings don't seem entirely invincible.  There's a good chance these years that a newbie will sneak into the title game and the chances of seeing an undefeated champion are slim. (See LSU '07)

Everything we've seen so far leads to believe that, despite the fact that Florida, Alabama and Texas have maintained those top three spots for a while, we're looking at a Free-For-All this year. None of those teams seem unbeatable by any means, much like the rest of the teams behind them.  Plus Florida and Alabama are on a collision course and Texas has some major tests ahead, meaning none of them are out of the woods by a longshot.

The thing about these season types is that it's not just about the national championship, it also defines the way the season plays out for everyone. Just look around at the college football landscape in the last couple weeks and you'll see just how much of a free-for-all its been:

#7 Ohio State gets drubbed by a one-win Purdue team.

Colorado, who had previously lost to Toledo, beats undefeated #17 Kansas.

Virginia Tech beat Miami beat Georgia Tech beat Virginia Tech.

Kansas State lost to La-Lafayette earlier this season and then dropped sixty on 3-2 Texas A&M.

Then there's Washington beating USC, Duke beating NC State, BYU blowing out Oklahoma before losing to Florida State who then lost to South Florida and all of the other intriguing upsets or surprising wins this year.

For Syracuse fans, this is fantastic news.

Things have not looked good the last two weeks for the Orange.  It's hard to look ahead to games against #5 Cincinnati or #20 Pittsburgh and think SU will be able to hold their own.  But all you have to do is look around at what else is going on this season and's possible. 

I mean, based on what you've seen so far, would it be really all that shocking to see Florida, Alabama or Texas to lose before their conference championships?  It would be an upset, but not a complete shock.  And obviously if you heard that Boise, Cincy, Iowa or TCU lost, you probably wouldn't be shocked at all.

Any given Saturday, anyone can beat anyone.  Even Syracuse.