Cosmic forces aside, upsets are inevitable

Originally Published: October 28, 2004
By Chris Fowler | ESPN Insider

GameDay, built by Home Depot
Who: Chris Fowler, Lee Corso,
Kirk Herbstreit
When: Saturday, 10:30 a.m. ET
Where: ESPN

College Football Saturday
Who: (2) Oklahoma vs. (20) Oklahoma State
When: Noon ET (ABC)
Where: Stillwater, Okla.

  • Scouts Preview
    The earth crosses between the sun and the moon, casting an eerie shadow and creating a rare lunar eclipse as the Red Sox close in on their eighth straight postseason win to reverse the infamous curse.

    Do cosmic events have a carryover effect? Now that it's obvious the planets are in some sort of twisted alignment, what will happen in college football? Halloween is just around the corner, don't forget.

    Will the mighty (USC, OU, Miami, Auburn) finally fall this weekend, as they venture away from home? Or does the upheaval in baseball's natural order mean college football history will be made next? Will the surprising not happen, which would be a surprise? It's a law: upsets happen.

    But maybe not ... this time. Now, anything is possible.

    The debate

    How many college football teams will remain perfect after the regular season? More than two? Four? An unthinkable five? Forget the Heisman, for now. The logjam of unbeatens and the race for the Orange Bowl is the interesting debate of the moment. And it's one that has intelligent, dialed-in observers in complete disagreement.

    Right now, there are seven perfect teams: One in each of the BCS conferences except the depleted Big East, plus Utah and Boise State. That's a lot for the last week in October. Last year at this point, there were three: Oklahoma, Miami and TCU. All finished with two losses.

    For now, let's set aside the Utes and Broncos. They will not be in the top two of the BCS, no matter what happens. Wisconsin is something of a longshot, according to resident BCS devotee Brad Edwards. The computer average for Bucky's boys is 11. It will climb if they win their last three, but will U-Dub jump FSU in the polls?

    But for now, let's keep Wisconsin in the equation. And I'm talking about a serious equation here. I've done some homework and even splurged on a new calculator at Radio Shack (nine bucks), and with the help of math wizard Jeff Sagarin, I'll give you a heapin' helpin' of math which illustrates why the chaos of midseason (almost) always seems to resolve itself.

    I'll put the calculator to use in a minute. Don't worry – it'll be fun.

    Chris Fowler

    College Football
    Since 1989, Chris Fowler has been ESPN's primary college football and men's college basketball studio host. He's anchored College GameDay, the network's award-winning Saturday morning college football preview show, since 1990.