Unbelievable football season a reality

And you thought the college football season couldn’t get any wackier.

When Appalachian State knocked off Michigan in the Big House to open the season, you thought you’d seen it all.

Shame on you.

Don’t you know this is college football? Where huge games are won on the statue of liberty, and hook and lateral plays, and where teams split the national championship every five years?

Anything can happen. Don’t blink or you’ll probably miss something. Oh wait, you just did.

Texas Tech’s wide receiver Michael Crabtree just caught another touchdown pass. It’s his 14th of the year in just five games. He’s only a freshman.

As kooky as everything has been around the nation, it hasn’t exactly been sane around here.

Locally, nothing could be stranger.

No one thought UK would be ranked No. 8 in the nation after five games. Even after a 5-0 start, no one could have seen this kind of a leap.

Not quarterback Andre Woodson. Not head coach Rich Brooks. Not someone with a 2007 college football yearbook.

On top of that, UK is in the driver’s seat to win the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division. Every team in the East has a conference loss except UK. Beat all the teams in the East — road games at South Carolina, Georgia and Vanderbilt and home dates against Tennessee and Florida — and win one of two remaining games against West teams (Louisiana State and Mississippi State in Lexington) and the Cats will be playing for the title in Atlanta.

All of a sudden, after not having won an outright SEC title since 1950, that becomes an attainable goal.

The main reason for UK’s revival — and, yes, even though it was a non-conference game — was the win over Louisville.

Some thought U of L might not be as good this year as they were last year, when they won the Big East championship and the Orange Bowl.

But come on. No one saw this coming.

After the heart-stopping loss to UK, Louisville inexplicably lost to Syracuse 38-35. It was the biggest upset, in terms of point spread, in Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) history.

Going into that game, the Orange had been shutout once and had only put up 32 points in three games. Since the Cardinal collapse, the Orange lost to Miami (Ohio), a game where they put up zero points in the first half.

As bad as Syracuse is, they still beat a team that at one point was the No. 8 ranked team in the nation. They’re not the only ones.

Of the teams that started in the Associated Press’ top 10, only three are still unbeaten. Of the seven teams that have lost, five were beaten by a team that, at the time, was unranked.

Last weekend, seven of the nation’s top-13 teams lost. That kind of shake up welcomed South Florida into the top 10. The Bulls have only been playing football for 11 seasons, and they’ve only been in the FBS for seven seasons.

South Florida must not be that good, though, because there are still 15 undefeated teams at this point. That list includes UK, Connecticut, Kansas and Cincinnati — all traditional basketball powerhouses. Somewhere, basketball inventor James Naismith is shaking his head.

The point is, none of it makes sense. None of it could have been predicted, and not even the most clairvoyant prognosticator could forecast the next three months.

And still, after the first week, you thought the season couldn’t get any wackier than Appalachian State beating Michigan.

It has. Notre Dame is 0-5.

Jonathan Smith is a journalism senior. E-mail [email protected]