Log on to Wikipedia and search for "college football season, 2007." Scroll down a little and you will find a list titled "Key Match-ups and Upsets." You will notice that this list is enormous, and with good reason. 2007 has been one of the most unpredictable college football seasons of all time.
In the first week of the season, the Michigan Wolverines, a national powerhouse, lost to Appalachian State, a Division I-AA school. The Louisville Cardinals, a top-10 team at the time, lost in week three to unranked Kentucky. Yeah, we should have seen that coming, right? The Florida Gators, the reigning champs from 2006, were essentially knocked out of contention with big losses to Auburn and LSU midway through the season.
This year, having a top rank in the AP poll meant having a bull's-eye on your back, and being ranked low or even unranked was a great thing. We saw schools such as Kansas, Illinois and South Florida rise out of obscurity to challenge the nation's best teams. Teams that obtained a second-place ranking in the AP poll were in the greatest danger this year, as USC, California, South Florida, Boston College and Oregon were all beaten after being ranked number two in the nation.
With bowl bids only a week away, the picture looks pretty clear, and even the surprise teams have been surprised. The Kansas Jayhawks, sporting a perfect record and, gulp, a number two ranking at the end of the season, were beaten by third-ranked Missouri. The top-ranked LSU Tigers, one of the few teams that won (almost) all of the games it should have this year, lost to unranked Arkansas in triple overtime and (probably) lost its shot at the national title game.
There are upsets in college sports every year, which is what makes the college game great. March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament in the spring, has become infamous for its wildly unpredictable nature, and it has gained a lot of popularity as a result. Sports suffer without some parity. The key word here, though, is some. The parity in college football this season was absurd, to the point where games started becoming unwatchable. The national title game will likely be Missouri against West Virginia, which seems wrong because these teams just don't have the same level of talent as some of the more high-profile squads, like LSU, USC and Ohio State. Even the thrice-beaten Florida Gators have more star power than the Missouri Tigers. This season even saw certain teams, such as Oregon and South Florida, go from underdogs to top-ranked teams, and back to underdogs. Both were ranked second in the nation at one point in the season, but Oregon is currently 18th and South Florida is barely a blip on the radar at 25th.
The season has come completely full circle, and now the rankings don't look too different than they did in the beginning of the year. Preseason favorites like LSU, USC, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Ohio State, Virginia Tech and Florida are still in the top 10. There are a few newcomers like Missouri and Kansas that have replaced heavy-hitters like Texas and Michigan, but the season was so unpredictable that the final rankings are actually looking, well, predictable. What we have is a season where the "experts" predicted the final standings correctly, and as any sports fan knows, that means it must have been a really wacky year.