One of the bigger storylines heading into Week 7 was the fact that there were no ranked vs. ranked matchups, the subliminal implication being that this would be an uneventful weekend. As is ofttimes the case, the sport of college football scoffed in the general direction of conventional wisdom.
Friday night begat No. 2 Clemson falling to Syracuse and No. 8 Washington State embarrassing itself against Cal; Saturday afternoon begat No. 10 Auburn coughing up a second-half lead in a loss to LSU.
Early Sunday morning brought additional Top 10 carnage.
Ranked fifth nationally and winners of nine straight in the regular season, Washington entered the weekend comfortable favorites over 2-3 Arizona State. In a game that didn’t feel as close as the final score indicated, however, UW fell from the ranks of the unbeaten as Arizona State laid a stunning 13-7 loss on the Huskies.
UW’s loss means that four of the teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 10 coming into Week 7 went down in defeat ahead of Week 8 in the biggest top-shelf shakeup of the 2017 season thus far. The teams that avoided being caught up in the upset maelstrom? No. 1 Alabama, No. 3 Penn State, No. 4 Georgia, No. 6 TCU, No. 7 Wisconsin and No. 9 Ohio State.
The Nittany Lions were on a bye this weekend, while the other five Top 10 teams left unscathed won by an average of 25.4 points; take away UW’s eight-point win over Purdue, and that average jumps to nearly 30. Add it all up and it was, on all fronts, a seismic shift when it comes to the Power Five balance of power.
Then there’s this: when you add in No. 19 San Diego State getting beat by Boise State — a significant development in the Group of Five — five undefeated teams suffered their first losses of the 2017 season this weekend.
And, again, this great sport scoffs in the general direction of what you think may or may not happen any particular weekend.