The Miracles of the 2022 College Football Season

The college football season is officially in full swing, with teams now entering the eighth week of games after a thrilling first half of the season. One thing diehard college football fans love is when an underdog small school football team is able to defy all odds and defeat a heavily favored team and that has happened plenty of times already this year. 

It all started on September 10th during the second week of the college football season. Texas A&M University, ranked the sixth best team in the nation by the AP Top 25 College Football Poll, was taken down 17-14 by Appalachian State University, a small school in North Carolina that has 50,000 less students than Texas A&M. That same week, Notre Dame, historically a college football powerhouse that has won 13 national championships, lost to Marshall, a West Virginia school that hasn’t been ranked among college football’s 25 best teams since 2014.

Neyland Stadium, home of the Tennessee Volunteers football team. (Creative Commons)

During Week 7 of the college football season, there were even more upsets that shook up the college football landscape.

The University of Tennessee, having their best season since Peyton Manning was their quarterback in the 1990s, was able to upset Alabama, a school that has won three national championships since  2015, in a showdown between two of the country’s top 10 teams. Two other teams ranked in the Top 10 lost that week to teams ranked below them: (seventh ranked) USC lost to (20th ranked) Utah by only one point, and Oklahoma State, ranked eighth in the nation, lost to twelvth ranked TCU 43-40 in a thrilling game that ended in overtime. 

Some teams aren’t just defying the odds in one game; they have been doing it the whole season. The University of Syracuse, a team that went 5-7 last year, started the season with an undefeated 6-0 record, picking up big wins against NC State, Virginia, and Purdue. In Week 8, they barely lost a huge matchup against Clemson, the fourth best team in the country.  Tulane University, a private college in New Orleans, is ranked in the Top 25 for the first time since 1998, a huge rebound after they could only muster two wins in a disastrous 2021 season.

There have been plenty of huge surprises this year in college football, from unknown teams upsetting college football powerhouses, to small schools having a Cinderella season. It’s shaping up to be one of the best college football seasons in recent memory, and there is sure to be more amazing moments to come in the second half of the season.