But no, scratch that. 2007 was the wildest calendar year in college football history. There’s a difference.
Including weird stuff that happened during 2007’s preceding offseason — like Houston Nutt’s showdown with Arkansas’ rabid message boards, Bobby Petrino up and bolting Louisville, and Bama blocking UAB from hiring Jimbo Fisher — is fair game, right?
But what if we push the calendar all the way back? Did anything nutty happen in this sport on Jan. 1, 2007?
Oh, the year only began with one of the most beloved upsets ever, when a touchdown-underdog mid-major shocked maybe the greatest program in sports history to that point, and did it with trick plays and sideline marriage proposals.
Ask a random fan to tell you the wildest bowl story ever, and I bet they’ll describe this one. A decade later, this Fiesta Bowl is still promising us that anything is possible, and the season that followed it proved it right.
January 2007’s three other non-title BCS bowls weren’t all that strange. USC beat Michigan in a minor upset, LSU handled Notre Dame, and Petrino’s Orange Bowl win made his jump from Louisville to the NFL more surprising.
Florida had to lobby just to get into the title game over Michigan, with Urban Meyer leaning on the Gators’ tough schedule. Ohio State was a seven-point favorite, had Heisman-winning QB Troy Smith, was top-10 on both sides of the ball, and ran back the opening kickoff.
The Gators dominated the next 59 minutes and 44 seconds, beating Ohio State by 27 (and thus Vegas by 34).
That’s two massive shockers to open the year, with ramifications all throughout the 2007 season that’d follow.
- Ohio State’s helplessness against "SEC speed" was cemented as a meme after LSU ran away with the next year’s title game in another upset. Meyer, who started that whole thing, later finished it by beating Alabama as OSU’s head coach.
- After Boise State took down Goliath in a BCS bowl, could Hawaii do the same to Georgia? The Dawgs thus managed to play with chips on their shoulders against a WAC team.
- Washington beating Boise State in 2007 launched the Huskies to No. 10 in the polls, which gave Ohio State a nice resume item until UW crashed to 4-9.
- Two straight titles (and UGA not getting WAC’d), all shortly after Auburn’s BCS 2004 snub, created the modern SEC monster.
- OU played good and mad all 2007, winning the Big 12. "The Sooners showed no signs of a hangover following a stunning overtime loss to Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl," the school’s official site posted after a Week 1 win over North Texas.
In the 2007 season, 11 top-two teams were upset within a period of 56 days.
Zoom out a little, and you have a season that started with No. 5 losing to an FCS team and ended with No. 1 losing the title game by two scores to a team with two losses.
Zoom out a little more, and you have 364 days of college football anarchy.
2006’s season tried to warn us about what was coming.
This post's author and Shutdown Fullback co-hosts Spencer Hall and Ryan Nanni go back and try to rank the 10 dumbest things that happened during the 2007 season: