The No. 12 Sooners host Tulsa on Saturday, and the Golden Hurricane has an upset on its mind. Oklahoma teams have fallen victim to college football’s biggest upset in the 2009 season’s first two weeks. How can Tulsa make it three? Here’s how five teams pulled off the improbable: Breaking in a QB
Favorite can’t lean on a veteran at QB→The example: TCU 17, No. 7 Oklahoma 10 (2005) →Breaking it down: The Sooners were trying to replace Heisman winner Jason White, but the inexperience of starter Paul Thompson and backup Rhett Bomar gave TCU its biggest win since 1960. Bomar and Thompson combined to complete just 13 of 31 passes for 128 yards. The loss came early in the season, making the upset look less shocking in January. The Sooners finished the season 8-4 and unranked. The Horned Frogs went 10-1 and finished the season ranked 14th. →How it applies to OU-Tulsa: Not quite the same situation, but Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones is making just his second start. Jones showed potential in start No. 1 against Idaho State, but he’s bound to make at least a few more mistakes against a higher-quality opponent. The only players with the potential to win games by themselves are on the defense. Overlooked opponent
Favorite has bigger things on their mind→The example: Appalachian State 34, No. 5 Michigan 32 (2007) →Breaking it down: The No. 5 Wolverines entered 2007 with national championship aspirations on their mind and Pac-10 opponent Oregon coming to Ann Arbor the next week. But The Big House was already hosting a defending national champion in the season opener. The Mountaineers were two-time defending champs, and four months after leaving Michigan Stadium with a win, took a third consecutive Football Championship Subdivision title back to Boone, N.C. →How it applies to OU-Tulsa: No one pegged Tulsa as a defining game in Oklahoma’s season. It still isn’t. Make a list of the team goals for Oklahoma and "beat Tulsa” would be well outside the top five. Division, conference and national titles are all attainable and higher on the list. Trap game
Favorite comes off a big victory→The example: Houston 45, Oklahoma State 35 (2009) →Breaking it down: The Cowboys opened the season with arguably the biggest win in school history, downing Georgia 24-10. But as history has shown, teams coming off such wins often don’t play their best the following week. That was the case with OSU, opening the door for Houston to knock off the fifth-ranked Pokes in Stillwater. →How it applies to OU-Tulsa: It doesn’t. Beating Idaho State is hardly a landmark victory for anyone. Chip on the shoulder
Players from the underdog were overlooked by the favorite in recruiting→The example: Central Michigan 29, Michigan State 27 (2009) →Breaking it down: The majority of Central Michigan’s roster is made up of Michigan players who were overlooked by Michigan and Michigan State. Last weekend’s game at Michigan State was one the Chippewas had circled for awhile. And they played like it, too. →How it applies to OU-Tulsa: Many of Tulsa’s players grew up in Oklahoma and were passed over by the Sooners during recruiting. Like the Chippewas were for Michigan State, the Golden Hurricane will be fired up for this one. Turnovers
Favorite commits several turnovers→The example: Stanford 24, Southern California 23 (2007) →Breaking it down: Turnovers have long been the great equalizer in college football. So even though Stanford was a 41-point road underdog, the Cardinal was able to pull off the upset over second-ranked USC thanks to five Trojan turnovers, including an interception by quarterback John David Booty that led to Stanford’s go-ahead score. →How it applies to OU-Tulsa: Turnovers will be key in this game. The Golden Hurricane has forced six turnovers, which has them tied for 10th nationally in turnovers forced. After taking care of the ball better than anyone in the country last season, the Sooners have turned the ball over four times in two games.