Hiding among the 1,000s of games scheduled for this season, is there a 2014 version of FCS James Madison’s upset win over No. 13 Virginia Tech in 2010?
The Dukes’ two-hour road trip from Harrisonburg, Virginia to Blacksburg that resulted in a shocking 21-16 win over the Hokies is the most uncommon type of upset—a big-time program getting zapped by a smaller school from the same state.
It’s the little brother finally exacting sweet revenge on the big brother and before it actually happens, it’s a scenario that all sides consider impossible.
Here’s a look at 10 games in 2014 where a smaller school will have the rare opportunity to play giant killer versus the heavyweight from its own state.
Though the list doesn’t include every in-state showdown in 2014, it highlights the ones with the most potential for a dazzling dose of shock and awe.
When/Where: Saturday, Sept. 27, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, Ohio
All-Time Series: Ohio State leads 13-2-0
The Buckeyes and Bearcats haven’t squared off since 2006 when Ohio State won 37-7 in Columbus. Cincinnati’s only two wins came back-to-back, 117 years ago, in 1896 and 1897. Ohio State will also face in-state foe Kent State in 2014.
When/Where: Saturday, Sept. 6, H.A. Chapman, Tulsa, Okla.
All-Time Series: Oklahoma leads 18-7-1
When/Where: Saturday, Aug. 30, Darrell K. Royal Memorial Stadium, Austin, Texas
All-Time Series: Texas leads 9-0
Michigan State-Eastern Michigan
When/Where: Saturday, Sept. 20, Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Mich.
All-Time Series: Michigan State leads 9-0
Michigan State and Eastern Michigan have played six times since 1996 but before then hadn’t clashed since 1899. All but one game, the first meeting in 1898 which was in Ypsilanti, have been played in East Lansing.
When/Where: Saturday, Aug. 30, Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, Iowa
All-Time Series: Iowa leads 15-1
Only 12 points separated Iowa and Northern Iowa the last two times they squared off. The Hawkeyes won 27-16 in 2012 and survived a 17-16 decision in 2009. The Panthers’ only upset win came via an 11-5 victory in 1898 in Cedar Falls, the only meeting played outside of Iowa City.
When/Where: Saturday, Sept. 6, Husky Stadium, Seattle, Wash.
All-Time Series: Washington leads 1-0
Washington and Eastern Washington’s only previous clash came in 2011, a nail biter the Huskies pulled out 30-27. The Eagles’ are 1-9 all-time against the Pac-12, the only win coming last season when they upset Oregon State 49-46 in Corvallis.
When/Where: Saturday, Oct. 11, Neyland Stadium, Knoxville, Tenn.
All-Time Series: Tennessee leads 37-2-2
Tennessee and UT Chattanooga haven’t played since 1969 when the Vols blanked the Mocs 31-0 in Knoxville. Chattanooga last beat Tennessee 56 years ago, in 1958, a 14-6 shocker.
When/Where: Saturday, Sept. 13, Tiger Stadium, Baton Rouge, La.
All-Time Series: LSU leads 2-0
LSU and ULM have met twice in history, both games coming since 2000. The Tigers have outscored the Warhawks 100 to 7, the only ULM score in history coming via a fourth quarter touchdown in 2003’s 49-7 decision.
When/Where: Saturday, Sept. 20, Gerald J. Ford Stadium, Dallas, Texas
All-Time Series: Texas A&M leads 44-29-7
Former league-mates in the old Southwest Conference, Texas A&M and SMU have met four times since the SWC dissolved after the 1995 season. The Mustangs’ last win came in Irving, Texas in 1984 but they secured a 21-21 tie in 1994 in San Antonio. The Aggies will also face in-state opponents FCS Lamar (Sept. 6) and Rice (Sept. 13) this season.
When/Where: Saturday, Aug. 30, Stanford Stadium, Stanford, Calif.
All-Time Series: Tied 1-1-0
Stanford and UC Davis last played in 2005, a game the Cardinal dropped 20-17 on its home field. Stanford’s only win in the series came all the way back in 1932 when it beat the Aggies 59-0 under head coach Pop Warner.