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Undefeated? Unlikely

Familiar start shows top teams like Bama and OSU likely to stumble before 2010's end

Updated: September 17, 2010, 7:49 AM ET
By Brian Fremeau | Football Outsiders

Does the 2010 college football season feel a bit familiar? There have been multiple head-turning upsets, headlined by the FCS triumphs of the Jacksonville State Gamecocks over the Ole Miss Rebels in Week 1, and the Dukes of James Madison over the Virginia Tech Hokies in Week 2. We've seen some surprisingly dominant play from teams outside the traditional elite class, like South Carolina's stomping of Georgia last weekend. And a few of the supposed contenders, like the Florida Gators, have looked merely mortal in their first few outings.

We're only a few years removed from what turned out to be the most volatile college football regular season in memory: 2007. That year roared out of the gate with Appalachian State's shocking upset of Michigan in the Big House, and concluded with the two-loss LSU Tigers hoisting the crystal football at the end of the BCS Championship Game. In between, 10 different teams ranked No. 1 or No. 2 at some point in the year, and the inside edge on a championship berth switched hands multiple times in the last two weeks of the season. It's way too early to tell if 2010 is careening down the same path, but a look at the numbers suggests we may have a chance for a controversial national champion to emerge once again.

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