How an upset can make all the difference
Underdogs have it one of two ways. They either lose and nothing changes, or they pull out a win and change everything. There’s rarely a middle ground. That’s why it’s so fun to root for them, because underdogs hold more power than we give them credit for. An upset can be the most exciting thing in sports.
This past Saturday featured a classic showdown in college football, the University of Southern California Trojans versus the Stanford University Cardinal. For the past three years, Stanford has been able to trump USC, regardless of rank, field or talent. They were looking to make it four years. But they were tossed to the curb by sports analysts, specifically because of the weren’t even ranked in the top 20. They were No. 21 going into the game. Meanwhile, USC was No. 2 in the land. According to the stats, there wasn’t a better team in college football. But Stanford players held their chins high and ignored the prognosticators. The key was a strong defense.
“I think they can put incredible pressure on (USC Quarterback Matt Barkley). One of the best defenses we go against is in practice,” David Yankey, Stanford offensive lineman, said, in an interview with Palo Alto Online two days before the big game. Take it from the guy who is lining up against them on a daily basis at practice, the Stanford defense is capable of stopping USC from scoring.
Cut to game night in Stanford Stadium. The energy from the crowd was relentless. The two teams fought neck and neck for the entire first half.
The second half was even more heated. It was 14-14 and the game’s final minutes. Stanford scored a touchdown with less than two minutes left. The stadium erupted.
USC needed something quick. But the Trojans were done.
Stanford’s defense was so hot that Barkley had trouble getting the ball off without a clobbering from one of Stanford’s defensive ends.
On fourth and 30, USC bleakly stared down the field at what they needed send the game into overtime. But the so-called second-best team in the country could not pull it off, and the home team’s fans flooded onto the field as the final seconds ticked away. Stanford had won 21-14. Looks like Yankey was right.
Now let’s take a look at a Georgia College sport that might be tossed into the underdog basket. Women’s volleyball is new at GC and plans on beginning its first official season next fall. Head coach Gretchen Krumdieck is passionate and determined to get the ball rolling and show everyone the strength of the team she is putting together. As Bobcats, we stand behind the new sport and trust in Coach Krumdieck. But will other schools look at our new team and underestimate them?
There are many, many talented volleyball players at GC as evident by the popular club team, and even more are being recruited for next season. Even if our volleyball team is chosen as the underdogs, let’s sneak up with a win, just like Stanford, and prove how strong Bobcat Nation really is.