Breaking the huddle on a new season, neutral sites and a key hidden stat

Topsy hooked up with turvy for the entire 2007 college football season, and those crazy kids first met a year ago this weekend at the Big House.

Appalachian State took its spread and its quickness and humiliated Michigan. Little did anyone realize that the Mountaineers’ 34-32 victory at Michigan Stadium foreshadowed a season full of upsets. Thirteen top-five teams lost to unranked teams. Kansas finished 12-1 and No. 7 in the nation. Stanford beat USC. Pittsburgh beat West Virginia.
So much upheaval, so little time, and when it came to winning a national championship, so what? No. 2 LSU lost in triple overtime at home to unranked Arkansas, 50-48, on Thanksgiving Friday, and the Tigers still climbed high enough in the rankings to play for and win the national championship.
Fast-forward to a new season. LSU opens Saturday against the same Appalachian State that kicked off last season’s insanity. Except, that is, it’s not the same Appalachian State. It’s not the same anything. The rules of 2007, if there were any in a season of anarchy, don’t apply to 2008.