Who's Hot & Not ... Week 9
Who's Hot ... Week Nine
The Miners have to be able to do better than Mike Price at head coach. This program’s knack for starting fast and then fading has become uncanny over the last few seasons. Here we go again. After starting 5-1, UTEP has dropped three straight to those Conference USA luminaries, UAB, Tulane, and Marshall this past weekend.
College football’s version of former slugger Rob Deer, the Bears are either going yard or getting caught looking. In Corvallis, they whiffed for a fourth straight time on the road, bowing meekly to Oregon State, 35-7. Cal was 1-of-12 on third down attempts and didn’t score until there was less than a minute left on the clock.
8. Clemson QB Kyle Parker
Maybe he’s being distracted by the World Series, but Parker is clearly not the same quarterback he was last season or even earlier in this year. One of the culprits in the Tigers’ inexcusable 16-10 loss, he went 21-of-39 for 174 yards and two interceptions, and has thrown just two touchdown passes in the last five games.
Yeah, the Volunteers put up a fight in Columbia and maybe its piling on at this point, but it speaks volumes that a 38-24 loss to South Carolina goes down as a moral victory. The last SEC program without a conference win, Tennessee has dropped four in-a-row. Hey, at least true freshman QB Tyler Bray was sharp, throwing two touchdown passes and giving a sliver of hope for 2011 and beyond.
6. Florida State QB Christian Ponder
A difficult season continued on Thursday night for the one-time ultra-trendy Heisman contender. Playing through a painful elbow injury, Ponder had the Seminoles on the NC State four-yard line, with a chance to win in the final minute, but bumped into RB Ty Jones and fumbled away the lead in the Atlantic Division.
5. West Virginia
Back-to-back losses to Syracuse and Connecticut have the one-time Big East favorites floundering and in danger of falling completely out of contention. If ever there’s been a time that the Mountaineer staff, namely head coach Bill Stewart and offensive coordinator, has looked overmatched, this is it. There’s way too much talent for this team to score no more than 20 points in four of the last five games.
The wheels have officially come off the Husky program. In a season once filled with so much promise, U-Dub has become U-Dud, losing three of the last four games. The last two to Arizona and Stanford by a combined score of 85-14 sent shockwaves through Seattle that the Apple Cup is likely going to “be its bowl game”. The defense is regressing under Nick Holt, and Jake Locker’s nightmare finale keeps authoring new chapters.
If not for the heroics of Denard Robinson, what would the Wolverine record be right now? 2-6? The defense continues to be a sieve, making former Penn State walk-on QB Matt McGloin look like the second-coming of Kerry Collins this weekend. Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson has to go, but how has the current three-game losing streak impacted the job security of Rich Rodriguez? With Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ohio State still left in November, things could get worse before they get better.
How bad have things gotten for the Longhorns? Mack Brown has dropped more home games in the last five weeks than Bob Stoops has in over a decade at Oklahoma. Now 4-4 after back-to-back losses to Iowa State and Baylor, Texas could have a unique goal in the annual showdown with Texas A&M at the end of the month…bowl eligibility. The offense has been a particular flop, ranking 109th nationally in red zone touchdowns.
1. Notre Dame
Neither Charlie Weis nor Tyrone Willingham is back in South Bend, but you wouldn’t know it by what’s happening on the field. In one of the worst eight-day periods in school history, the Irish lost games to Navy and Tulsa, QB Crist to a season-ending knee injury, and student videographer Declan Sullivan to a tragic accident while the team was practicing on Wednesday. The national feeding frenzy is in full swing, which should make Brian Kelly second-guess why he ever left the serenity of being the Cincinnati head coach.
Who's Hot ... Week Nine