Who's Hot & Not ... Week
Who's Hot ... Week Ten
10. Middle Tennessee’s Grip on the Ball
The Blue Raiders’ turnover woes continued on Tuesday night in Jonesboro, getting four interceptions from Dwight Dasher and losing three fumbles. The beleaguered program has now turned the ball over 28 times in eight games, which is more than any other school in the country.
Rookie head coach Bobby Hauck has to be pining a little for Montana, where he was a successful coach for seven seasons. Though his Rebels are playing like a Big Sky team, that’s a problem when you’re a member of the Mountain West. Save for the win over New Mexico at the end of September, UNLV has lost all eight of its games by at least 18 points, bowing to resurgent BYU in Provo this past weekend, 55-7.
8. Georgia Tech
Any hope of a repeat ACC title has ended. So might have the outstanding career of QB Joshua Nesbitt. Not only did the Yellow Jackets lose a second straight league game, giving up three fourth touchdowns to Virginia Tech, but Nesbitt was lost for the rest of the regular season with a broken right forearm. It’s possible he could be ready for the bowl, provided 5-4 Tech can quality for an invite.
The Mustangs have been shockingly bad in a year that they were expected to contend for a Conference USA championship. Falling for the third time in the last four games, SMU is probably out of the West Division race as well. Most perplexing has been a June Jones offense that’s had all kinds of issues getting into the end zone, scoring a season-low 14 points against a UTEP team that had lost three straight and has an average D.
Just when it looked as if the Buffaloes couldn’t sink any further, the program put the final nail in head coach Dan Hawkins’ coffin. In the midst of what appeared to be a feel-good road victory in Lawrence, Colorado inexplicably blew a 28-point lead in the fourth quarter, somehow yielding five touchdowns to Kansas in the game’s final 11 minutes. That’s five consecutive losses for a program that’s sure to have a new leader on the sidelines in 2011.
Remember when people were wondering whether the Tigers had what it takes to be a surprise contender for a national championship? Yeah, those days are long over now that they’ve lost to Nebraska and Texas Tech in consecutive weeks. QB Blaine Gabbert has cooled considerably, and the defense has settled back to Earth. Forget about the Big 12 North, which now appears to be the domain of the Huskers.
4. The Florida State D
The bloom is off coordinator Mark Stoops’ rose. So tough during the mid-section of the season, the Seminoles have caved in the last two games, flashing shades of Mickey Andrews’ final year in Tallahassee. The ‘Noles were absolutely gutted through the air by QB T.J. Yates, who went 24-of-35 for 439 yards and three touchdowns, and top target Dwight Jones.
3. Boise State’s National Championship Hopes
Even in blowing out a pretty good Hawaii team, Boise State’s chances of playing on Jan. 10 took a severe hit. Not only are the Broncos looking up at Oregon and Auburn, but TCU is suddenly building a lead on them as well. And with only San Diego State and New Mexico left of the Frogs’ schedule, it looks as if Boise is going to need more help than ever to qualify for a spot in the national championship game.
2. The ACC Atlantic Division
Does anyone want this half of the conference? Well, of course, but you’d have no way of telling over the last couple of weeks. Presumed favorite Florida State has lost back-to-back games, NC State couldn’t hold a lead on Clemson, and neither could Maryland in Miami for that matter. The division’s top three teams all went down on Saturday, raising the likelihood that Virginia Tech will be playing in another BCS bowl game in January.
1. The Natural Order of Things in the Big 12 South
You know it’s a strange season in Big 12 country when Oklahoma and Texas aren’t in the top two slots in the South Division. After the Sooners fell meekly to Texas A&M and the Longhorns were dumped by Kansas State for a fifth loss in the last six games, Oklahoma State and Baylor occupy first and second place, respectively. The ‘Horns are in the cellar. And you thought Big 12 changes would only be relegated to offseason realignment.
Who's Hot ... Week Ten