Who's Hot & Not ... Week
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Who's Hot ... From the Bowl Season
Who's Hot ... The Preseason
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Not ... Week 12
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The Bobcats are one of the hottest small-school programs in the country, winning their last seven to offset a bumpy September and eight straight conference road games. Last Tuesday night's 31-23 upset of equally hot Temple in Philadelphia has put Frank Solich's team in the driver's seat of the MAC East division.
9. Rice RB Jeremy Eddington
On the way to their third win of the season, the Owls may have also found a terrific back for the future. Slated to redshirt in his first year out of high school, he's flourished after a depleted roster forced him off the sidelines. The 6-2, 220-pounder followed up his first career 100-yard day a week ago by torching East Carolina for 141 yards and four touchdowns on only 16 carries.
8. The West Virginia D
Without a whole lot of attention outside the Big East, Jeff Casteel has once again done a fantastic job with the Mountaineer defense. After holding Louisville below 200 yards, West Virginia has yet to allow more than 21 points in one of its 10 games, ranking in the top 10 nationally in run D, pass D, scoring D, and sacks.
7. Michigan State in the Late Stages
For the third time this season, the Spartans rallied from a fourth quarter deficit to win a crucial game. This time around, the victim was Purdue, which saw its 28-13 lead vanish into the East Lansing landscape. The defense stepped up, special teams got a huge blocked punt, and QB Kirk Cousins remained steady in clutch situations. Just like that, the cardiac kids remained in contention for the Big Ten title and the BCS bowl game that comes with it.
6. Colorado RB Rodney Stewart
Bowl eligibility remains within reach for the Buffs largely because of the play of their exciting junior back. Among the Big 12 leaders in rushing, he's gone well over 100 yards in each of the last three games and can go the distance with even a little bit of daylight. In Saturday's mild upset of Kansas State, he erupted for a career-high 195 yards and two scores on the ground, caught a pair of passes, and threw a 23-yard touchdown pass.
5. Kellen Moore's Supporting Cast
Yeah, the Boise State quarterback is the cover boy and the Heisman contender, but he's getting plenty of help from both sides of the ball. Doug Martin is soon to be a 1,000-yard rusher, and the receiving tandem of Titus Young and Austin Pettis is as good as any in the country. Among their 18 receptions in the Friday night whitewash of Fresno State were a pair of touchdown catches each, giving them eight apiece on the season.
4. Virginia Tech
The Hokies' winning streak has now reached nine games, while gaining more validation with a win in Miami, 31-17. The ACC Coastal champs, Tech keeps rebounding from a disastrous 0-2 start that was marked by a home loss to James Madison. With Ryan Williams beginning to run like he did in 2009, Frank Beamer's kids have a shot to close the year with 12 consecutive victories and a BCS bowl trophy.
If the Cardinal is left out of the BCS bowl picture as an at-large team, it'll be a crime. It's gone on a tear since falling to Oregon on Oct. 2, winning six in-a-row, capped by a historic blowout of Cal in the Big Game. The 48-14 rout over a Bear team that shut down the Ducks two weeks ago was the biggest in 80 years and the most points scored by Stanford against Cal.
2. Illinois RB Mikel Leshoure
Leshoure, for one, looked completely comfortable operating in the same direction for the entire game at Wrigley Field. The senior blew a hole through the Northwestern defense, rushing for a school-record 330 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries. The Big Ten's No. 2 rusher, he's gone over the century mark in three straight games, carrying the Illini to bowl eligibility for just the second time in the last nine years.
In the three-team race for the Big Ten championship,
the Badgers remained a leg up in the decisive BCS
standings, routing Michigan for a sixth consecutive
win. They've scored at least 31 points in each of
the victories, relying on a running game that's been
unstoppable, regardless of who's getting carries.
Saturday's win in Ann Arbor was Wisconsin's first
since 1994 and marked the first time it's defeated
the Wolverines, Ohio State, and Iowa in the same
Not ... Week 12