2011 Hoops & Helmets - The Notable Misses
Wake Forest QB Tanner Price
Wake Forest QB Tanner Price
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Mar 14, 2011


Which top-programs and traditional powers had problems in one or both of the major sports?

Ooops & Helmets 2011

The Notable Misses

By Richard Cirminiello

 - Hoops & Helmets 2011 - Notable Misses

- Hoops & Helmets 2010
- Ooops & Helmets 2010
- Hoops & Helmets 2009
- Ooops & Helmets 2009
- Hoops & Helmets 2008
- Ooops & Helmets 2008
- Hoops & Helmets 2007

… and then there are the eight notable schools from major conferences still pining for a big postseason game and something to cheer about in 2010-11.

8. Washington State
The Cougars are getting very close to waving buh-bye to this section, but not quite yet. The program that was in Hoops & Helmets hell a year ago made progress in both football and especially basketball. Behind Klay Thompson, Ken Bone’s hoopsters rose out of the Pac-10 cellar to go 19-12 and finish in sixth place during the regular season. Their season will be extended in the NIT. Even if it wasn’t obvious with a 2-10 record, Wazzu was more competitive in football, limiting its number of blowout losses compared to recent seasons. While it wasn’t enough to even approach thoughts of bowl-eligibility, it did extend Paul Wulff’s career in Pullman by at least one year.

7. Minnesota
The play of the football team cost Tim Brewster his job during a 3-9 season marked by a two-month dry spell. While Tubby Smith isn’t in a precarious position at this stage of a brilliant career, he can’t be happy with a 17-14 season and a ninth place finish in the conference. Any hopes for a spot in the NCAA Tournament ended with a disappointing loss to Northwestern in the opening round of the Big Ten tourney. Brewster never could get over the hump at Minnesota, going 15-30 and getting the boot after starting 1-6 this past fall, including a tone-setting loss to South Dakota in September.

6. Iowa State
The future may look bright for Fred Hoiberg’s basketball team, but the present includes a fifth straight year without a spot in the NCAA Tournament. While the Cyclones await the eligibility of a slew of transfers, the current team lost 10 consecutive Big 12 games and finished in the conference basement. Paul Rhoads’ football team was unable to get to back-to-back bowl games, losing its final three games to go 5-7. While Iowa State did post impressive wins over Texas Tech and Texas, in Austin, it lacked the consistency on both sides of the ball to challenge in one of the nation’s toughest conferences.

5. Virginia
There’s no doubt that the Cavaliers are showing progress under second-year basketball coach Tony Bennett, going from three wins in his debut to 16 wins this past year. It was a step in the right direction, but wasn’t enough to get the program into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007. In the fall, the football team struggled as expected in Mike London’s first season as the head coach. Virginia peaked with an upset of Miami on Oct. 30, even flirting with bowl-eligibility, but dropped its final four games and ended up just 4-8. Both programs are looking ahead to the future, but were unable to break through this soon in their rebuilding.

4. Indiana
For the Hoosier athletic program, this has become an all-too-familiar situation in March. The once-proud Indiana basketball program continues to struggle mightily in the wake of NCAA penalties, suffering a third consecutive losing season for the first time in four decades. While Tom Crean is attracting a better caliber of talent, the season once again ended a little too early in Bloomington. Another losing season and just three Big Ten wins over the last three years signaled the end of Bill Lynch’s career as the school’s football coach. Even a rare win in West Lafayette for the Old Oaken Bucket wasn’t enough to save the coach, whose final mark was inflated by a soft non-conference schedule.

3. Oregon State
It’s been 21 years since the Beavers appeared in the NCAA Tournament and 29 years since they won a game, so little is expected from the hoops team. It was all downhill after a surprising 2-0 start in league play and upset of Arizona, struggling to score and finishing a predictable 11-21 and in ninth place in the Pac-10. The disappointment came on Saturdays, where Oregon State slumped below .500 for the first time since 2005. Shedding its knack for finishing with a flurry under Mike Riley, the Beavers were a year-long enigma and won just once over the final five weeks.

2. Rutgers
It used to be that the Scarlet Knight football team would keep the school from appearing in these unflattering parts. At least that was the case from 2005-09. In 2010, however, Rutgers took out a page from its troubled past, going 4-8 and closing with a six-game losing streak. Only one player earned All-Big East honors, S Joe Lefeged, and the on-field paralysis of DT Eric LeGrand cast a pall over the entire season. The Knights basketball season ended at 15-17 on a controversial call against St. John’s in the Big East Tournament. It was an eventful, yet familiar, finish for a program that hasn’t earned an NCAA Tournament berth in two decades.

1. Wake Forest
It might be time to temporarily remove the “Win” from Winston-Salem because the city hasn’t seen a lot of that over the past six months. In the fall, the Demon Deacons were among the nation’s poorest football teams, losing nine straight between defeats of Duke and Vanderbilt to finish with their worst record since 2000. Nothing went well for a squad that didn’t put a single player on the All-ACC team. Despite the heroics of freshman F Travis McKie, Wake Forest still went 8-24 on the hardwood, its most losses in school history. A young team that’s already looking ahead to the future, its only road victory came almost four months ago at Elon.

 - Hoops & Helmets 2011 - Notable Misses

- Hoops & Helmets 2010
- Ooops & Helmets 2010
- Hoops & Helmets 2009
- Ooops & Helmets 2009
- Hoops & Helmets 2008
- Ooops & Helmets 2008
- Hoops & Helmets 2007