2011 Who's Hot & Not
Who's Hot ... Week 2
Who’s Not ...
The Rebels haven’t just lost their first two games; they’ve been trampled by a combined score of 110-24. Okay, so there’s no shame in getting battered by Wisconsin on opening night, but 59-7 versus Washington State? The same Wazzu team that was without linchpin QB Jeff Tuel? Tuel’s replacements, Marshall Lobbestael and Connor Halliday, torched the UNLV secondary for 471 yards and seven touchdowns on 29-of-38 passing.
9. The SMU Run-and-Shoot
Okay, so the Mustangs are running it fine with beefy Zach Line, but what’s happened to the “shoot” half of the offense? In Week 1, head coach June Jones shelved Kyle Padron for ineffectiveness. In Saturday night’s win over UTEP, replacement J.J. McDermott failed to throw a touchdown pass on 31 attempts. It didn’t matter to the outcome, but then again, you can get away with a lack of balance against a team like the Miners.
8. Colorado RB Rodney Stewart
Yeah, his blockers haven’t provided enough support, but Stewart’s numbers are still way off last year’s production. After being bottled up and held to only 52 yards on the ground by Hawaii on opening day, the former 1,000-yard rusher had a difficult time navigating Cal’s aggressive 3-4 D. Now 0-2, the Buffs need more from their sparkplug in order to make life a little easier for QB Tyler Hansen.
7. The Big Ten
Aside from Michigan’s thrilling win over Notre Dame, it was a rough weekend for the Big Ten. Quality wins were rare, and losses to New Mexico State, Virginia, Rice and Iowa State raise doubts about the conference’s overall depth for 2011. Even the victories, such as Nebraska’s over Fresno State and Ohio State’s over Toledo, came with a few too many tenuous moments in the second half.
6. Texas QB Garrett Gilbert
Didn’t you used to be the franchise in Austin and the successor to Colt McCoy? Gilbert appears destined for a quiet career as a Longhorn after getting yanked versus BYU in favor of Case McCoy—Colt’s brother—and rookie David Ash. Gilbert sealed his own fate Saturday night by opening the game 2-of-8 for eight yards and two interceptions. If head coach Mack Brown and his staff stick with the youth movement, Gilbert may have to transfer in order to resuscitate a sagging career.
5. Arizona (vs. Mike Gundy)
For the second time in the last three games, the Wildcats were thoroughly abused by Oklahoma State. Sandwiched between a blowout of Northern Arizona in the opener, Arizona has gotten dressed down by Gundy’s Cowboys, 36-10 in last December’s Alamo Bowl and 37-14 in Stillwater on Thursday night.
4. Oregon State
The Beavers are in complete disarray following the first two weeks of the 2011 season. After inexplicably falling to Sacramento State in the opener at home, Oregon State was shutout by Wisconsin, 35-0. Adding to the chaos in Corvallis, head coach created a quarterback controversy when he pulled starting QB Ryan Katz in favor of Sean Mannion after the first set of downs.
3. The Penn State Offense
Sure, few teams are going to successfully navigate the ‘ this year, but the Nittany Lions’ problems appear bigger than just Saturday’s 27-11 loss. Through the first two games with Indiana State and Alabama, the nation’s 118th-ranked pass efficiency team has not thrown a touchdown pass. In fact, it’s yet to decide between struggling quarterbacks Rob Bolden and Matt McGloin, who combined to go 12-of-39 for 144 yards and a pick this past weekend.
2. Football in the Northeast
The state of football in the Northeast hasn’t been this dire in quite some time. In Week 2 alone, Rutgers lost to North Carolina, Connecticut fell to Vandy, Penn State was dumped by Alabama, Boston College was routed by UCF and Syracuse narrowly escaped Rhode Island. When exactly in October does Midnight Madness begin?
1. The State of Indiana
In a remarkably bad day for the Hoosier State, Notre Dame, Indiana and Purdue all lost in the waning seconds of their respective games. Ball State never stood a chance in its trip to Tampa to face South Florida. The four programs now have an aggregate record of 2-6, with more inconsistency on the horizon, particularly for the Boilermakers and the Hoosiers.
Who's Hot ... Week 2