2011 Who's Hot & Not
Who's Hot ... Week 3
Who’s Not ...
This was supposed to be a year that the veteran Blazers compete in Conference USA East and helped improve head coach Neil Callaway’s job security. ‘Fraid not. UAB has registered only 10 points in two games, and Saturday’s 49-10 home loss to downtrodden Tulane could set the tone for the rest of the season. With five tough games ahead, the goal of bowl-eligibility could be finished before the folks in Birmingham start carving pumpkins.
The Huskies began the year in the Fiesta Bowl. They might end it without a postseason berth. Paul Pasqualoni’s Big East return is off to a bumpy start that’s included back-to-back losses to Vanderbilt and Iowa State. The offense, especially the quarterbacks, has been stale, and the usually reliable D couldn’t hold a fourth quarter lead in Friday’s loss to the Cyclones. If Connecticut can’t get right in consecutive games with MAC teams, this will wind up being a lost season.
This was supposed to be the bounceback/breakthrough season … oops. The Cougars have yet to score more than 16 points in a game, and Saturday’s loss to rival Utah was an epic implosion. The Utes’ 54-10 win was their largest margin of victory in the series since 1922. BYU turned the ball over seven times, rushed for 11 yards and allowed Utah’s John White to stutter-step his way to 174 yards and three scores on 22 carries.
7. Boston College
That Eagles’ streak of a dozen consecutive bowl trips has never been in more jeopardy than it is right now. Boston College hasn’t just lost its first three games of the year; it’s looked hideous doing it. A week after getting bombarded by UCF, it failed to handle lowly Duke, 20-19, missing what appeared to be a chip-shot with under a minute remaining. With a loss to the Blue Devils in the books, the Eagles are staring at a spot in the ACC cellar.
6. The Nevada Passing Attack
The legend of Colin Kaepernick in Reno grows with each passing week. In two games since the current San Francisco 49er exhausted his eligibility, the Pack has thrown one touchdown pass and five interceptions. In struggling to get past San Jose State in Week 3, it’s become increasingly clear that Nevada’s final season in the WAC is not going to be a victory lap.
5. Tennessee (vs. Florida)
The Volunteers arrived in Gainesville with hope. They left with a familiar sinking feeling, having lost to the Gators for a seventh straight time. Making matters worse, the offense may have lost playmaking WR Justin Hunter for an extended period of time to a knee injury. The 33-23 defeat was a reminder of just how far Tennessee still has to go before being a serious threat in the SEC East.
4. Ole Miss
It’s a very tough time to be Houston Nutt, the beleaguered head coach of the Rebels. Wrapped around a so-so win over Southern Illinois, Ole Miss has lost to an overrated BYU squad and been blown out by Vanderbilt, 30-7. The folks in Oxford don’t react too kindly to a bowl-less postseason and last place finish in the division, which is where the Rebs appear to be headed. The offense is necrotic, and likely to get worse before it gets better.
3. The Ohio State Offense
To be fair, suspensions have taken a big bite out the Buckeyes’ production. Still, the offense under QB Joe Bauserman, who went 2-of-14 for 13 yards in Miami, has been anemic in recent weeks. It might be time to give the keys to rookie QB Braxton Miller, who’ll soon have access to RB Dan Herron and WR DeVier Posey, the suspended playmakers set to return in October.
2. The Nebraska D
The Huskers’ recent results must be driving head coach Bo Pelini crazy. His staff has access to some of the Big Ten’s best talent, yet the defense has given up 67 points in the last two games with Fresno State and Washington. The Huskies stung Big Red on Saturday with four Keith Price touchdown passes and 130 yards rushing out of Chris Polk. Yes, injured CB Alfonzo Dennard has been missed, but one missing player should not be derailing this group.
1. UCLA Head Coach Rick Neuheisel
The experiment is over. When all is said and done, Neuheisel will have had four years to turn around his alma mater. Unfortunately, he hasn’t come close to succeeding. Despite recruiting well, the product on the field has been dreadful. After escaping San Jose State and getting trounced at home by Texas, it’s clear that the Bruins remain closer to the Pac-12 basement than the penthouse.
Who's Hot ... Week 3