2011 Who's Hot & Not
2010 Hot & Nots
Who's Hot & Not Week 1
Who's Not ... Week 4
Who’s Hot ...
Just a week after coming agonizingly close to knocking off Penn State, the 3-1 Owls obliterated Maryland at Byrd Stadium. RB Bernard Pierce rushed for a MAC and school-record five touchdowns, and the defense continued to be one of the best-kept secrets in America. Behind the incessant pressure of Adrian Robinson and Tahir Whitehead, Temple made the Maryland offense look even uglier than the uniform it was wearing. You think Big East officials were paying attention to the 38-7 final score?
9. Washington QB Keith Price
No, he’s not Jake Locker, but Price is starting to carve out his own legacy in Seattle. Faced with filling some of the biggest shoes in America in 2011, the sophomore has exceeded expectations in the early going by tossing at least three touchdown passes in each of his four starts. In Saturday’s crucial win over Cal, he efficiently went 19-of-25 for 292 yards and three scores, while paying homage to his predecessor with a couple of nifty scrambles.
8. North Carolina RB Giovani Bernard
The Heels lost a tough game to Georgia Tech, 35-28, but may have found a star in Bernard. The redshirt freshman has been giving Carolina its best threat out of the backfield in years. After going for 155 yards and two scores on only 17 carries, he now has six rushing touchdowns to go along with a robust average of 7.4 yards per carry.
7. Iowa QB James Vanderberg
So far, so good on the transition from Ricky Stanzi to Vanderberg behind center. The junior has thrown three touchdown passes in consecutive games, running the occasional hurry-up to perfection against Louisiana-Monroe this past weekend. For the year, he’s now thrown for 10 scores and just one pick, while helping get the Hawkeyes back on their feet following the Week 2 overtime loss to Iowa State.
6. Clemson WR Sammy Watkins
Forget the Freshman All-American Team. Clemson’s prized rookie is operating as if he wants to win the Biletnikoff Award in his debut. A microcosm of a Tigers offense that’s gushing with young playmakers, he shredded the Florida State secondary for eight catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns to cap a brilliant first month at this level.
5. Kansas State
The Wildcats made their first meeting with Miami a memorable one, beating the ‘Canes, 28-24, on a goal line stand in the final seconds. The same program that needed to rally in the opener to beat Eastern Kentucky is now 3-0, with an improbable tailwind to its rear. The Kansas State offensive line was sensational, paving the way for 265 rushing yards, a career-high 166 from sophomore John Hubert and 93 more out of shifty QB Collin Klein.
4. Texas Tech QB Seth Doege
Although a lack of serious competition is justifiably dampening enthusiasm, it might be time to start giving Doege a little more attention. The first-year starter in Lubbock, and latest Red Raiders gunslinger, has opened with 11 touchdown passes, nearly 1,000 yards and no interceptions. His final scoring strike on Saturday night came with 44 seconds on the clock to complete a rally in a 35-34 victory over visiting Nevada.
3. Demps & Rainey
The Florida passing game remains stale under the direction of QB John Brantley, but the offense isn’t because of the play of backs Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey. First-year coordinator Charlie Weis has done a terrific job of maximizing the world class speed of his two best playmakers, getting them into space where their jets can be showcased. Demps ran for 157 yards and two touchdowns on only 10 carries in Saturday’s rout of Kentucky. Rainey also rushed for 100 yards in the game, and ranks among the nation’s leaders in yards from scrimmage.
2. The Oregon Offense
You didn’t think the loss to LSU on opening night was going to stall the Quack Attack, did you? Oregon has now scored at least 56 points in three consecutive games, including the Week 4 demolition of Arizona, 56-31. RB LaMichael James has jetted for more than 200 yards in back-to-back games, highlighted by a school-record 288 yards and two scores in the desert. Plus, QB Darron Thomas has been throwing seeds all month, accounting 14 touchdowns and just one interception.
1. Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy
Gundy put on a coaching clinic in College Station, making all of the necessary halftime adjustments to guide his Cowboys back from a 20-3 deficit on the road. Lifeless in the first half, Oklahoma State scored 27 unanswered points to steal the energy from Kyle Field and host Texas A&M. The Pokes now own one of the best wins of the opening month of 2011, clearing their first of many hurdles to a coveted Big 12 championship.
Who's Not ... Week 4