2012 Who's Hot & Not
- 2012 Who's Not ... Week
Who’s Hot ...
10. Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace
It’s been a long time since the Rebels had a playmaker behind center, but Wallace appears as if he’s ready to assume the role on a full-time basis. The JUCO transfer, who was briefly with new head coach Hugh Freeze at Arkansas State, has a firm grasp on the revamped system in Oxford. Sure, the competition has been suspect, but that won’t dampen enthusiasm on the Grove for the sophomore. Through two games, Wallace is 35-of-46 for 438 yards, five scores and a pick, adding 135 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground.
9. Utah State
With a rare national TV audience in attendance on Friday, the Aggies delivered a signature win by beating rival Utah for the first time in their last 13 tries. In a night of firsts for Utah State, it beat a BCS program for the first time in two decades … in front of its first sellout in a decade. The defense played surprisingly well against the Utes, while playmaking QB Chuckie Keeton got introduced to a much larger than normal crowd.
8. Iowa State
The Cyclones have opened the season with a pair of quality wins, beating Tulsa handily and toppling Iowa for the Cy-Hawk Trophy over the weekend. For Iowa State, it was the first win at Kinnick Stadium in a decade, snapping a four-game losing streak in Iowa City. The defense picked up the offense, intercepting a pair of James Vandenberg throws, and keeping the Hawkeyes out of the end zone for all four quarters. At 2-0, the ‘Clones are well on their way to a third bowl berth in the last four years.
7. The Mississippi State D
The Bulldogs have been spectacular so far on defense, a huge reason they’re unbeaten and ranked. They’ve only allowed two touchdowns in two games, including the 28-10 suffocation of Auburn in Starkville on Saturday afternoon. Opponents are going to realize that they simply cannot throw the ball on a Mississippi State secondary headed by top-flight CB Jonathan Banks and SS Corey Broomfield. Tigers QB Kiehl Frazier got a humbling glimpse of the unit over the weekend, managing just 125 yards, no touchdowns and three picks on 13-of-22 passing.
6. Ohio State QB Braxton Miller
Through two games, it looks as if Miller and new head coach Urban Meyer were made for one another. Getting only modest help from a marginal supporting cast, the sophomore has rushed for more than 100 yards in back-to-back weeks, setting a program record for quarterbacks in the opener. Playing with far more confidence and poise than he did as a rookie, one of the game emerging dual-threat stars has also been crisp and consistent when dropping back to pass.
5. UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin
There are a lot of reasons the Bruins are 2-0 and on the verge of being ranked after stunning Nebraska, 36-30. Franklin is the biggest one. Young QB Brett Hundley has far exceeded expectations, but his quick start would not have been possible without the heroics of his backfield mate. Franklin is leading the nation in rushing after shredding the Huskers D for 217 yards on the ground. He also added three receptions for 59 yards and a score, showing the speed and explosiveness that has his NFL Draft grade soaring.
4. Georgia LB Jarvis Jones
It might be time to start including Jones on the early list of contenders for the Heisman Trophy, this year’s Honey Badger from the defensive side of the ball. No, he won’t be a factor on special teams, but he does have a profound impact on the Georgia offense. The unequivocal MVP of Saturday night’s huge victory over Missouri, he chipped in nine tackles, a pair of sacks, a forced fumble and an interception. The pick and the strip set up touchdowns, much the way a gifted punt returner would following a long return.
3. The Oregon State D
There was absolutely no rust on the Beavers defense, which had its opener with Nicholls State cancelled by Hurricane Isaac. Oregon State dominated the heralded Wisconsin O-line, sacking Danny O’Brien three times, pitching a 58-minute shutout and holding Montee Ball to just 61 yards on 15 carries. The ends, Rudolph Fifita, Dylan Wynn and Scott Crichton, were fantastic at getting heat on O’Brien. In a critical year for the program—and head coach Mike Riley—OSU has gotten off to the kind of start that could carry it throughout the month of September.
2. Arizona Schools
First-year head coaches Rich Rodriguez and Todd Graham are flying high following upset wins at home over Oklahoma State and Illinois, respectively. Arizona and Arizona State are both 2-0, flashing unmistakable signs that they’re ready to exceed very modest preseason expectations. The ‘Cats are soaring on offense behind veteran QB Matt Scott and young RB Ka’Deem Carey. The Devils are getting contributions from everywhere. Heck, even Northern Arizona got in on the fun on Saturday, upsetting UNLV for its first win over an FBS school in a quarter-century.
1. Louisiana Schools
Tulane aside, this was about as perfect a weekend as a resident of Louisiana could have in September. LSU set the bar high, exerting its non-conference dominance with an emphatic 41-3 rout of Washington. However, it was the smaller schools that helped elevate the Bayou State. Louisiana-Monroe and clutch QB Kolton Browning pulled an epic stunner over LSU rival Arkansas, defeating a ranked team for the first time in school history. Louisiana Tech partook in a record-setting game with Houston … and survived, 56-49, behind a big night through the air from Colby Cameron. Louisiana-Lafayette got a jump on the Sun Belt Conference race by knocking off Troy on the road, 37-24.
Who's Not ... Week 2