2013 Who's Hot & Not
Who's Not ... Week 1
E-mail Rich Cirminiello
Follow me ...
Summa Cum Laude
The Rutgers passing game
What the? Sure, the Scarlet Knights dropped a heartbreaker at Fresno State, but the passing attack lends hope for the rest of the season. QB Gary Nova played one of the best games of his career, throwing for 348 yards and five scores, and young WR Leonte Carroo looks like he's going to be a dynamite complement to all-star teammate Brandon Coleman.
Offensive Coordinator of the Week: Noel Mazzone, UCLA.
It's Year 2 with Mazzone in Westwood, and the Bruins appear more potent than ever. They slapped 647 yards on Nevada, 302 through the air and 345 on the ground. QB Brett Hundley is ready to take the next step, and RB Jordon James took flight in his first game as Johnathan Franklin's successor.
Defensive Coordinator of the Week: Mike Elko, Bowling Green.
Elko's unit was the driving force of last week's stunningly easy upset of Tulsa, 34-7. The Falcons were air-tight throughout, allowing 12 first downs, pitching a shutout for the first 55 minutes and holding the vaunted Hurricane ground game to 51 yards on 24 carries.
Stockpile more shares in … Utah State QB Chuckie Keeton
It wasn't enough in the end, but Keeton did all he could to lead the Aggies to their second straight upset of in-state rival Utah. Heroic throughout, the junior hoisted his teammates on his shoulders by accounting for 399 yards and three scores, while completing 31-of-40 passes in Salt Lake City.
The best quarterback you've never heard of
... Troy QB Corey Robinson
At least, he's the best statistical quarterback
you've never heard of. Not only is he the nation's
active leader in passing yards, passing efficiency
and completions, but he came up with one of the
greatest games in the history of college football
against UAB completing an NCAA record for passers
with 30 attempts hitting 94% of his passes going
30-of-32 for 319 yards - hitting 20 straight passes
at one point - in the 34-31 overtime win over UAB.
Maryland with C.J. Brown under center
Oh, what a difference No. 16 makes in College Park. The Terrapins were decimated by injuries at quarterback a year ago. But with Brown back for the opener with Florida International, they scored 40 first-half points before tapping the brakes. Brown had more total touchdowns—five—than incompletions—four.
Bucking for a promotion: Western Kentucky head coach Bobby Petrino
Petrino isn't even in the SEC any longer, yet he's upsetting member programs. In what was supposed to be a bit of a down year for the school, Western Kentucky handled in-state Kentucky, 35-26, getting a balanced effort on offense. It won't be long before a larger program takes a stab at making Petrino an ex-Hilltopper.
The Oklahoma State D
The Cowboys looked like a different unit than the one that got trucked at times last season, keeping Mississippi State out of the end zone. Coordinator Glenn Spencer's kids were fast to the ball, physical at the line and tight in coverage. If Saturday's effort was a harbinger of things to come, OSU will be tough to beat in the Big 12.
Can I be your agent … Jordan Matthews?
The senior receiver from Vanderbilt ran circles around the Ole Miss secondary, making 10 grabs for 178 yards and a touchdown. Skilled in all phases of the position, he also advertised uncanny toughness by making a clutch fourth down grab moments after suffering a vomit-inducing blow from Rebel Cody Prewitt.
Start designing the Fathead of … Miami RB Duke Johnson.
On a night when QB Stephen Morris was, eh, Johnson carries the Canes past Florida Atlantic with 186 yards rushing and a score on only 19 carries. Next up for one of college football's most electrifying players is a visit from Florida, and a chance to really grab the country's attention.
The start of the Tommy Tuberville era at Cincinnati
The Bearcats were razor sharp for Tubby, running circles around an outclassed Purdue team, 42-7. Cincinnati controlled the line of scrimmage throughout, nearly doubling the output of its visitor in a game that didn't figure to be so one-sided. Maybe Cincy will be a threat to Louisville in the American after all.
He's how young?! Texas Tech QB Baker Mayfield.
Mayfield didn't just become the first walk-on true freshman to ever start an opener for a BCS school; he went ahead and accounted for five touchdowns in the Red Raiders' 41-23 win over SMU, giving head coach Kliff Kingsbury something to think about when Michael Brewer returns from injury.
U-Dub gifted itself quite a homecoming present in its return to renovated Husky Stadium, a 38-6 dismantling of Boise State. In a signature performance, Washington jumped out early and never looked back, winning the opener in front of a delighted crowd, with defense, the running of Bishop Sankey and the passing of Keith Price.
The Rebels built on their terrific offseason by going on the road to defeat Vanderbilt, 39-35, in a Thursday night thriller in Nashville. Ole Miss is coming on hard for second-year head coach Hugh Freeze, whose roster includes a nice mix of veterans and precocious rookies, like DE Robert Nkemdiche and WR Laquon Treadwell.
Alabama's Christion Jones
On a day when the Tide offense was stuck in neutral, Jones provided all of the points the program needed to beat Virginia Tech. Relatively unassuming in his first two seasons, he erupted for three touchdowns, a 72-yard punt return, a 94-yard kickoff return and a 38-yard catch. Welcome to the nation's conscious, Christion.
Team of the Week: Clemson
The Tigers endured in the Game of the Week with Georgia behind the heroics of QB Tajh Boyd and the adjustments of the defensive staff. In getting past the Dawgs, 38-35, Clemson becomes the first non-SEC program ever to defeat top 10 SEC opponents in consecutive games. All the rage now, it could be in national championship for a long time.
Rise of the FCS
A fat paycheck is no longer enough for college football's second-division programs. Apparently, they want to make history as well. A staggering eight FCS schools shocked FBS opponents, slaying the likes of reigning Big 12 champ Kansas State and No. 25 Oregon State. The sport might need an exhibition season … or the okay to schedule NAIA teams.
Who's Not ... Week 1