2013 Who's Hot & Not
- 2013 Who's Hot ... Week
Summa Cum Lousy
At least the Golden Eagles used to have company. However, after New Mexico State defeated Abilene Christian, USM now stands alone with the nation’s longest losing streak. Southern Miss has dropped 19 in a row, and is assured of back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since FDR was beginning his first term in the White House in the early 1930s.
Is it December yet? Iowa State
The 1-6 Cyclones just haven't been the same since getting robbed by the officials in the Texas game at the beginning of the month. They've now dropped four straight, allowing 129 points over the last two weeks to Baylor and Oklahoma State. The Cowboys entered Week 9 with offensive problems, but RB Desmond Roland marched ahead for 219 yards and four touchdowns.
While first-year head coach Mark Stoops is building a stable foundation in Lexington, it’ll be a while before the wins start trickling into the program. The youthful Wildcats have now dropped five in a row, capped by last Thursday’s rally in Starkville that fell short. There are plenty of reasons to be bullish on Kentucky, but tangible fruits of the staff’s labor won’t come until 2014.
Start evacuating the bandwagon of … Rutgers QB Gary Nova
In the Scarlet Knights' lopsided loss to Houston, it was Nova who played like a wide-eyed rookie, and true freshman John O'Korn who performed like the seasoned veteran. Over the last two games, Nova's poor decisions in the passing game have left the staff flustered and out of answers. In losses to Louisville and the Cougars, he threw one touchdown pass and seven interceptions.
UCLA QB Brett Hundley
Great quarterback, who has hit a rough patch as the level of competition has increased—and his level of protection has decreased. The sophomore will be just fine, but any bid for the Heisman Trophy has long since dissipated following bouts of mediocrity against Stanford and Oregon. Hundley’s two worst games of the year were his last two, throwing for just 256 yards, two touchdowns and four picks.
The American Defenses
AAC quarterbacks were on the money in Week 9. Or maybe the league’s defenses just aren’t very good. SMU’s Garrett Gilbert, Temple P.J. Walker, Houston’s John O’Korn, Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and UCF’s Blake Bortles combined to go 132-of-173 for 1,829 yards, 20 touchdowns and not a single interception.
Team of the Weak: West Virginia
Since upsetting Oklahoma State, the Mountaineers have lost three straight to Baylor, Texas Tech and Kansas State.
Go back to the middle of last October, and the Mountaineers are 4-11 against teams from the FBS. An even bigger indictment of the coaching staff is the fact that the team ranks 100th nationally in passing efficiency, making 2014 a make-or-break campaign for head coach Dana Holgorsen.
The Northwestern Offense
What's happened to the unit that was cranking out 40 points a game during September? Over the last three weeks, the Wildcats have lost their offensive mojo, averaging just 11 points a game. While the running game found some room in Iowa City on Saturday, the line allowed six Hawkeye sacks, and a couple of fumbles proved costly.
You emit a foul and unpleasant odor: The Penn State D
The Nittany Lions have now given up at least 40 points in three straight games for the first time since ’99 … 1899. Penn State was absolutely mauled by Ohio State, allowing more points and suffering the worst defeat of any team in the program’s 114-year history. The Buckeyes averaged almost nine yards a play, putting the game away early in the second quarter.
Needing a vote of confidence: Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini
Sustained excellence continues to be elusive for Pelini in Lincoln. Just when it looks like he’s out, the hot seat pulls him back in. Minnesota has been a truly feel-good story in 2013, but losing to the Golden Gophers, which had dropped 16 straight to the Huskers, is sure to be used as another talking point in the case against Pelini.
- 2013 Who's Hot ... Week