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Who's Hot & Not ... The Big 12 Offenses
Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford
Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford
Posted Oct 31, 2008

Yeah, the Big 12 offenses are good, but just how good are they? Along with the smart teams, the Southern Miss defense, and the one player Alabama needs to worry about, in Who's Hot & Not going into the big weekend.

Who's Hot & Not - Week 9

Past Hot and Not: 2007 Hot & Not | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4
- Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 8 

Who’s Hot …

Big 12 Offenses
Is it a case of great offenses or bad defenses? It's probably a little bit of both, but it's mostly the great talent on the Big 12 attacks. Tulsa leads the nation in scoring offense, but No. 2 through 6 (Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Missouri and Texas) are all Big 12ers. The league boasts eight of the nation's top 27 offenses in total yards.

Western Michigan QB Tim Hiller
The junior has stepped up his play over the last few weeks, but will it be enough to get through the nasty MAC West? Hiller's WMU team lost to Central Michigan last week, but there will still be chances to get back in the race with Ball State coming up. Hiller, over his last three games, has thrown for 347 yards and four touchdowns against Ohio, 345 yards and four scores against Buffalo, and 471 yards and two touchdowns against Central Michigan. The Broncos face Eastern Michigan this week.

North Carolina Secondary
The Butch Davis defense has been fantastic at going after the ball led by a secondary that leads the nation with 17 interceptions. Cal is No. 2 with 15 picks. The Tar Heels have picks off a pass in every game but one, the loss to Virginia, and is coming off a three interception day against Boston College. Next up is Georgia Tech, who doesn't throw, attempting just 98 passes on the year, with three interceptions.

David Cutcliffe vs. Vanderbilt

Just about everyone has gotten fat on Vanderbilt over the last several decades, but Duke head coach David Cutcliffe, appears to have a little more luck. As the head coach of Ole Miss, an assistant at Tennessee, and now at Duke, he is 24-2 over the Commodores after last week's 10-7 win. The Blue Devils play Wake Forest next.

Arkansas State DE Alex Carrington
Houston's Phillip Hunt leads the nation in sacks. Carrington is No. 2, and has been one of the nation's most consistent playmakers throughout this season. A big factor who can play inside or out, the junior has come up with a sack in each of the last six games and has been solid against the run with 33 tackles. He's a playmaker to watch out for against Alabama this week.

Who’s Not …

Southern Miss Defense

What happened to the program that always brought the type of defense that scared the heck out of all the big names? New head coach Larry Fedora has struggled in a disastrous first year with a five-game losing streak, a 2-6 record, an 0-4 Conference USA record, and a defense that has been abysmal. The aggressiveness isn't there, ranking last in the league in sacks, it's 102nd against the run, 100th against the pass, and has allowed 34 points ore more four of the last five games.

Navy Passing Game
Injuries and the effectiveness of the running game has made Navy even more one dimensional than ever. Air Force is 117th in the nation in passing, Army is dead last, and Navy is second-to-last. However, Navy has taken things to another level. Army has thrown the ball 67 times this year, the second fewest attempts, and Navy has attempted just 48 throws. Last week against SMU, Navy ran the ball 77 times for 404 yards and five touchdowns in the 34-7 win. The Midshipmen didn't attempt a pass. Next up is Temple, who allows 209 yards per game.

Texas A&M Defense
The Wrecking Crew this is not. Texas A&M's offense has started to explode with the emergence of QB Jerrod Johnson, but the defense has gone in the tank. Currently last in the Big 12, allowing 34.5 points per game, the Aggies have allowed 188 points over the last four games. Next up is Colorado, the league's worst offense. If A&M struggles, then watch out for the Oklahoma game to follow.

LSU Scoring Defense
LSU was third in the nation, and first in the SEC in total defense last year and allowed just 19.9 points per game. Over the last three weeks, the Tigers have allowed 120 points and is battling near the bottom of the league in total defense. After giving up 51 to Florida and 52 to Georgia (with two of the Dawg touchdowns coming from the defense), the Tigers get a week off against Tulane before dealing with Alabama.

Smart Teams
Just when it seemed like the really smart teams were going to make a big statement, they all started to struggle at the same time. From Northwestern losing to Indiana, and losing RB Tyrell Sutton and QB C.J. Bacher to injury, to Vanderbilt losing to Duke, and with a bowl game far from secure, to Stanford and Baylor not capitalizing on early success, the small, smart schools are all of a sudden having problems down the home stretch.