Tuesday Question - The Biggest Disappointment

Posted Oct 6, 2009

What has been the biggest disappointment so far? Is it Illinois? North Carolina, or the injuries to Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow? Or is it Georgia with its rocky beginning. This and more in the latest Tuesday Question. CHECK BACK AT LUNCH TIME ... CAVALCADE TO BE UP THIS AFTERNOON.


Tuesday Question ... Oct. 6

The biggest disappointment so far is

Tuesday Questions
- 9/29 Who's No. 4?
- 9/22 What's next for USC?
- 9/15 The Young QB You Want
- 9/8 Are Michigan & ND back?
- 9/1 Pick the winners
Pete Fiutak

Q: The biggest disappointment of the season so far is …

I can't limit it to just one. Western Michigan, North Carolina, and Ball State are in the picture, but ...

6. California. The Bears have as much speed, athleticism, and talent as anyone in the country. The secondary is supposed to be loaded, the defensive front was supposed to be a brick wall, and this was supposed to be the team everyone was waiting for from Jeff Tedford. But it's Cal. I should've known better.

5. LSU. I'm ready to see it all come together. Soon, the top recruiting classes have to mature and the lines that were supposed to be the strength early on have to start playing like their hype. This hasn't played like the fourth best team in America so far no matter how you might want to spin it.

4. Oklahoma State. There's still time and there are still plenty of chances to be the superstar team that was going to hang 50 a game on everyone, but QB Zac Robinson has been disappointing, RB Kendall Hunter and WR Dez Bryant have been banged up, and even though there has only been one loss, to Houston, the team doesn't seem to have it to become anything special.

3. - Illinois. Arrelious Benn looked me in the eye and swore this was going to be the Illini team that went to the 2008 Rose Bowl, only more mature and more talented. Now Juice Williams is getting benched, star LB Martez Wilson is out for the year, and the team has been a weekly disaster with no hope in sight.
2. - Ole Miss. I never expected a national title type of team right away this year, but I didn't expect the interception-fest from Jevan Snead and the struggles overall on offense. There's still plenty of time to turn things around and be a player in the SEC, but the Rebels have looked like garbage so far.

1. Georgia. This is my own fault. I told everyone who'd listen that Joe Cox would be fine in place of Matthew Stafford, and he has been above average. I told everyone that Knowshon Moreno wouldn't be missed because of the slew of excellent backs ready to step in. That hasn't worked out. I tried to sell everyone on the O line, the upgraded defense, and the potential to be a sleeper in the national title race. But the Dawgs can't tackle, they can't produce consistent offense, and they haven't shown yet that they can be any sort of a player in the bowl picture. Again, I blame myself.

Richard Cirminiello

Q: The biggest disappointment of the season so far is …

A: … hands down, the injury to Sam Bradford, with Tim Tebow's concussion close behind if he misses time.

While I don't get overly pumped about the Heisman race, this set up as an unusually riveting race involving the aforementioned quarterbacks and Texas' Colt McCoy. When Bradford went against the grain and opted to return to Oklahoma for another season, it added another level of intrigue to the 2009 campaign. Now that he's missed three games, and could be out for longer, I sort of feel like everyone following or covering the sport got gypped out of seeing one of the game's best players. The fallout has meant a less relevant Oklahoma on the national stage and, potentially, a less interesting Big 12 landscape.

Ditto Tebow if he can't play Saturday night in Baton Rouge, or is somewhere south of 100%. Unless you have a specific rooting interest, everyone wants to see the best players performing on the biggest stages. I want to see Tebow try to deliver a Willis Reed moment at the expense of LSU. I also wanted to see Bradford in the second half of the opener and last Saturday night in Miami. No disrespect to Landry Jones, but seeing him in those huge spots was my biggest disappointment of the first month of the year.

Matt Zemek

Q: The biggest disappointment of the season so far is …


The Illini are a walking train wreck. Ron Zook is panicking in his handling of the quarterback situation. The 2007 season is being revealed as more and more of an aberration with each passing day.  

Just to be clear here: You might be wondering why Cal and Ole Miss aren't the most disappointing teams in America. It's very simple: The Golden Bears and Rebels never deserved high expectations or merited elevated rankings in the first place. Illinois, on the other hand, figured to be an upper-division Big Ten team with all the offensive talent returning to Champaign. Yet, it seems as though the '09 Illini are going to be even worse than the '08 outfit that stumbled so substantially.  

Mr. Zook did the best coaching job this side of Mark Mangino in 2007. It's sad--because the Zooker is a decent human being--but one can't deny that the feel-good story of a Rose Bowl run has turned into a bottomless pit of ineptitude and irritation.  
Michael Bradley

Q: The biggest disappointment of the season so far is …

A:  While there are a lot of candidates for this category (hello, North Carolina, California and Florida State), the winner has to be Illinois. Throughout the seven months leading up to the '09 campaign, we heard numerous assurances from coach Ron Zook, QB Juice Williams and anybody else who had a microphone stuck in his face that the 2008 season was the by-product of hubris and an inability to rein in overconfidence after the Rose Bowl season in '07. Zook told us Williams was committed to being a full-fledged QB, rather than someone adept at running around and throwing it downfield to Arrelious Benn. The Illini now sit at 1-3, and although their three losses have come to strong teams (Missouri, Ohio State, Penn State), they have been outscored, 102-23, by those conquerors and have been competitive for only one half (against PSU) of the three games. For a team that was talking about how it was ready to make a statement in the Big Ten and return to the national discussion, that's awful. As for Zook, the Illinois community is finding out what the folks in Gainesville learned: he's a good recruiter but not necessarily able to deliver results with the talent he imports. Though he was given an extension recently, he can't be viewed as safe, particularly since the Big Ten that hasn't been all that strong of late, and aside from '07, the Illini haven't been a factor.