... Who's Not (Oct. 31) - Michigan, VT & more
Michigan QB Tate Forcier
Michigan QB Tate Forcier
Posted Nov 1, 2009

Richard Cirminiello spotlights who the fizzling players, coaches and programs are in the Week Nine Who's Not.

Who's Hot & Not - Week 9

Oct. 31 Games 

Past Hot and Not: 2007 Hot & Not | 2008 Not & Not

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By Richard Cirminiello

- ... and Who's Hot? (Week 9)

Who’s Not …

10. New Mexico Football
The state’s two schools, the Aggies and the Lobos, have combined to go just 3-14. New Mexico State has lost three straight by at least 31 points and New Mexico is winless, making more headlines for an altercation between head coach Mike Locksley and a former assistant. When does that balloon festival get started in Albuquerque?

9. The South Carolina Offense
Take out games with South Carolina State and Florida Atlantic, and the Gamecock attack has been AWOL since the beginning of the season. Over the last three weekends, Steve Spurrier’s kids have managed just 33 points, getting absolutely nothing from the running game or the red zone offense. Stephen Garcia has shown flashes of potential, but until South Carolina can do a better job of recruiting and developing offensive linemen, he’ll struggle to maximize his full potential.

8. UCLA in the Red Zone
Kai Forbath leads the country with 20 field goals. That’s pretty much all you need to know about the level of futility the Bruin offense has achieved. In 22 trips deep into enemy territory, UCLA has scored only seven touchdowns, the worst ratio in America. With almost two full seasons in the program, Rick Neuheisel will be expected to light a fire under this unit by the time the 2010 season begins.

7. Connecticut in Close Games
The Huskies have lost four games this season, all of them by four points or fewer. On Sept. 12, they fell to North Carolina, 12-, on a holding penalty in the end zone. On Oct. 10, they blew a 21-6 lead at Pittsburgh, bowing 24-21 to the Panthers. A week ago, Noel Devine tore out their hearts with a game-winning, 56-yard touchdown run in the final two minutes. And on Saturday, Connecticut inexplicably allowed Rutgers WR Tim Brown to score from 81 yards out with 22 seconds left on the clock. Yup, on so many levels, it’s been a trying year in Storrs.

6. Kansas
Didn’t you used to be a trendy choice to win the Big 12 North? After fattening up on lesser competition in the first five games, the Jayhawks have dropped three straight to Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech. Turnovers and a defense that’s allowed 111 points during the losing streak have been the primary culprits in the team’s demise. Kansas better wise up fast because it’s stuck on five wins and none of the four remaining games looks like a gimme any longer.

5. The North Carolina State D
It could be time to go to the four corners in Raleigh because the Pack is running out of healthy bodies and options on this side of the ball. After teasing the locals in games against FCS opponents, NC State has been fully exposed, yielding at least 30 points in five consecutive games. It’s given up five rushing touchdowns in each of the last two games, and the secondary is littered with inexperienced players. Now 3-5 and staring at a bowl
less December, that upset of Pittsburgh on Sept. 26 feels like months ago.

4. Georgia
What a mess. It’s a good thing Tennessee Tech is visiting Athens this week because that’s about the level that the Dawgs are playing at these days. Nobody figured this team to elevate after Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno left early for the NFL, but neither did anyone expect this train wreck. Losers of three of the last four games, Georgia can’t run the ball, makes a million silly mistakes, and is next to last nationally in turnover margin.

3. Virginia Tech
Ten days ago, the Hokies were in the national championship discussion. Today? They’re no longer even in the mix in the Coastal Division. Tech has dropped back-to-back close games to Georgia Tech and North Carolina, failing to execute when the game was hanging in the balance. Losing in Atlanta was one thing, but falling to the Heels in Blacksburg on a Thursday night was inexcusable, especially after taking the lead in the final quarter.

2. Michigan
This has been a turn of events in Ann Arbor that head coach Rich Rodriguez could ill-afford. After gaining national attention with a 4-0 start, the Wolverines have dropped their last four games against FBS teams, all members of the Big Ten. Close calls with Michigan State and Iowa weren’t so troubling, but the last two losses to Penn State and a bad Illinois squad were signs that the Wolverines have run out of gas. Bowl eligibility might hinge on this week’s visit from 3-6 Purdue.

1. The USC Defense
There were signs of trouble in recent wins over Notre Dame and Oregon State. The tackling wasn’t as crisp. Too often, the linebackers were out of position in pass coverage. Still, no one could have expected the bottom to completely fall out in Eugene on Saturday night. In the worst defensive performance since Pete Carroll arrived almost a decade ago, USC was abused for 613 yards, failing to register a sack and getting schooled by an Oregon offensive line that was a question mark heading into the season.

- ... and Who's Hot? (Week 9)