Who's Hot & Not
- Week 11
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... and Who's Not? (Week
10. Temple Head Coach Al Golden
Is there a hotter young coach in America than Golden, who’s guided the Owls out of the abyss and into the MAC East driver’s seat? A one-time laughingstock that got booted from the Big East, Temple has won eight straight behind the running of true freshman Bernard Pierce and a feisty defense. A potential 10-win season and a bowl game at this school? That’s grounds for a major promotion for the head coach.
9. Nevada RB Vai Taua
Go ahead and feel free to insert QB Colin Kaepernick or RB Luke Lippincott into this spot as well. The entire Wolf Pack running game has been unstoppable, gashing Fresno State for 461 yards on Saturday, but Taua has been above the curve for over a month. Banged up earlier in the year, he’s erupted for six straight 100-yard games, never needing more than 21 carries to break the century mark.
8. Navy QB Ricky Dobbs
A week after leading the Middies to an upset of Notre Dame in South Bend, Dobbs rushed for all five of his team’s scores in a rout of Delaware. The junior now has 22 touchdowns on the ground this season, breaking a school-record and bringing him to within one of Florida’s Tim Tebow and Air Force’s Chance Harridge’s NCAA mark for a quarterback.
7. Boise State QB Kellen Moore
With surgeon-like precision, Moore has carved up opposing defenses en route to being the highest-rated quarterback in the country. He also leads the nation in touchdown passes, having thrown at least three in six straight games and five in Saturday’s rout of Idaho, and has been picked off just three times all season. At nearly an 11:1 touchdown to interception ratio, he has few peers at the position.
6. Oregon RB LaMichael James
The reinstatement of LeGarrette Blount was just a further reminder of how well the Ducks have endured with a redshirt freshman as the feature back. Without the heroics of James, there’s no way Oregon is alone atop the Pac-10 and just two wins away from a spot in the Rose Bowl. He’s gone for more than 120 yards in seven of the last eight games, including 150 and a career-high three touchdowns in Saturday’s 44-21 win over Arizona State.
5. The Ole Miss D
Yes, Dexter McCluster was the star of Saturday’s blowout of Tennessee, rushing for a school-record 282 yards and four touchdowns, but the Rebel defense has actually been hotter over the long haul. Quietly allowing under 16 points a game, Ole Miss is No. 2 in the country in third down D and has been a rock in the red zone. QB Jevan Snead has been a microcosm for the unfulfilled expectations in Oxford, but Tyrone Nix’s defense is making sure a top 25 finish is still within reach.
Who saw this coming? After opening with a 47-15 loss to Cincinnati and beefing up on a sorry schedule, the Scarlet Knights are bucking to become the next best thing to the Bearcats and Pitt in the Big East. Winners of seven of their last eight games, they added an exclamation point by blanking South Florida Thursday night, 31-0. The Rutgers D, sans any star power, has been terrific, leading the league in total and scoring D and piling up the sacks.
3. Clemson RB C.J. Spiller
Maybe Spiller is a serious Heisman contender after all. Following a quiet start to his senior year, he’s evolved into the catalyst of Clemson’s five-game winning streak and spot atop the ACC Atlantic. No. 3 nationally in all-purpose yards, he flashed his versatility against NC State on Saturday, becoming the first Tiger in school history to run, catch, and throw for a touchdown pass in the same game.
The Horned Frogs didn’t just overcome their final tall hurdle to a BCS bowl berth—they cleared it with plenty of room to spare, destroying No. 16 Utah, 55-28. Now 10-0 and worthy of discussion in the national championship game, TCU is No. 4 in the country in total offense and total defense. That’s the definition of a complete football team, which is in dire need of a bigger spotlight and better competition, neither of which will come until January.
Beating Oregon on the Farm a week ago was a turning point. Manhandling USC in the Coliseum was validation for a program that’s torn up the typical blueprint for a rebuilding project. Just a few weeks ago, the Ducks and the Trojans were considered the Pac-10’s two heavyweights, but that was before the Cardinal plastered them for 106 points and almost 1,000 yards of offense. Saturday’s 55-21 blowout of USC was the type of game that’ll have a ripple effect throughout November and right into February’s signing day.
... and Who's Not? (Week