Who's Hot & Not
- Week 12-
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... and Who's Hot? (Week
10. Colorado State
Whatever momentum Steve Fairchild built in 2008 and early in 2009 is officially gone. The Rams have followed up a 3-0 start with eight consecutive losses, including a 29-27 defeat in Albuquerque Saturday, New Mexico’s first win of the season. Colorado State needs help everywhere, which will make for a very busy offseason in Fort Collins.
The Hurricane is going through an epic and uncharacteristic collapse after being one of Conference USA’s best programs for the past few seasons. After humming along at 4-1, it hasn’t won a game since, dropping six straight since Oct. 14 and allowing at least 44 points in consecutive losses to Houston, East Carolina, and Southern Miss. For the first time since 2004, Tulsa will not be going bowling.
Is that elusive bowl eligibility about to slip through the Blue Devils’ fingertips? Duke has lost three in-a-row to North Carolina, Georgia Tech, and Miami, making this week’s visit from Wake Forest one of the program’s biggest regular season games in modern history. Only with a victory over the Demon Deacons will the Devils be eligible to bowl for the first time since 1994.
7. Dennis Erickson
Around Halloween of 2007, the Arizona State head coach was a genius. Today? Not so much. Since that point of his debut season, he’s gone 11-17 and will miss the postseason for a second straight year. The Sun Devils have been miserable in the second half of this year, losing five straight when the competition improved, capped by a listless 23-13 loss to UCLA on Saturday.
6. Mark Mangino
These are rough times for Mangino, the beleaguered Kansas head coach, whose problems are no longer relegated to the field. Not only have his Jayhawks lost six straight to fall below .500 for the first time since 2006, but he’s enduring allegations of abuse from current and former players. It’s a double-whammy that could put his future in Lawrence in serious jeopardy.
Les is more ...confusing, that is. No matter what spin is being delivered by Tiger head coach Les Miles, there’s no good explanation for the way he managed the final minute of Saturday’s two-point loss to Ole Miss. It was an unmitigated clock-management mess that cost LSU a shot at the game. In their last four bouts with quality opponents, the Tigers have lost three of them to Florida, Alabama, and the Rebels.
4. Michigan vs. Jim Tressel
After losing yet another game to the Buckeyes, 21-10, the Wolverines are now 1-8 against Tressel and have lost six in-a-row in this series. Even worse? The Wolverines have made this storied rivalry meaningless to the rest of the country. Yes, it’s always going to matter in the Midwest, but unless Michigan can turn this around and make things competitive again, it’s only going to have regional appeal.
No one denies the magnitude of losing Heisman-winning QB Sam Bradford, but shouldn’t there still be enough talent to do better than 6-5? Heck, with a visit from Oklahoma State looming, could the school’s first .500 or worse season since 1998 be just around the corner? Hey, the silver lining is that at least head coach Bob Stoops doesn’t have to worry about the indignity of dropping yet another BCS bowl game this postseason.
Although it looked as if the Bulldogs had regrouped with wins over Tennessee Tech and Auburn, that turned out to be a mirage. For the first time in more than three decades, Georgia lost a home game to Kentucky, blowing a fourth quarter lead and getting burned for three touchdown passes by freshman QB Morgan Newton. Things are about to get worse. The Dawgs must travel to Atlanta to play 10-1 Georgia Tech, which is eager to begin building a little winning streak in this rivalry.
1. Notre Dame
Yeah, it sort of feels like piling on the Irish, but how do you avoid it after three consecutive losses to Navy, Pittsburgh, and Connecticut? Geez, that’s now back-to-back losses on Senior Day to Big East teams that aren’t supposed to be winning in South Bend. Remember when this Notre Dame schedule was supposed to be built for nine or 10 wins and a crack at a BCS bowl berth? That feels like a long time ago, as the Irish stare at a trip to Stanford and a possible second straight six-loss debacle.
... and Who's Hot? (Week