Who's Hot (Nov. 21) - The Hottest Receiver
Missouri WR Danario Alexander
Missouri WR Danario Alexander
Posted Nov 22, 2009

Who's the hottest wide receiver in America? You might not have noticed, but Missouri's Danario Alexander might be the college football's best target. Richard Cirminiello spotlights who the hot players and programs are in the Week 12 Who's Hot.

Who's Hot & Not - Week 12

Nov. 21 Games

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

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By Richard Cirminiello

- ... and Who's Not? (Week 12)

Who’s Hot …

10. The UCF Run Defense

Now third nationally, allowing a mere 2.2 yards a carry, the Knights just got done holding Tulane to -30 yards on the ground in Orlando. With an attacking front seven that’s led by linemen Torrell Troup, Bruce Miller, and Jarvis Geathers, and linebackers Cory Hogue, Derrick Hallman, and Lawrence Young, UCF gives opponents a split second before swarming on the man with the ball.

9. Temple
No Pierce, no problem. Even without freshman sensation RB Bernard Pierce, the Owls still rolled over Kent State, 47-13, for their ninth win in-a-row. The victory sets up a showdown this Friday versus equally hot Ohio for the MAC’s East Division. Sans Pierce, Temple leaned on another freshman, Matt Brown, to carry the load and run for 156 yards and two touchdowns on only 18 carries.

8. The Syracuse Run D
It’s sure to get overlooked, but someone ought to give a hearty pat on the back to the Orange run defense, which has excelled even after losing next-level NT Arthur Jones to injury. Syracuse is yielding a Big East-low 92 yards a game, holding Rutgers to just 26 yards in an impressive 31-13 upset in the Carrier Dome. LB Doug Hogue, a former running back, was particularly sensational, racking up a school-record 6.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in the defensive domination.

7. Kentucky
Without so much as a peep outside of Lexington, Rich Brooks is doing one of the best coaching jobs of his life. The Wildcats, using a hodgepodge of offensive talent, have gotten off the mat to take five of the last six games, including Saturday night’s come-from-behind victory over Georgia. Not only was it their first win in Athens since 1977, but it was led by a freshman quarterback, Morgan Newton, who tossed three touchdown passes.

6. The North Carolina Defense
Who needs an offense when your defense can put points on the board? Since losing a heartbreaker to Florida State on Oct. 22, the Heels have won four straight, scoring a pair of defensive touchdowns in the two most recent victories over Miami and Boston College. Carolina has swiped nine passes in the last two games, including four by CB Kendric Burney and three by S Deunta Williams.

5. Arkansas QB Ryan Mallett
Yup, head coach Bobby Petrino has his next Brian Brohm, a big-time quarterback he can build an offense around. Mallett has been on a season-long tear, throwing five touchdown passes in each of the last two games and moving up to No. 3 nationally behind Boise State’s Kellen Moore and BYU’s Max Hall in passing efficiency. Bad news, SEC. The Michigan transfer is just a sophomore.

4. Ole Miss RB Dexter McCluster
With the ball in his hands, McCluster is just pure, unadulterated fun. He’s also been pretty darn valuable to a Rebel offense that hasn’t gotten what it expected out of QB Jevan Snead. A week after rushing for a school-record 282 yards and four touchdowns on Tennessee, McCluster ran for 148 more yards and threw a key touchdown pass in Ole Miss’ 25-23 squeaker over LSU.

3. Cal RB Shane Vereen
Jahvid who? You don’t get better by losing RB Jahvid Best, or maybe not that’s not true at all. Vereen has done an incredible impersonation over the last two weekends, running for 362 yards and four scores in consecutive wins over Arizona and Stanford. Saturday night’s performance on the Farm will go down as one of the most memorable Big Game performances by a Golden Bear.

2. Blaine Gabbert to Danario Alexander
The Missouri pitch-and-catch combo has been second to none nationally, especially over the last month. Gabbert has located the consistency that escaped him in the first half of the year, and Alexander is climbing up NFL Draft boards at warp speed. In just the last four games, the senior receiver has hauled in 40 balls for 710 yards and seven touchdowns.

1. Oregon
After cooling off at Stanford a couple of weeks ago, the Ducks have regrouped with wins over Arizona State and Arizona to regain control of the Pac-10 race. Behind QB Jeremiah Masoli, RB LaMichael James, and an offense that’s produced at least 42 points in each of the last five games, Oregon needs only to hold serve against rival Oregon State on Dec. 3 to earn a Rose Bowl date with another OSU, Ohio State, in Pasadena.

- ... and Who's Not? (Week 12)