Who's Hot (Nov. 28) - The Unsung Running Back
Memphis RB Curtis Steele
Memphis RB Curtis Steele
Posted Nov 29, 2009

Curtis Steele has flown under the radar in a bad season for Memphis, but he has been one of the nation's hottest backs. Richard Cirminiello spotlights who the hot players and programs are in the Week 13 Who's Hot.

Who's Hot & Not - Week 13

Nov. 28 Games

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

- Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6
- Week 7 | Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12

By Richard Cirminiello

- ... and Who's Not? (Week 13)

Who’s Hot …

10. Middle Tennessee 
Behind the multi-dimensional skills of QB Dwight Dasher and an underrated defense, it’s been a season to remember in Murfreesboro. And a season that’ll include a bowl game for just the second time ever. Winners of six straight, the Blue Raiders’ overall nine victories and seven Sun Belt wins are both the most since the program joined the FBS.

9. Ohio
It turns out there is a hotter team in the MAC than Temple, which had its nine-game winning streak snapped in Athens on Friday, 35-17. By virtue of that victory and seven wins over the last eight games, the Bobcats won the East and will face Central Michigan at Ford Field for the league crown on Friday. QB Theo Scott was fantastic in November, but the defense has been the story throughout the season, creating more takeaways than any program in America.

8. Memphis RB Curtis Steele
While it’s going to get completely lost in a miserable Tiger campaign, Steele is one of the best backs you never heard of and a legitimate NFL prospect. Since returning from an injury in October, he did all he could to carry Memphis to higher ground, averaging more than 150 yards on the ground over the last seven games and gashing Tulsa for 232 yards and four touchdowns in last Friday’s overtime loss.

7. Connecticut Backs Jordan Todman and Andre Dixon
Without a lot of attention outside the Big East, Todman and Dixon have formed the nation’s prolific tandem outside of Reno. Todman has already run for more than 1,000 yards and Dixon is about to join him, providing a one-two punch that no one has been able to contain in November. The pair combined for 196 yards and four scores in the Huskies’ 56-31 rout of Syracuse on Saturday afternoon.

6. Georgia Backs Washaun Ealey and Caleb King
It took some time, almost a half a year, but the Dawgs have located a running game and a pair of young backs capable of fueling it. After showing hints of upside earlier in the month, true freshman Washaun Ealey and sophomore Caleb King were a couple of rambling wrecks in Atlanta, rolling for 183 yards and 166 yards, respectively. With an up-and-coming line to run behind, Georgia finally has something positive to cull from an otherwise dismal season.

5. BYU in Close Games
Utah had to know it was in trouble when Saturday’s game in Provo was extended to overtime. Max Hall wound up finding Andrew George for the game-winner, making the Cougars 4-0 this fall in games decided by 10 points or less. Actually, with that three-point victory, BYU has now won 10 consecutive games decided by eight points or fewer, dating back to the 2007 season.

4. Cincinnati QB Tony Pike
So much for rust being a factor in the return of Pike from a mid-season arm injury. Since getting back on the field, he’s thrown eight touchdown passes and no interceptions in a couple of appearances, including one record-breaking effort on Friday against Illinois. In his first start since Oct. 15, Pike went 32-of-46 for 399 yards and a school-best six touchdown passes.

3. Texas QB Colt McCoy
Now this is the McCoy that everyone expected to see when the 2009 season began. After a modest start to the campaign, the senior has taken off in the second half, throwing for 16 touchdown passes and just a couple of interceptions. He really made a case for national awards in Thursday’s win over Texas A&M, throwing four touchdown passes and running for a career-best 175 yards and another score.

2. Stanford RB Toby Gerhart
Are you finally convinced Gerhart belongs in the discussion for every possible award that’s not dedicated to defensive players? He used the Notre Dame defense as a springboard for some much-needed national attention on Saturday night, running for 205 yards and three scores, including the game-clincher, and even throwing his first career touchdown pass. In the last four games alone, all versus high-profile opponents, he’s rushed for 742 yards and 13 touchdowns. What more does this kid need to do?

1. Urban Meyer vs. the Big 3
If you’re going to be the coach of the Florida Gators for an extended period of time, you better be prepared to handle the school’s biggest rivals, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida State. Uhhh, mission accomplished? After once again blowing past the Seminoles in Gainesville, 37-10, Meyer now stands at an incomprehensible 14-1 versus the Gators’ three most hated opponents. That’s a legendary figure that sort of gets lost in all of the SEC and national championships.

- ... and Who's Not? (Week 13)