2014 Who's Not ... Week 8
E-mail Rich Cirminiello
Follow me ... @RichCirminiello
Earn a Ph.D. in college football … class is in session at Campus Insiders
- ... and Who's Hot?
Summa Cum Lousy
Is it December yet? North Texas
In yet another indication that the defending Conference USA champs won’t be the repeat Conference USA champs, the Mean Green lost at home to Southern Miss on Saturday night to fall to 2-5. North Texas has now dropped four straight to FBS opponents, including last weekend’s 56-21 demolition at the hands of UAB.
Being Voted Off College Football Island: The BYU Defense
Taysom Hill was lost for the year a few weeks ago, not the entire Cougar front seven. What’s happened to the BYU defense, which showed so much promise in the early stages of 2014? The team has allowed at least 33 points in four consecutive games, the last three of which were season-altering defeats. On Saturday, the Cougs blew a 28-13 halftime lead on Nevada, allowing four unanswered touchdowns in the second half.
Heisman Nopeful: Baylor QB Bryce Petty
Petty’s candidacy has been akin to an elevator this season. Well, after Week 8, he’s once again in the lobby. The quarterback and his fellow Bears were silenced by a determined West Virginia D that held its visitors to just 3-of-16 on third-down conversions. Petty had two touchdowns without a pick, but completed less than 50% of his passes, and lacked the explosive plays that have become the trademark of this attack.
Start evacuating the bandwagon of … Texas A&M
The Aggies are mired in an undeniable freefall, losers of three straight, which would have been four had Arkansas not imploded in Arlington on Sept. 27. What happened to the team that smoked South Carolina in the opener, 52-28? A&M hit rock bottom in Tuscaloosa Saturday. A week after a Kevin Sumlin team was shutout for the first time in the first half, a Kevin Sumlin team was shutout for 60 minutes, 59-0.
Eight games. That’s the time it took for the Yellow Jackets to go from one of the buzziest ACC teams to fourth place in the Coastal Division. Tech has now dropped back-to-back games to Duke and North Carolina. The Tar Heels began the weekend on a four-game losing streak, yet strafed the Jackets for 579 yards, 390 off the hot right arm of QB Marqise Williams.
You emit a foul and unpleasant odor: The Stanford Offense
Kudos to Arizona State, but Saturday night’s win was more about the Cardinal’s offensive woes than the Sun Devils’ defensive prowess. Something has to change on the Farm, because 10 points versus a rebuilt ASU defense is completely unacceptable. In four of six games with FBS opponents this season, Stanford has failed to produce more than 20 points, and the once-vaunted ground game managed just 76 yards in Tempe.
Needing a vote of confidence: Tulsa head coach Bill Blankenship
Blankenship probably didn’t belong on any hot seat at the beginning of the season. He does now. The Golden Hurricane is imploding in its debut season in the American, losing every game since the opener with Tulane. The latest collapse could be the proverbial final straw. Tulsa blew a 30-14 second-half lead on 2-4 South Florida, allowing RB Marlon Mack and WR Andre Davis to run wild through its D in front of a sparse home crowd.
Washington (vs. Oregon)
This was going to be the year that the Huskies gained a measure of respect in one of their most important rivalries, right? Uh-uh. Oregon whipped U-Dub for the 11th straight year, never being threatened after the first quarter. Washington couldn’t mount much of a challenge on offense, or stop the Duck backfield duo of QB Marcus Mariota and RB Royce Freeman. If the Huskies are going to scale higher under Chris Petersen, they’ve got to snap a streak that’s embedded under the skin of the program, its players and its fans.
Arkansas (vs. the SEC)
Leave it to the Razorbacks to become the first SEC West team this season to lose a game to someone outside the division. Yeah, there’s been progress in Fayetteville under Bret Bielema, but Arkansas has still dropped 16 straight conference games after getting burned at home by Georgia Saturday. The team does not want to enter another offseason with this streak intact, but still must face Mississippi State, LSU, Ole Miss and Missouri.
The Big 12 Favorites
It feels like just yesterday that the Big 12 conference was presumed to be the sole domain of Oklahoma or Baylor. No one else had a chance in 2014, right? Uh-uh. The Sooners and the Bears have drifted back to a pack of contenders that now includes Kansas State, TCU, West Virginia and Oklahoma State. On Saturday afternoon, the Sooners suffered their second loss in the last three games, while the Bears had no miracle comebacks in a 41-27 loss to the Mountaineers.
Team of the Weak: Florida
Sure, the future of Will Muschamp is no longer debatable. He’s a dead man walking. But this latest disastrous chapter of Gator football ought to be owned by the players, more so than the staff. Florida embarrassed itself in the Swamp Saturday, losing to a shopworn Mizzou team, 42-13, that managed just seven first downs all night. Florida gave up four touchdowns on returns, a punt, a kickoff, a fumble and an interception.
- ... and Who's Hot?