2014 Who's Not ... Week 9
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Summa Cum Lousy
Is it December yet? BYU
Was there a more valuable player in college football this season than Cougar QB Taysom Hill? When the dual-threat junior was healthy, BYU was unbeaten, generating a local buzz of support for a possible playoff run. Since Hill was lost for the year to a fractured leg, the Cougars have dropped four straight, including Friday to Boise State, 55-30. Now, the program is in danger of not even reaching bowl-eligibility.
Being Voted Off College Football Island: Oregon State QB Sean Mannion
There were whispers in the summer that Mannion could have been gearing up for a salary run senior season in Corvallis. Those whispers have disappeared, as has Mannion’s effectiveness through the air. It’s not entirely his fault. The line has been suspect, and the receiving corps desperately misses Brandin Cooks. But Mannion has too much arm talent to throw just seven touchdown passes in seven games, including none Saturday against Stanford, after tossing 37 a year ago.
Heisman Nopeful: Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett
The growing buzz about Barrett nudging his way into the Heisman discussion? Yeah, that’s probably died down for good after the rookie struggled in Happy Valley. Oh, Barrett ran for a couple of scores in overtime, including the game-winner, but he also completed just 12-of-19 for 74 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. He’ll be firmly in the Heisman hunt, but just not this season.
Start evacuating the bandwagon of … Texas
Miracles were not expected in Charlie Strong’s debut season in Austin. But the ‘Horns are far worse than anyone anticipated. After losing to Kansas State, 23-0, Texas’ first shutout loss in a decade, the program is 3-5 and in jeopardy of missing the postseason for just the second time this century. This week, UT couldn’t score. Last week, it couldn’t stop Iowa State in a testament to its overall erratic behavior and inconsistency.
The wheat has started separating from the chaff in the Big 12. The Cowboys are the chaff. As teams, like TCU, West Virginia and Kansas State, have gained a foothold in the conference race, Oklahoma State begun to drift back in the pack following consecutive losses to the Horned Frogs and the Mountaineers by a combined score of 76-19. The defense is suspect, and the offense is missing QB J.W. Walsh now that successor Daxx Garman has regressed throughout October.
The Panthers have slumped back to the .500 mark with their fourth loss in the last five games. And the latest defeat was arguably the most embarrassing one of the Paul Chryst era. The defense, which had performed so surprisingly well all year, never got off the bus in a 56-28 loss to Georgia Tech. Matt House’s unit got no help from a bumbling offense that coughed up the ball seven times, six of which were recovered by the Yellow Jackets.
You emit a foul and unpleasant odor: The UTSA Offense
If you’re going to go an entire game making two first downs and 70 total yards, you better be facing the Dallas Cowboys D … during a hailstorm. The Roadrunners achieved the latter futility versus UTEP … inside its own indoor facility. UTSA has been on an unexpected nosedive since shocking Houston in the opener, dropping all but the Oct. 11 game with Florida International.
You emit a foul and unpleasant odor: The Texas Tech D
Kliff Kingsbury’s entire team has been bad in his second season at his alma mater. But the defense sunk to new levels of futility in 2014. The Red Raiders began Week 9 as the Big 12’s worst D, and then set out to make sure it remained there throughout the month of November. TCU QB Trevone Boykin has been a revelation in Fort Worth, but a school-record 82 points and 785 yards? Heads are going to roll on that Tech defensive staff once the regular season ends.
Needing a vote of confidence: Virginia head coach Mike London
This season was the must-win variety for London, and everyone around the program knew it. And while the Cavaliers are clearly improved from a season ago, they’ve also lost their last two games to slip back to the .500 mark. This next month is crucial for the entire staff, with bowl-eligibility an absolute must. However, Virginia hosts improving Miami, while traveling to Georgia Tech, Florida State and Virginia Tech.
The SEC East (except Georgia)
The Dawgs are just fine at 6-1, with a berth in the league title game all but a certainty at this point. But the balance of the division is dragging down the overall quotient for the Southeastern Conference. This past weekend, the East went 0-3 versus the West, another reminder that the weaker half of the league has Georgia and a whole lot of mediocrity among the other six members.
Team of the Weak II: Michigan
It’s a little to imagine just how far the Wolverines have fallen under Brady Hoke. The team slipped to 3-5 with yet another whooping at the hands of Michigan State, which has seized complete control of this series with six wins in the last seven meetings. Michigan was kept out of the end zone until producing a meaningless touchdown late in the fourth that snapped a streak of 186:08 of game action without scoring six on the Spartans.
Team of the Weak: Virginia Tech
How can this be the same team that stunned Ohio State in Columbus back in Week 2? Since that supposed turning point win, the Hokies have gone 2-4, reaching rock bottom with Thursday’s night feeble, 30-6 loss to Miami. Even Blacksburg at night can’t spare this fading program. Tech has already lost three times at Lane Stadium, the first time that’s happened since 1992.
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