2014 Who's Not ... Week 10
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Summa Cum Lousy
Is it December yet? Virginia Tech
Love ya, Coach Beamer, but the exit strategy must be firmly in place, because the situation in Blacksburg isn’t getting any better. The Hokies lost for the third straight time on Saturday to fall to 4-5 overall and a hard-to-fathom 2-4 at Lane Stadium. Oh, and Virginia Tech’s bowl streak, which began more than two decades ago, is in serious jeopardy for the second time in the last three years. Tech hasn’t been Tech for the last three years.
It is not a pleasant time to be a football fan in the Commonwealth. The Hokies, the ‘Hoos and even the ‘Skins are now below .500. Virginia has commenced circling the drain, which could mark the end of the line for beleaguered Mike London. The Cavaliers showed so much promise in September, especially on defense, but after getting mauled by Georgia Tech Saturday, they’ve dropped five of their last seven. Up next? A trip to Tallahassee.
Being Voted Off College Football Island: Texas A&M Kenny Hill
A little premature on trademarking that nickname, huh guys? Hill has capsized since beginning his career like a bolt of lightning out of the sky. His performance on the field has been tailing off ever since the competition improved at the end of September. His off-field behavior has followed a similar trajectory, resulting in a two-game suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules.
West Virginia WR Kevin White
White is a sensational receiver, a sure-fire high NFL Draft pick. But have teams figured out how to contain him? After being unstoppable through the first seven games, White has caught just three passes each of the last two weeks for a mere 55 yards and a score. TCU CB Kevin White, ironically enough, shut down his namesake in Morgantown Saturday, one of the keys to the Horned Frogs’ pivotal 31-30 win.
Heisman Nopeful: Nebraska RB Ameer Abdullah
About the only thing, other than the Michigan State D, that could slow down Abdullah this season is an injury. Unfortunately, that’s what happened in Saturday’s win over Purdue. Abdullah tweaked his knee near the goal line, which ended his day before it ever got going. The senior is far too talented to be eliminated from contention, but six carries for one yard is a tough way to start the season’s stretch run.
Start evacuating the bandwagon of … Kentucky
Is bowl-eligibility beginning to slip through the Wildcats’ paws? On Oct. 11, making it to the postseason seemed like a foregone conclusion. Mark Stoops had his team confident and 5-1. But the resumption of SEC play has shined a light on just how far the ‘Cats still have to travel. They’ve lost three straight, the most recent to Missouri, and there are no gimmes left with a visit from Georgia and trips to Tennessee and Louisville.
Rutgers as a Big Ten Member
It was only a matter of time before the Scarlet Knights got exposed as gold diggers, accepting the Big Ten’s proposal largely for what it meant financially. Rutgers has gotten shredded in its last three games with Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin by a combined score of 135-41. It’ll be a long haul—if ever—before Rutgers can compete with the better programs in its new league.
When your running back goes for a career-high 263 yards, and you still lose, you’ve got major issues. James Conner did about all he could against Duke on Saturday, yet the Panthers still lost to Duke, 51-48, in double-overtime. The defense is taking on water, the passing game lacks consistency and the program is in serious danger of missing bowl-eligibility now that it’s slipped below .500.
You emit a foul and unpleasant odor: Louisville on third downs
The Cardinals have sputtered all season on third downs, but they reached a new low in Thursday night’s collapse to Florida State. Louisville converted once, in garbage time, on 11 tries, a level of futility that resulted in 10 points over the final 47 minutes, and allowed the ‘Noles to climb out of an early 21-point hole. RB Michael Dyer and WR DeVante Parker shined, but QB Will Gardner has a long way to go as the engineer of Bobby Petrino’s offense.
Needing a vote of confidence: Kevin Wilson, Indiana
Wilson needed this season, his fourth in Bloomington, to be a turning point for the long-suffering Hoosiers. It hasn’t, so someone is going to pay the price once the regular season ends. Indiana showed a glimmer of hope by shocking Missouri in Columbia on Sept. 20. Since then, however, IU has gone 1-4, capped by Saturday’s deflating 34-10 loss to a bad Michigan team. Poor Tevin Coleman, who deserved more support this season.
Penn State’s Bowl Hopes
Maybe karma is beginning to mount a challenge against the Nittany Lions’ bid to bowl in 2014 after the NCAA lifted their postseason ban in a questionable decision. One can suggest Penn State isn’t worthy of playing in December for a number of reasons, including Saturday’s fourth straight loss. The Lions twice squandered a fourth-quarter lead in Happy Valley, losing to Maryland in a game destined to become a hostile rivalry in the coming years.
In the span of three hours, both of the American’s signature programs, East Carolina and UCF, suffered crushing defeats in the Northeast. While inclement weather may have played a factor, there’s absolutely no good excuse for the Pirates to score 10 points at Temple or the Knights to bow to an awful UConn team. It was a good day for Marshall, though, which now has the inside track on one of the New Year’s Six bowl invitations.
Ole Miss Down the Stretch
For the second straight week, the Rebels came up on the short end of a nail-biter that could have gone either way in the waning moments. Last Saturday, Ole Miss fell to LSU, when Bo Wallace threw a terrible pick to nix any shot for a Gary Wunderlich field goal attempt. And this past weekend, the Rebs lost two red-zone fumbles in the fourth quarter of a 35-31 loss to Auburn. Good teams win games in the first half of the season. Great ones endure in the second half.
Team of the Weak II: South Carolina
For the third time this season, the Gamecocks squandered a fourth-quarter lead, losing to Tennessee in a game they seemingly had in the bag at 42-28 with five minutes left. For a change, Steve Spurrier isn’t exaggerating. His team is bad. Real bad, especially on defense. The ‘Cocks allowed 645 yards to the Joshua Dobbs-led Vols, and at 4-5 are in danger of missing a postseason game for the first time since 2007.
Team of the Weak: Georgia
Rivalry or not, the Bulldogs had no business—or excuse—for playing the way they did in Jacksonville against fading Florida. Remember this Gator team, the one that entered the weekend losers of three of their last four, including a hideous effort against Mizzou? Georgia made that group, with a rookie under center, appear as if Urban and Timmy were still together in the Swamp. Kelvin Taylor and Matt Jones gashed the Dawgs all afternoon, as Florida piled up 418 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
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