2014 Who's Not ... Week 12
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Summa Cum Lousy
Is it December yet? Washington
Things will likely improve over time, but it has to cross Chris Petersen’s mind that he had it pretty good in Boise. The coach has a very long way to go in Seattle, with another chapter added today to this disappointing Pac-12 debut. The Huskies fell to 0-5 versus the better teams on the schedule, this time in excruciating fashion. U-Dub was running out the clock at Arizona, when RB Deontae Cooper fumbled with 1:23 left to set the stage for Casey Skowron’s game-winning field goal.
Being Voted Off College Football Island: Clemson QB Cole Stoudt
The way the Tiger offense has performed over the past month, you’d think that the fifth-year senior was shelved, forcing the rookie into action. Instead, it’s been the opposite. Clemson has never recovered from Deshaun Watson’s injuries, first his hand and then today to his knee. The true freshman is special, but Stoudt began the year as the starter. He’s been unacceptably miserable off the bench, going 3-of-11 for 19 yards, no touchdowns and three picks in Saturday’s loss to Georgia Tech.
Heisman Nopeful: Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott
For Prescott to remain relevant in the Heisman discussion, he couldn’t play poorly in his team’s biggest game of the year, at Alabama. But for the first time in 2014, the leader of the Bulldog offense was picked off three times. And for the first time this season, Mississippi State lost a game, a double-whammy that could keep Prescott from even getting to New York City. In his last five games, he’s thrown seven touchdown passes … and eight picks.
Start evacuating the bandwagon of … East Carolina
Two weeks ago, the Pirates were the favorite to cop a New Year’s Six bowl bid. A few days ago, they were still firmly in the hunt for an American Athletic Conference title. Today, following back-to-back losses to Temple and Cincinnati, ECU is in the fast lane to the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl. The Pirates had chances Thursday night against the Bearcats, but were unable to seal the deal in the final minute of a 54-46 loss.
It’s been a brutal year in Palo Alto, from the staff to the personnel, particularly on offense. And it looks as if things might get worse before the final whistle sounds. On Saturday, the Cardinal was home, well-rested off a bye week and facing a gassed visitor from Utah. Rebound time, right? Nope. For the fourth time in the last six games, Stanford’s incurable offense imploded in a loss, meaning a win in Berkeley or Pasadena is needed for the two-time defending Pac-12 champs just to become bowl-eligible.
You emit a foul and unpleasant odor: The Cal Pass Defense
No disrespect to USC QB Cody Kessler and WR Nelson Agholor, but you did on Thursday night what nearly every opposing pitch-and-catch combo has done to the Bear secondary in 2014. Cal has now yielded 37 touchdowns passes, far more than any other FBS program, and Agholor became the twelfth opponent to rack up at least 100 receiving yards at the expense of the Bear D.
Needing a vote of confidence: Kentucky defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot
The Wildcats’ second-half collapse can be attributed to plenty of things, such as a nasty schedule. But Eliot won’t easily get off the hook for the way his D has performed in October and November. Kentucky has yielded at least 36 points six times, and the situation is worsening. The ‘Cats have been butchered for 113 points in recent losses to Georgia and Tennessee, and when head coach Mark Stoops begins tinkering this offseason, the defense will be his top priority.
Team of the Weak II: Auburn
If not for a timely Kris Frost tackle at the end of the Ole Miss game at the beginning of the month, the Tigers would currently be mired in a three-game slump. Still, they’ve dropped two straight, including the low point of the Gus Malzahn era, Saturday’s 34-7 implosion at the hands of Georgia. Auburn played miserably in all phases, failing to score a point over the final 50 minutes.
Team of the Weak: Notre Dame
The house of cards that is the 2014 Irish squad has come tumbling down. As playoff contenders go, it turns out that ND was a golden fraud, especially on D. Over the last five games, it’s escaped North Carolina and Navy, lost to Florida State, gotten embarrassed by Arizona State and bowed Saturday to 4-6 Northwestern … in South Bend. With Louisville and USC still left on the regular season schedule, the Irish could be crawling into the postseason.
The SEC West
The best division in college football lost some of its mojo in Week 12, didn’t it? Auburn got pummeled by Georgia, 34-7, and Texas A&M is hot no longer after falling at home to Mizzou. Plus, the West is no longer home to one of the nation’s last remaining unbeaten programs after Mississippi State fell to Alabama. While the division has unrivaled depth, it lost some of its clout this past weekend.
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