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Blog Entry

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Posted on: December 6, 2011 11:09 am
Edited on: December 6, 2011 11:26 am
Coming into the season there was so much optimism at different programs, but fast forward three months and there's been a lot of disappointment. This week's Top 10 list: biggest duds of the 2011 season. (I'm leaving off the BCS, which you could make a strong case for deserving to be on this list every year.)

1. Maryland: Randy Edsall's first season in College Park was a disaster of the highest order. The Terps got off to a nice start, edging a seriously depleted Miami team that was gutted by NCAA suspensions, but then things completely fell apart. They didn't beat another FBS program the rest of the way. They got blown out at home by Temple 38-7. They lost to a bad BC team by 11. They blew a huge second-half lead against NC State. The stunning part in all of this was it's not like Edsall inherited the FAU squad. They were 9-4 last year and had the best young QB in the conference in Danny O'Brien. However, the sophomore quarterback regressed in a big way under Edsall. The team was 111th in passing efficiency. In the final eight games of the season, the Terps managed to scored more than 21 points twice. Somewhere, Ralph Friedgen is probably still laughing at his bosses who ran him out of his alma mater after winning ACC Coach of the Year honors.

2. The State of Florida: The Noles were preseason No. 6 and slogged their way to an 8-4 record where they didn't even make it to the ACC title game. At one point they had a three-game losing streak. In mid-November, they lost at home against unranked UVA. ... The Gators, No. 22 in preseason, fizzled on offense and went 6-6 by dropping six of their last eight games. . . . Miami's hopes were torpedoed on the eve of the season by the Nevin Shapiro mess that would sideline a bunch of key players early. The Canes never recovered, losing six games by eight points or less before opting out of what figured to be a mediocre bowl game in hopes of appeasing the NCAA down the road. Their final game: a home loss to a 3-8 BC team. ... USF got off to a fast start, beating a ranked Notre Dame team on the road, but then Skip Holtz team flopped, losing seven of their final eight. ... UCF, which despite having the No. 11 D in the country, failed to even get bowl eligible, going 5-7. Last year UCF was 11-3. Now there is much uncertainty and who knows if sophomore QB Jeff Godfrey, who had seemed to be the centerpiece of the upstart program, will be back in Orlando in 2012?

3. Texas A&M: The Aggies, preseason No. 8, had way too much firepower to go 6-6. Even 8-4 would've felt like a big let down. Statistically, they were a very hard team to figure out. They were seventh in the country in total offense, first in fewest sacks allowed, first in sacks, 13th in rushing defense but they also were 100th in turnover margin. They blew a ridiculous amount of games in the second half. They ended up losing four of their last five and Mike Sherman lost his job because of it.

4. Ole Miss: A lot of people pegged the Rebels for the bottom of the SEC West, but no one would've expected they'd have the worst season in school history. Houston Nutt's lackluster recruiting at Ole Miss really caught up with him. His team got thumped by Vandy in a way that the Commodores never beat another SEC program. The Rebels also lost by 17 to lowly Kentucky and then get crunched by La. Tech 27-7 at the their homecoming game. The 2-10 season cost Nutt his job and was punctuated with another blowout loss to arch-rival Miss. State, 31-3.

5. Oklahoma: [Note: The Sooners were a bad omit on my part when I initially published this list.] They were preseason No. 1 and sputtered badly in the season half of the season, losing three of their last six. The first loss was home to a four-TD underdog (Texas Tech) that would end up having its worst season in almost 20 years. The Sooners finished off the season getting drilled by rival Oklahoma State, 44-10.

6-UCLA defense:
Few teams look better on the hoof, but the Bruins just never could get it done under Rick Neuheisel. Despite a defensive unit were more than its share of former blue-chippers, the Bruins were 112th in sacks and 96th in scoring defense. They surrendered 38 or more six times this season.

7. Mississippi State: They were a long shot to win the incredibly stacked SEC West, but the Bulldogs were still a preseason top 20 team but they never got much of anything going. They went 6-6. The only team with a winning record they beat was 8-4 La. Tech. Their other four wins over FBS opponents went 12-36 combined.

8. Notre Dame offense: The Irish were ranked a respectable 43rd in scoring, but given the weapons Brian Kelly had (led by WR Michael Floyd) ND should've been a lot more dynamic. They were held to 20 points or less five times this season. They also were brutal when it came to taking care of the football, tying for third-worst in the country in turnover margin.

9. Kansas: Turner Gill was fired after just two seasons because the Jayhawks were so overwhelmed this season. They beat an FCS program and then knocked off the eventual MAC champs (NIU) in Week 2 and it was all downhill from them on as it was one epic blowout loss after another. They ranked 106th in total offense and 120 in total defense. Of their final 10 losses to finish the season, only two were decided by less than double-digits. They lost six games by 30 points or more.

10. Illinois offense: Things set up so well for Ron Zook this season. They had a dynamic young QB (Nate Scheelhaase) and some talented backs and receivers. The Illini jumped out to a 6-0 start and then the bottom drops out. They lose the next six, failing to score more than two TDs in any other game. They managed just seven points against a Minnesota D that was 102nd in scoring defense. They scored 14 on a Michigan, which is 51 points fewer than they scored on the Wolverines on a year ago. The Illini finished 91st in scoring, dropping 59 spots from where they were at mid-season. They also ended up 106th in sacks allowed.


Since: Aug 8, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:38 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Since: Jan 3, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 1:33 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

No matter what, it was still nice to see Notre Dame go down in flames for the umpteenth time in a row, taking a little more luster off those golden domes again. That should humble some Notre Dame fans, but knowing them I doubt it.

Since: Jan 17, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 12:26 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Randy Edsall is a TRAIN WRECK at Maryland. He has had 6 players with eligibility remaining transfer since the end of the year and I think 18 since he arrived on campus. This is probably unprecedented without a program facing NCAA sanctions. By all accounts, Edsall is an obsessive micromanager that treats his players like stupid children that cannot be trusted to do anything on their own. Rumor is that he has even accused players of playing bad ON PURPOSE to make Edsall look bad to try to get him fired. WHAT?!?

The first red flag should have been when he left UConn and most of the players basically said "Good luck with THAT jerk".  The new UConn coach is more strict, rule wise, than Edsall but actually treats his players like grown ups. So they don't mind adhering to the rules when they are treated like they actually have a brain.

Edsall has been an epic failure at Maryland.

Since: Jan 21, 2010
Posted on: December 7, 2011 12:03 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

I miss Mark Mangino.

Since: Dec 7, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 11:17 am

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Gary Crowton. - he managed to stunt LSU's offense for 3 years. Now he is happily destroying the Maryland offense. Why the hell do people keep paying this clown? He tried to turn Jordan Jefferson into Peyton Manning, calling 5 WR sets with 3rd and 2 against LA Tech...Thank God we got rid of him and Coach Stud just lines up and runs the damn ball.

Since: Sep 25, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 10:52 am

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Oklahoma takes the cake....preseason number 1...all the hype in the world and Big Game Bob strikes again!

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 10:12 am

You forgot THE Ohio State University

THE Ohio State University is by far the biggest "dud" of the year.  They have plenty of excuses, but the bottom line is that if they had played the entire season with the passion they displayed against Michigan, they would have been at least 9-3.  Since all of their problems were brought on by their systemic cheating and myriad NCAA violations, they have nobody to blame but themselves for their scandal and their mediocre year.  

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: December 7, 2011 8:46 am

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Turner Gill was in over his head at Big 12 Kansas.  He had a brief, yet highly successful, run at Buffalo.  Another example of a young, intelligent African-American coach urged to jump into the fire by pundits eager to have a minority hire in a big time conference.  ESPN's Mike Wilbon said he was building character.  Commendable indeed.  Turner Gill seems to be a good man.  My 'duds' are the sports writers/analysts/talking heads who never have to put their jobs on the line at the expense of men like Gill. Good luck in the future, Turner. 

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: December 7, 2011 4:01 am

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

I would also add that the one of the biggest duds of the year is once again the whole CBS broadcast team.  Tim Brando could not stop running his mouth about the so-called "fly-in-the-ointment" until TCU's offense did away with BSU and whiny Kellen Moore, and then Souther Miss exposed Houston for what it wasn't.  Then you have Vern and Gary talking out of both sides of their mouths.  The latest example was Saturday
s SEC championship game.  During the first half, Gary kept running on about the big, bad Georgia defense, which kept LSU without a first down.  By the fourth quarter, Gary had to admit that this same defense was "gassed" (his word, not mine), despite the fact that they had played minimal time in the first half.  Such insightful analysis!

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: December 7, 2011 3:55 am

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Oh come on, how do you come up with this rating system.  Without a doubt, Mississippi would get my vote for the dud of the last couple of years, especially the way CBS has shamelessly promoted Houston Nutt being hired and the nothing results that have come about as a result.  Here you have a team that was so bad that the LSU offense was taking a knee with five minutes still left in the fourth quarter.  Another dud left off the list is Texas, with its mediocre record in the wake of the battle over the LHN. 

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or