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: Nov 8, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 7:16 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Florida St., dud.  You know how many Top 25 teams they defeated?  ZERO...

Since: Dec 6, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 7:03 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

I have been a life long Maryland fan and Ralph did everything ever asked of him and he got screwed.  

Randy Edsal showed an utter lack of class when he ripped Ralph mid way through year and blamed him for the teams

Something must be wrong there for a quarterback with so much potential such as Danny O'Brien to regress as much as he did and then have so many athletes transfer out after the year ended.

I hope Edsal knows what he is doing cause if not he will not be around much longer.    &nbs

Since: Apr 13, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 7:00 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Add the Penn State offense. PSU had a 5 star (Paul Jones) and a 4 star (Rob Bolden) recruits come in last year. Bolden originally started and was ok, but then got a lot worse. Paul Jones has never seen the field. So, PSU now has a walk-on (Matt Mcgloin) starting for them. That's how bad Jay Paterno (son of Joe) is at developing Quarterbacks.

Since: Nov 18, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 6:33 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

You can add the Vols and Dooley to the list;I was holding on to a little hope with this guy but when he didn't fire OC Chaney and the OLine coach immediately;I gotta wonder what the hell he's thinking!! Best coach on the offense side was WR coach Baggett and he threw up his hands in frustration and retired which is gonna cost UT some recruits and possibly some letterman..Dooleys answer? shuffle the staff which is like shuffling deck chairs on the Titantic

Since: Aug 28, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 6:31 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Why mention the Florida State Seminoles when they were one of the teams that defeated the SEC's Florida?  Yes, the Florida Gators were terrible - and Miami completely underachieved, but Florida State turned it around a bit towards the second half.  The expectations for FSU were too high from the beginning.  A bowl win would turn things around and give FSU a lot of momentum going into the next year.  Florida, on the other hand, is likely to lose their bowl game and limp into another completely unsuccessful year.

Since: Nov 6, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 6:27 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Hate "Slick Rick" and horrible AD's...... I feel for every fan of these schools.

Washington = sanctions in 1991 due to then AD Barbara Hedges who would not challenge the NCAA rulings = Don James retires in protest of Barbara Hedges..... Jim Lambright takes over and while coaching through the sanctions and beginning to turn the corner was fired by Hedges and she hired "Slick Rick" - she accepted sanctions from his Colorado fiasco and in time lead to more sanctions in the early 2000's and another fired coach? (Sanctions twice in a decade?) Coach Gilbertson took over a program that is at that point totally on the decline and trying to make the best of it but Slick Rick was not a discipline minded coach and trying to reinstall that is a rough road. Hedges fires Gilbertson and Hires Willingham? this finally leads to an 0-12 season and the boot for Hedges. New AD hires Sark and Washington is finally on a long road to a stable respectable program again....... almost 20 years down the road.........

Moral of the story, Coaches can really suck but Athletic Directors can totally destroy a football program from the inside out? NCAA sanctions don't help this but it is my opinion Hedges did more to destroy this program than any coach, bad hires, no support or to dumb to leave well enough alone?

Since: Oct 16, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 6:26 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Biggest duds of 2011 - just about everything to do with the BCS - voters included.

Since: Jan 3, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2011 6:17 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Bamabraves --

I'm with you. With all these writing errors, you have to wonder if the content doesn't have errors as well.  The credibility of the writer suffers.
I hope the editors here notice my dangling participle...

Since: Oct 21, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 6:10 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

You left off the biggest dud of the year , the BCS selection commitee . Just give the trophy to LSU and lets watch a game between Charleston Southern and Austin Peay . It would do as much do to with determining a national champion as a LSU-Alabama rerun .

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:56 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

It never is good to see failure with a coaching change, but as the old saying goes; "what goes around comes around" or "be careful what you wish for".  Ralph Friedgen, a Maryland Alumnas, in his last year as Maryland head coach was voted the ACC Coach of the Year, had a 9-3 record, and ended up getting fired. There are always two sides to every story, but I just don't think Maryland's President and AD handled this situation correctly by firing Ralph last year.  With that being said, I made comment last year that Randy Edsell was not a good hire as Maryland's head coach, and I said as much when he was hired. So, I am not jumping on the bandwagon here, and I may be wrong about Randy, and I sure hope I am.  The ACC needs as many good quality football coaches and competitive football teams as possible, to up-grade the entire ACC in football.

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