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: Dec 5, 2009
Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:34 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

I will admit that I expected more from Will Muschamp and Charlie Weis in Florida. Charlie failed as a head coach, but so what? Offensive cordinator was always where he was at his strognest.  The fact that they could only turn out a 6-6 record is disappointing, but next year will be a make it or break it year for this coaching staff. If they can't make it then changes will be made.

While we're talking about disappointments, Randy Edsall. I'm sure after reluctantly getting into the Fiesta Bowl expectations were high. I'm sure Under Armour is embarrassed, they just designed like the fifty different eye sore uniforms. What do they get for their money? A team that went 2-10. Brian Kelly too is becoming a disappointment at Notre Dame. But next year is going to be the year he needs to haul out of mediocrity. 
Texas A&M were given far too much credit. I think their jump from the Big XII to the SEC gave them more credit than was good for them. Even after losing two games they were still ranked in the top 25 up to week 8. At that point you're still dealing with unbeaten to one loss teams. Granted they weren't the only ones with two losses but look who they were, defending champion Auburn & Texas after a shutout to Kansas.

The whole Florida thing, well that was surprising. Florida State loses to Oklahoma and then the season goes downhill from there. But there's always next year. Give Golden time, he'll get Miami back up there.

Kansas dug their own grave, they should have kept Mangino. Gill couldn't get things working. That leads to the coaches who failed to step up to keep their jobs: Rick Neuheisel, Ron Zook, & Houston Nutt. All these coaches had success elsewhere, but it seems they can't find it again. I could argue more time, but these coaches have proven to be inconsistent and out dated. But this was the one year they had to come up big, and they failed.

Oklahoma, if you wanna call finishing in the Top 15 in the BCS a disappointment that says something for the program quality and their expectations. For Oklahoma being on this list, I would say is more of a compliment than an insult to Bob Stoops. When a 9-3 season is called an off year. Most teams would kill to have that record.

Since: May 6, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:28 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

As a Sooner fan you forgot that the third loss was to a team that OU had never lost to and gave up a school record 616 yards on defense.  At least you could have ranked them first here because they sure as hell were not the best team in the country.  

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 4:12 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

I absolutely love that Turner Gill is on this list.  Auburn was crucified a few years ago for hiring Chizik instead of Gill.  Now you see why they didn't hire him.  One good season does not a good coach make. 

Since: Dec 1, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:28 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Relax all, I know what this is, I have a son in the 6th grade, we just did this last
week; clearly this is a "MAD-LIBS".

And for those who don't know:

A mad-lib is a satirical story in which the editor inserts a noun, adjective,
verb, adverb etc. in a series of blanked out words in a pre-written story.

The end result usually makes for a hilarious rant, and this one bears no
exception. Great Job!


Since: Oct 13, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:23 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011


The Tennessee Vols while going 5-7, with back to back losing seasons for the first time in 100+ years AND losing to UK for the first time in 20+ years (still can't wrap my brain around that one) did not even qualify as a dud.  How we have fallen, can even get a little pitty around here

Since: Sep 25, 2011
Posted on: December 6, 2011 3:19 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Oklahoma lost it's games after losing a top 5 running back, and the best reciever in the history of College football.  Not sure they don't still belong on this list, but at least they would have won 2 of those games with Whaley and Broyles. 

Since: Nov 23, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:48 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

I know others are saying it, but I have to add how appalling it is to try and comprehend article after article on this website with the consistent lack of editing. I, like many others probably, read more articles than just those published by CBS Sports and have lately become increasingly annoyed at the substandard, grammatical errors. In my opinion, it is a betrayal to the journalism profession. I find it dissappointing that an author cannot take an extra few minutes to proofread an article before publishing online for public reading. I am not myself an English major and do not mind the occasional mistake but where is the standard of excellence? Forgive me for venting but I could not contain my dissatisfaction any longer. I will continue to visit this site frequently despite the editing issues but hope that my commenting on such matters and maybe others who are like-minded doing the same will help to keep CBS journalists accountable for their own sake.

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: December 6, 2011 2:22 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

While some of the ACC had a bad year others excelled beyond expectations.  Clemson was expected to finish 3rd in their division and won the conference.  Wake Forest was not expected to do much but came close to playing in the Championship game, UVA likewise.  I hardly think the ACC as a whole deserves to be on the list as a previous poster has said.

I believe the only thing really wrong with this article is the incredibly lousy editing.  There are way too many mistakes for anyone to take the author seriously.

Since: Jan 7, 2007
Posted on: December 6, 2011 1:54 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Is someone going to edit this?

Since: Mar 5, 2008
Posted on: December 6, 2011 1:47 pm

Tuesday Top 10: Biggest duds of 2011

Yea, but everyone knew that Tennessee would be bad anyway.

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