Michigan State leads this week’s Misery Index after a 56-7 loss to Ohio State. Here are the others that made the index, a weekly measurement of knee-jerk reactions primarily based on what every fan base simply watched:
Oregon: Any fan of the Ducks that didn’t see this coming had been residing in a deep state of denial over the previous month. Week after week, it appeared like they had been taking part in with hearth in opposition to lesser opponents. Heck, they weren’t even favored to beat Utah regardless of being ranked No. Three by the College Football Playoff committee. Still, if you get knocked out of the College Football Playoff race with as a lot drive as the Utes delivered in a 38-7 wipeout, it leaves a deep bruise on the season, on the coach and on this system.
Oregon’s win over Ohio State in Week 2 — the sport that appeared to announce the Ducks as true contenders this season — looks like an terrible very long time in the past. Instead, this season has settled into the identical sample that the Ducks have had just about each season below Mario Cristobal. They’ll win video games, they’ll contend for the Pac-12 title they usually’ll con the media into overhyping them as a Playoff workforce. But in some unspecified time in the future in the season, they’ll shoot themselves in the foot and lose a recreation they’re not imagined to lose, placing all that good work in danger. Still, they’ll have a shot on the Playoff till they get fully uncovered by a reasonably good workforce and we don’t have to consider them anymore.
College Football Playoff:Field comes further into focus as blowouts highlight Week 12
Week 12 winners and losers:Oklahoma, Clemson, Florida State orchestrate key wins
The silly loss this 12 months wasn’t what occurred Saturday. Oregon simply received beat in each manner by a greater, extra bodily workforce that exploited each weak spot the Ducks had. The inexplicable recreation occurred on Oct. 2 when they lost to a Stanford team that’s headed to 3-9.
This similar sample occurred in 2019 when Oregon had an actual shot to the make the Playoff however misplaced a really shut season opener to Auburn and then just blew it in opposition to a really beatable Arizona State workforce.
Cristobal has some very clear strengths as a head coach, and his workers has raised the expertise degree to some extent the place Oregon has a greater roster than each workforce it performs in the Pac-12. It’s additionally true that successful each recreation is difficult. Getting emotionally able to carry out week after week is difficult. But that’s what’s required in the event you’re going to make the Playoff, and Oregon simply doesn’t rise to that problem. For as a lot as Cristobal likes to construct his program on toughness and successful the road of scrimmage, you’ll be able to’t disintegrate like tissue paper in a rainstorm a pair occasions a 12 months and count on everybody to purchase it.
Florida: After beating Missouri final season in a recreation that is largely remembered for a massive brawl, Dan Mullen confirmed up at his press convention in a Darth Vader costume for Halloween. Apparently, Missouri coach Eli Drinkwitz didn’t neglect. Because after the Tigers transformed a two-point conversion in extra time to beat Florida, 24-23, Drinkwitz had a light-weight saber hidden in the rostrum. After pulling his hoodie over his head and brandishing the saber, he walked away from his press convention by saying, “May the force be with you.”
Sorry, however when the coach of a 6-5 Missouri workforce is flexing on you over a year-old stunt, it is perhaps time for some critical conversations. Florida, now at 5-6, will likely be combating for its minor bowl recreation life subsequent weekend in opposition to 5-6 Florida State. But that’s not an important factor occurring with the Gators proper now.
The manner this season has spiraled uncontrolled has put Mullen’s future in the stability, but it surely’s not an easy alternative for Florida. Money isn’t actually a consideration right here, as Mullen’s buyout is a comparatively cheap $12 million. This is a football resolution, and there can be actual danger in jettisoning somebody who has confirmed over a protracted time frame to be an excellent football coach.
In no different business would somebody with Mullen’s monitor file be fired over one dangerous 12 months, particularly when there’s no sure-thing improve on the market for Florida to go get. Mullen made New Year’s Six bowl video games in every of his first three years and twice had the Gators ranked in the top-10 of the ultimate ballot. It can be virtually unimaginable to think about the subsequent coach matching that manufacturing. If Mullen is fired, the likelihood is overwhelming that he will likely be changed by somebody worse.
At the identical time, that is an emotional enterprise with a number of recency bias baked into selections. And Mullen didn’t cowl himself with glory at Missouri, significantly in the ultimate minute of regulation when he made no try to achieve the 35 yards essential to get into subject objective vary and easily let the sport go to extra time. When you make selections like that, you should lose. And if you do it whereas on the recent seat, you gained’t have a number of defenders among these making the decision in your profession.
Texas: At least they’ve received a coach who makes the gamers honor the track, proper? Of all of the takeaways from Steve Sarkisian’s first season in Austin — which successfully ended Saturday with a 31-23 loss to West Virginia that dropped the Longhorns out of bowl competition at 4-7 — that’s maybe the one factor Texas boosters can maintain onto.
But isn’t that every one they actually wished? When Tom Herman supported his gamers who didn’t need to stay on the sector after video games for the taking part in of “The Eyes of Texas” due to the track’s racist connotations, it made him fairly disposable for the individuals who actually name the $scorching$ in Austin. We know, because of Texas Monthly’s reporting final 12 months and a trove of emails, how a lot Herman’s stance irked big-money donors. And when Sarkisian was employed, it was laughably predictable that he proclaimed on his first day: “We’re going to sing that song. We’re going to sing that song proudly.”
Well, Coach Sark and his gamers have now been singing it after six straight losses. And if it wasn’t clear earlier than, it actually is now: Year 1 has been an entire bust, stuffed with off-field absurdities in addition to the brutal string of losses.
Though Texas propagandists and athletics director Chris Del Conte will spend the subsequent a number of months speaking about what a powerful rebuilding job that is and the way Sarkisian is altering the tradition, it’s value remembering that Texas was 7-Three final 12 months and completed 20th in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll. Herman didn’t have a dropping season and went 4-0 in bowl video games, together with beating Georgia in the Sugar Bowl to cap the 2018 season. You may actually argue that Texas made the proper transfer in firing him, however Herman’s on-field product was not a catastrophe.
But this? This is a large number. And Sarkisian’s profession 50-42 file as a head coach, together with his stops at Washington and USC, doesn’t imbue a ton of confidence into the fan base that he’s going to have this factor rolling by the point the Longhorns be part of the SEC.
Georgia Tech: For the final 30 years, Yellow Jackets followers have been in a position to boast that their program gained a nationwide championship extra not too long ago than their in-state rivals in Athens. Even although Georgia Tech’s program has not been pretty much as good as Georgia for many of that point, it’s been a reasonably good card to have in their again pocket. But there’s a respectable worry these days are coming to an finish in the subsequent couple months — a flip of occasions made even worse by Tech’s worst stretch of football in many years. In reality, till this 12 months, the Yellow Jackets haven’t posted three straight dropping seasons because the transition from Bill Lewis to George O’Leary in the early 1990s.
But that doesn’t even inform the total story. Georgia Tech’s incompetence lately is so all-encompassing that it may well now not be blamed on Paul Johnson and the transition away from his triple-option offense. Geoff Collins, an Atlanta-area native whose attraction and advertising and marketing savvy was imagined to make him a dynamite recruiter, has had three years to indicate progress. Instead, he’s gone 3-9, 3-7 and 3-8 (pending subsequent Saturday’s anticipated spanking by the No. 1 Bulldogs) and the perfect case for holding him is that a few of the losses this 12 months are of a better high quality than the losses in previous years. It’s tougher to make that case after a recreation like this week in opposition to Notre Dame, a 55-Zero loss, when the Jackets appeared to let go of the rope a bit of bit after a string of emotionally powerful defeats.
For Collins, who signed a seven-year contract initially, job safety may come from Georgia Tech deciding that he deserves yet one more likelihood to see how his roster develops. On paper, Collins has completed nicely in recruiting and the switch portal. Plus, Georgia Tech doesn’t actually need to pay an enormous buyout and begin over once more. At some level, although, the win-loss file turns into an excessive amount of to beat. Georgia Tech isn’t a simple job, but it surely shouldn’t be fairly this tough.
TRENDING TOWARD MISERY
Alabama: Nobody goes to really feel sorry for a fan base that’s disillusioned with being 10-1 and nonetheless has an opportunity for the nationwide title. However, if you’ve watched so many nice Alabama teams, you understand precisely what it’s imagined to appear like. And this workforce doesn’t appear like that. It should actually harm Nick Saban someplace deep down to observe a workforce that actually cannot cowl in the secondary, drops passes and makes a number of psychological errors in pink zone conditions. It’s simply not the clear, crisp football we’re used to seeing from Alabama, and it actually places the burden on quarterback Bryce Young to be virtually good to make it work. It by no means actually felt like Alabama was going to lose to Arkansas, but it was very clear in a 42-35 win that they weren’t adequate to place the Razorbacks away. That’s been a reasonably fixed theme with this group, and Saban simply can’t appear get the message by way of. Alabama followers aren’t depressing proper now due to the file however as a result of they know if this continues, the Crimson Tide will likely be made to pay in a pair weeks in opposition to Georgia.
Memphis: It’s a credit score to the exceptional work completed by Justin Fuente and Mike Norvell that the Tigers constructed an id over the earlier decade as one of the crucial enjoyable teams to observe in college football, with a breakneck offense completely suited to the countless provide of explosive ability gamers that they had in the pipeline. But what occurs when the nicely runs dry? The reply is a program, and a fan base, instantly second-guessing whether or not Ryan Silverfield — the continuity candidate championed by the gamers after Norvell left for Florida State — was truly the proper option to preserve Memphis’ success going. Silverfield’s file fell to 13-9 total after a 31-13 loss to Houston, persevering with an odd season from the Tigers in which they’ve had a pair fairly good wins (SMU, Mississippi State) however manner too many torpid losses. Should the Tigers fail to beat Tulane subsequent week, they’ll miss a bowl recreation for the primary time since 2013. Just as regarding as the general file is that Memphis has slipped to 34th nationally in whole offense after ending 4th, 4th and 10th in Norvell’s remaining three years. The stakes are excessive for Memphis proper now as the college desperately desires to be included if there’s one other spherical of Big 12 enlargement. That makes persistence lots much less possible if the administration thinks the slippage is a development slightly than a blip.
Duke: David Cutcliffe confirmed up at Duke in 2008 attempting to show one of many worst packages in the nation into one thing respectable. Unfortunately, his successor will possible should do the identical precise factor. Though there’s been no official phrase about Cutcliffe’s future — surprisingly, he wasn’t requested something about it after a 62-22 loss to Louisville — the hypothesis throughout the business these days has been that his time at Duke is coming to an finish. Nobody desires to push a terrific coach and one in every of college football’s all-time gents out the door, however the actuality can’t be ignored. Cutcliffe is 67 years outdated. He’s 5-17 during the last two seasons with only one ACC win final 12 months in opposition to Syracuse. And the scoreboard has been significantly grisly of late with a 31-point loss to Virginia Tech, a 25-point loss to Pitt, a 38-point loss to Wake Forest and a 48-point loss to Virginia during the last 5 weeks. It will likely be a tragic method to finish the largely profitable Cutcliffe period, but it surely looks like all of the arduous years of attempting to make Duke aggressive have lastly caught up with him. Fans of Duke football don’t demand a lot, however going again to absolutely the backside isn’t acceptable.
SMU: It’s in all probability not a coincidence that since Gary Patterson was fired by TCU on Nov. 1, SMU has performed its two worst video games of the 12 months, together with Saturday’s 48-14 loss to Cincinnati. Why are these two issues associated? Because TCU’s curiosity in SMU coach Sonny Dykes — and his curiosity in the job — might be the worst-kept secret in college football proper now. It doesn’t imply the ink is dry on the contract but, or that maybe one other faculty would possibly bounce in and make Dykes a suggestion he can’t refuse.
But when all of the hypothesis round a program facilities on a profitable coach leaping to a rival faculty throughout city as quickly because the season ends, you’ll be able to perceive how that may shake up a locker room. Of course, it’s arduous to know for certain whether or not Dykes’ future is the basis reason behind SMU’s downturn over the previous few weeks. It’s doable Cincinnati is simply an excellent workforce that was cranked up for an enormous effort Saturday, and SMU was by no means going to essentially compete in that spot. But how do you clarify the loss to Memphis on Nov. 6? Something has simply been off with SMU, and if Dykes finally ends up leaving for TCU, he’ll perpetually be hated for going to that faculty and blamed for a probably particular season collapsing.
TOTALLY REAL AND IRRATIONAL MESSAGE BOARD THREADS
“Apparently the forward pass is needed to win a title.” — duckterritory.com (Oregon)
“If you’re Dan Mullen, how do you spend your buyout money?” — swamp247.com (Florida)
“We cannot bargain shop for coaches anymore” — stingtalk.com (Georgia Tech)
“All gas no brakes was just a big fart!” — orangebloods.com (Texas)
“When did we become a Big 12 team?” — bamaonline.com (Alabama)