12 Players, Coaches and Teams That Wish They Could Hit the Reset Button on 2012
Ever wish life were like a video game?
If things don't exactly go the way you had planned, just hit that restart button and you will be able to learn from those previous mistakes. Unfortunately, life doesn't give us that option, so we aren't able to turn back the hands of time and get a redo to avoid some of our errors.
But with the college football season already a month into action, there are many teams and players that wish life came with a restart button. The season hasn't gotten off to a great start for many contenders, and there are a few players that wish it were still fall camp.
With the season already in full swing, here are many that wish the 2012 college football season could start over.
FIU reached a bowl game the last two seasons for the first time in school history and appeared to be taking that next step as a program. The recruiting was improving and the Golden Panthers were looking for more respect as an upcoming Sun Belt team.
After five games, FIU is 1-4, which includes a 20-point loss to Duke, a 28-point loss to Louisiana-Lafayette and the school needed overtime to knock off Akron. The defense is ranked 122th in points allowed and the offense isn't much better.
These types of results make you wonder if head coach Mario Cristobal is starting to regret passing up other coaching offers.
Ray Graham, Pittsburgh
Ray Graham is a running back that will receive some attention in the later rounds of next year’s NFL draft. And despite missing five games last year due to a knee injury that required surgery, Graham just missed rushing for 1,000 yards.
This season, the senior has gotten off to a real slow start, rushing for 362 yards in the first five games. Although he is looking better with each passing week, it makes you wonder just how healthy he truly was when the season started.
If only there were a couple more weeks before the season began, Pittsburgh may have had that explosive weapon to avoid an upset to Youngstown State in the season opener.
Bronco Mendenhall, BYU
BYU had won 10 games last season and returned majority of its starters, as the Cougars were looking to make some serious noise in 2012. The season started with two victories and a close loss to a talented Utah team.
And then it happened.
In a national televised game against the Boise State Broncos, head coach Bronco Mendenhall decided to go for the two-point conversation to win the game late on the road. The Cougars were stopped short and the game was over.
Those two consecutive losses have knocked BYU well out of the rankings and may have destroyed what looked to be a big year for this program.
This program looks very similar to last year's squad.
Despite losing quarterback Brandon Weeden and receiver Justin Blackmon, the Oklahoma State Cowboys somehow still have the best scoring offense in the country. But while the offense is scoring points and breaking records, the defense remains one of the worst in the country as well.
Due to the defensive unit not being able to slow down a parked vehicle, the Cowboys are 2-2 and looking up at the rest of the Big 12 undefeated teams. Mike Gundy has another team that is fun to watch, but it won't be good enough to put this team in another BCS bowl.
Virginia Tech has reached four BCS bowl games in the last five years. This will likely be the first time since 2009 where the Hokies are not invited to a big game.
What is supposed to be a powerhouse ACC team, Virginia Tech has lost to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Yes, that is two Big East teams that have beaten up on a team with BCS goals before the season began. And while the offense is struggling to score points, quarterback Logan Thomas has seriously hurt his NFL draft stock, as he is completing only 52 percent of his passes and has thrown six interceptions.
This could turn out to be the worst season for Virginia Tech since joining the ACC.
Matt Barkley, USC
Speaking of hurting his NFL draft stock, USC quarterback Matt Barkley hasn't done much to improve his. The senior quarterback, who was widely considered the best quarterback in the country, is completing only 61 percent of his passes, has thrown five interceptions and played beyond horrible in the loss to Stanford.
Barkley still has a lot of things that NFL scouts like and will remain a first-round pick, but he may be passed up by several teams before being selected. The quarterback put his NFL dreams on hold to win a possible Heisman Trophy, BCS National Championship and guarantee himself a top pick in the draft.
Now, all of those things are in question, especially with the rise of West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith.
Sammy Watkins, Clemson
There are simply not many players that are more exciting to watch than wide receiver Sammy Watkins. As a freshman last season, the speedy wide receiver racked up 82 receptions for 1,219 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. He is lightening in a bottle and extremely hard to catch once he gets going with the ball in his hands.
While we were expecting big things from Watkins during his sophomore season, he was suspended for the first two games due to an offseason arrest. He then missed last week’s matchup due to a stomach illness.
Due to missing so much time, Watkins has just 10 receptions for 76 yards and one rushing touchdown through the first five games. This time last year, Watkins had 31 receptions for 471 yards and six touchdowns.
Hopefully we will see him return a healthy and determined player sooner than later.
Auburn wasn't supposed to be an SEC contender this season, but the program was supposed to be better and more competitive than the eight wins last year. Through the first four games, the Tigers are 1-3, which includes a blowout loss to Mississippi State and a two-point loss to LSU.
The quarterback experiment with Kiehl Frazier has failed miserably and the defense is ranked 12th in the SEC in average yards allowed. Head coach Gene Chizik may also be on the hot seat if things don't turn around quickly for this team.
Maybe the close game against LSU wakes this squad up, but even then, the start to 2012 will still leave a bad taste in everyone's mouth.
Brandon Jenkins, Florida State
Nothing worse when an injury occurs to a key player, especially when that team has enormous goals for the season.
Florida State is supposed to become national championship contenders once again and the defense is a big part of that. Defensive end Brandon Jenkins led the team with eight sacks last season and was considered the best player on this highly talented side of the ball.
Although in Week 1, Jenkins suffered a foot injury which will cause him to miss the entire season. The Seminoles still have a top-three defense in yards allowed, but missing an experienced player that produces at a high level has to hurt.
Landry Jones, Oklahoma
What in the world is up with quarterback Landry Jones?
I know he has thrown for over 13,000 yards and 98 touchdowns in his career to date, but he seems to always come up small in the big moments and always leaves you scratching your head. He is the most experienced quarterback in the country, earning playing time since 2009, but you rarely hear his name mentioned this season.
Maybe that is because he hasn't done much, throwing just five touchdowns in the first three games and not doing enough for his team to avoid an upset to Kansas State.
While many quarterbacks have made a name for themselves early on, Jones seems to be the forgotten quarterback in college football, even with his off-the-chart career numbers.
The Big Ten
It looked like the Big Ten was on the rise, as Michigan reached a BCS bowl and other programs were making some noise among college football’s best. And then the 2012 season began and the Big Ten was the same old boring conference.
There is not one Big Ten team that is ranked in the Top 10 of the AP Poll and the highest rated team isn't even eligible for postseason play in 2012. Who would have thought that teams such as Michigan and Wisconsin wouldn't be ranked but Northwestern would be?
That says really all you need to know about this conference, as there is clearly work to done before we see any true contender come out of the Big Ten.
Everybody Involved with Arkansas
If Arkansas could crawl under a hole and never be seen again, it would have done so a long time ago. The team that was supposed to be contenders this year in the SEC is now the laughing stock of college football.
The Razorbacks have now lost four straight games, including losing to Louisiana-Monroe, getting shut out by Alabama and losing to Rutgers and Texas A&M. Head coach John L. Smith is clearly in over his head, especially with a massive debt hanging over him.
Tyler Wilson has not looked anything like an NFL-caliber quarterback, the defense is one of the worst in the country and Knile Davis has quickly shown that he is not the best running back in the conference.
There will be many changes with this Arkansas program, as the 2012 season has been by far the biggest disappointment.