Power Ranking College Football's 5 Biggest Disappointments: Midseason Edition
You can never complain about a college football season. Even bad football is better than no football. And while there are thousands of things to like about the 2013 season, there are also a few disappointments that need to be addressed.
Teams get over-hyped to the point they are destined to fail by the time the season rolls around. When players get so much television time and their daily routine is updated by the hour, it's no wonder why they didn't fulfill your expectations. Coaches are paid eye-popping wads of cash, so it's considered a letdown when they lose more than one or two games.
Thank goodness for college football, but not everything is right with the sport just yet.
We still have a few things to be disappointed over.
Has the SEC and Big 12 merged into a super conference?
Oh, because there are six teams averaging more than 35 points and 11 defenses allowing more than 360 yards per game. There are three SEC defenses ranked in the Top 25, which is two less than the conference had at the end of last season.
Besides Alabama, Florida and South Carolina, every defense in the SEC is suspect at best. Sure, each unit does something special to help make up for the big plays allowed, but would you really trust any other defense in this conference with the game on the line?
Texas A&M is allowing close to 500 yards per contest and just lost its second game of the season because it couldn't stop Auburn. Auburn nearly lost because it couldn't stop Texas A&M. Georgia is ranked 100th in the country in points allowed. Tennessee and Kentucky are allowing more than 400 yards per game and Mississippi and Mississippi State have yet to produce 10 sacks on the season.
For a conference that prides itself on elite defense, there are only a couple of teams still keeping the tradition alive.
I think everybody called it when they said the targeting rule was going to be a disaster for college football. You were all right. Party at my house!
Anyway, the new rule either must go or needs some major tweaking. First off, why does the penalty still stand if instant replay is enough to remove the ejection of a player? If the hit wasn't bad enough to warrant an ejection, it shouldn't be severe enough to deserve a penalty. Whoever passed this rule must not have read the fine print.
This rule has also opened up another can of worms with referees throwing flags every other play. Half the time, the hit wasn't targeting the head or neck area, but it's nearly impossible for these older gentlemen to see clearly in real time. Last week, three SEC players were ejected under the rule in the first half!
The rule change has forced players to go low, which of course puts players at risk for career-ending injuries. Please, tackle these kids anywhere but the knees. Hopefully the rule committee comes to their senses and targets this rule right for the garbage bin.
North Carolina has enough talent to be one of the better teams in the ACC. Unfortunately for Tar Heels' fans, a bounce back season under second-year coach Larry Fedora hasn't happened. North Carolina is 1-5 and will probably miss the postseason for the second-straight year.
It's really inexcusable for a team that isn't playing top-tier competition each week. Believe it or not, the Tar Heels have had great success in the NFL draft recently and are still flooded with elite talent. Eric Ebron makes a case as the best tight end, James Hurst is one of the better offensive linemen and defensive end Kareem Martin should hear his name called within the first three rounds.
That doesn't even include senior quarterback Bryn Renner, cornerback Jabari Price or safety Tre Boston, all who should be drafted at some point.
What's with the underachieving?
It's nice to see this team put up more of a fight recently with close losses to Virginia Tech and Miami, but the losses continue to pile up, and moral victories only mean so much.
Jadeveon Clowney has been picked on more than Vincent Smith after what became known as the Clowney hit. Many folks were expecting one of the best seasons in college football after all the hype the junior defensive end received. Break records, lead South Carolina to the national championship and fade off into the sunset as the No. 1 overall pick.
Everybody is still waiting.
In six games, Clowney has just 19 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and two sacks. He's not exactly tearing it up on the field. A lot of this has to do with being double and triple teamed majority of the time. But come on! A blind squirrel is sure to stumble upon a nut once in a while. A super talented squirrel that has the potential to be the best squirrel ever should be able to stockpile enough food for the winter regardless of its poor eyesight.
Clowney is one of a kind and is still going to hear his name called rather early in the NFL draft. However, it still would have been nice to see him have a season for the ages.
The most disappointing team in the country is Florida, and it's really not even close. We knew about the issues offensively, but even that has reached an all-time low. We knew there were going to be hiccups, but nobody, not even Florida State fans, could have predicted a 4-3 start.
Florida's offense might as well not even get off the bus. It's averaging just 21.1 points per game, its passing yards is ranked 107th and even the running game has dropped to 73rd in college football. It also doesn't help that there have been 13 turnovers in seven games.
It's simply bizarre how the team with the most talented defense still struggles to compete week-to-week. Missouri blew the Gators out, LSU had control of the game for 60 minutes and Miami knew it was going to win once Jeff Driskel turned the ball over about 82 times.
Even with a number of injuries, the talent is still there on both sides of the ball for Florida to make a run for the SEC East. But with the way the offense has played, it wouldn't be surprising if Vanderbilt pulled off the upset in a couple of weeks.