College Football Week 4: 20 Most Disappointing Performances

Denton RamseySenior Analyst ISeptember 26, 2010

College Football Week 4: 20 Most Disappointing Performances

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    With the fourth week of the college football season now slowly beginning to fade away in the rearview mirror, it’s time to take a look back.

    Not just glancing back at the weekend events, news, and scores—but rather looking back to discuss the 20 most disappointing performances of week 4 on the NCAA gridiron.

    So, from Texas’ sloppy loss at home to UCLA, to top-ranked Alabama needing everything in the tank to hold off Arkansas, let’s begin…

No. 20: South Florida Overcoming Slow Start to Beat Western Kentucky

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    Granted, beating Western Kentucky is nothing to truly celebrate as the team is currently riding a nation-high losing streak of 24 games.

    But trust me when I say that South Florida was very thankful to walk away with a win on Saturday against that same Western Kentucky football team.

    South Florida, struggling to start the game, overcame a rough and rusty first half to salvage a 24-12 victory over Western Kentucky to improve to 2-1.

    A win, yes; but a disappointing performance for South Florida as well.

No. 19: UTEP Holding on for 16-13 Victory over Memphis

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    How about the legs of a kicker carrying the UTEP Miners to a 16-13 victory over the Memphis Tigers, who remain winless in Conference USA?

    Once again, this game ended in a victory for the guys predicted to win the contest, but no one expected UTEP to hold off Memphis by kicking a game-winning field goal with no time remaining in regulation.

    However, that’s exactly what happened on Saturday night in El Paso, Texas—as Dakota Warren drilled an 18-yard field goal with all zeros on the scoreboard to propel UTEP to a wild win.

    And as disappointing as the Miners’ performance may have been on the gridiron, UTEP walked away with a victory to improve to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in conference play.

No. 18: Northwestern Defeating Central Michigan, 30-25

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    Amazingly, Northwestern remains undefeated at 4-0.

    However, Central Michigan nearly derailed that perfect mark on Saturday afternoon, as Northwestern showed up and played an extremely disappointing game.

    The whole game wasn’t a complete disaster, though; and it really wasn’t until the fourth quarter that things began to truly unravel for Northwestern.

    Leading 30-13 in the final quarter of regulation, Northwestern began to relax—a little TOO much—as Central Michigan fought back to make it 30-25 before failing to capitalize on an onside kick, allowing the final seconds of the clock to expire.

    And just as was stated about the prior two “disappointments,” Northwestern still came away with a victory—albeit a sloppy and lackluster win.

No. 17: Duke’s 1-3 Start, Loss Against Army on Saturday

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    The Duke Blue Devils had a lot of promise heading into the 2010 college football season, as hopes of continued improvement wavered on the hearts and minds of Blue Devils fans around the globe.

    Unfortunately, it appears as though Duke may have a few more years of growing pain on the gridiron before the team begins winning consistently.

    Duke, dropping to 1-3 overall after a disappointing loss to Army on Saturday, will start a stretch of tough ACC contests beginning next week.

    And it looks as though the Blue Devils will once again be on the outside looking in as the 2010 NCAA football season rolls on.

No. 16: North Carolina Squeaking By Rutgers, 17-13

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    To say North Carolina is having a football season from hell would be an understatement.

    However, regardless of the continuous flaws and disappointments on the 2010 UNC football squad, the Tar Heels finally squeaked out a win on Saturday by knocking off the Rutgers—thanks largely to a solid secondary—to move to 1-2 overall.

    But North Carolina is still struggling, and they continue to be a major disappointment on the 2010 college gridiron.

    After beginning the season ranked in the polls, then losing numerous players (including many starters) to controversial codes of conduct, UNC kicked off the season by sliding down the drain and have quickly turned that slide into a whirlpool.

    In fact, it took a late interception against the Rutgers for UNC to finally seal the deal on the team’s first victory of the season.

    And at the quarter-mark of the 2010 season, there’s no doubt that UNC is the biggest disappoint in the ACC.

No. 15: Southern Miss Holding Off Louisiana Tech, 13-12

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    After taking a 13-3 lead into the fourth quarter, Southern Miss appeared well on it’s way to cruising to another victory.

    However, the Golden Eagles likely hit cruise control way too early—as Southern Miss was forced to hold off a furious fourth quarter comeback by Louisiana Tech, especially following a blocked punt by the Bulldogs which led to a safety and a 13-12 score.

    But that was all Southern Miss needed to hold off pesky Louisiana Tech, grinding down defensively in the final minutes of the fourth quarter to pick up a one-point victory and improve to 3-1 overall.

    Granted, the Golden Eagles still came away with a win this weekend—but to label their fourth quarter play as a disappointment would be an understatement, as Southern Miss was nothing short of pathetic until the final moments of the fourth quarter.

No. 14: Kansas State Forced to Rally in Rain Against UCF

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    I highly doubt Kansas State thought it would be this difficult to begin the season at 4-0.

    Especially entering the year undefeated and facing an underdog Central Florida team at home that was just 2-1 overall entering the contest.

    But UCF showed up looking anything like an underdog, while Kansas State showed up in a disappointing performance before rallying late for a wild victory.

    In fact, Central Florida dominated a majority of the game—which was delayed for over an hour and a half due to weather—before the Wildcats woke up and made a game-winning drive in the fourth and final quarter.

    Regardless of the disappointing play by Kansas State, the Wildcats are now 4-0 overall and enter Big 12 play undefeated for the first time since 2003.

No. 13: West Virginia Failing to Capitalize Against LSU

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    If West Virginia could have capitalized on key miscues by highly-touted LSU, we very well may have had another major upset brewing this weekend.

    Unfortunately for Mountaineers fans, No. 22 West Virginia was unable to take advantage of No. 15 LSU’s errors as the Tigers held on for a 20-14 victory.

    But the performance by the Tigers on Saturday was absolutely disappointing, especially for die-hard LSU fans, as the team took a 17-point lead before having to fight things out to the finish against a West Virginia team intent on pulling the upset.

    Sure, LSU picked up another win on Saturday to improve to 4-0 overall—but Tigers fans have plenty to be concerned about as the 2010 college football season rolls on.

No. 12: Jacoby Harris’ Interceptions in Miami Win Thursday Night

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    Jacoby Harris’ pair of interceptions on Thursday night against Pittsburgh appeared to be a possible nail in the coffin for No. 19 Miami, but thanks to a remarkable secondary the team was able to hold off any chance at a Panthers upset.

    And regardless of two interceptions being thrown by Miami quarterback Harris, the Miami defense did everything in it’s power to keep Pittsburgh out of the end zone—holding the Panthers to a mere field goal despite a trio of turnovers.

    Yes, Harris’ duo of interceptions were and are a major disappointment for Miami fans—but the starting QB finished the night with 248 yards and two touchdowns, as the Hurricanes improve to 2-1 in 2010.

No. 11: Andy Dalton’s Interceptions in TCU Win over SMU Friday

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    Speaking of interceptions, TCU quarterback Andy Dalton also had a difficult time finding his receivers on Saturday against SMU—throwing two picks before helping propel the Horned Frogs to a 41-24 victory.

    And after TCU slouched into the locker room with a mere four-point lead, the Horned Frogs appeared on the verge of ending it’s superior season early after SMU took a 17-14 lead about a minute into the second half of action.

    That’s about when TCU’s disappointing play ended, as the Horned Frogs woke up quickly to rally back and take a lead—never looking back en route to what ended up being a blowout win.

    Regardless of TCU’s early disappointments against SMU, the road ahead appears to be fairly easy for the Horned Frogs as conference play awaits.

No. 10: Purdue Dropping Rare Home Loss to Toledo

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    The Toledo football team has Austin Dantin to thank for bringing it’s team a rare road win against Purdue on Saturday.

    And Purdue fans have every reason in the world to be concerned following another disappointing performance by the Boilermakers.

    Toledo took a 17-0 lead into halftime before holding on in the second half, scoring two more touchdowns en route to a 31-20 victory over Purdue.

    It was the team’s first win at Ross-Ade Stadium since 1992.

    Dantin scored four touchdowns for Toledo, rushing for a pair and throwing for two more, to carry the Rockets to a major road win—improving the team to 3-1 overall.

    However, the point of this slide is Purdue’s downslide—as the Boilermakers disappointing season rolls on.

No. 9: Oregon Struggling Against Arizona State

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    Thanks in a large part to Arizona State miscues, No. 5 Oregon is still undefeated following a lackluster performance on the road on Saturday night.

    After taking a 28-24 lead into the break, Oregon had to hold on for it’s postseason lives in the second half before squeaking out a 42-31 victory.

    But Sun Devils turnovers and interceptions were the storyline on the gridiron on Saturday night in Arizona, as the Ducks took advantage of those miscues en route to an 11-point win on the road.

    With the loss, Arizona State is now 2-2 on the season as the Sun Devils’ disappointing 2010 campaign after dropping back-to-back losses to ranked opponents.

No. 8: Tennessee’s Wild Double OT Victory over UAB

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    I know I recently stated that Matt Simms could be the savior for Tennessee football, and after Saturday’s wild double overtime victory that statement may even ring more true.

    And for two team’s desperate to pick up a major win, it was the UAB Blazers’ second half surge that made Tennessee’s Saturday afternoon matinee a disappointment—regardless of the Volunteers holding on for a 32-29 victory.

    Although UAB’s kicker was 0-for-5 on field goals heading into Saturday’s contest with Tennessee, it was the Blazers’ kicker’s legs that helped carry the team to and through the first overtime—before falling in a heartbreaker in the second OT.

    In that second overtime, UAB was forced to kick a field goal—taking a 29-26 lead before it was Tennessee’s turn on offense.

    And when Simms tossed a 25-yard TD pass to Denarius Moore on the very first play of double OT, the game ended on a high note for Volunteers players, fans, and coaches alike in a wild 32-29 finish.

    However, if you were to ask if Tennessee’s overall performance against UAB on Saturday was a disappointment, I would definitely have to answer with a “yes.”

No. 7: Arizona’s Super Close Victory over California, 10-9

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    Arizona’s football team is very fortunate to still be holding onto it’s No. 14 ranking after shaking off a lackluster start on Saturday to defeat California, 10-9.

    In fact, California appeared to be well on it’s way to a major upset on Saturday night before a late fourth quarter touchdown put Arizona in the lead for good.

    But there are many reasons for concern with the Wildcats having another disappointing performance before holding on for a major victory.

    With the win, No. 14 Arizona remains undefeated at 4-0 while winning it’s conference opener—with the team’s fourth quarter TD pass with just a tad over one minute remaining in regulation sealing the deal for the Wildcats.

No. 6: Nebraska Overcoming Early Problems to Remain Undefeated

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    The No. 6 Nebraska Cornhuskers looked anything but a top 10 team on Saturday night at home against an underdog South Dakota State football team.

    Thankfully for Nebraska and it’s fan, the Cornhuskers woke up in time to escape with a 17-3 victory over the winless Jackrabbits.

    But there’s more than a handful of reasons to be concerned about Nebraska’s more than disappointing showing on the gridiron against South Dakota State.

    And with Big 12 play beginning next week, the Cornhuskers better fix it’s flaws quickly if the team expects to remain a top 10 competitor.

No. 5: Boise State’s Special Teams Issues in Win Over Oregon State

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    No. 3 Boise State had it’s share of disappointments and problems on Saturday night against No. 24 Oregon State, especially in terms of special teams flaws.

    But Broncos play-caller Kellen Moore didn’t let the disappointment—or the pressure—of the moment get to him.

    Instead, Moore rose to the occasion and helped propel Boise State to a 37-24 victory as the team’s quest for a BCS-Bowl bid continues.

    Moore passed for 288 yards and three touchdowns to help push the Broncos to a much-needed win and a 3-0 start.

    However, when looking at a pure domination factor (something huge to poll voters), Boise State struggled once again—due mainly to mistakes on it’s own accord.

    Regardless, the Broncos are still aiming for major postseason hopes and dreams as the 2010 campaign rolls on.

No. 4: Top-Ranked Alabama Holding Off Arkansas

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    What an amazing game for top-ranked Alabama, who faced a rowdy and rambunctious No. 10 Arkansas football team on Saturday afternoon at Razorback Stadium.

    With Arkansas on the verge of one of the biggest upsets of the 2010 college football season, Mark Ingram and the Crimson Tide rallied back when it mattered the most.

    Down by six points heading into the final quarter of play, the Tide answered back—first with a field goal to cut the Razorbacks lead to just three—before hammering the nail into the coffin with a one-yard TD run with 3:18 remaining in regulation and Alabama taking a 24-20 lead.

    But the disappointments from Saturday’s game remain, despite the huge comeback victory for the Tide—as Alabama was forced to battle back from a 13-point deficit to remain perfect in the 2010 season.

No. 3: South Carolina’s Loss to Auburn

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    After taking a 20-14 lead into halftime following a dominating first half of action, No. 12 South Carolina appeared well on it’s way to a perfect 4-0 start.

    But No. 17 Auburn had a different conclusion in mind.

    The Tigers rallied back in the second half, storming to life in the fourth and final quarter with a combination of passing and running en route to a 35-27 Auburn victory.

    With the loss, the Gamecocks are now 3-1 overall and 1-1 in SEC play; Auburn, meanwhile, improves to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in conference play.

    Would you call Saturday’s South Carolina loss a disappointment?

    I know I definitely would…

No. 2: Oklahoma Barely Squeaking By Cincinnati

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    No. 8 Oklahoma had to withstand a fourth quarter road flurry of scores by Cincinnati, jumping the team to No. 2 on this week’s disappointments.

    Granted, the Sooners held on for a victory; but it wasn’t pretty.

    And this was against a Cincinnati team with just one win on the season.

    Oklahoma led 17-9 at the break, but the Bearcats came out looking like a different team in the second half (and especially the fourth quarter).

    Cincinnati’s four turnovers definitely helped the Sooners, as well as Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones throwing for 370 yards and two touchdowns.

    And yet, still, the Sooners only won by two points—holding off the Bearcats in the final quarter to escape with a 31-29 victory.

    Yes, Oklahoma’s win was very ugly; and no matter how you slice it, the Sooners were a disappointment on Saturday.

    Did they win? Yes.

    But if OU continues playing this way, it will soon quickly find it’s way out of the top 20 in college football.

No. 1: Texas’ State-Sized Loss to UCLA in Austin

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    Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers.

    Yes, that word and that one word alone is what cost the Texas Longhorns a bitter-tasting defeat in Austin—dropping a pathetically played 34-12 loss to the UCLA Bruins.

    This UT loss may actually be the biggest disappointment of the season, though its tough to say so with 75 percent of the games still remaining.

    Regardless, the Horns loss to the Bruins on Saturday was nothing short of pathetic.

    And I can guarantee you that Mack Brown wasn’t a happy camper in the burnt orange locker room after Saturday’s Texas meltdown.

    Bringing back awful memories from the Horns' 1997 66-3 loss to UCLA, the Bruins made sure those flashbacks came flooding back in Austin with a vengeance on Saturday at Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

    This time around may have hurt even more, as the former-No. 7 Longhorns were walloped by a UCLA football team intent on pulling the upset.

    By the time all was said and done, the Bruins walked from the field on Saturday afternoon with a 34-12 blowout victory over the Texas Longhorns.

    With the loss, the Horns drop to 3-1 overall while being booted from the top 20 teams in the latest polls.

    Does this one hurt, Horns fans?

    You bet it does…


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    Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at denton.ramsey@gmail.com

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