Are the Georgia Bulldogs the Biggest Disappointment in College Football?
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The first weekend of college football in October is in the books and for some teams that started the season ranked in the preseason polls, it is clear that the goals that they had going into the season are not going to be achieved.
Of course, there is still plenty of football left to be played and there is enough time to turn their fortunes around to get to a quality bowl game.
However, with five weeks into the season, it is time to ask which team has been the biggest disappointment in college football this season.
Only teams that started the season ranked but are now not currently ranked were considered.
5. Pittsburgh Panthers 2-2
Pittsburgh started the season as the No. 15 team in the country in both the Associated Press and ESPN Coaches’ preseason polls and some of their fans believed that they could possibly sneak into the BCS Championship game.
However, they lost to Utah in its opener in overtime 27-24, after rallying from an 11 point fourth quarter deficit.
The vaunted Panther never got on track, with two drives stalling inside the 10 yard line resulting in only field goals and running back Dion Lewis gaining only 75 yards on 25 carries; the team also put itself in the hole with 12 penalties.
Two weeks later, the Panthers had a shot for a little redemption but instead left the game with more questions than answers. Miami had 9 tackles for loss and held Pittsburgh to only 11 first downs on their way to trouncing Pitt 31-3.
Wannstedt was so upset with his team's performance, he held a hastily called post-game meeting to signal he was thinking about making some changes to the offensive line.
Junior Lucas Nix, a starter at right tackle, was moved to right guard and redshirt junior Jordan Gibbs was moved from reserve tackle to starting right tackle.
Pitt offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti has also indicated that quarterback Tino Sunseri needs to improve.
"I wouldn't say he is on a shorter leash," Cignetti said, "but every position you have to evaluate performance and, if the guy on the field isn't giving us the best chance to win the game then, hey, changes might have to be made.”
4. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 3-2
Georgia Tech was ranked as high as the No. 15 team in the country when they were upset 28-25 by the Kansas Jayhawks.
All upset losses are puzzling but given how poorly the Jayhawks had played the prior week, the failure by Tech to seal the deal was especially surprising.
Maybe Georgia Tech wasn’t ready to play. “You know, to be honest, we didn't really look like we were ready to play," said Tech linebacker Kyle Jackson. "We came out kind of dull. We had a big stop that first drive on defense, and then I think we got a little lax."
Georgia Tech appeared to have the same problem two weeks later when they spotted North Carolina State 10 points. The Wolfpack took the early gift and went on to beat the Yellow Jackets 45-28, as North Carolina’s quarterback Russell Wilson carved Georgia Tech up with three touchdowns and 368 passing yards.
The Yellow Jackets almost stumbled again this weekend as they fell behind Wake Forest 17-6 going into the fourth quarter. Georgia Tech scrambled to win by scoring a touchdown with just 15 seconds left in the game to escape with a 24-20 victory.
3. Virginia Tech 3-2
The Hokies had aspirations for playing in the BCS Championship game as they were ranked No. 10 in the Associated Press poll and No. 6 in the ESPN poll. The cherry on the top for Coach Frank Beamer’s squad was they got a chance to make their case in the season opener against emerging power house Boise State.
Unfortunately for Virginia Tech, they fell short against the Broncos losing 33-30 in a hard fought game. The real problem for the Hokies is that they suffered a lingering hangover from their game with Boise State.
Virginia Tech lost the following week to Football Subdivision foe James Madison 21-16 at home. Losing to Boise State by a field goal is understandable but losing to James Madison is completely inexplicable, especially when the Hokies lead the Dukes 10-0 in the second quarter.
Virginia Tech has since rebounded with three wins but in their last win this weekend, they needed 20 points in the fourth quarter to come back to beat No. 23 North Carolina State.
2. Texas 3-2
In the AP preseason poll, Texas was ranked No. 5 and even received one vote as the top team in the country. Texas was ranked No. 4 in the ESPN preseason poll.
Five weeks later, "how the mighty have fallen" certainly applied to Texas.
This past weekend’s 28-20 loss against Oklahoma was disappointing, given that the Longhorns fell behind 21-7 at halftime; Texas also committed penalties on three of the four Oklahoma scoring drives on third downs, which allowed Oklahoma to score instead of punt the ball.
A loss to a bitter rival, while bitter, can be forgiven—a 34-12 thumping by UCLA at home is a different story. Two weeks ago, UCLA ran the ball down Texas throat as they racked up 264 rushing yards.
The loss to UCLA was no ordinary loss for Coach Mack Brown. "It was a rear-end kicking," said Coach Brown. "This one's embarrassing for me.”
The last time that the Longhorns were not among the ranked teams in the Associated Press poll was 162 weeks ago.
1. Georgia 1-4
The Bulldogs knew that they would be in for a rocky start with the NCAA suspending their star receiver A.J. Green. Georgia fans, however, had no idea that five games into the season their team would have only one win.
The 17-6 loss against South Carolina was troubling because Gamecocks running back Marcus Lattimore ran over the defense on his way to 182 yards and two touchdowns.
The 31-24 loss against Arkansas exposed Georgia’s secondary as Razorback quarterback Ryan Mallett threw for 380 yards and three touchdowns.
However, it is the next two losses that have the folks questioning whether Head Coach Mark Richt is the right man for the job.
Georgia lost to Mississippi State 24-12, a team that they dominate. Georgia had won nine straight against Mississippi State and had won 16 of their prior 21 meetings.
This week, Colorado beat Georgia 29-27, as the Bulldogs fumbled away the ball at the Colorado 27 yard line with two minutes left in the game ending any chance they had to beat the Buffaloes.
Coach Richt hopefully can begin to win back some fans between the hedges the next two weeks, as Georgia has back to back home games against Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
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