College Football Week 12: 25 Shocking Worsts of the Weekend
College Football Week 12 featured the usual dose of upsets, thrilling finishes and statement wins.
But for all of the good, there were also plenty of reasons to make you wonder why you had just spent another Saturday snuggling with the remote
The most puzzling aspect of the weekend was the hype assigned to a pair of meaningless football games played at historic baseball venues.
ESPN brought Gameday to Clark and Addison to help celebrate the epic Illinois-Northwestern clash.
Notre Dame and Army eventually took the field at Yankee Stadium after a 45 minute ceremony that seemed to be more about the Irish's tradition than any aspect of patriotism.
Meanwhile, the BCS debate rages on.
Boise State survived another daunting task this week heading into Friday's trip to Nevada, where the Broncos will actually face an opponent capable of scoring some points.
Here's a look at the bad, the baffling and the ugly from College Football Week 12.
No. 25: Biggest Brain Teaser
Oregon State was coming off a horrible loss to Washington State, ending the Cougars 16-game losing streak in Pac-10 play.
USC was coming off an impressive win over Arizona.
Even though they were playing in Corvallis, it was only natural to expect a fairly easy win for the Trojans, right?
Not so much.
Oregon State cruised to a 38-6 win in one of the more surprising games of the year.
You just never know what will happen in college football.
No. 24: Worst Game To Watch
Staying in the Pac-10, Washington and UCLA clashed Thursday night in ESPN's featured game.
Although the game featured a fair amount of NFL talent, both teams aren't exactly adept at offensive execution.
After sticking with this clash of the titans for a half, it became clear HGTV might in fact have more enjoyable programming.
At least it wasn't a Big East game.
No. 23: Best Win Over the Weakest Foe
It's a tradition unlike any other.
In the twilight of the season, SEC teams routinely fill a scheduling slot with a weak non-conference opponent.
Week 12 featured several David vs. Goliath clashes, including Alabama hosting Georgia State.
Bill Curry's Panthers have the distinction of being the youngest football program in the country, making them about the weakest possible opponent Alabama could have chosen.
Needless to say, Thursday's 63-7 victory won't help Alabama rise in the BCS standings this week.
No. 22: Worst Dressed
Admit it, you thought Virginia Tech was playing against itself Saturday.
Miami came out in alternate uniforms that looked very similar to the Hokies' alternates, complete with the dark green helmets.
The fashion statement wasn't enough to derail Virginia Tech's perfect run through the ACC.
At least the 'Canes looked good.
No. 21: Worst No-Show in a Big Game
One week after nearly upsetting Oregon, Cal had another opportunity to knock off a highly-ranked foe with Stanford coming to town.
Instead of being a close contest, the Big Game quickly became a big joke.
Cal was held scoreless for the first three quarters in a 48-14 loss to Andrew Luck and the Cardinal.
No. 20: Worst Offense
Notre Dame's defense has improved throughout the course of the season, but Army figured to have some success Saturday night.
Scoring three points isn't quite good enough to be considered a success.
Army has actually had a nice season and will be going bowling in December.
You would never know that from watching last night's game though.
No. 19: Worst Fourth Quarter Defensive Collapse
Rob Henry had Purdue in a great position to upset Michigan State.
That all changed in the fourth quarter, when Sparty outscored the Boilermakers 22-3 to pull off a 35-31 comeback win.
Aside from falling apart on offense in the fourth quarter, Purdue had a number of defensive breakdowns in the secondary and also had a punt blocked.
That's what bad teams do.
Mark Dantonio can rest easy, at least for a few more days.
No. 18: The Worst Conference Is...
This is just so obvious.
It's as if no Big East team really wants to earn an automatic bid to the BCS for fear of being embarrassed on a national stage.
After a great start to the season, Syracuse has fallen on hard times.
Louisville is improving under Charlie Strong, but still at least a year away from returning to prominence.
The same can be said for Skip Holtz and South Florida.
West Virginia and Cincinnati have been very disappointing.
UConn waited until the season was almost over to finally start playing.
Rutgers has been banged up and has less talent than usual.
That leaves those powerful Pittsburgh Panthers, a team with no quality wins whatsoever.
Behold reason No. 2,345 that College Football needs a playoff.
No. 17: Most Painful Broadcasting Moment
ESPN decided to bring Gameday to Wrigley Field despite having a few other potential destinations in Week 12.
In terms of meaning, it was like taking the show to Harvard-Yale.
Without the tradition.
Bringing light to a game played at an off-campus location just doesn't make sense.
No. 16: Worst Performance by a Conference in Week 12
The Big 12 featured a few eye-opening results in Week 12.
All of them paint a picture of a conference that isn't nearly as good as it looked a few weeks ago.
Kansas State, a team that has spent several weeks ranked in the BCS, was defeated by woeful Colorado.
Nebraska, a trendy national championship pick, failed to do anything on offense in a loss to Texas A&M.
And those upstart Baylor Bears gave up 53 points at home to Oklahoma.
Any chance of the Big 12 sneaking two teams into the BCS just went out the window.
No. 15: Worst BCS Team
Incredibly, almost all of the teams ranked in the BCS looked good this week.
Nebraska would be the lone exception.
The Huskers had their chances Saturday in College Station, but were never able to find the end zone.
After being touted as a Heisman candidate early in the season, freshman Taylor Martinez has come back to earth.
No. 14: The Josh Nesbitt Award
The Josh Nesbitt Award is presented to the college quarterback with the worst passing display each week...
Mississippi State's Chris Relf takes home the Nesbitt this week for missing open receivers throughout Saturday night's overtime loss to Arkansas.
Relf is basically a Nesbitt clone, a dangerous runner with a strong arm who has no idea where the ball is going.
The Bulldogs have a great defense and a strong running game.
Now they just need a quarterback.
No. 13: The Bonehead Play of the Week Award
Ole Miss' Markeith Summers capped off a 65-yard catch and run by doing his best Reggie Bush impersonation.
The play gave Ole Miss a 36-35 lead over LSU with five minutes remaining, but also drew a 15-yard penalty.
With great field position to start the ensuing drive, the Tigers had no problem driving down the field for the winning score.
What is it with SEC teams practically handing games to LSU?
No. 12: The Too Little Too Late Award
Texas dusted Florida Atlantic 51-17 Saturday to creep closer to a bowl game.
It was a nice performance for the Longhorns, who must upset Texas A&M on Thanksgiving to have a shot at the postseason.
But even beating the Aggies won't do much to erase the memories of a disappointing season in Austin.
And to think Mack Brown's team started the season ranked in the top five of both polls...
No. 11: The Worst Road Loss Goes To...
Colorado State figured to have a decent chance against Wyoming Saturday.
Instead, the Rams authored one of the worst performances of any College Football team all season long.
Not only was CSU shut out by Wyoming's horrible defense, they also allowed 44 points to one of the worst offenses in the nation.
It's a good thing the season is over for both teams.
No. 10: Worst Home Loss Goes To...
Baylor's football program has come a long way.
But as Saturday's horrible performance against Oklahoma demonstrated, the Bears aren't close to being a legitimate contender quite yet.
With Oklahoma and Texas struggling, this could have been the season Robert Griffin helped his team gain some national footing.
There's always next year.
No. 9: The Luckiest Coach of The Week Award
Rich Rodriguez could use a win over Ohio State to improve his job security, but there is growing sentiment that his quarterback may have saved his job.
Sure, Denard Robinson's Heisman campaign has come to an end.
But with his historic numbers, there is no question the future is bright in Ann Arbor.
The immediate future should include Rich Rod, who is likely to get another season to show how his spread offense can help Michigan return to glory.
Now, if he can only start recruiting some defensive players.
No. 8: Worst Defense of the Week
When you play East Carolina, you will need to score plenty of points to win.
Thankfully, the Pirates defense is just plain awful.
Rice hung 62 on ECU Saturday, becoming the latest opponent to score more than 50 points without much of a problem.
East Carolina has now allowed 212 points in the last three games.
That's just plain awful.
No. 7: Worst Offense Of The Week
Fresno State is a decent offensive team, but you would never know it by watching them battle Boise State Friday night.
The Bulldogs managed to produce a meager 125 yards of offense and never really even made the Broncos sweat.
At least put up a fight...
No. 6: Worst Idea Ever
Here's a great idea.
Let's take a football team and have them play inside a baseball stadium, without giving consideration to the dimensions of the stadium.
It might not make sense, but it will bring in money.
Nevermind if the teams can only play to one end zone or if the field of play is barely visible from much of the stadium.
It's all about the Benjamins in College Football.
No. 5: Most Over Hyped Game
Notre Dame and Army met at Yankee Stadium in a game featuring two mediocre teams.
With all the pregame fanfare, you would have thought it was some sort of Independent National Title game.
When all of the ceremonial tributes and salutes were complete the game proved to be one-sided and downright boring.
It's a good thing we got to see Notre Dame charge out of the Yankees' locker room...
No. 4: Worst Coaching Performance
Kirk Ferentz and his staff get paid a lot of money to make almost no coaching adjustments.
Iowa once again blew a fourth quarter lead Saturday night, allowing Ohio State to embark on a lengthy scoring drive.
Whether it's linebackers trying to run with wide receivers or a pass-happy offense that ignores the running game, Ferentz's coaching has lacked ingenuity for years.
Now, a once-promising season has turned into a complete disaster.
No. 3: Worst Heisman Development
No news is not good news when it comes to Cam Newton
It was nice to have a weekend without Newton's eligibility dominating the headlines.
Hopefully you enjoyed it, because it's about to come to an end.
With the Iron Bowl coming up, there have been more signs that Cam Newton's father at least wanted money for his son.
Whether he actually got money remains to be seen, but don't be surprised if more rumors crop up during the next few days.
Unless there is some sort of resolution, you can expect a discussion of morality to surround the Heisman talk down the stretch.
There's nothing like listening to the pundits debate...
No. 2: Most Embarrassing Performance
Northwestern was coming off an upset over Iowa and was finally playing in front of a full stadium.
With a chance to beat Illinois, improve bowl positioning and climb up the Big Ten Standings, Pat Fitzgerald's team got kicked in the mouth.
The Illini's Mikel LeShoure did his best Gale Sayers impersonation, galloping for 330 yards to lead his team to a 48-27 win.
No. 1: Biggest Debacle
It happened at Wrigley Field, and it just didn't make sense.
The Big Ten has known about the schematics of the gridiron at Wrigley for months, as has the NCAA.
Countless tests were run, lawyers were consulted and risk-management personnel said the field was safe for play.
Around 24 hours before kickoff, something changed.
What ensued was a public relations disaster that left everyone wondering why it took so long to figure out this might be a bad idea.
Saturday's Northwestern-Illinois battle was indeed historic.
It likely will be the last football game ever played at Wrigley Field.
Maybe that's not such a bad thing.