Everybody who checked out South Carolina’s agenda knew this used to be going to be a troublesome 12 months. Along with the standard suspects within the SEC East and its annual recreation towards Clemson, Will Muschamp’s workforce drew the quick straw on its rotating convention crossover recreation, changing Ole Leave out with Alabama.
In different phrases, all of the substances have been there for this to be a debacle — particularly if one thing catastrophic took place like an damage to a key participant. In fact, that particular state of affairs performed out when beginning quarterback Jake Bentley suffered a season-ending damage within the opener towards North Carolina, forcing freshman Ryan Hilinski into the lineup immediately.
So in all probability it is no wonder that South Carolina sits right here lately with a Four-6 document that would simply turn out to be Four-Eight with video games left towards Texas A&M and Clemson. However the path to get right here has been curious, with some in point of fact promising performances (a win over Georgia, for example) and a few in point of fact unhealthy ones (getting blown out by way of Tennessee and Missouri).
However dropping to Appalachian State on Saturday 20-15 is the one who will spark a large number of conversations about the way forward for this system. Is Muschamp the fitting man? Neatly, for everybody concerned, he higher be. South Carolina would owe him $19 million if it made a transformation this 12 months, and that’s some beautiful deep water for a program that wouldn’t essentially have a transparent trail to an improve.
AMWAY COACHES POLL:LSU is new No. 1 after Alabama victory, whilst Minnesota joins height 10
WEEK 11 WINNERS, LOSERS:Led by way of LSU, Alabama, Minnesota
On the similar time, when a trainer is in his fourth 12 months and loses at house to a Solar Belt workforce that handiest had 202 yards of offense, no one’s going to feel free. Muschamp almost definitely overachieved in his first two years at South Carolina and has had some notable wins alongside the way in which. However because the SEC East will get harder given what Florida and Georgia are doing, to not point out an bettering Tennessee, lovers are going to be increasingly more determined for some self belief about which route this factor is headed.
It’s too early to fireside Muschamp this 12 months given all of the elements concerned. But when South Carolina does cross Four-Eight, the offseason in Columbia guarantees to be unsightly for all concerned, putting in place a 2020 agenda that can have a whole lot of implications for this system’s long term.
That’s why South Carolina is No. 1 within the Distress Index, a weekly size of knee-jerk reactions in line with what each and every fan base simply watched.
FOUR MORE IN MISERY
Penn State: James Franklin may just finally end up in the course of the training carousel’s largest bidding warfare in a couple of weeks. Each Southern Cal and Florida State may just make a run at him, and there’s surely that Franklin’s 77-37 document as a faculty trainer puts him amongst elite corporate. And but, on days like lately, you’ll’t blame Penn State lovers for questioning if that is in point of fact as excellent because it will get with Franklin. It is by no means simple to win all of them, and even all of the video games you’re meant to win in faculty soccer. However Franklin turns out to have a recreation a 12 months the place Penn State simply doesn’t play neatly in a large spot — and it’s pricey. In spite of a slow get started, Penn State had its probabilities past due in a 31-26 loss at Minnesota, stalling after using to the Minnesota 11-yard line with 1:44 last. And had the Nittany Lions transformed, they’d now not handiest be situated for an epic showdown of unbeatens towards Ohio State on Nov. 23. So this one is going into the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” pile along shut losses to Michigan State each and every of the closing two years and the Pitt loss early in 2016 that price Penn State a Playoff berth.
Michigan State: The dialog across the Spartans has shifted in the previous few weeks. It’s now not near to what strikes Mark Dantonio will make to mend a program this is now obviously malfunctioning, it is whether or not he’s going to select to take that problem on in any respect. It will be too simple to mention that dropping 37-34 to Illinois in a recreation it as soon as led 31-10 is a low level as a result of all the season has principally been a low level. However this can be a actual mess, and the 63-year outdated Dantonio goes to stand a call — do what is important to overtake this system or let anyone else do the process. It’s unhappy if that is the way it ends as a result of Dantonio’s run from 2010-15 used to be in point of fact wonderful with 3 Giant Ten titles and a School Soccer Playoff look. Annually, the Spartans have been probably the most best possible groups within the nation, which is not any simple feat at Michigan State. However 24-23 since then simply isn’t excellent sufficient, and whether or not it’s an incompetent offense or meltdown within the fourth quarter towards Illinois, issues appear to be getting worse each and every week.
Kentucky: There’s a gorgeous fascinating dynamic round Mark Stoops, who’s going to wrap up his 7th season at Kentucky beautiful quickly. In spite of the truth he’s 40-44 general, he’s now not handiest thought to be a top-notch trainer however probably an A-list candidate for the open process at Florida State. The good judgment at the back of this is that Kentucky is a in point of fact exhausting process, and Stoops has performed neatly to get the Wildcats to 3 immediately bowl video games together with the massive breakout season closing 12 months once they went 10-Three and beat Penn State within the Citrus Bowl. However isn’t it truthful to concurrently be just a little disillusioned at probably the most doable giant wins Stoops has left at the desk? Saturday’s 17-13 loss to Tennessee falls squarely into that class, because the Wildcats didn’t rating once more after taking a 13-Zero lead and couldn’t punch it in on the finish of the sport in spite of having first-and-goal on the 6-yard line. Stoops, if truth be told, is now simply 1-6 towards the Vols all through a duration the place Tennessee has now not precisely been a wholesome program (Vanderbilt, for instance, has 4 wins over the Vols all through the similar span). Stoops has performed neatly at Kentucky general, however while you in point of fact dig into the document, it will simply glance higher.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack had the misfortune of catching Clemson the similar week the Tigers were given disrespected by way of the School Soccer Playoff variety committee, so there used to be completely no probability of a let-up by way of Dabo Swinney and workforce. And that’s a difficult position to be while you’ve were given your individual problems, of which N.C. State has masses. Clemson will have received this recreation by way of any rating it sought after, even though it used to be the prudent factor to do for Swinney to take away his starters after taking a 49-7 lead at the first collection of the 3rd quarter. Apparently, even though, Swinney known as for an exclamation level with 2:45 left when Clemson recovered a fumbled punt. As a substitute of kneeling at the ball to expire the clock, he driven for a landing — and were given it with 11 seconds left to wrap up a 55-10 win. Was once shot on the variety committee for putting the Tigers No. Five closing week? Or used to be it a few prior red meat with N.C. State trainer Dave Doeren, who has had some minor dust-u.s.with Swinney previously? Both manner, the Wolfpack have some coin-flip video games down the stretch that can resolve whether or not it makes a 6th immediately bowl recreation. If now not, this can be Doeren’s worst 12 months at N.C. State since his first in 2013, and sooner or later being caught within the gentle center of the ACC goes to get terrible uninteresting for a program that expects to be just a little higher than that.
TRENDING TOWARD MISERY
UCF: Even with two losses, there used to be a shred of hope for the Knights that they might someway backdoor their manner into the AAC identify recreation, win that one and in all probability make a New 12 months’s Six bowl for a 3rd immediately 12 months if they might get just a little assist from Boise State. However a 3rd loss to Tulsa on Friday night time 34-31 takes that state of affairs utterly off the desk. The air of secrecy of UCF because the AAC’s dominant program is just about long gone now, as a Three-7 Tulsa workforce ruled the fourth quarter whilst UCF freshman quarterback Dillon Gabriel struggled (23-of-38, 290 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs) when the sport used to be striking within the stability. UCF has the infrastructure to bop again subsequent 12 months, however it is not going there’ll ever be some other two-year run like the only they simply had.
North Texas: While you’re in a league like Convention USA, you’ll cross from the new up-and-coming program to the trash heap within the blink of an eye fixed. A 12 months in the past, everybody used to be speaking up North Texas as the following Staff of 5 faculty with a possibility to damage via nationally — so long as it will stay suitors clear of trainer Seth Littrell. However as an alternative of successful the league as many pundits predicted, North Texas has stumbled to a Four-6 document, with Saturday’s 52-17 loss to Louisiana Tech serving because the exclamation level on an excessively disappointing 12 months. Despite the fact that the Imply Inexperienced’s offense has usually functioned at a prime degree this season (the protection is some other tale altogether), it used to be an actual fight after senior quarterback Mason High-quality were given harm past due within the first part.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores have had some beautiful horrible offensive groups over time, however few person performances as unhealthy as Saturday’s 56-Zero loss to Florida. Vanderbilt’s 128 offensive yards in truth does not glance too unhealthy while you believe it had simply nine web yards on 29 performs at one level within the 3rd quarter. After the sport, trainer Derek Mason informed newshounds that there have been going to be main adjustments offensively. The issue is, what is left of the season is brief and Mason’s time to in truth get it mounted could also be up except first-year athletics director Malcolm Turner is prepared to put out of your mind this crisis of a 2-7 season.
Stanford: The truth is beginning to sink in. Stanford is again to being mediocre at soccer. It’s been a gorgeous unbelievable run of consistency for the Cardinal with 10 immediately successful seasons and a pair flirtations with the nationwide championship race. However 12 months by way of 12 months, the air of secrecy of Stanford soccer has began to vanish into a spot the place you simply do not know what you are going to get from week to week. Stanford’s alternative to get a win at Colorado slipped away when the Buffs went 61 yards in 13 performs and hit a 37-yard box target on the buzzer for a 16-13 win. Stanford is Four-Five and must win at Washington State subsequent week within the worst manner. However there’s a larger query for this system. As soon as the new identify for just about each giant process, no one talks a lot about David Shaw anymore. However is it getting so tricky to deal with excellence at Stanford that he after all begins taking a look round for one thing other after 9 years at his alma mater?
Northwestern: Throughout the year, Northwestern lovers were griping in regards to the offense and coordinator Mick McCall. And the ones proceedings don’t seem to be with out benefit — the Wildcats stay closing in FBS with Three.nine yards in step with play. But if a workforce of that ilk in truth performs a good recreation on offense and nonetheless reveals a option to lose, that’s while you know you’re simply having a in point of fact terrible 12 months. In spite of out-gaining Purdue 435-345, the Boilermakers kicked a 39-yard box target with 3 seconds left to overcome Northwestern, 24-22, sending the Wildcats to 1-Eight. It’s a 12 months in contrast to the rest Northwestern has skilled for the reason that past due 1990s, and it comes simply 11 months after considered one of their nice successes beneath Pat Fitzgerald in making the Giant Ten identify recreation. For Northwestern lovers, 2020 can’t get right here rapid sufficient.
TOTALLY REAL AND IRRATIONAL MESSAGE BOARD THREADS
“Zero% probability this personnel can get us the place we need to be” – The Giant Spur (South Carolina)
“I’m happy we fulfilled our annually accountability to the Vols” – Cats Illustrated
“Does Dantonio nonetheless get a statue?” – Spartan Tailgate
“We’ve got reached the abyss” – Vandymania
“Heupel isn’t the solution” – UCFSports.com