Winners, losers, college football week 11 overreactions: Texas A&M is the most disappointing team in recent history

Not many thought about it when Texas A&M entered the preseason at No. 6 on the AP Top 25. Sure, it was a rare jump for a team that had finished the previous season unranked, but it managed to assemble the No. 1 recruiting class of all time and with three new additions in the quarterback room, some viewed the Aggies as a dark contender for the College Football Playoffs.

Fast forward, and the Aggies are a lot closer to shame. In the last 50 years, only seven teams from last season’s top six have managed to lose records. Losing to a coached Auburn in Week 11 dropped the Aggies to that mark and will shockingly miss a bowl game for the first time since 2008; For comparison, Kevin Sumlin never missed a bowl and won at least eight games in his first five seasons.

There’s also a team east of Texas that poached the Aggies’ athletic director, which makes matters worse. Scott Woodward chose to go home to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and then challenged Brian Kelly to run his LSU football program. In just one season Kelly has delivered an SEC West crown to the Tigers, something Fisher hasn’t won after five seasons. With the transfer portal on the horizon, you can bet this sparkling recruitment class will take notice.

There were other teams with massive expectations that couldn’t be met. USC started the year at No. 1, falling out of the AP Top 25 in 2012. Notre Dame was the No. 10 team in the country but finished 2016 4-8. It does not matter. With all the expectations and momentum this offseason program boasted, 2022 Texas A&M is the most disappointing team of the 21st century.

Here are more winners, losers, and overreactions from the college football world in Week 11.

winner

TCU: Despite being ranked as one of four undefeated teams in college football, TCU entered the fight against Texas as a 7-point underdog. The CFP committee complained that the Frogs only won games with strong offense. All concerns were allayed during one 17-10 victory over Texas. The Frogs held Texas without an offensive touchdown, choking the star running back Bijan Robinson to march past the Longhorns on their home field. Given the strong performance, there should be no more questions about the TCU’s ability to compete at a high level or win in different ways.

Washington coach Kalen DeBoer: In 23 years as a college head coach, DeBoer has consistently won everywhere he has coached. But even though he came into the Washington job with a 79-9 record at Fresno State and NAIA Sioux Falls, his instant success is still amazing. Washington shocked No. 6 Oregon 37-34 behind 408 yards passed by quarterback Michael Penix Jr. The loss was Oregon’s first in a Pac-12 game and featured a Washington squad that finished with a +360 moneyline, according to Caesars Sportsbook. DeBoer took over a roster in transition after the Huskies went 4-8 last season, but Washington is already back in the national conversation. DeBoer should be a strong contender for Pac-12 Coach of the Year in an invited competition.

loser

State of Virginia: Both Virginia State programs opted for coaching changes after the 2021 season. So far, it’s hard to imagine either going down. Virginia Tech lost 24-7 to Duke, losing its seventh straight game for the first time since 1951. The Hokies haven’t lost eight games in a season since 1992, but have reached the mark with two games remaining. Virginia handed the keys to offensive Tony Elliott, but Brennan Armstrong, America’s leading power-five passer last season, threw pick sixes in the first two games of the game in an embarrassing 37-7 loss to Pitt. UVa hasn’t finished a regular season below .500 since 2016, but things have collapsed under Elliott’s watch. The Commonwealth Cup will not last forever.

NC state: The Wolfpack’s season was over after quarterback Devin Leary was eliminated for the season, but a 21-20 loss to Boston College put the nail in the coffin. The Golden Eagles had lost four straight games and not clinched a road win before invading Carter-Finley Stadium and handing NC State an embarrassing second-half loss thanks to 14 unanswered points. The Wolf Pack had great promise and expectation after Leary’s return and a fierce defense that many hoped could become an ACC contender. Instead, it will just be another great NC State team filled with what-ifs.

overreactions

National coach of the annual race is madness: Fired trainers always seem to take center stage when everyone is looking for the next best thing. But in a sport defined by turnover, let’s take a second and celebrate what has been a rightfully outstanding year of coaching across the country.

Kansas coach Lance Leipold led the Jayhawks to a bowl game with a backup quarterback. UConn coach Jim Mora Jr. turned a program that has won fewer than six games in the last three seasons into a bowl game in his freshman season. TCU Coach Sonny Dykes talks about the Frogs in the College Football Playoffs. Despite losing to UCF, Willie Fritz has Tulane in the AAC title race. And as previously mentioned, Kelly defeated LSU in the SEC championship game in Year 1.

The names barely scratch the surface. What about Bret Bielema in Illinois? Or the job Lincoln Riley and Chip Kelly do at the Los Angeles schools? Kirby Smart and Jim Harbaugh have developed the most efficient killing machines in the country. The level of coaching continues to rise in college football, and that will make the race for national coach of the year one of the toughest decisions in years.

Big Ten West is a mess: The Big Ten West seemed settled weeks ago as Illinois took a dominant lead in the division with a winnable left hand. However, after a disastrous loss to Michigan State with a disappointing performance against Purdue, the race is suddenly wide open.

Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota and Iowa are suddenly in the Big Ten West rankings with a 4-3 record. The Illini play No. 3 Michigan next week, so they’re probably out of contention. Of course, Iowa and Purdue — two programs that were battling for bowl eligibility just days ago — remain at stake with big division hopes in Week 12. Needless to say, Illinois’ downfall is a huge disappointment for the division.

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