College Football: Week 7 Who’s Hot & Who’s Not

    Week 7 saw some record-breaking performances, and some all-time disasters. Check out Who's Hot and Who's Not.

    October 19, 2015

    Who’s Hot

    The hottest, the best and the brightest from Week 7 of the 2015 college football season.

    The Eventual American Champ

    The American received a huge gift from Utah State, which destroyed Boise State on Friday night, 52-26. The loss likely bumps the Broncos from the Big Six bowl race, while clearing a path for the American champion to reign atop the Group of Five conferences. Boise State would have been unstoppable had it kept winning, but now Temple, Houston, Memphis and even Navy have hope of turning an American title into an enormous January payday.

    Utah State Coach Matt Wells

    Wells is a rising superstar of the coaching ranks who’ll be tough to keep in Logan for much longer. And absolutely no one this side of Columbus, OH has done more with backup quarterbacks than the third-year Aggie. Utah State traded places with Boise State in the Mountain West pecking order, slamming the Broncos, 52-26, behind eight takeaways. Wells is now 17-4 using reserve QBs, and it’s not as if he has Cardale Jones sitting on the bench.

    Pitt

    The Nov. 14 trip to Durham to face Duke is going to be huge. Who saw that coming? The Panthers and the Blue Devils are undefeated in ACC play, both losing their only game to Big Ten opponents. Pitt defeated Georgia Tech on a 56-yard Chris Blewitt field goal for the team’s third straight win by seven points or fewer. And by surviving with an old-school formula of defense and efficient offensive play, the Panthers are 5-1, with Coastal Division championship aspirations.

    Baylor WR Corey Coleman

    Just give him the Biletnikoff Award today. Coleman is the best wide receiver in the nation, an unstoppable mix of explosiveness, quickness and pass-catching skill. The junior is a pro playing among amateurs, and he’s crafting a Larry Fitzgerald-like season that ought to earn him Heisman attention. At the halfway point of the season, Coleman has already caught 41 passes for 877 yards and 16 touchdowns, including three in Saturday’s rout of West Virginia.

    LSU Coach Les Miles

    Leave it to Miles to go all Les Miles on Florida by winning his Tigers’ biggest game of the year on a fake field goal in the final quarter. This isn’t a vintage LSU squad, RB Leonard Fournette aside. Yet, despite coaching an imperfect team, Miles has his program perfect at the midway point of the season. And while the November schedule is downright treacherous, this team is already way ahead of schedule. Miles knew an unconventional approach would be necessary to score on the Gator D, so the noted gambler entered Week 7 with a few tricks up his sleeve.

    Alabama RB Derrick Henry

    Henry staked the Tide to an early cushion over Texas A&M that it never relinquished, finishing with 236 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries. Henry was the offensive monster, while CB Minkah Fitzpatrick took care of the defensive scoring with two of his team’s three pick-sixes. Bama has now recovered from its early stumble to Ole Miss with consecutive wins over UL-Monroe, Georgia, Arkansas and now the No. 9 Aggies. If Henry keeps gashing defenses with his blend of speed and power, he’s liable to carry the Tide right to an SEC title and a playoff spot.

    Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey

    The Cardinal planned on expanding McCaffrey’s role this year, and boy has he delivered on the opportunity. The sophomore has become the face of Stanford’s unexpected ascent from Week 1 flop to Pac-12 frontrunner. And the missing piece of the team’s best offense since Andrew Luck was still on the Farm. McCaffrey has averaged more than nine yards a carry in each of the last two games, capped by a school-best 243 rushing yards, four touchdowns and 369 all-purpose yards in Thursday’s obliteration of UCLA.

    Memphis QB Paxton Lynch and Coach Justin Fuente

    The two go hand-in-hand, an inseparable collaboration that’s elevated the Tigers to unforeseen heights. Memphis moved to 6-0 with Saturday’s 37-24 upset of Ole Miss that propelled the team into the pole position for the American title and the Group of Five berth in a major bowl game. Lynch and Fuente increased their ask rate in Week 7, the former likely headed to the NFL following his junior year, and the latter about to be poached by a Power Five program.

    Who’s Not

    The disappointments from this week in the college football world.

    Northwestern

    It’s a good thing the Wildcats caught Stanford in the opener. If the two played this week, the Cardinal might be favored by four touchdowns. Northwestern was always a little overrated, an incomplete team top heavy with defensive stalwarts. But back-to-back blowout losses to Michigan and Iowa by a combined scored of 78-10 have completely knocked the Cats from the Top 25. After RB Jordan Canzeri was hurt, backup Akrum Wadley looked like a Heisman candidate against Pat Fitzgerald’s D.

    West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen

    After being slaughtered by Baylor, 62-38, the Mountaineers have now lost three straight to sink back to the .500 mark. Long gone is the optimism associated with three routs to begin the year. And West Virginia’s holes will likely be further exposed by TCU on national TV in two weeks. Since the Mountaineers joined the Big 12 in 2012, Holgorsen is two games below .500, and patience for him is beginning to wear thin.

    Indiana

    If the Hoosiers stagger to the 2015 finish line, and head coach Kevin Wilson can’t survive, Saturday’s unimaginable collapse to Rutgers will go down as the turning point. The Scarlet Knights rallied from 25 points down, the largest comeback in school history, to send Indiana to its third loss in a row. Up 52-27 after RB Devine Redding exploded for 66 yards late in the third quarter, IU yielded 28 unanswered points in a game that could have bowl eligibility implications.

    The Mizzou Offense

    The Tigers are the SEC’s Boston College this season—defense is good enough to win every game, but the offense is too feeble to snatch the close games. After losing to Georgia, 9-6, in Week 7’s field goal-fest, Mizzou is now averaging 13.7 points against FBS opponents. And it’s been held to single-digits in three of the last five games. The two-time defending SEC East champ might miss bowl eligibility in 2015, but at least it’s popped the cork on future franchise QB Drew Lock.

    Ohio State QB Cardale Jones

    It’s getting harder and harder to defend Urban Meyer’s decision to keep Jones in the starting lineup. Jones was been no better than average in the first half of the season, despite facing some middling defenses between the opener with Virginia Tech and Saturday’s win over Penn State. And after J.T. Barrett lit the fuse with four touchdowns, two on the ground and two through the air, against the Nits, it’s becoming crystal clear who gives the Buckeyes their best shot of repeating as national champs.

    Washington

    It all lined up perfectly. The Ducks are down. The Huskies were rising … and home. This would finally be the year that U-Dub snaps the nasty 11-game losing skid to hated Oregon, right? Uh-uh. In its best chance in a decade to earn some rivalry payback, Washington squandered the opening. And since opportunities like the one that presented itself on Saturday don’t come often, this 12th loss in a row might sting more than the last 11 combined.

    UCLA (especially vs. Stanford)

    It wasn’t that long ago that the Bruins were being bandied about as a possible playoff party-crasher. But that was before the team stumbled at home to Arizona State and was trashed by Stanford. Thursday’s 56-35 loss to the Cardinal was UCLA’s eighth straight in the series and arguably the most embarrassing of the lot. Last November, Stanford delivered an upset in the Rose Bowl, denying the Bruins the South Division. This fall, it rolled in all three phases of the game to once again impact UCLA’s postseason potential.

    Michigan

    Low snap. Mishandled punt. Unfortunate flip of the ball. And in the blink of an eye, the Wolverines went from a statement win over a hated rival to arguably the most painful loss in school history. Michigan simply needed to execute a successful punt in the waning seconds to hand Michigan State its first loss of the year. Instead, the Wolverines’ hopes for a Big Ten title suffered a body blow after being on the losing end of a defeat that never should have happened.

    MORE: College Football Rankings, No. 1-128

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