The National Scene in Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good

Excitement in the Big 12

The Big 12 has proven itself to be a pretty exciting conference this year. Upsets abounded in Top-25 matchups this week. Texas beat Oklahoma and OK State beat Missouri. Meanwhile, Texas Tech needed overtime to beat Nebraska. The second half of the season promises to be full of twists and turns in this wide-open conference.

The Bad

Wisconsin

Early in the year, the Badgers were considered a dark horse contender for a Big-10 and maybe even national title. After Ohio State struggled early and was blown out by Southern Cal, the Badgers emerged as a Big 10 favorite. They're struggling mightily now, though, as they've lost three straight. The first two were nail biters to Michigan and the Buckeyes, but the last was a 48-7 blowout to Penn State. Penn State is very good (I honestly don't see how they don't make the national title game at this point--who will beat them?), but 48-7? Good teams don't lose like that. Things are looking rough in Madison.

The Ugly

Big Name Coaches on the Hot Seat

Clemson's former coach Tommy Bowden got most of the press this week, but Tommy Tuberville and Phil Fulmer could be close on his heels as he gets in line at the unemployment office. Each of these coaches began with a ranked team, with Clemson and Auburn considered dark-horse national title contenders. However, each has been terribly disappointing.

I think Tuberville will likely save his job if he can win two or three more games, especially if one of those wins comes against Georgia or Alabama. He's built up a lot of goodwill at Auburn over the past several years. However, if he loses out, he'll be in trouble, and either way he's going to need a big season next year to save his job. I think Tuberville is a great coach, but there's no denying that his off-season choice to hire Tony Franklin and his refusal to develop an offense that fits the talents of his team have been questionable decisions.

Fulmer is going to need a miracle to save his job. For one thing, he needs a lot of wins to get to .500--four, to be exact, and he only has six left to play. Considering that he'll be a huge underdog against Bama, a small underdog against South Carolina, and maybe even an underdog against Kentucky and Vandy, those wins are going to be very hard to come by.

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