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College Football's Most Disappointing Starts


Notre Dame and Georgia have received the most attention around the college football world for their 0-2 starts, but both squads have played quality teams and had chances to win. The Irish dominated the line of scrimmage against South Florida but killed themselves with turnovers in the red zone, and then there was the epic defensive meltdown in the fourth quarter at Michigan. The Bulldogs have played two Top 15 opponents, so their losses are fairly understandable. Boston College, Indiana, Oregon State and Colorado are other BCS clubs with 0-2 records.

Most disappointing team so far in the 2011 season?

Mitch Light (@AthlonMitch)
I’d say at this point of the season, Boston College, with losses to Northwestern at home and at UCF, is the most disappointing team in the nation. It’s not a huge surprise that the Eagles are 0–2, but they have been alarmingly bad in some key areas en route to that winless start. The foundation of this program has been its ability to play solid on the defense end with a focus on stopping the run. Last season, BC ranked No. 1 in the nation in run defense, allowing only 82.8 yards per game. This year, however, the Eagles rank 110th in the nation, having given up 227 yards to Northwestern (a team that struggled to run the ball last year) and 235 yards to UCF. The Eagles have been bad on offense, as well, with a total of two touchdowns in eight quarters. In their 30–3 loss at UCF last weekend, they managed an anemic 141 yards of total offense. It must be noted that running back Montel Harris, BC’s best offensive player, has been out with an injury, but Andre Williams proved to be a more-than-capable backup at the end of last season. Harris will be back soon, but the return of one player might not be enough to right the ship in Chestnut Hill.

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Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
I'd have to go with Notre Dame as my most disappointing team so far. I thought the Irish would make it through the first two games with a 2-0 record and set up a run to a BCS bowl. Although Notre Dame has arguably outplayed its first two opponents, turnovers and penalties have been costly. Brian Kelly is definitely the right coach for the job, and the Irish will get back into the BCS under his watch. Athlon Sports' 2011 preview picked Notre Dame to finish 10-2 and even with USC, Stanford and Michigan State remaining on the schedule, that isn't out of the question. However, the Irish have to end the silly mistakes that have cost them two games so far. The season is far from over for Notre Dame, but after the high expectations entering the year, the Irish have been a disappointment.

Braden Gall (@AthlonBraden)
It’s a race of frustration between Boston College, Oregon State, Notre Dame and Georgia. While Notre Dame has turned the ball over and struggled in the red zone, it has produced big offensive numbers and was the better team in both losses. The Dawgs have played the toughest schedule in the nation and were, in my opinion, the better team on Saturday. So I will go with Boston College. A home loss to Northwestern without its starting quarterback is unacceptable and a 30-3 loss to a mid-major program - albeit a good non-AQ in UCF - is not a way to keep one of the nation's longest bowl streaks alive in Chestnut Hill (12 years).

Patrick Snow (@AthlonSnowman)
Notre Dame and Georgia are easy targets right now, but both teams have played good opponents and lost games they could have won. I’ll head to the west coast for my disappointment, Oregon State, whose season started with a 29-28 overtime loss to Sacramento State. The FBS Hornets stood toe-to-toe with the Beavers, leading 21-6 in the fourth quarter before OSU tied it to force overtime. I thought Mike Riley’s club would take it in the extra frame, but the defense could not stop Sacramento State. No one thought Oregon State would win at Wisconsin, but to get shut out (35-0) was pretty uninspiring. The Beavers have struggled in all phases of the game, and there is already a quarterback controversy with junior Ryan Katz and redshirt freshman Sean Mannion. Riley may have found the heir apparent to Jacquizz Rodgers in Malcolm Agnew, but he missed the Wisconsin game with a hamstring injury. Mannion and Agnew may rally OSU against UCLA after the bye week, but things in Corvallis could get ugly if the Beavers miss the postseason for a second straight season.