Senioritis: College Football’s Top 5 Senior Slumps
Ideally, a college football player’s senior season is when it all comes together and a glorious career is culminated. Alas, reality often doesn’t match that ideal. We rank the five worst cases of senior slumps thus far in the 2012 season.
Shoelace was supposed to take a step forward as a passer this season, his second under the tutelage of offensive coordinator Al Borges. Yet through five games, he’s thrown more interceptions (8) than touchdown passes (7), including a four-pick stinker against Notre Dame.
A strong performance against Purdue this past Saturday could get Robinson on track. But even though his 235 rushing yards were impressive, he still only completed 50% (8-of-16) of his passes. And precedent has shown that when Shoelace is over-reliant on his running ability, he gets pretty beat up.
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Back in 2010, when Jones was putting the finishing touches on a 38-touchdown sophomore season, Sooners fans were thinking they might eventually have a better quarterback than 2008 Heisman winner Sam Bradford. Alas, 2010 is starting to look more and more like the apex of Jones’ Oklahoma career.
Jones threw for fewer touchdowns (29) and more interceptions (15) in 2011 than he did the year before. This season, he has just seven TDs after four games and is yet to break the 300-yard barrier after doing so 21 times in his first three seasons. And Jones' two turnovers against K-State on Sept. 22 were crushing in OU's 24-19 loss to the Wildcats.
Have Big 12 opponents figured out how to contain Jones? Is he still having trouble adjusting to the departure of two-time All-America wide receiver Ryan Broyles? Whatever the reason, he’s clearly not the same quarterback that took the country by storm two years ago.
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Before the season, Wilson lost his head coach, Bobby Petrino, who resigned in the wake of Motorcyclegate. During the season, Wilson has lost his bearings, the result of a concussion sustained during Arkansas’ shocking upset loss to Louisiana-Monroe.
Wilson missed the Razorbacks’ 52–0 shellacking by Alabama on Sept. 15 and then struggled in losses to Rutgers and Texas A&M. The latter game was particularly bad as the normally accurate Wilson registered 30 incompletions in a 58–10 humbling at the hands of the Aggies.
And just as he started to gain some confidence back following a 20-of-27 showing in a much-needed win at Auburn, Wilson was involved in a car accident on Tuesday morning. Look up “snake-bitten” in the dictionary and you might see a photograph of Wilson.
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Admittedly, Eifert’s free-falling production is not entirely his fault. The Irish are playing much more of a ball-control offense premised on the run, and QB Everett Golson’s improvisational abilities, while helpful, don’t lend themselves to a strong aerial attack (84th in the FBS in passing yards/game).
Nonetheless, Eifert has to be disappointed in having just 11 receptions and one touchdown on the season after breaking out for 63 catches, 808 yards and five scores in 2011. At one point projected as a first round pick in last April's draft, Eifert is now not even listed among Mel Kiper's Top 5 Senior Tight Ends. It looks like the decision to return to school could end up costing Eifert lots of money.
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Five games into his senior season, Vandenberg has thrown for a paltry two touchdowns one year after he tossed 25. Most Hawkeyes fans would have predicted that Vandenberg would throw for two touchdowns per game against Northern Illinois, Iowa State, Northern Iowa, Central Michigan and Minnesota.
Vandenberg did lose big play receiver Marvin McNutt to graduation. But Iowa returned its next three best receivers in terms of yards gained: Kennan Davis, Kevonte Martin-Manley and C.J. Fiedorowicz.
Another possible explanation is what could be the worst year yet from the Angry Iowa Running Back-Hating God (AIRBHG). Yet former walk-on Mark Weisman has rushed for 515 yards and seven TDs.
A Craiglist ad posted in September requested a healthy Iowa running back. If Vandenberg continues to not produce, there might be new ads pop up asking for a new Iowa quarterback.
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