The first two weeks are always so easy to pick on someone, so we gave college football teams a couple of weeks to redeem themselves before beating them up. In week one we could have just blanketed the SEC and say all seven who lost are sad, which they are. But again, too easy. By week three, we have to give it some thought.
The premise, just as a reminder, is to find the seven saddest teams or story lines in college football and rank them in order of brutality. Let’s have some fun.
7. Mississippi – Ole Miss came into the season ranked No. 11 after going 10-3 last year. What if I told you the Rebels are one of just a handful of teams without an FBS win? Ole Miss had a 28-13 halftime lead in week one against then No. 4 Florida State but scored just six more points as the Seminoles slipped away. Then the Rebels beat FCS Wofford 38-13. Up next No. 1 Alabama where they again built a lead, 24-3, before again falling. The Rebels really aren’t that bad, but the fact is, they are winless in the FBS and they are still ranked No. 23 in the AP. That’s sad.
6. Buffalo – Da Bulls have only played two games but their smaller sample size doesn’t mean they suck any less. They lost their first game to Albany, an FCS team that went 3-8 last season. The week off didn’t help and Buffalo lost by 24 to Nevada. They score a bottom ten 15 points a game and average -2 in turnover margin per game. The Bulls are in a race to the bottom.
5. Hawaii – Why is Hawaii on the list you ask? They have a win. Sure, but the win is a five-point win over Tennessee-Martin, who put up 36 points on the Warriors and led the game into the 4th quarter. Hawaii has allowed 2000+ yards over their four games and were a fourth quarter field goal from being shut out at Michigan. They have allowed an FBS high 49.3 points per game.
Virginia – The Cavs are making a serious argument for being the worst Power 5 team in the country. Virginia started the season with a 17-point loss to FCS Richmond and followed that two weeks later with a 13-10 loss to a team none of us knew played FBS football, UConn. They mismanaged the last-minute of the game and rushed onto the field a walk-on kicker, playing his first football game in his life, to tie the game. It went as you would expect, with a 20-yard pull left.
3. Iowa State – Iowa State has the honor of being one of the handful of Power 5 teams to have lost to an FCS school this season. New Head Coach Matt Campbell promised to change the culture of losing, took a 13-7 2nd quarter lead over Northern Iowa game one and still managed to lose 25-20. The second half of that game started a nine-quarter stretch for the Cyclones where they scored a total of 20 points, resulting in a 42-3 loss to Iowa and a 41-20 loss to TCU.
2. Rice – Rice remains ahead of FIU for one reason and one reason alone, their competition has been better than FIU. Rice averages 12.7 points per game (127th), 138 passing yards per game (120th), and 281 yards of total offense (125th). The good news is the defense is just as bad. They have allowed 38+ points per game (114th) against Western Kentucky, Army and Baylor. They rank 118th against the rush, 121st against the pass equating to dead last in defensive yards allowed at over 567 yards per.
1. Florida International – The Panthers have to be the worst college football program of the last five years. Sure they are 0-3 this year and they are 124th in scoring offense, but the story is way worse than just this year. Since the 2011 season, FIU has barely enough FBS wins to be bowl eligible. Hopefully this year isn’t a repeat of the 2013 season where they had one one-point win in a 1-11 season that saw them score less than 10 points per game.
Our watch list includes Miami OH, Northern Illinois, Illinois, Northwestern, Arkansas State and Georgia State. Sad Seven game of the week this week is the fabulous scrum between Rice and North Texas, who has also yet to win an FBS game.