The opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author.
A blogger for LostLetterman.com recently posted his list of the worst ten teams in college football. Normally, I wouldn’t give a rip about the ten worst teams in the Bowl Subdivision. But looking at this subjective list of teams, and their conference affiliation, really makes me wonder what is going on in the jelly-filled brains of people like Britton Banowsky (commissioner of C-USA) and Karl Benson (commissioner of Sun Belt, stepping down in 2012). Let’s take a look at the teams and the reason they’re on the list, shall we.
Historically Mediocre; Recently Horrible
- Akron – The Zips played their first football team in 1891, and have amassed a whopping 486 victories. Pretty impressive unless you mention their 485 losses. More recently, they have gone 19-46 in the last six seasons as a part of the Mid-American Conference. Its clear as to why they are on the list.
- Memphis – Similar to Akron, Memphis began playing football a century ago, and have compiled a winning percentage of .491. The Tigers are kissing the C-USA goodbye next year and joining the Big East.
- New Mexico – The Lobos played their first football season in 1892 and have a cumulative winning percentage of .458. Despite some bowl appearances, they are currently in the midst of a 40-year conference title drought.
- UNLV – The running rebels have been around for about half a century and have compiled a winning percentage of .458, equal to that of New Mexico. They are coming off of a 1-11 season, and have a record of 20-64 (.238) since 2005.
Traditional FCS Teams Finally Making the Jump
- Texas State – The Bobcats played their first season of football in 1904 and are just now making the jump to FBS. They have a cumulative winning percentage of .549 and even have two Division II national titles. They are on this list because of their recent mediocrity at the “inferior” sub-division. They will play one year in the WAC and then join the Sun Belt.
- UMass – Like Texas State, the Minutemen have been historically successful, with a winning percentage of .513 since their first year 1879. They have appeared in three FCS title games, winning one and losing their most recent to Appalachian (as if you’ve forgotten). Again, just like Texas State, their poorly timed mediocrity in relation to their jump to FBS has landed them on this list.
Growing Up Way Too Fast
- Florida Atlantic, South Alabama, Texas San Antonio – FAU, USA, and UTSA began playing football in 2001, 2009, and 2011 respectively. FAU, the only team of the three with any real history, has gone 30-44 since moving from FCS to FBS in 2006 and is coming off a winless conference season (0-8; 1-11 overall). USA, despite having just started their football program, will join FAU in the Sun Belt next year. UTSA will spend one year in the WAC before bolting it to join C-USA. Expect these three teams to be on this list next year as well.
- UAB – Whle UAB has been around a little bit longer then the previous three teams (1991), they don’t have much more to show for it besides a .456 winning percentage. They have a combined record of 18-42 since 2007
You’ve made your bed; now lie in it.
In the era of conference realignment, the “mid-major” conferences, such as the Sun Belt and C-USA have undoubtedly been affected the most. Nonetheless, I believe that the men behind the curtain at these conferences have made some horrible decisions. Six of the ten teams on this list are either in the C-USA or the Sun Belt. When SMU, UCF, Houston, and Memphis announced that they are bolting the C-USA, the conference decided to take a shot in the dark, rather than go with a proven winner such as Appalachian State. Expect future C-USA teams Charlotte and Old Dominion join this list when they officially make the jump. Same goes for you, Sun Belt! When FIU and Denver decided to jump ship, that would’ve been the perfect opportunity to expand your market to North Carolina by adding Appalachian, but instead you chose teams still in the incubator. Expect Georgia State to join this list with the rest of the Sun Belt whenever they officially jump.
Only time will tell how much bigger these two conferences will dig their own hole, but I expect them to dominate the “worst ten” list for the foreseeable future.