Sunday, September 29, 2019

Rosenberg’s Power Five Bottom Ten for Week 5

By: Jeremy Rosenberg

Join me each week as I unmask the worst of the best, the teams that play in big time conferences, but end up with small time accomplishments. My bottom ten is made up only of so-called power five conference members. I have little interest in haranguing the UTEPs or Bowling Greens or Rices of the world. Nope, I’m after schools with massive football budgets, coaches with obnoxious salaries, and legions of sheep-like fanboys and fangirls that refuse to admit their program sucks.

10. Arkansas (2-3)

A respectable outing in Jerryworld against Texas A&M can’t get the Hogs out of the bottom ten. Still to be determined is if Arkansas can move beyond the shame of their home loss to San Jose State with an SEC win or two, and vault themselves out of the Bottom Ten and into respectability.

Next week: BYE (Arkansas gets a week to prepare for an all-important SEC crossover game with Kentucky, the Hogs better win the games against the SEC East while they can.)

Prognosis: Arkansas can spend the bye week watching video of future opponents Alabama, Auburn, and LSU, in hopes on staying within the massive spreads.

9. Purdue (1-3)

The Boilermakers make their first appearance of the season in the Bottom Ten, and Jeff Brohm might be starting to feel a little heat in West Lafayette. No question Boiler fans expected better than this by now, and a home loss to Minnesota only highlights the fact that Purdue is being left behind in their own division.

Next week: @Penn State (The Nittany Lions are in full stride, while the Boilers limp into Happy Valley.)

Prognosis: Brohm and the Boilers get trounced.

8. Vanderbilt (1-3)

Vandy picked up its first win of the season over Northern Illinois, which was necessary to those of us who suspect that the Commodores are better than their record. The fact that Vandy plays in the SEC East should help their case, but could also set the table for some bad losses.

Next week: @Ole Miss (Winnable game for Vanderbilt in Oxford, but no question the Rebels see a rare SEC win as well.)

Prognosis: The SEC bottom feeders battle in an epic snore, but odds are the Rebels will hold.

7. UCLA (1-4)

The Bruins put up a fight against Arizona, but predictably fell yet again. It’s still early in the Chip Kelly regime, but the same thing that was said about Purdue can be said about UCLA– fans expected better than this.

Next week: vs. Oregon State (It’s a Bottom Ten showdown, and the Bruins have the edge.)

Prognosis:The Bruins pull out a must win game.

6. Illinois (2-2)

The Fighting Illini mercifully got a bye this week, as their season (and Lovie Smith’s future in Champaign) hang in the balance. Under Smith, Illinois has had a tendency to fall apart as the season goes on. I see no reason to think that won’t happen this year.

Next week: @Minnesota (Two programs going in very different directions. One is in a boat, the other is sinking.)

Prognosis:The Gophers win, and so continues the long, downward spiral for the Illini.

5. Kansas (2-3)

The Jayhawks got blasted by an angry TCU team, and what will in all likelihood be a winless trip through the Big 12 begins. Don’t feel bad for Les Miles, though, if KU ever turns it around, he’s a genius. If not, he’s just another competent coach that met his end in Lawrence. At least he still has a ring from LSU.

Next week: vs Oklahoma (The Sooners come to town and the Jayhawk faithful can take solace in…nothing.)

Prognosis: Bad puns involving the name “Hurts”, and what OU will do to the Jayhawks.

4. Tennessee (1-3)

The Vols had a bye week to sort out whether or not they will be historically bad this year, or just garden-variety bad. Given they have already lost to Georgia State, I think we all may be seeing history in the making.

Next week: vs. Georgia (There are so many better things to do on a fall Saturday in the Smokies than watch bad football.)

Prognosis: Speaking of bad puns, orange you glad you aren’t a Vols fan?

3. Georgia Tech (1-3)

The Bumblebees lost to Temple 24-2, which is completely awesome as far as a football score is concerned. I can only imagine the satisfaction the Owls players got in beating up on the coach that left them for a complete rebuild and overhaul in Atlanta.

Next week: vs. North Carolina (The Tar Heels might be let down after their near-miss against Clemson. Good thing for them they play GT.)

Prognosis: Tech will settle comfortably into their role as a season-long punching bag in the ACC.

2. Oregon State (1-3)

The Beavers couldn’t break through against slumping Stanford, falling by a score of 31-28. With the rest of the Pac-12 north— Washington, Cal, Oregon, and Wazoo, waiting on them, Oregon State could easily end the year with one win.

Next week: @UCLA (Loser should have to be sent to the Mountain West for a season.)

Prognosis: UCLA is not very good. Oregon State is just flat out bad. 

1. Rutgers (1-3)

Poor Rutgers fan. While administrators and university bigwigs can at least take solace in the fat revenue-sharing checks they get from a Big Ten membership, all the fans have is memories of futility and ineptitude. Don’t say Rutgers hasn’t accomplished anything this year, though, they made Michigan look like a good football team.

Next week: vs. Maryland (The annual desperate battle of Big Ten East also-rans looks bleak for Rutgers, and fans of quality college football.)

Prognosis: Fear the turtle.

Schedule Shaming “Game” of the Week

            One of the most egregious offenses in college football is non-conference scheduling. Each week, I will single out and ruthlessly shame one program for their gutless scheduling.

Florida 38, Towson 0

Some weeks, it takes a little searching to find the most hideous case of soft-scheduling. This week, no need to look further than the top ten scores. Why do SEC teams feel the need to add these embarrassments? Why do fans bother attending the games? Do they actually enjoy cheering their team on as they beat Towson, a team that maybe has one or two players capable of being third stringers in Gainesville? 

Meanwhile, Iowa played Middle Tennessee State on Saturday. Am I crazy or just naive to wish we could have seen the Gators and Hawkeyes battling in a huge matchup of undefeated teams?