Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Rosenberg's Power Five Bottom Ten for Week 14

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.

            We have the final rankings! It’s been a difficult process, wading through weekends of garbage football, but the reward is obvious— The Bottom Ten Final Four.

1) Rutgers vs. 4) Maryland (at Ypsilanti, MI)
2) Arkansas vs. 3) Vanderbilt (at Las Cruces, NM)

            Both are conference games, but only one is a rematch. I’ll have the final column of the year next week, along with results of a simulation which I will run on an old-school electronic football game board. Quite frankly, it is what these programs deserve.

10. Mississippi (4-8)

            Ole Miss makes their first appearance in the Bottom Ten, just in time for the final rankings. One stupid end zone stunt potentially costs them a game, and vaults them into infamy. Program embarrassed. Coach fired. Time to start over.

Prognosis: The Rebels are in the SEC West. More mediocrity, it probably doesn’t matter who the coach is.

9. North Carolina State (4-8)

            N.C. State cemented their place in the Bottom Ten with a 41-10 home defeat to North Carolina. That had to hurt.

Prognosis: Dave Doeren has done a nice job since taking over the Wolfpack. No reason he can’t bring them back to respectability. 

8. Arizona (4-8)

            Arizona fully gave up the ghost on their season, losing at home to in-state rival Arizona State. Kevin Sumlin has been a serious disappointment in Tucson.

Prognosis: Difficult to see this program turning the corner any time soon.

7. Northwestern (3-9)

            The Wildcats escape the Bottom Ten Final Four, handily beating Illinois 29-10. This win over a bowl eligible team, plus a few close losses were the difference.

Prognosis: Pat Fitzgerald gets the ‘Cats back into competitive form.

6. Georgia Tech (3-9)

            The Yellowjackets ended a miserable season by getting trounced by Georgia 52-7. An overtime win against a bad-but-bowl-eligible Miami team helps keep Tech out of the Bottom Ten Final Four.

Prognosis: Geoff Collins has begun a rebuild, dismantling Paul Johnson’s triple option offense. My guess is Tech is still two years away from respectability. 

5. Kansas (3-9)

            Les Miles and his plucky Jayhawks revert to form with a 61-6 blow out by the Baylor Bears. Wins over Texas Tech and Boston College help put KU just outside Bottom Ten Final Four.

Prognosis: I’m not sure if Miles can get this done, but it’s hard not to root for the guy.

4. Maryland (3-9)

            After a 2-0 start and a national ranking, the Terps fell to the bottom faster than a Maryland blue crab. I’m not sure what Terp fans envisioned in the first season under Mike Locksley, but I doubt it was a sad 3-9 season.

Prognosis: Maryland is a tough gig, sitting in the B1G East. I’m not sure who could possibly make this team better than 7-5 on a consistent basis.

3. Vanderbilt (3-9)

            Vandy beat a MAC team, East Tennessee State, and an imploding MIzzou team that just fired their head coach. Add a 34-10 home loss to UNLV and you have a reversion to their natural form as the academic prop of the SEC.

Prognosis: The Commodores have had some relative recent success, and it is good that they play in the SEC East. Still, prognosis is bleak.

2. Arkansas (2-10)

            Let’s see. Only wins over Portland State and Colorado State. A nine-game losing streak sparked by an embarrassing home loss to San Jose State. Head coach fired. Celebrations will break out in Fayetteville in thanks that the season is over.

Prognosis: The Hogs need to hire a new coach, and move to a new division and conference.

1.  Rutgers (2-10)

            At this point it feels cheap to pick on Rutgers, but since they are number one, let us examine their resume. Wins over UMass and Liberty. The Knights lost to Maryland and Indiana by a combined score of 83-7. It is rock bottom in Piscataway.

Prognosis: Greg Schiano is a good hire for Rutgers, but it is going to take multiple years just to get this team close to 6-6. Odds are, it won’t happen until they are shipped to the AAC.

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.

            Ah, Rivalry Week. The one week out of the season that schedule shaming can take a comfortable weekend off. Even the bad games are good. I hope the Power Five AD’s out there, who I know read this column religiously, felt cold shivers of shame up and down their collective spines for being called out. Shame. Try and do better in the future.