It may be the single most important determiner in a team's ultimate success, and the one we, as sports pundits, are least likely to acknowledge: luck.
Pure. Dumb. Luck.
You see, it's our job as analysts to ascribe meaning, assign blame and project future outcomes. We can't do any of that unless we convince ourselves—and you, the reader—that everything happens for a reason.
That Kentucky is 14-6 because of some radical default in its composition, or Baylor is 14-6 because the Bears lack balance.
If those outcomes were merely the providence of misfortune, then what would we media types have to talk about?
Luck, after all, can't be dissected or corrected or griped about. It can only be.
And the following 25 teams know that somber truth all too well.
Note: We're judging these teams under the assumption that losing any player—whether to injury or suspension—is bad luck. Obviously programs can be complicit in the suspension of a player, but we're taking the outsider/fan view that any unforeseen personnel loss is a misfortune.