Worst of the Worst Award Series: And the Losers Are...

Brian ScottAnalyst IDecember 2, 2008

We will soon know who will be collecting the individual hardware that signifies the best of the best in college football. The votes are in and are being tallied. All that’s left to do is print up the programs.

But who cares about these annoying little overachievers anyway? America continues to evolve as more of a voyeuristic society every year. We want to see the train wrecks. We want to see falls from grace.

So how about some recognition for the cellar dwellers?

The ceremonies for these awards won’t be held in fancy New York City hotels and ballrooms. There won’t be any cameras, no over sized pinstriped suits, no matching Fedora hats, and no champagne. No, these rites of passage will be featured as half time entertainment during an amateur ultimate fighting cage match—most likely in someone’s backyard in Branson, Missouri.

If the organizers decide to go all out for these “winners”, then they may move the awards presentation down Highway 248 to Planet Branson - provided it isn’t karaoke night.

The first award given at this non-prestigious event is the “2008 Jimmy Johnson ‘Anything Goes’ Trophy”, and it will go to the most penalized team in the nation. Just when an opposing drive appears to be dead, these teams pulled out the paddles, shouted “Clear!”, then brought the drive back to life. 3rd and 22? Uh-uh! How about 1st and 10!

The ironic part about this award is that it generally goes to fairly successful teams. But amidst all the success, they just can’t bring themselves to follow the rules. While they drive coaching staffs absolutely berserk, they do provide job security for referees. So it’s not all bad.

On with the nominees! (in no particular order)

Our first nominee is the University of Southern California. The men of Troy have only lost one game this year (with one regular season game left) but have managed to amass 91 penalties totaling 833 yards. This means they average over eight penalties and give over 75 yards to the opposing team in each game. We can’t tell which is more impressive, the fact that they have been penalized this much in only 11 games when most teams have played 12 by now, or the fact that despite this record they are still winning games. You decide.

Our next nominee is the University of Hawaii. Coming off an undefeated regular season and a trip to the Sugar Bowl, the Warriors have managed to find their way onto our radar screen this year. In 12 games Hawaii has been penalized 103 times for 919 yards. That’s an average of over eight per game and sending the ball over 76 yards the other way every Saturday. The new coaching staff at Hawaii has obviously bid Aloha to discipline.

Our final nominee is Texas Christian University. While the Horny Toads have obviously let other distractions affect their attention to detail this season, it fortunately hasn’t affected their ability to win. Like we said earlier, this award often goes to some of the nation’s most successful teams. Their win/loss records, however, usually dissuade any talk of their weaknesses. That’s where we come in.


The Horned Frogs have landed at the top (or bottom, depends on how you look at it) of the list as the most penalized team in the NCAA. In the 2008 regular season, they were penalized 109 times for a whopping 937 yards. We’ll keep an eye on the post-season to see if they can break that 1000-yard mark!

Our featured presentation will be the “2008 French Army Memorial Trophy”, which goes to the nation’s worst defense. These guys worked together as a unit all year to pad the stats of every offense they faced. They made mediocre running backs look like Reggie Bush, and made average quarterbacks look like another Manning brother.

These defensive squads could not have done worse if they had the marching band form a line from scrimmage to the end zone and played the opposing team’s fight song as they walked to the paint.

On the bright side, however, they have helped our nation’s ailing economy by creating defensive coordinator job openings at their respective universities. Weak defense, but created jobs. The Clinton Administration would be proud! (Sorry, couldn’t help it!)


Anyway, on with our nominees! (again, in no particular order)

Our first nominee is Southern Methodist University. The Mustang Defense has allowed 2,707 yards rushing and 3,047 yards passing in the regular season. This averages out to 6.5 yards per play and a staggering 479.5 yards allowed per game. First year head coach June Jones was not available for comment as he was reportedly vacationing in Hawaii. While he’s there he might think about asking for his job back.

Our next nominee is the University of North Texas. The Mean Green may want to think about getting a little meaner next year, because this year they had one of the worst defenses in all of college football. The unit has allowed 5,791 total yards this season and gave up an average of over 482 yards per game. Whew! That’s like having an old car that only runs in reverse!

Our final nominee is Kansas State University. The Wildcats make our list of finalists this year with one of the worst defensive performances of 2008. The KSU defense allowed 2,612 yards rushing and 3,137 passing this season. After running 926 plays, the Wildcats allowed 5,749 total yards for an average of 479 yards allowed per game. Ouch!


We were able to track down the Mean Green head coach Todd Dodge and asked him to what he attributed having the worst defense in all of college football. He said. “I’m not sure, but it may have been something in the locker room.” We were intrigued, of course, so we inspected the home team locker room at North Texas and found something very disturbing in the lockers of the defensive players.

We can’t be certain if this is the sole reason for the Mean Green D getting rolled over this year, so we took a picture and posted it above this article. Tell us what you think.