While I haven't gotten to my official "College Football Preview" for The Sports Chat Place yet, it doesn't mean I'm not hard at work reviewing my piles of notes compiled last season and as I have just begun my research for last season.
While Top 25's are all the rage, there were some teams who just stunk up the joint last season. While I am one of those who believe number one is still number one until someone beats them, I also believe the stinkers still stink until they put some wins and show us otherwise.
I try and avoid teams who replaced the head coach, as maybe they really did take out the garbage. If they fail to make a move this season, we'll be sure to list them regularly when I start my 10 top 10's.
1. North Texas
Nothing "Mean" about this "Green" bunch, who were absolutely pathetic a year ago. North Texas gave up over 30 points in every game last year and gave up over 40 in 10 of those games.
The Mean Green's lone win came against Western Kentucky, who is a year removed from 1-AA and has only beaten one D-1 team ever. Pretty sad stuff. North Texas returns 16 starters this season, but is that a good thing with this bunch?
While we often hear coaches talk about how their team is inconsistent, Idaho doesn't have that to complain about. With nine consecutive losing seasons, the Vandals are the model of consistency.
In only three games did Idaho hold their opponents to 30 points or less. And they were lit up early and often, as they kicked things off last season giving up 10 touchdowns to Arizona out in the desert.
3. Southern Methodist
June Jones did a masterful job turning around Hawaii's program. In all fairness, he's only had a year to right the ship in Dallas, but it's an uphill struggle as the Mustangs mustered just one win last season.
SMU was a big time loser last season, scoring very little and giving up a lot. It would be tough not to be improved this year.
Since Bobby Petrino left town, the Cardinal have been a shell of their former selves and have done nothing but disappoint. What we'll do is lower the expectations and then maybe they won't be as embarrassed as they have been the past two seasons?
While I've read plenty of "coaches on the hot seat" articles, I never hear Steve Kragthorpe's name mentioned. I would think he's No 1 on the list.
Indiana got three wins last season, one by using my magical formula for winning a game: schedule Western Kentucky. This year, the Hoosiers aren't as fortunate but do get Eastern Kentucky, which although they aren't D-1, by today's skewed standards, still counts as a game that brings them closer to bowl eligibility.
While Big Ten apologists will talk about the Hoosiers results being skewed by playing a "Big Ten Schedule," the Hoosiers got lit up for 40+ on a regular basis.
While the ACC didn't hit the heights that many of the other major conferences got to last season, they didn't sink too low at the bottom either. Virginia wasn't trounced by most of their opponents, they just didn't get wins.
While many feel that the Cavaliers played well enough that Al Groh shouldn't be feeling any heat, I beg to differ. I know as an ACC fan , here aren't a lot of fan bases that are going to let losing 31-3 to Duke just slide on by unnoticed.
7. Texas A&M
While Iowa State and Kansas State were pretty bad last year as well, both of those teams got new head coaches, so we'll spare them this time around. Texas A&M were a laughing stock most of the season including a 40 point loss to arch rival Texas.
Mike Sherman doesn't look like the answer to me and, considering two of their wins were a six point win against New Mexico and a four point win against Army, maybe they were lucky to reach the four win mark.
8. Washington State
The Cougars don't have the luxury of playing a 1-AA team like they did last year, so expecting them to reach their win total of two this year may be somewhat lofty. Washington State was also horrific against the spread as year, as they were getting over 30 points five times last season.
Sure they beat Washington, but Washington has a new head coach, so we save them for another time. If anything the schedule looks tougher this season so I think my ten teams who stink list on my ten to tens will have a season long member.
9. Western Kentucky
It's hard for me to put the Hilltoppers on this list, but despite being relatively new to D-1, WKU has all of the qualifications for the list. While I consider WKU a doormat, I still don't think they are in as sad shape as most of the others on this list.
While they have only beaten one D-1 team in their history, I would think the Hilltoppers are going to get past that mark or it is going to be a long next few decades in Bowling Green.
Bob Toledo's team had us fooled early last year playing Alabama and East Carolina respectably but by game five it was starting to become clear that the Green Wave were not much to contend with. It was waxing after waxing in the eight game losing streak which marked the end of Tulane's season and the games weren't even as close as the lopsided scores.
Bob Toledo is a decent coach and it's surprising just how bad his team was. Of course luckily for Green Wave fans, if Toledo doesn't work out in the long haul Tommy Bowden is available for a comeback.