Race to the Bottom is a little different this week, as I had a hard time finding enough teams who performed so poorly that is was noteworthy (and yes, LSU would have made them). However, there were some spectacularly awful games between teams for one reason or another. In the interests of doing something different, and God knows we could all use a laugh, I've found five games which included some terrible individual and team performances. I will be covering five games this week. Methodology, for all intents and purposes, is going right out the window because I feel like it. This is not meant to be authoritative, it's just for fun, so nobody take it seriously. Anyway, let's get to it.
128.) TIE - Miami (OH) def. UMass 42-41
Are you a casual football fan that bemoans low-scoring, defensive games? Then this was one for you. Miami (OH) and UMass rolled up a hair over 1100 yards of total offense and 83 points combined. Defenses were optional and unnecessary. Miami (OH) looked awful until UMass decided to out-terrible them, blowing a 20-point halftime lead and losing the game on one of the worst clock management sequences in recent memory. The Minutemen were -3 in the turnover margin and are now tied with Idaho for the second-longest winless streak in the country at 12. Miami (OH) was the previous leader with 21. This game is the Plan 9 From Outer Space of college football.
126.) TIE - Florida def. Tennesseee 10-9
"IT'S GREAT TO SEE ALL THESE PEOPLE OUT HERE GETTIN' DISAPPOINTED." Florida mounted a rousing ten point comeback against Tennessee's field goals-only offense on Saturday. This game was one of the most physically painful experiences of my life that didn't involve surgery because I kept banging my head against my coffee table, hoping that would make things better. Tennessee outgained Florida by a single yard, 233 to 232 and both teams turned the ball over thrice (all three by Jeff Driskel!). Florida had 76 passing yards. Tennessee had 28 rushing yards. Film of this game should be shot into the sun.
124.) TIE - Purdue def. Illinois 38-27
The Big Ten is drunk. Soak this fact in: Purdue and Illinois managed to have 1000+ yards of total offense in one game WHEN ILLINOIS ONLY HAD 65 YARDS ON THE GROUND. Two of Purdue's touchdowns were longer than the Illini's rushing total. Offense was so rampant that the teams punted only a combined six times. Illinois, however, did turn the ball over twice. When your defense gets blown over by a stiff breeze, that's not exactly a recipe for success. The best thing is is it could have been worse for Illinois, who managed to actually force two fourth down stops in their own territory. Purdue's reward for this win? Going back home to the Valley of Infinite Sadness to be put into a burlap sack and beaten with Michigan State's defense for four quarters. Illinois has a get-right game against burgeoning Big Ten power Wisconsin, who dropped a thriller of a game to traditional powerhouse Northwestern.
122.) TIE - Army def. Ball State33-24
Army tactically optioned Ball State to death by doing one thing well, and that is running the football. Of Army's 473 yards, 425 came on the ground. Seeing his protege Jeff Monken run the option this beautifully is almost enough to make Paul Johnson emote. However, Army was not without their own deficiencies. The Army defense allowed 330 yards and Ball State was down only a field goal with 8:35 to play, nearly blowing the 27-10 lead the Black Knights had entering the fourth quarter.
120.) TIE - Toledo def. Western Michigan 20-19
Another defense-optional game in the vain of Purdue-Illinois, almost to a tee. How close, you ask? Both teams gained just over 900 yards on offense, and of that impressive total Toledo only ran for 62 of them. The Rockets and Broncos traded and matched scores to force overtime, where the fun ended. Even in OT, Western Michigan managed to match Toledo's touchdown. The one thing the couldn't match? The PAT which sailed away from the uprights. Toledo-Western Michigan is the Great Value version of Purdue-Illinois, all of the bulk with a little something extra that you're not sure is harmful or beneficial. But whatever, it's $2 cheaper, so it's worth the risk.