Whatever happens with the College Football Playoff, the Most Disappointing Teams Ever Playoff is pretty well set, and what a lineup we have, folks! Just think: we’ve got the game’s most legendary program, a squad that was in the real playoff last year, and two teams that lots of people had pegged to play for the championship of the allegedly second-best conference in the land, which is now one Washington loss away from not getting a playoff sniff for the second straight year.
And with that, let’s take a look at the Depressing Four who are now bunched at the top of our Chaos Index rankings this week.
- Notre Dame – WTF, ND? The way you wrapped up that game, it’s almost like you’re trying to send Brian Kelly into exile. Do they turn on that #1 sign you’ve got on campus when you top this poll? After all, you’ve earned it by losing to your rival for Most Embarrassingly Disappointing Team of 2016 from…
- Michigan State – Winless in the B1G after losing to Illinois? Wow! That’s the kind of focus it takes to become the first CFP team to miss a bowl game the next year. Considering how stable and consistent Sparty’s been, MSU is certainly the weirdest entry in our catastrophic collapse category.
- Oregon – The Ducks are the #3 seed in our disappointing playoff. After a decade of watching them stomp everyone in the conference besides Stanford, it’s beyond weird seeing them headed for 4-8 this year. Of course, “fixing” their defensive problems by bringing in Brady Hoke was kinda weird too.
- UCLA – What to do when you’re right at the top of your conference in rushing for four straight years? Why, completely change the offense so that you can run the ball better, of course! That’s an especially good idea when all your players were recruited to play the old offense. Anyway, congrats on having the worst rushing offense in the nation!
And now, for the rest of our chaotic compendium:
- Clemson – Four words (and you already know what they are): DeShaun Watson, bruised shoulder. Ouch.
- Baylor – If you’ve been waiting for karma to kick in and the wheels to come off the Bears wagon, you have 62 reasons to believe your wait is over.
- LSU – With that offense and clock management, it was like The Hat was still running things in B.R. If Tiger fans are truly lucky, at least this game confirmed that Coach Eaux won’t be in the driver’s seat in Death Valley past December.
- Arizona – Remember when DickRod was making progress in Tucson? Forget it. Giving up 69 points to Wazzu makes it look like Rich is back in Mich again.
- The SEC East – Don’t worry, y’all – you’ve got another two years after this one before it turns into a 10-year conference championship streak for the West. In the meantime, put your feet up, drink what you got, and ponder the comedy of potentially hearing the words “Eastern Division Champion Kentucky Wildcats.”
- The Whole Freaking Pac-12 – In case the first CFP rankings failed to make it crystal clear, Larry Scott best hope that U-Dub stays undefeated because there’s no way a one-way P12 champion is playing on New Year’s Eve.
- Cincinnati – What? Given the tasteful way he left Texas Tech, you thought Tommy T was going to be a class act?
- Nebraska – This week’s reversion to the mean special: Ohio State 62, Nebraska 59 less that that. Mike remains an incredibly nice guy. And now, two weeks after they were on the receiving end of some potential playoff hype, we also know he remains not the guy to get the Huskers over the hump.
- Texas – Now that a bowl game is pretty much in the bag – and yeah, ye of the burnt orange faith, we all know that your only goals are Big 12 and national championships – the Charlie Strong Watch just got a whole lot more intriguing.
- Iowa State – See if this sounds familiar. I-State sure had a chance to pull the big upset before falling to 1-8. Now, they’re stuck waiting three more weeks before their next chance to barely miss against a team that should destroy them.
- Florida – Oopsie.
- Free Shoes U. – The Criminoles remain one stumble on the razor’s edge away from a truly embarrassing excuse for Jimbo to move on, especially now that Eddie O no longer has an O in the loss column in Jimbo’s own stomping grounds.
- Boring College – 7 points? Now, that’s the BC we’ve come to expect! What are the odds on a shutout against an edgy Felony State next week?
- Maryland – See if you can pick the one word that doesn’t belong in this sentence: Maybe that 4-0 start wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. The correct answer, of course, is “Maybe”.
- Fresno State – Speaking of which, maybe it’s possible that firing the coach didn’t quite DeRuyter out the problem in the Valley. At least, getting blanked by Colorado state seems to indicate that’s the case.
- Kansas – Here comes a big week: beat Iowa State, or it’s two straight years without a win over a real opponent. On the other hand, basketball season opens on Friday, so it really doesn’t matter, does it Hawks?