No. -10 Colorado State . . . The Ram defense has allowed an average of 36.6 points per game during its current five-game losing streak. In its most recent debacle, Colorado State rolled out a red carpet for San Diego State quarterback Ryan Lindley, who passed for 459 yards and six touchdowns in a 42-28 victory in Fort Collins. The Aztecs gained 376 of their 531 total yards in the second half after the Rams lost all interest in a game they were leading, 21-7, at the break.
No. -9 Auburn voters . . . We’d really like to know which coach or coaches participating in the USA Today Poll is including these Tigers on their ballot. Auburn, which has imploded with three consecutive losses after a strong start to the season, inexplicably got two points from somewhere. Was the Tigers’ last-second touchdown in their 31-10 loss at LSU that impressive?
No. -8 Rice . . . The Owls get stuck in here for a second consecutive week. They might be about to take up permanent residence. We can’t get over the fact that Rice went 10-3 last season and pounded Western Michigan, 38-14, in the Texas Bowl. Apparently winning their first postseason game since 1954 was more than enough for the Owls, who appear to be packing it in for the next 50 years. Rice has this weekend off to contemplate its 0-8 record and atrocious 364-119 aggregate score.
No. -7 Texas Tech fans . . . As if they had evidence that Red Raider quarterback Taylor Potts was purposely trying to throw interceptions last Saturday against Texas A&M, a disgraceful “No More Potts! No More Potts!” chant started up in Lubbock right before halftime. If Red Raider fans wanted to voice their displeasure, they would have been less idiotic taking aim at the Texas Tech defense that allowed the Aggies to take a 28-14 lead into the locker room on the strength of touchdowns drives that measured 86, 78, 71 and 73 yards. For the record, Texas A&M didn’t score after either of Potts’ first-half interceptions.
No. -6 ESPN’s suspension of Bob Griese . . . What he said was beyond dumb, but if the network is going to sideline all of its employees who embarrass themselves with asinine utterances, why not start with Lou Holtz?
No. -5 Davey O’Brien Award . . . If Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder isn’t good enough to be one of the 15 semifinals, then the whole thing is a sham. Even though we already went over his stats in “By the Numbers,” they’re worth repeating. Ponder is 180-of-257 (70 percent) for 2,176 yards and 12 touchdowns. Most impressively, he’s thrown only one interception all season. That INT came in the season opener against Miami (Fla.) and since then Ponder has thrown 237 consecutive passes without a pick. Someone on the selection committee must be a close personal friend of Pete Carroll. How else can you explain USC’s Matt Barkley being a semifinalist instead of Ponder?
No. -4 Eastern Michigan . . . Last week’s “Worst of the Weak” Super Bowl IV between Ball State and Eastern Michigan was so good that the loser had its ticket punched for this list no matter what. How often do you get teams with a combined 0-13 record going head-to-head? Cardinals head coach Stan Parrish came into the contest riding a personal 36-game winless streak. To think that he got 301 rushing yards out of MiQuale Lewis and 203 from Cory Sykes, it boggles the mind that Parrish barely got off the hook with the 29-27 victory over Eastern Michigan (0-7). If Ball State (1-7) somehow found a way to blow that one, it would have earned a place in the “Worst of the Weak” Hall of Fame, which is schedule to open in Ypsilanti, Mich., next fall.
No. -3 Lane Kiffin . . . Speaking of the “Worst of the Weak” Hall of Fame, a strong candidate for the inaugural class is back. This time Kiffin sounds more like a fan than a head coach, blaming everything on the officials. Screw up by not running a play late in the game . . . deflect attention by saying you feared a sinister penalty flag. Have your attempt at a game-winning field goal blocked . . . cry about the officials not gifting you an undeserved 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty and a re-kick. Memo to Kiffin: shut your mouth, coach your team and then maybe one day you’ll become an SEC top dog . . . then, you’ll get protection from the conference officials. Deal?
No. -2 Western Kentucky at North Texas . . . “Worst of the Weak” Super Bowl V is a doozy. The Mean Green opened the season with a 20-10 victory at Ball State and went on to lose its next six. The Hilltoppers haven’t bothered to win anything yet this season. We’re looking at a combined 13-game slide for these two. As we like to say: “Someone has to lose!” The Sun Belt cellar is on the line Saturday in Denton!
And finally, the absolute “Worst of the Weak” . . .
No. -1 Western Illinois . . . These guys have a kick-ass nickname, but the Leathernecks aren’t even a mediocre football team. Last Saturday’s 17-14 loss to Indiana State removed any possible doubt about that. The Sycamores (another good nickname wasted on a bad football team) had lost a national-worst 33 games in a row before Western Illinois came to the rescue. Although they’re at the bottom rung, Illinois State holds down a spot on college football’s Mount Rushmore of futility, along with Prairie View A&M (80 consecutive losses), Columbia (44) and Northwestern (34).