Our weekly college football shame index.
The Weekend in Shame
Oklahoma 63, Texas 21: Eyewitness accounts are far more reliable than we want to believe. Sure, you watched Oklahoma beat Texas beyond the point that anyone could identify the body without some dental records, a pack of forensics experts, and Darrell Royal. But did you really see everything that happened? Like the Longhorns giving up over 300 rushing yards for the first time since 2004? Or the fact that Texas didn't have a drive that lasted longer than five plays until the fourth quarter? Did you realize at the time that no team had accumulated 600 yards of offense against a Mack Brown defense since 2002? The answer to all of these is likely, "No, because I changed the channel halfway through the second quarter," especially if you root for Texas.
But let's not dwell on what you missed. Let's talk about 13 minutes and seven seconds. A leisurely pace in which to run a mile. Roughly the length of tracks two through four on Aquemini. Most relevantly, in the last three Texas-Oklahoma games, it's the sum total of time during which Texas has not been losing. Please note: I didn't say "the total time during which Texas has held the lead," because that figure is zero.
So, next year, assuming the opening kickoff isn't run back for a Sooners touchdown, cherish those first minutes, Longhorn fans. That three-and-out may be the closest the game is all day.
Arkansas 49, Kentucky 7: It's kind of amazing we've gone this long without talking about Kentucky, the team so bad Nature couldn't stand to watch anymore. The Wildcats got early dismissal against the Razorbacks with a third of the game left. What had they done with the previous two-thirds?
- Allowed Arkansas to rack up 161 rushing yards and 533 total yards, both near season highs
- Forced zero turnovers against an offense that had given the ball away at least two times in all of its previous games
- Secured the longest Kentucky losing streak since 2004
All without even needing to play the last 20 minutes, because if you're going to fail, at least fail efficiently.
From 2005 to 2010, the Wildcats have won at least two conference games a season, and they'll need to split their last four games against Georgia, Missouri, Vanderbilt, and Tennessee to keep that mostly sad pattern of achievement alive. Fortunately, they're armed with a defense ranked next to last in the nation in third-down conversions and passing-completion allowed. (It's possible that I don't know what the word "fortunately" means because I'm a product of Florida's public school system.)
Michigan 45, Illinois 0: One way to describe Denard Robinson's first throw in this game is "a 71-yard completion for a touchdown." Another would be "nearly three times the passing yardage the expired Velveeta brick otherwise known as the Illinois offense would put up in the whole damn game." Seven completions for 29 yards is bad. Completing only one pass for positive yardage in the second half is biblically catastrophic. Quarterback Reilly O'Toole might as well have been throwing frogs out there.
The Illini hadn't been shut out since 2009, and Michigan hadn't held a team under 175 yards since 2007. To achieve great things, you have to go beyond your perceived capabilities, and Illinois did just that by finishing with negative two yards in the second half. Punting on every down, intentionally pegging the ref with the ball over and over, simply refusing to take the field—these are just a few things Illinois could have done that would have been more productive in the last two quarters.
In 2010, the Illini ranked 48th in the country in plays of 30 yards or more. They dropped to 80th in 2011. Currently, they sit at 119th. Here is the good news: There are not 150 teams in FBS, so Illinois cannot continue to drop at that pace.
Elsewhere in Shame
As one of the top public universities in America, Virginia is home to many groundbreaking discoveries in a wide range of fields. Football is no exception, as the Cavaliers shattered long-held notions that a team cannot finish with negative rushing yards and win a game. Of course, this breakthrough would not have been possible without the aid of Dr. Randy Edsall, faculty chair of the Winning Shitty department at Maryland.
1993 was a weird year, mostly because The Pelican Brief did 40 times the box office that Surf Ninjas did. Southern Miss dropped eight games that year and hasn't had a losing record since, but after falling in overtime against UCF, the Golden Eagles are winless at 0-6. There is some hope, however—the next six opponents on the schedule are only a combined 9-29—but maybe this is a warning to avoid hiring coaches off the Dick Van Dyke stunt-double circuit.
One week, we won't have anything negative to say about Auburn. That week may be in April, but it's coming, I swear it. For now, let us just note that the Tigers have four SEC games left. If they don't win at least two of them, Gene Chizik will be the first Auburn head coach since Ralph Jordan in 1954 to fail to win a majority of his conference games in his first four years. Restated more simply: If a football season is a game of Hangman, Gene Chizik keeps guessing "twelve" over and over.
The Week Ahead in Shame
Boston College travels to Atlanta to play Georgia Tech this Saturday. It'll be just like the Civil War, only if they had glue guns instead of rifles and all the generals got fired!
Alabama and Tennessee face off in a game that may spell the end of the Derek Dooley era in Knoxville. Expect Nick Saban to show absolutely no mercy to the weaker Vols in this one—there's a reason he's banned from every neonatal intensive care unit in the country.
Bob Davie will take 4-3 New Mexico on the road to play one of the weaker Air Force teams in recent memory. The Falcons throw for only 116 yards a game, which makes them positively Holgorsian compared with the Lobos, who average only 59 and who won a game in which they completed one pass for nine yards. Bob Davie is the reason why you have to show your work on math problems.
UNLV is 22 well-timed points away from being 5-2 instead of 1-6. It's going to be so gut wrenching when they lose to Boise State on a late spike that gets bounced off Nick Sherry's foot and into the hands of a Bronco linebacker, who runs for a touchdown.
Celebrity Hot Tub is a college football fan who lost the ability to truly love thanks to three years of Florida head coach Ron Zook. He writes for Every Day Should Be Saturday. Follow him on Twitter @celebrityhottub.