NGSC Sports

Power 5 Bottom 10: Jackwagon Edition

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THREE WEEKS INTO the new season and we’re starting to see a little more clarity from top to bottom in the Power 5 conferences. We’re also being entertained — and appalled — by said programs’ over-the-top fans.

This week’s Jackwagon University award goes – not for the first time – to Rutgers, a school that has become synonymous with seeing a clear path to the right thing and choosing Wile E. Coyote itself off a cliff.

Now we all know just how stupid it is to make light of the Jerry Sandusky matter at Penn State. It’s almost as stupid a thing to do as … I don’t know … trying to sell replica bloodstained shirts to celebrate dark days at Kent State.

But just to take this a step further – “Ped State” signs are an ambiguous slam in 2014. Are you trying to say Penn State is home to pedophiles or that they ‘roided up on PEDs in order to eke out a 13-10 win and improve to 3-0?

Then there was the not-so-subtle stick-figure banner that left no doubt by having the words “Penn State” scrawled above two figures performing a … yeah. Hey, we get it. You’re college kids. You’re in a new league. You feel pretty good about your squad after going to Washington State and winning to open the season.

Guess what … no one does what you little creeps did. There’s also the “smelt it, dealt it” principle that states whomever makes a big deal out of something likely is the cause of the big deal. Or happens to be hiding something in their own closet. Let’s put it in terms the college-age miscreant can understand. From a recent Conan O’Brien monologue:

“Televangelist Pat Robertson said that he wishes Facebook had a ‘vomit button’ he could push whenever someone posts a picture of a gay couple kissing.

“Of course, the other option would be for Pat Robertson to stop searching online for gay men kissing.”

Kids, if you don’t understand what we’re saying by now, we’ll just go ahead and pop your school to the top of the P5B10 next week. On the bright side, if not for this fiasco, we wouldn’t have been treated to the unintentional humor of watching Rutgers AD and all-around detestable human Julie Hermann issuing an apology. El. Oh. El.

From awful in the stands to awful on the dirt:

1. KANSAS (1-1)

Lost at Duke 41-3

If the Jayhawks weren’t so delightfully fun to skewer here, we’d call for their immediate banishment to the Sun Belt Conference. It’s not that their shaming at Duke was that awful (though it was pretty doggone awful) … it’s that KU should tease all of us who would run over our grandmothers to see them play Duke on the hardwood. But since we’re forced to discuss their shoddy “football” program, let’s point out some facts so far as we see them in 2014. First, they schedule a bye week during the season’s opening week. Second, they “hang on” to defeat something called Southeast Missouri State (learn just how bad that was later in our rankings). Lastly, they go to a basketball school that has figured out how to do something they can’t (play football) and get decaffeinated by a margin (38) almost as large as the one in which Duke defeated Elon (39). Another wave of potential embarrassment crashes upon the shores of Lawrence’s sinkhole of a football program when Central Michigan visits this week. CMU is 2-1 with a win at Purdue under its belt. Gulp.



Did not play

To be fair, Northwestern is not irredeemably awful. The Wildcats’ two losses have come by seven points and eight points to two not-awful opponents (California, Northern Illinois). Alas, the Wildcats are here because they’ve suffered the ignominy of being the last winless team among the Power 5. They should rectify that situation this week against Western Illinois.


3. INDIANA (1-1)

Lost at Bowling Green 45-42

One thing Indiana does really well – run the football. One thing it doesn’t do well at all – everything else. OK, so that was a bad joke. Same can be said for Indiana’s defense. Sophomore Bowling Green quarterback Jason Knapke was making just his second career start. All he did was set school records for completions (46) and attempts (73) while throwing for 395 yards and three touchdowns. His (seemingly only) primary target was freshman Roger Lewis, who caught a whopping 16 passes for 140 yards. Cover somebody, will ya?



Defeated Portland State 59-21

All hail the Fightin’ Leaches for pummeling the biggest school in Oregon. Yeah, you read that right – Portland State has a larger enrollment than Oregon or Oregon State. Of course, bigger clearly isn’t better unless you’re talking about football players. No. 2 Oregon has bigger and better players than just about anyone in the country and, guess what? They’re coming to town this week. That 59-21 score looks just about right for this week’s prediction, don’t it? Wonder who scores the 59 …


5. WAKE FOREST (1-2)

Lost at Utah State 36-24

The Demon Deacons are 90th nationally in passing yards, 127th in rushing yards and 113th in points scored. That paltry production has come against the hyphenate-heavy murderer’s row of La-Monroe, Gardner-Webb and Utah State. Next up is Army, a school that takes football roughly as seriously as Kansas, but since Army is training to kill bad guys while KU trains to kill football, we’ll give them a pass for their week 1 bye. That said, there’s no telling what Army does to Wake this week after having to travel to Stanford this past Saturday.



Defeated Massachusetts 34-31

Vandy earned its place here at the P5B10 with two laughable season-opening performances, one a 37-7 embarrassment at the hands of Temple(!), the other a workman-like 41-3 dismantling by Ole Miss. Then came this week’s win that has Vandy entertaining the notion of defeating South Carolina as long as they get a good week of practice. Aw, aren’t they cute? Gamecocks, if you lose, the Chickenhawks will have company here in our little feather-plucking facility.


7. COLORADO (1-2)

Lost to Arizona State 38-24

Point of order … who’s worse between Vandy and Colorado? Both nosed out UMass by three points. Colorado scored more points, but allowed more as well. The Buffaloes also crapped out in their season opener against a (supposedly) inferior foe. But this past week, Colorado threw a scare into a pretty good Arizona State. That looks pretty good when put up against Vanderbilt’s Scooby-Doo run-and-hide against Ole Miss. Three winnable games are next for Colorado.


8. PURDON’T (1-2)

Lost to Notre Dame 30-14

The Boilermakers defeated the bad Michigan of the West and lost to the good Michigan of the Central before their afternoon of bad luck against the Irish. Now comes a serious gulp against Southern Illinois, a 3-0 FCS school that slaughtered the same SE Missouri State squad that made our P5B10 bottom-rated Junkhawks poop their pants two weeks ago. With the conference opener against Iowa looming next week, might Purdue and their 90th-ranked-in-everything squad get caught looking ahead?


9. IOWA STATE (1-2)

Defeated Iowa 20-17

Well, considering Iowa brandished a body bag, climbed inside and pulled the zipper shut against Iowa State, perhaps Purdoo has nothing to worry about. One of the other services we provide here at the P5B10 is rehabilitation. We’ve been propping up Iowa State over the past couple of weeks knowing that despite its losses, it is a program with the talent to leave our humble, dumpster-diving environs for greener pastures. Will it happen this week? Well if it does, the team Iowa State defeats will challenge KU for our bottom spot, because – don’t know about you – we’re getting a little tired of Baylor’s “take us seriously now before Yahoo Sports comes to Waco and uncovers all the illegal crap we’re doing” mantra.


10. TEXAS (1-2)

Lost to UCLA 20-17

You know, in a vacuum, the loss to UCLA isn’t all that bad. Taken in tandem with its M. Night Shyalaman-inspired performance against BYU last week? Perhaps the Texas should switch its logo from a Longhorn to this.

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Ralph Garcia


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