There was a ton of bad football played last weekend by hundreds of NCAA Division I football players, and we’re here to recognize those who tragically gave their all and have so little to show for it. There’s so much badness to go around that the Rocky 5 is going to have a sixth member that will be referred to as the “plus one” team until the next Rocky movie is released and we can officially change the title of this poll to the Rocky 6.
First off let’s bid a fond Rocky 5 adieu to Syracuse as we dismiss the Orangemen for soundly thrashing the similarly orange-garbed Illinois
And let’s give a warm Rocky 5 welcome to the Ill Illini for getting soundly thrashed by the departing Orange. I said last week that the winner of this game — the Rocky 5 Bowl, if you will — would be excused from this recognition of football futility, while the loser would be brought into the fold.
Illinois, on the strength of their lack of effort against the visiting Orangemen, is the newest members of the Rocky 5. Don’t let the final score of 31-21 — or the Illini’s 400 total yards — fool you as the game was never close, and Illinois was down 31-7 going into the final quarter.
Their hideous performance against Rutgers the week before, a game in which Illinois only managed 126 yards of total offense, was a springboard that propelled the Illini into another week of crap football and right into the Rocky 5. Looking at their schedule for the rest of the season if the Illini are lucky enough to win three games, they will have won a total of 8 games since the 2002 season and as a result will be a shoe-in to finish this year, and start next year, in the Rocky 5. Mazel tov, Illini!
And it’s not only new faces this week, but new places as well, as the Temple Bowels are now sitting atop the Rocky 5. The Bowels must be saluted for their remarkable achievement of losing by a score of 62-0 in two consecutive weeks, this time to the Minnesota Golden Gophers. I’m no Elias Bureau stat whore, but my bet is that you’d be hard pressed to find another Division I team in recent years to lose so spectacularly — and ineptly — two weeks in a row.
There’s no reason to recount the follies of the football fops from Philly; the score speaks for itself. Looking ahead to their next game Temple visits the Western Michigan Broncos, who have to be on a high coming off of their win at the University of Virginia.
As odd as it may seem, the Bowels may have a shot to sneak up on the Broncos this week, as the Broncs could suffer from the dreaded post-upset hangover. Hey, stranger things have happened as Kent State –- a charter member of the Rocky 5 — actually won a game last week against MAC Conference rival Miami of Ohio.
And while we’re on the subject, Kent State will be in the Rocky 5 this week despite their upset win. A team is going to have to do a lot more than just beat a MAC team before it is allowed to check out of the Hotel Rocky 5. As a matter of fact, the MAC Conference is doing more than its fair share to propagate the ranks of tainted football, and could be nicknamed the Rocky 5 Conference, especially if they admit Temple as a full-fledged member.
The Duke Doormats lost in their typically impotent style and managed only 139 total yards in a 36-0 loss to Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech showed remarkable restraint and good manners as they played host to the Dorks from Durham, as the Hokies looked like they could have scored 100 points if they so desired.
The Blow Devils actually might have a shot to keep it close this week as they play host to a surprisingly bad University of Virginia squad, a team that has been showing up on the radar here at Rocky 5 World Headquarters. Al Groh has been alleged to have done quite a good job in recruiting over the past few years, but without any real on the field success Groh could join the ranks of current ACC head coaches who will soon be former ACC coaches.
The Buffalo Bulls solidified their place in the Rocky 5 by losing 31-13 to fellow MAC Conference member Northern Illinois. This game was so inconsequential that ESPN.com doesn’t even provide the briefest statistical summary for us to laugh at.
This week the Bulls from Buffalo visit Auburn to play Auburn … yes, THE Auburn. It is rumored that famous coroners Michael Baden and Cyril Wecht will be on hand to assist the Auburn and Buffalo training staffs.
So if you’ve been able to keep track of all of this, through my stream of conscious confusion, there you have this week’s Rocky 5. But if I lost you, here’s the Rocky 5.
1) Temple Bowels
2) Duke Doormats
3) Buffalo Blows
4) Illinois Ills
5) Kent State Golden Turds
So that leaves the “plus one” team to add to the mix, and that team my friends is *drum roll* the Mississippi State Bulldogs.
Mississippi Stank has really been trying to get noticed this season. Actually from 2001 on through this moment “the Stank” has won only 14 games. In their 32-29 loss to Tulane this past weekend Mississippi Stank scored their first points of the year, which is good. The bad part, and the part that punched their ticket for entry into this elite group of crap football teams, is that Miss. St. fell behind by the score of 31-7 before they got their act together.
Looking at their schedule, their sloppy play and their offensive ineptness Stank has what it takes, and is a lock to move up the ladder and into the core of the Rocky 5 over the next few weeks. Rather than recount their recent missteps, I’ll leave that to future editions of the Rocky 5 as it is a long season and things are just getting started.
The Rest of the Worst
Don’t you folks at Indiana relax just yet. The Hoosiers — averaging about 3 wins per season over the last 5 — lost last week to Division I-AA Southern Illinois 35-28 which was the first time that a team from the Gateway Conference beat a team from the Big 10. This week UConn comes to town and the Hoosiers can’t afford a letdown or else they may slide right into the Rocky picture.
The Utah State Aggies have been terrifically terrible over the past 5-plus seasons and are begging for our committee to take notice of their ineptitude. Last week the Aggies lost to rival Utah 48-0, managed only 98 total yards, fumbled twice, threw 4 interceptions while allowing over 400 yards of total offense. With an 0-12 record a possibility, the Aggies are a team to watch.
Also in the mix are New Mexico State and the Stanford Cardinal, who after a horrid loss to Navy are looking like a team that’s headed for an “O-fer” in 2006.
See you next week, same Rocky time, same Rocky channel.