Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Considering the Pac-12's worst teams
By Ted Miller
Colorado was one of the all-time bad teams in Pac-12/10/8 history this season, but were the Buffaloes the worst? Hard to say, as different decades bring different levels of awful.
The case for Colorado is this: The Buffs this season went 1-11 overall and 1-8 in Pac-12 play. They were outscored 552 to 214. They ranked last in the conference in scoring offense and scoring defense. They were 116th in the nation in scoring offense and 120th (last) in scoring defense.
That's pretty darn bad.
But there's some pretty darn good/bad competition.
Oregon State put together an epic level of awfulness in the 1980s. The Beavers didn't win a conference game in 1980, 1981 and 1982.
While the Beavers were winless in 1980, the best worst team of that three-year run was probably 1981. That team opened with a win over Fresno State and then nearly beat LSU in Baton Rouge. Then everything went bad.
The Beavers were outscored 330 to 75 in conference play and 469 to 145 overall. They scored fewer than 10 points in five games. They lost the Civil War to 2-9 Oregon 47-17.
My personal favorite, however, is a Pac-10 rivalry pair -- A Dismal Duo! -- mostly because I witnessed it: The Year of the Crapple Cup.
That was 2008. Washington went 0-12, and Washington State went 2-11.
In terms of statistical awfulness, the Cougars were worse. They were outscored 570 to 165 overall and 453 to 77 in conference play. They were shut out three times and scored a single field goal twice.
One of their wins was over a Football Championship Subdivision team. The other ... was over Washington in the Crapple Cup, 16-13 in double overtime.
Not unlike this season's Apple Cup, the Huskies lost after a massive fourth-quarter choke, not to mention superior field goal kicking from the Cougars.
The Huskies, who were outscored 463 to 159 overall and 347 to 111 in conference play, were the nation's only winless team that season, and coach Tyrone Willingham was given the boot at season's end.
The Cougars finished that season ranked 118th in the nation -- second to last -- in both scoring offense and scoring defense. The Huskies were 117th in scoring offense and 116th in scoring defense.
But the Cougs did have the Crapple Cup victory to salve the wounds suffered during a rotten season.
So, to steal an old term from former Washington State coach Mike Price, they became the kings of Poop Island, while the Huskies were merely Poop Island citizens.