Which Winless Team Will Be the Last to See the Light?

Is the Price right though?

UTEP head coach Mike Price swings a pick-axe before an NCAA college football game against Houston Friday, Sept. 10, 2010, in Houston. (AP Photo/Dave Einsel)

It is the end of week six and the start of week seven. We’re about at the halfway point of the college football season. In the G5 there are still four teams that are winless at this point of the season: UMass, UTEP, Charlotte, and my alma mater Georgia Southern.

To have only four teams left at this point in the season just goes to show you how much parity there is in the G5 conferences this year. Conference USA alone is a jumbled mess at the moment. 2 CUSA representatives, 1 Sun Belt team, and one independent team are winless. No teams in the AAC, MAC, and Mountain West made this dubious list.

Which winless team will be the last to win a game? I ranked the four teams from least likely to most likely to end the season winless.

 

4. UMass (0-6): Next game vs Georgia Southern 10/21

Points for: 154   Points Against: 197 -43 differential

Schedule
Hawai’i – L – 35-38
@Coastal Carolina – L – 28-38
Old Dominion – L – 7-17
@Temple – L – 21-29
@Tennessee – L – 13-17
Ohio – L – 50-58
Georgia Southern (0-4)
Appalachian St (3-2)
@Mississippi St (3-2)
Maine (1-3)
@BYU (1-5)
@FIU (3-2)

 

By the time UMass takes on Georgia Southern at McGuirk Stadium in Amherst on October 21st, the Minutemen will have spent the entire month of October off. Due to a cancellation with USF due to Mother Nature, UMass has spent three weeks off. Somewhat of a college football style Parisian vacation.

That could be a great thing for Mark Whipple and the Minutemen. Triple Option teams have a history of struggling against teams with extra time off. Additional time off is not necessary to prepare adequately for this edition of Georgia Southern, last week’s loss to Arkansas State notwithstanding.

UMass is the most snake-bitten team in the country. Their point differential is only -43 through six games which average out to little over a touchdown per game. Their the best 0-6 team I have ever seen. Andrew Ford is a good QB, 12 TDs, 2 INTs 287 YPG. Marquis Young is not a bad RB. Adam Breneman might be the most underrated WR in the country.

UMass and Georgia Southern go way back. Like Britney Spears 1st album and Slim Shady back. All the way back to 1998, when a younger version of Mark Whipple leads a UMass team over a Georgia Southern team lead by a younger version of Paul Johnson, 55-43, to win the FCS/IAA championship that year.

A year later, the Eagles returned the favor, beating UMass 38-21 in the 1999 quarterfinals, on the way to their fifth I-AA championship.

Don’t be surprised if Mark Whipple has a 90s flashback and goes ham on the wounded Eagles. But one game at a time.

 

3. UTEP (0-6): Next game @USM 10/14

Points for: 86   Points Against: 241 -155 differential

Schedule
@Oklahoma – L – 7-56
Rice – L – 14-31
Arizona – L – 16-63
@NM State – L – 14-41
@Army – L – 21-35
Western Kentucky – L – 14-15
@Southern Miss (3-2)
UTSA (3-1)
@Middle Tennessee (3-3)
@North Texas (3-2)
La. Tech (3-3)
@UAB (3-2)

 

Mike Price, 71, has returned to El Paso to rescue the UTEP Miners season. Sean Kugler resigned as coach and the former Miners head coach, Price, did the administration a solid and agreed to be the interim coach for the rest of the season. Kugler had an 18-36 record and went 11-22 in conference games.

It’s like some spaghetti western epic. “El Paso Mike” gets named sheriff and fights crime, wielding his mighty pick-ax. Mike Price is an above-average to good college head coach between his stints at Wazzu at UTEP. Mike Price was UTEP head coach from 2004-12, he has a career record of 177-184 in 31 seasons.

Who knows? Maybe he backdoors the Miners (#TWSS) into a bowl game at 6-6/5-7. Eh, perhaps not. But UTEP nearly pulled off the upset vs. Western Kentucky this past Saturday. UTEP fell short 15-14. But with El Paso Mike there’s stability. God bless El Paso Mike. God bless his mighty pick-ax.

 

2. Charlotte (0-6): Next game @WKU 10/14
Points for: 77   Points Against: 186   -109 differential

Schedule
@Eastern Michigan – L – 7-25
@Kansas St – L – 7-55
NC A&T – L – 31-35
Georgia St – L – 0-28
@FIU – L – 29-30
Marshall – L – 3-14
@Western Kentucky (3-2)
UAB (3-2)
@Old Dominion (2-3)
Middle Tennessee (3-3)
@Southern Miss (3-2)
FAU (3-3)

FireJudyRose.com is a thing. It has merch and a petition. Judy Rose is UNC-Charlotte’s athletic director. the Charlotte 49ers are still a young program. They still could build something special there. They just chose to use the FIU/Georgia State program model of rapid growth over the more steady long-term App State/Georgia Southern approach. Metro vs rural settings probably predicate that difference.

49er fans lost their patience after losing to their Greensboro neighbors North Carolina A&T and getting shut out by the Georgia State 28-0. Since then they played FIU and Marshall tougher, but the offense has been anemic.

“We couldn’t make any plays offensively.” – Charlotte coach Brad Lambert.

“It’s a fine line. Our margin for error isn’t very big.” – Lambert.

“We tried to stay on him all night.” – Marshall nose tackle Brian Bee, on limiting Klugh to 136 yards in total offense.

 

1. Georgia Southern (0-4): Next game vs NMSU 10/14 (HC)

Points for: 86   Points Against: 241  -155 differential

Schedule
@Auburn – L – 7-41
*New Hampshire – L – 12-22
@Indiana – L – 17-52
Arkansas St – L – 25-43
NM State (2-4)
@UMass (0-6)
@Troy (4-1)
Georgia St (2-2)
@App State (3-2)
South Alabama (1-4)
@Louisiana (2-3)
@Coastal Carolina (1-4)

*-moved to Birmingham, AL

Larry Rose III and Tyler Rogers are coming to town. NM State probably will beat Georgia Southern for homecoming this weekend. They’re -7 favorites. Even a road game vs. UMass looks like a tough out. Georgia State is better than Georgia Southern by a decent margin at this point. I don’t see a winnable game after UMass until South Alabama on November 18. A dead-man walking game between Tyson Summers and Joey Jones if either coach survives that long. 

I don’t need to beat a dead horse again. Just read my previous columns.

Here.

Here.

Here.

aaand here.

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About Nick Burgess 37 Articles
M.A. in Teaching, University of West Georgia, B.A. in Political Science, Georgia Southern University, Triple Option fundamentalist

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