The Best Worst Ten: Week 12

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

This is what real victory looks like
This is what real victory looks like. (USATSI)

Anybody can put together a list of the best ten teams in the country, but figuring out the worst ten teams in the country is a lot more fun.

We came so close to monumental changes in The Best Worst Ten this week. Late Saturday night Hawaii had a 14-7 lead on San Diego State, but blew the lead in the final minutes and would go on to lose in overtime.

Why was this huge? Because had Hawaii won it would have fallen out of The Best Worst Ten and Purdue would have become the first team from one of the five power conferences to break through. Something I've been wanting to happen since I started doing this.

But it's not going to happen this week. This week we'll just have to settle for A NEW NO.1 TEAM.

No. 10 Western Michigan 1-10 (Last week:9)

Average Score: 17.5-35.6

Best Win: 31-30 at UMass

Worst Loss: 27-23 vs. Nicholls State

Next Game: Nov. 26 at Northern Illinois

Western Michigan was messing around a bit too much on Saturday, as it actually managed to take a 16-14 lead on Central Michigan before giving up a couple touchdowns and falling out of the game. Now it just has to make sure it doesn't become the first team to beat Northern Illinois in DeKalb since roughly 1856 to finish a 1-11 season and assure itself a spot in The Best Worst Ten.

No. 9 Massachussetts 1-9 (10)

Average Score: 11.7-30.8

Best Win: 17-10 vs. Miami (Ohio)

Worst Loss: 24-14 vs. Maine

Next Game: Nov. 23 at Central Michigan

My favorite thing about doing The Best Worst Ten is when I'm entering scores and such into my spreadsheet where I keep track of everything and I get to think things to myself like "man, UMass only lost by a point today, that's going to hurt." But it didn't! The Minutemen move up a spot even though they only lost to Akron 14-13. Next time they need a bit more fear for the dadgum roo.

No. 8 Hawaii 0-10 (8)

Average Score: 22.4-36.4

Best Win: None

Worst Loss: 31-9 at Nevada

Next Game: Nov. 23 at Wyoming

I seldom root against teams in the Best Worst Ten, but I really wanted Hawaii to win last night. Both to get Purdue in the rankings, and also because Hawaii really isn't this bad. It's 0-10, but after last night it's actually 5-5 against the spread and has lost four games by a touchdown or less. They just don't deserve this honor.

No. 7 New Mexico State 1-9 (6)

Average Score: 21.7-46.4

Best Win: 34-29 vs. Abilene Christian

Worst Loss: 66-17 at New Mexico

Next Game: Nov. 23 at FAU

The Aggies had the week off and actually suffered for it, falling a spot back to seventh. However, losses to FAU and Idaho to finish the season should help them get back up where they want to be. The top five is still in sight!

No. 6 Idaho 1-9 (5)

Average Score: 18.8-45.7

Best Win: 26-24 vs. Temple

Worst Loss: 59-38 vs. Old Dominion

Next Game: Nov. 23 at Florida State

Same story for Idaho as for New Mexico State, as it also dropped a spot during its bye week. What's important now though is that the Vandals simply look past this week's road trip to Tallahassee and focus on their season-ending game with New Mexico State. That one is going to be huge.

No. 5 Connecticut 0-9 (4)

Average Score: 16.2-35.0

Best Win: None

Worst Loss: 33-18 vs. Towson

Next Game: Nov. 23 at Temple

The Huskies fall a spot this week too because they played a bit too well in their 38-21 loss to SMU. Before the Mustangs scored ten points in the final four minutes this was a 28-21 game in which UConn had a chance to win. That's not what top five teams are made of.

No. 4 Florida International 1-9 (7)

Average Score: 10.1-37.5

Best Win: 24-23 at Southern Miss

Worst Loss: 34-13 vs. Bethune-Cookman

Next Game: Nov. 23 vs. Marshall

Now this is a team that knows how to make a late season push. Two weeks ago the Panthers were ranked ninth but have since lost to Middle Tennessee and UTEP by a combined score of 81-10, and now it's climbed all the way up to fourth. I don't know if the Panthers can get much higher this year, but they are building a lot of momentum about a possible Best Worst Title in 2014.

No. 3 Miami (Ohio) 0-10 (3)

Average Score: 9.6-32.9

Best Win: None

Worst Loss: 17-10 at UMass

Next Game: Nov. 19 vs. Buffalo

Losing to Kent State 24-6 is a strong effort, and I honestly don't know what more Miami (Ohio) can do here. I mean, it's averaging less than 10 points a game here. It is the only team in the country to do that, yet, here it sits in third. Sometimes life isn't fair.

No. 2 Georgia State 0-10 (1)

Average Score: 17.5-36.7

Best Win: None

Worst Loss: 42-14 vs. Chattanooga

Next Game: Nov. 23 at Arkansas State

I really didn't think it could happen, but Georgia State lost its grip on first place. That's what happens when you lose your concentration for even a few seconds. The Panthers are 0-5 in the Sun Belt, which is always a bonus, but they're only losing conference games by an average of 14 points per game.

No. 1 Southern Mississippi 0-10 (2)

Average Score: 12.2-43.4

Best Win: None

Worst Loss: 24-23 vs. FIU

Next Game: Nov. 23 vs. Middle Tennessee

They did it! The Golden Eagles have finally taken over the top spot, matching the support they've received from fans in my Twitter mentions the last few weeks wanting to know how in the hell any team could be better at being worse than these guys. Well, nobody can be when you've lost your last five games by a combined score of 248-61. That's an average score of 49.6-12.2! That's doing work. Congrats, Southern Miss, but don't relax. Your lead isn't exactly huge.

No Longer Ranked: None

Last week's rankings can be found here.

 
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