Which Team Is Florida's Worst: FIU or USF?
More often than not the loser of the annual FIU-FAU game gets crowned the worst FBS team in Florida. This year something weird and strange is happening. USF, who once touted itself as part of Florida's "big four," sucks in historic measures. They opened their season with a 53-21 loss to McNesse State, the biggest win margin of an FCS team over an FBS team in modern history, and they've shown no improvement since. Heck, they even lost to FAU by 18 points! Florida Atlantic!
Not to be outdone, the FIU Golden Panthers are also marred in a sad cesspool of their own suckiness as well. After firing head coach Mario Cristobal for reasons no one really understands, and replacing him with Ron Turner, the school has been rewarded with a winless season so far.
They've also endured a lopsided defeat by an FCS team, with a 34-13 loss to Bethune-Cookman. This weekend they got blown out 72-0 by Louisville (a team they actually beat in 2011 and hung tough with last season -- but, again, good decision on firing Cristobal).
The teams won't meet this season and the press and coaches poll don't bother with ranking the worst teams, so deciding who is worst may be a bit of frivolous conjecture at best. Yet, the computer polls that help decide the BCS standings do actually rank all teams. So far, most agree that FIU is just a little bit worse than USF. Kind of in the same way the Astros are technically just a little bit worse than the Marlins.
The Sagarin index has South Florida at 129 with a rating of 57.75. FIU sits even lower at 182 with a rating of 48.83. This index includes FCS teams. So, yes, each team is considered worse than a big handful of FCS teams.
In the Massey Ratings South Florida is ranked 116th. The worst of any team in an AQ conference (yes, the AAC still technically counts). FIU sits at 121. This rating includes only the 125 FBS teams.
It's bleaker still at the Billingsley report. USF is 118th. FIU is 122nd.
The Colley Matrix is the only computer system that has USF below FIU. The Bulls are ranked 147th out of 152 (this system groups FCS teams together and ranks them). Massachusetts and Georgia State are the only FBS teams considered worst. Florida International is slightly more respectable here at 124th.
Will either team be able to turn it around?
USF plays Miami next week, and at the rate the Bulls are playing losing in a manor slightly more respectable than Savannah State might be considered a moral victory. Their best hope for their first win might come when they face off against 0-3 Connecticut on the road in October.
FIU gets its bye on Saturday, and returns the weekend after to face 0-3 Southern Miss on the road in week six. That team is considered by ESPN's Bottom Ten column to be the reigning worst team in the nation, and have the longest active losing streak in college football.
If those teams don't win those games they might not only be fighting for the title of worst team in Florida, but could be legitimate contenders for worst team in the nation.