Dallas Colleges: Gene Chizik

The worst teams in the history of the Big 12

November, 28, 2012
Hey, I see you Big 12 fans with your recency bias.

"Kansas! Turner Gill's team last season was the worst in the history of the Big 12!"

Yes, those Jayhawks were one of only six teams in Big 12 history to go winless in conference play, and this year's Jayhawks have a chance to make it seven if they don't beat West Virginia on Saturday.

The 2011 team lost six games by at least 30 points and the historically bad defense gave up at least 59 points on four separate occasions. However, those same Jayhawks led a 10-win Baylor team led by Heisman winner Robert Griffin III by 21 points early in the fourth quarter and ran up a 20-point lead on Texas Tech early in the season. They also lost to Iowa State by only three points and beat the MAC champion, Northern Illinois.

Still, I hate to break it to you. Do the research, and you'll find that KU team was probably the best winless team in Big 12 history. Not exactly an accomplishment that will do much except get the coach fired, but on ESPN.com today, we're taking a look at some of the worst teams in the history of the game. Here's how I'd rank the worst teams in the history of the Big 12:

1. 1999 Baylor (1-10, 0-8 Big 12)
Coach: Kevin Steele
Win: 23-10 vs. North Texas
Lowlights: The Bears were in Year 1 of Steele's four-year tenure that peaked with a three-win campaign in 2002. I give these Bears my seal of approval as the worst team in Big 12 history. They lost to Boston College and UNLV in nonconference, and the closest they got to any Big 12 team all season was 20 points, and even that game was in the season finale against Oklahoma State. Along the way, they suffered losses of 62-0 (Texas), 37-0 (Colorado) and 48-7 (Nebraska).

2. 2003 Iowa State (2-10, 0-8 Big 12)
Coach: Dan McCarney
Wins: Northern Iowa, Ohio
Lowlights: This was an oddly awful season sandwiched between four seven-win seasons for McCarney, the best coach in Iowa State history before Paul Rhoads arrived in 2009. ISU lost to Northern Illinois out of conference and had by far the worst finish of any team on this list. In its final five games, it scored seven points twice in blowout losses to KU and Mizzou, and was shut out by Nebraska and K-State. It did score 10 points in a 34-point loss to Colorado, though! ISU came within 21 points of only one Big 12 team that season, losing 40-19 to Texas.

3. 1997 Iowa State (1-10, 1-7 Big 12)
Coach: Dan McCarney
Win: 24-17 vs. Baylor
Lowlights: These Cyclones are the only team on this list with a conference win, but they're a team that deserved special consideration. They went winless in nonconference play with losses to Wyoming (46 points!!), Minnesota (34 points) and Iowa (43 points). They came within seven points in the season opener against Oklahoma State, but suffered a handful of humiliating losses, including a 77-14 beatdown against Nebraska. Missouri (24 points), Texas A&M (39 points) and Kansas State (25 points) all continued the parade.

4. 2002 Kansas (2-10, 0-8 Big 12)
Coach: Mark Mangino
Wins: Southwest Missouri State, Tulsa
Lowlights: This was the first season on the road to an eventual BCS bowl for Mangino. The former OU offensive coordinator had a tough start, getting blasted by Iowa State by 42 points to kick off the season. They also suffered losses to UNLV and Bowling Green. The Jayhawks came within three points of Baylor, but no other Big 12 game was decided by fewer than 24 points. They also suffered a 64-0 loss to K-State and a 45-7 loss to Nebraska.

5. 2007 Baylor (3-9, 0-8 Big 12)
Coach: Guy Morriss
Wins: Rice, Texas State, Buffalo
Lowlights: This was the final season for Morriss at Baylor, and the Bears didn't come within 20 points of winning a Big 12 game. BU kicked off the season with a 27-0 loss to TCU but suffered 31-point losses to Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma to close the year and the Morriss era, ushering in the Art Briles era in Waco. The Bears lost to BCS-bound KU by 48 points that year and suffered a 38-point loss to a Ron Prince-coached Kansas State team.

6. 2008 Iowa State (2-10, 0-8 Big 12)
Coach: Gene Chizik
Wins: South Dakota State, Kent State
Lowlights: Chizik parlayed his 5-19 career record into a head job at Auburn and a national title before being fired earlier this week after a winless season in SEC play. The Cyclones were bad, but far from hopeless. ISU lost its final 10 games, including a loss to UNLV, but also had three Big 12 losses decided by a single possession. It did lose games by 42 (Oklahoma State), 32 (Mizzou) and 28 (Nebraska and Baylor).

What we learned in the SEC: Week 7

October, 14, 2012
Now that Week 7 is over with, it's time to take a look at what we learned in the SEC:

1. LSU isn't going away: The Tigers limped into Saturday's showdown with South Carolina after being pushed around by Florida. By all accounts, the sky was falling in Baton Rouge and the Tigers had to face the music that they were playing for second place in the SEC West. But things feel much different on the bayou after an impressive win over the Gamecocks. The Tigers did all the pushing Saturday, outgaining South Carolina 406-211 and denying Marcus Lattimore to even touch the ball in the fourth quarter. Zach Mettenberger's performance wasn't pretty, but he didn't need to be with that running game churning out 258 rushing yards against one of the country's best defensive lines, and that kind of play can win in this league. LSU isn't out of the SEC or national race and the Alabama game just got a little more exciting.

[+] EnlargeTyler Wilson
Nelson Chenault/US PresswireTyler Wilson threw five touchdown passes in Saturday's win.
2. Hot seats are only getting hotter: Things just aren't working at Auburn, Kentucky and Tennessee. And that means that their respective coaches are really starting to feel the heat. Heading into the weekend, Kentucky's Joker Phillips was probably in the most hot water, and it's boiling after a 49-7 loss to Arkansas. Derek Dooley entered the season on the hottest seat and his Vols are now 0-3 in SEC play and eight wins is looking tougher and tougher by the day. And Gene Chizik has a bad offense and defense at Auburn. The Tigers gave Ole Miss its first SEC win since 2010 in a blowout in Oxford. The problem is that things just aren't getting better at any of these three schools and fans are beyond antsy and upset. None of the three schools have a conference win this season and have a combined record of 5-14.

3. Arkansas isn't done just yet: Just when we thought the Razorbacks were dead in the water, they are slowly getting back into the bowl race. After a dismal September, the Hogs have shown tremendous pride the past two weeks with wins over Auburn and Kentucky. Granted, they are beating cellar dwellers, but there was a time when not many people thought the Hogs would win both of those. Arkansas' offense looks like we expected it to and could be a threat to its November competition. Arkansas is now three wins away from being bowl eligible. With home games against Ole Miss and Tulsa coming up, the Razorbacks might need just one win in the tough month of November to make it to the postseason.

4. Johnny Manziel might be the SEC's best: Forget Johnny Football being the league's best freshman, he might be the SEC's best overall player. Through six games, the youngster has passed for 1,680 yards and 14 touchdowns and is completing 67 percent of his passes. He's also thrown only three interceptions. But where he's even more dangerous is in the ground game. Manziel leads the SEC with 676 rushing yards and has 10 touchdowns. He's lightning-quick and can outrun just about anyone out there. You take Manziel off of this team and the Aggies aren't close to being as good as they've been. He can change a game in a second with his feet, but also has the ability to make some quality throws. It's like he doesn't have an off button.

5. The East race will be even more interesting: With South Carolina's loss to LSU, the East race is going to be even more fun to watch from here on out. The Gamecocks now share a loss with Georgia, while Florida sits atop the division. But the Gators host South Carolina next weekend before playing Georgia in Jacksonville, Fla. South Carolina certainly didn't want to lose, but with a win over Florida, the Gamecocks would own the tiebreaker over the Gators and Dawgs. So this loss won't sting as much. We could be headed to a similar situation as we saw last year in the West with Alabama, Arkansas and LSU. If these teams come out of this round-robin-style play with just one loss each, we'll officially be on "Tiebreaker Watch."

Offseason to-do list: Texas A&M

January, 19, 2012
Hard as it is to believe, the start of spring practice for some teams isn’t too far away.

In other words, the offseason is upon us, and we all know how important these next five or six months are to the development of any team.

Today, we’ll unveil our offseason to-do lists for the newest SEC member.

  • First-year head coach Kevin Sumlin will obviously want to put his stamp on the program, and just as pressing will be implementing his offense and making sure everybody understands it and is on the same page.
  • The Aggies need to find a replacement at quarterback for Ryan Tannehill, which likely means getting Jameill Showers ready. If it’s not Showers, then maybe Johnny Manziel makes his move.
  • Something says Sumlin and the new staff will see to it that the Aggies’ second-half issues from last season are also addressed.