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Powerless Five: Twelve weeks into the season and the bottom slots appear locked

The very best of the Power Five are indeed killing it, but the worst of the Power Five is just as dead as any underachieving Group of Five squad

NCAA Football: Kentucky at Vanderbilt
It’s true, Vanderbilt needs a hug.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

For a while there was some variation, but as the season approaches its final month, there’s less and less movement in these, the worst the Power Five conferences have to offer. You can compare it to last weeks list here.

Of our five sorrowful tales last week, only of those teams won, and it was a mercy as much as anything else. Scroll down for the Power Five teams playing worse than your favorite Group of Five team this week:


5. Northwestern Wildcats

For the first time since Week 3 vs. UNLV, the Wildcats won a football game. Unfortunately, it was to a team notably worse than UNLV, the UMass Minutemen.

While the score was indeed an impressive 45-6, the Minutemen have been something a lot less than impressive all season, and this game earns the Wildcats no points toward Power Five respectability.

4. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

This list would be nothing without the ACC, a conference that has been hard pressed for a number of years now to offer the world something in football other than Clemson or Florida State. The worst record in the conference in 2019 tragically falls to the Yellow Jackets.

Georgia Tech is now 2-8 (1-6) after a blowout, demoralizing 45-0 loss to Virginia Tech. Georgia Tech plays Georgia in two weeks. We hope Georgia Tech has a better plan for 2020.

3. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

After a steady drop all season, the Rutgers futures are looking up this week as they did something no one else thought they could do. No, not win— don’t be ridiculous, they were hosting Ohio State— but they covered, losing 56-21 to the Buckeyes, in a game they were favored to lose by 52.5.

Keeping the damage to a scant 35 points is a moral victory for the Scarlet Knights, though tragically not an actual victory. How many Group of Five teams could get closer than 35 points? Um, quite a few, actually.

2. Vanderbilt Commodores

With two regular season games left to go, the Commodores are 2-8 (1-6) after a humiliating 38-14 loss to Kentucky. Vandy hasn’t scored more than 14 points in a game since Sept. 28 against Northern Illinois, and hasn’t scored over 14 against Power Five competition since a week earlier in their 66-38 loss to LSU.

The Commodores should be used to their reputation as “worst football in the SEC.” The fact that they aren’t this season should at least be a new feeling, if not a comforting one.

1. Arkansas Razorbacks

The Razorbacks had a bye last week, and still turned the ball over three times. The Razorbacks had a bye week last week and still finished with negative rushing yards. The Razorbacks had a bye week last week and had to spend it looking for an interim coach to finish the season. The Razorbacks are having a bad year (decade) is what we’re saying.

Arkansas is 2-8 (0-6) as they return to action this weekend against the No. 1 team in the country, LSU. The only good news on the horizon? They finish their season the following week against Missouri, the only SEC team that Vandy beat all year. Our one regret? We didn’t get to see Vandy vs Arkansas in 2019. Hey, there’s always next year.