What do Joe Paterno, Josh Groban, USC and the University of Texas all have in common?
They combined forces to produce what the Wall St. Journal is calling one of the worst college football seasons ever.
If there's one thing that sets apart the 2010 college-football season, it's how humiliating it has been for so many of the nation's proudest programs.
We're not just talking about an off year, like the one Penn State had. That happens. We're talking about several of the sport's biggest names enduring preposterous frustrations and indignities all in the same season.
Michigan's coach spoke emotionally at a team banquet about a Josh Groban song. Tennessee's coach made a lengthy analogy comparing his overwhelmed players to the Germans during World War II. Florida, a preseason top-five team, had its worst season in years. Then its coach quit. The same week that an ex-Gator won the Heisman Trophy. For a conference rival.
Every college-football season features a couple of bumbling behemoths, but this year is extreme. Six of the sport's top-10 teams all-time in winning percentage—Michigan, Notre Dame, Texas, Tennessee, Southern California and Penn State—aren't ranked in the Associated Press top-25 poll. Never have all six of those teams failed to appear in a season's final AP poll.
Apparently, the misery is causing fans to lose interest (or shield their eyes). TV ratings at both ABC and NBC were down over 10% this season for college-football telecasts. CBS fell too, though less significantly (4.5%).
Here's Derek Dooley, head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers comparing himself to.... Rommel?
Which school had the roughest go of it this past year? The Journal has the goods, here.