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The 12 worst college football games of 2017

January 22,2018 17:08

You've seen and enjoyed Bill Connelly's Top 100 Games of 2017 countdown, a final love letter to the college football season, filled with glowing memories of performances we'll call upon in the wastelands of April. This list is the opposite. These are ...

You’ve seen and enjoyed Bill Connelly’s Top 100 Games of 2017 countdown, a final love letter to the college football season, filled with glowing memories of performances we’ll call upon in the wastelands of April.
This list is the opposite. These are the worst games, each of them still lovable in its own grotesque ways. In no particular order:
Florida State-Florida: I’m not sure what this game could’ve done to avoid making this list. This storied rivalry’s saddest edition in your dad’s lifetime was summed up by the following:
Alabama-Vanderbilt: Vandy was 3-0, having knocked off a ranked Kansas State. A few fans chanted, “we want Bama.” A player declared Bama “next.” So the Tide delivered the year’s most horrific beatdown of a Power 5 team, 59-0, and got in plenty of reps for the guy who’d throw the pass that won the national title. Never, ever want Bama.
Arizona-USC: How did college football fans spend their extra hour of Daylight Savings time? By watching Pac-12 refs huddle to deliberate after seemingly every snap of this game. Almost three months later, and I’m still about to snap a pencil in anger.
Tennessee-South Carolina: The definitive SEC East experience! Will Muschamp reached 6-0 all time against the Vols thanks to UT turning four red-zone drives into all of nine points. (I thought this game was fun, so here’s the secret of this list: Many of these games were both beautiful and ugly at the same time.)
Michigan State: Which opponent? Yes. From my small portion of Bill’s Top 100 list:

TCU in the second half of an Alamo Bowl. Michael Jordan with a dubious illness. Lil Wayne in the late aughts. Mark Dantonio in disgusting weather.
Knowing of the MSU coach’s powers made the Michigan game ominous. The Wolverines surely knew they’d need a comfortable lead — in this series: roughly five points — before the forecasted rain arrived. But the Spartans gained a 14-3 lead and docked the tugboat, then pointed and laughed as Michigan kept passing in a downpour.
One month later, the Nittany Lions were doomed once lightning forced a delay. Their fate dimmed as the delay reached three hours, with players sustained by emergency pizza and Chick-fil-A. Seven hours after the first kick, Matt Coghlin hit the last one and splashed across wet turf.

Delaware State-Florida State: Not only was this the year’s most lopsided game involving an FBS team (77-6), it’d resurface a month later when the Noles found themselves debunking a Reddit post that’d declared FSU bowl-ineligible because of Delaware State’s roster situation. Life comes at you incredibly fast.
BYU-LSU: Almost every BYU game was worthy of the list, but it’s hard to top a game in which LSU fans can make fun of your lack of trips across midfield.
Georgia State-Penn State: A 56-0 final score earns you a nomination for this list. A week-long controversy about whether or not your head coach meant to ice the kicker and preserve the shutout makes you a real contender. Your head coach then having to issue a public statement that he is actually not Keegan-Michael Key: OK, now you’re on the list.
Kansas-TCU: Because reasons, the Jayhawks wound up in a national primetime game. So for about an hour, a running subplot on college football Twitter was whether they would finish with positive yardage or not.
Illinois-USF: It felt like the Bulls were on national TV about 28 times this season, with almost all of those games involving special teams debacles, lethargic first halves, and everyone finally just throwing up their hands and letting Quinton Flowers ball out. This was the peak example, highlighted by a real run at the all-time single-game penalties record.
Ohio State-USC: USC got the ball first, Ohio State scored a touchdown immediately afterward, and that was just about that. Of the four hours I spent watching this game, my only memory is of USC’s cheerleaders ignoring a sideline brawl:

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