Most of the weekend’s attention was on what transpired in the Michigan-Ohio State game and other contests involving teams fighting for the four spots in the College Football Playoff field.
However, it is the perfect time to take one more look at how the other half lives. Nine of the 12 teams in last week’s Dirty Dozen lost once again and returned to the ranking of the worst teams at the Football Bowl Subdivision level.
Akron, UNLV and Nebraska were the teams in the Dirty Dozen a week ago to pick up Week 13 victories despite each listed by the sportsbook as double-digit underdogs.
Being a part of this list does come with a price as it has resulted in coaching changes. Stanford’s David Shaw joins the list of coaches no longer with the program that they started the season with.
12. Louisiana Tech
The season would have had a much different feel to it had Louisiana Tech won the two overtime games in which it was involved.
The final spot came down to Charlotte and Louisiana Tech, the two worst defensive teams in the Sun Belt. Charlotte’s 26-21 win against the Bulldogs made this an easy choice.
Louisiana Tech lost its last three games and allowed an average 489 yards in its nine losses.
Stanford not only ended the season with five losses in a row, but also lost veteran head coach David Shaw as he announced that he was stepping down.
— Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) November 27, 2022
Stanford’s win over Notre Dame will go down as one of the most surprising results of the 2022 season. Stanford followed that up with a win over Arizona State, with the defense allowing 14 points in each of those victories.
Stanford gave up 38.8 points during the season-ending five-game losing streak. BYU ripped through the Stanford defense for 358 rushing yards in a 35-26 win. It was 35-12 before Stanford added a pair of touchdowns to make the game appear closer than it was.
Stanford finished tied with Colorado and Miami (Fla.) with 2-10 records against the Las Vegas odds, the worst mark among FBS teams in 2022. Stanford was just 3-9 against the spread last season.
10. Northern Illinois
After splitting the last two games and having seven games decided by eight points or less, things fell apart when Akron came to town.
Akron picked up its first Mid-American Conference win with a dominating 44-12 victory to move out of the Dirty Dozen. Northern Illinois, despite a recent win over Western Michigan, goes into the listing of the 12 worst teams in the country.
Northern Illinois was outgained 512-261, and when the Huskies had the ball, the only touchdown was scored by the Akron defense.
Northern Illinois finished 4-8 against the college football betting lines but did see nine of its 12 games go over the total.
Scoop on Free Play from the Locker Room
9. Arizona State
Arizona State’s games often provided plenty of entertainment, so it is only fitting that the season finale wasn’t decided until Arizona State turned the ball over on its final two possessions in a 38-35 loss to Arizona to end a five-game winning streak against the Wildcats.
Running back Xazavian Halladay wrapped up a strong senior season with 97 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns while quarterback Trenton Bourguet threw for 376 yards. The defense allowed nearly 500 yards to finish the season with a 3-9 record.
Arizona State was outscored 310-235 in nine conference games.
8. Arkansas State
Arkansas State appeared to be close to playing its way out of the Dirty Dozen as the Red Wolves led Troy by five points heading into the fourth quarter. Arkansas State allowed 34 points in the fourth quarter in a 48-19 loss.
Arkansas State finished last in the Sun Belt in total offense and also was at the bottom of the conference in rushing yards.
Just two years ago, Arkansas State led the Sun Belt in total offense, but it has gone from averaging 490 yards per game to 315.
It was a difficult debut season for former Hawaii star quarterback Timmy Chang as the head coach. A 27-14 loss to San Jose State had the Rainbows finish with a 10-loss season.
Hawaii ran 15 more plays than the Spartans but had only one touchdown to show for it. The Rainbows finished last in the Mountain West with an average of 438 yards allowed per game. Hawaii was also last in the conference in scoring defense so there will be plenty of work to be done on that side of the ball.
Nine of the top 12 tacklers were seniors so some new players will be asked to improve the leaky defense.
Northwestern threw scares into Maryland, Ohio State and Purdue in the second half of the season. That was not the case in the season finale.
Illinois scored the game’s first 34 points en route to the 41-3 win, as the Wildcats lost their final 11 games following a season-opening win over Nebraska.
Northwestern actually had more yards in the game than Illinois, but the Fighting Illini had two defensive touchdowns and Northwestern turned the ball over six times.
Northwestern had struggled to stop the run during the season. However, the Wildcats held Big Ten leading rusher Chase Brown to 3.2 yards per carry.
5. South Florida
The chance to play spoiler and potentially keep rival UCF out of the conference title game in the Knights’ final season in the American Athletic Conference seemed to bring the best out of South Florida.
It took a touchdown pass with 20 seconds left to lift UCF to the 46-39 win. A defense that allowed more yards per game than any other FBS team yielded more than 500 yards for the eighth time during the 2022 season. Sophomore Brian Battle finished with 1,186 rushing yards and had five straight 100-yard rushing games to end the season.
South Florida allowed 41.2 points per game against FBS competition. Only Colorado, which gives up 44.5, allowed more.
Facing the defending Pac-12 champions, who still had a chance to return to the conference title game, was a difficult challenge for Colorado.
Things went pretty much as expected. Utah rolled to the 63-21 win and put up 662 yards of offense as the Buffaloes lost their sixth straight game.
Colorado ended the season 130th out of 131 FBS teams in total defense, allowing 509.8 yards per game, and joined South Florida and Charlotte as the only teams to allow more than seven yards per play.
Colorado lost all seven of its games and went 1-6 against the Las Vegas odds this season when listed as a 20-point underdog.
Nevada couldn’t hold a 13-0 point lead in a season-ending 27-22 loss to UNLV.
The Wolf Pack outgained UNLV 460-278 during the game, but struggled to finish drives. It didn’t help that UNLV scored 17 points off three Nevada turnovers.
Nevada lost its last 10 games in a row and is one of two teams yet to post a win this season in Mountain West play.
2. New Mexico
New Mexico managed just 133 yards of offense against a Colorado State defense that came into the game giving up 375 yards per contest.
The 17-0 loss meant that New Mexico ended the season scoring 14 points or less in each of the last six games.
New Mexico was outscored 271-75 in a season-ending nine game losing streak.
The season is mercifully over at UMass.
The Minutemen finished winless against Football Bowl Subdivision competition following a 44-7 loss at home to Army, when 24 points were scored off four turnovers.
The lone win in 2022 came against Stony Brook as the Minutemen were outscored 370-130 against FBS foes.
UMass actually scored first against Army before giving up the final 44 points to end a difficult first season back in Don Brown’s second stint as the UMass head coach.
UMass completed just 49% of its passes this season with 14 interceptions and four touchdown passes.