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Unwatchable Filth: Week 5: New Mexico State — FIU is treating us to historically bad football

There’s filth, then there’s this war crime.

Nevada v New Mexico State Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

To date, the armed forces of the Russian Federation are responsible for 34,000 documented war crimes in their invasion of Ukraine. The parade of horribles runs the gamut from your bog-standard looting, assaults of every unsavory manner, destruction of civilian infrastructure,and mass murder, all the way to the more creative, like mass kidnapping of Ukrainian children, forced Russian citizenship, illegal annexation and a slow-rolling genocide of their own troublesome religious and ethnic minorities through conscription.

But, if Vladimir Putin wanted to be absolutely baroque, if Shoigu wanted to be professorial in giving cruel men license, then Russia would point all available comms at Kyiv and tight-beam a broadcast of this week’s unwatchable filth; a plate of raw sewage so unpalatable, it approaches criminality: New Mexico State vs. Florida International University.

Florida International: The Criminal Waste

FIU has long been accustomed to wandering in the woods, save three glorious years under Butch Davis where the Panthers actually made postseason play, and two abberant seasons which somehow fooled a nation into believing that Mario Cristobal could coach. Despite having gone to five bowl games in two decades as an FBS team, FIU has somehow managed the improbable: Its other 17 seasons have been so bad that the Panthers have scraped out the worst win percentage in major college football: .342

Versus the Power 5, FIU has been hopeless: they are 5-39. FIU entered FBS just one year after fellow directional, FAU. If they wanted to catch up to the Owls in number of wins, FAU would have to stop playing football while FIU goes undefeated every year, for the next three years. If they wanted to match FAU’s winning percentage, the Panthers would need to go undefeated for the next six-plus seasons. And I bet you can’t even do that on NCAA Dynasty Mode.

Did we tell you that FIU is located in Central Miami, one of the best place to recruit in the whole damned country? (Just one Miami high school alone sent 27 members of its 2021 football team to college teams on scholarship). South Beach, local talent, world famous cuisine, art, fashion, vibrant music scene, some of the world’s most attractive and scantily-clad women (or tall, dark, handsome Spanish men, if that’s your thing), filthy rich alumni, a school willing to spend...and FIU can do nothing with it. To mismanage that kind of talent, to not be able to attract it — and then to produce such staggering non-results — requires a level of mismanagement that can only paralleled by the Miami-Dade municipal government.

Instead, the best years of the entire program were helmed by a very ill Butch Davis who took the job just for the hell of it in his semi-retirement. And after five years, he was the winningest coach in program history, was responsible for 60% of the Panthers bowl appearances, one of its two bowl wins, and 50% of the Panthers total wins.

And yet Butch still finished with a .428 win percentage....and he cheated to get there. The school’s other luminary? Mario Cristobal and his .365 winning percentage.

That’s the futility of FIU.

Billboard Latin Music Week 2022
Imagine not being able to attract talent here
Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images

New Mexico State: The Century-Long Cry For Help

FIU’s opponent Saturday isn’t the new kid on the block in Suckville. No, the New Mexico State Aggies have been here for a loooonggggg time. Over a century in fact. NMSU was playing bad football games, and losing them, three-quarters of a century before New Mexico was even a state. The Aggies actually fielded their first team the year after Alabama, in 1893. In that time, Alabama has won 946 games, attended 75 bowl games, won 18 national titles, and 33 conference championships.

‘State’s tale of the tape? Four bowl games — just one in the last 60 years, four conference titles — none in 50 years, 440 wins and the 126th worst win percentage in football history: .402. New Mexico State has been in the AP poll just six times...and all of them were in 1960, the only year NSMU finished the season ranked. And it’s not just bad breaks. It’s bad-bad. The NMSU Aggies have an NCAA record that is not one any team should envy: they have been outscored by 200+ points over the course of a season 59 times.

The Ags don’t lose. They get blown the f’ out. And, of late, they’ve served as a remand home for disgraced coaches positively too toxic for even a Texax high school, or semi-retired once-decent names enjoying that dry desert weather and trying to resurrect their fortunes. And it has not once, ever, been successful in either case. It’s a record of hopelessness so enduring, that national broadcasters, the County Historical Society, and even the school’s media guide know the Aggies suck:

Despite some impressive single game wins and individual player stats, the Aggies have struggled as a team in the days since Woodson and 1960. Since his departure, Aggie football has spiraled into an abyss of perennial futility that some Aggie fans have begun to refer to as the “Woodson Curse.” In the 50+ seasons since Woodson’s firing, NMSU has amassed just four winning seasons, while failing to appear in a single bowl game until the 2017 Arizona Bowl.[12] From 1968 to 1985, NMSU’s football program declined, failing to reach a single bowl game and struggling to win football games. The Aggies’ best season during this time period was a 5–5–1 mark in 1971 under head coach Jim Wood.

In some fairness, you can at least understand New Mexico State’s failures. It is the ag school in a very poor state, in the poorest part of that state, just an hour’s drive from the far-more-happening-and-fun city of UTEP, in a place that produces almost no FBS talent. And, what high-end talent does emerge from New Mexico, goes to Texas and Oklahoma. The average guys wind up going to UTEP and New Mexico, or walking-on at places like Arizona. Those half-chewed scraps from UTEP’s plate land in Mesilla Valley: where the Mexican opiates are plentiful, the Mexican food is good, the cops are notoriously bad, and even the red wastes of the Las Cruces scenery lack the charm of the Sonora.

But, at least you’ll lose by seven touchdowns!

So, while a place like FIU may be a slumbering giant for the right man, with the right vision and skill and drive, you cannot say the same for New Mexico State. It’s a hard job for hard people hard on their luck, a place where marginal talent is by every definition of the word marginal. It’s difficult to imagine few places in the collegiate landscape that are quite the dead-ender of being exiled to the Aggies sideline. This is the real Last Chance U...because it is frequently the Only Chance U.

Recovering addicts always say, “I had to hit rock bottom.”
If college football were a drug, then this is that bottom.

On Saturday, these two will meet in what could be one of the worst games you’ll ever see...if you could see it. This matchup is so terrible that in the year of our Lord 2022, there’s not even a streaming option available.

And that’s probably for the best.

Tale of the Tape

Unwatchable Filth: 2022 Week 5

Total Offense 125th 118th
Rushing Offense 100th 127th
Passing Offense 130th 120th
PPG 117th, 15 PPG 130th, 6 PPG
Turnover Margin 129, -10 49th, +1
Penalties 89th 104th
Total Defense 95th 129th
Rushing Defense 117th 112th
Passing Defense 83rd 128th
Scoring Defese 111th, 34.8 PPG 130th, 50.3 PPG
Opp. Adj. Offense 128th 131st
Opp. Adj. Defense 131st 130th
Special Teams 131st 130th
Ranking 131st 130th
Worst Loss 66-7, Wisconsin 73-0 WKU
Best Win 45-26, Hawaii 38-37 Bryant (FCS)


Who ya’ got?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    New Mexico State
    (116 votes)
  • 42%
    (87 votes)
203 votes total Vote Now