At Least SJSU Is Not In 'That' Club No More

If anything, San Jose State's first victory of the season last Saturday night over Cal Poly accomplished one thing. It removed the Spartans from a group that no team wants to belong to; the "Oh-Fer Club". Inside Sparta's R.P. Cotta takes a look at which teams are, unfortunately, still members.

With Saturday's win over the Cal-Poly Mustangs, the San Jose State Spartans have excused themselves from a club they really didn't want to belong to: The Oh-Fer Club, which is the society of winless FBS college football teams.

Because Spartans fans are able to commiserate with their less fortunate fans across the nation, as well as appreciate the relief of having at least one win, here is a review of who's still looking for their first win.

The Virginia Cavaliers are 0 – 3, having lost to William & Mary , 16th-ranked TCU, and Southern Mississippi. Yes, the William & Mary Tribe is an FCS (Division 1AA) school, but they are 4 – 0. After the first half of Saturday night's game against the Mustangs, San Jose State fans can certainly appreciate how a loss to even a good FCS team would feel. Spartans fans should also be able to appreciate Virginia's 2009 season, when they went 5 – 7, opening at No. 3-ranked USC and losing that game by a score of 52 – 7. The Rice Owls are still looking for their first win of the season, having lost to Alabama-Birmingham, Texas Tech, No.-16 Oklahoma State, and Vanderbilt.

It may be that the Mid-American Conference is just down on their luck, but three members of the Oh-Fer Club are from that conference. Miami of Ohio is 0 – 4, with losses to Kentucky; No. 12 Boise State, Western Michigan, and Kent State. The Eastern Michigan Eagles are 0 – 3, having lost to Army, Northwestern, and No. 25 Michigan. And the Ball State Cardinals are 0 – 4, with losses to North Texas, New Hampshire (FCS), Army, and Auburn, by a score of 54-30 (They scored 30 against Auburn?)

Over in the Sun Belt Conference, the Florida International Golden Panthers are off to an 0 – 3 start, losing to No. 4 Alabama, Rutgers, and Toledo. That's the same Alabama that San Jose State plays next year.

The Florida Atlantic Owls are also 0 – 3, losing to No. 24 Nebraska, South Carolina, and Louisiana-Monroe by a score of 27 – 25 (oh, so close!). The FBS Division's newest team, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers, have lost to Tennessee, South Florida, and Central Arkansas.

The New Mexico Lobos are also 0 – 4, losing to Texas A&M, Tulsa, Air Force, and rival New Mexico State. The Lobos are an interesting study, as they were San Jose State's last bowl game opponent in 2006. Since finishing that season at 6 – 7, New Mexico posted a 9 – 4 record in 2007, and fell to 4 – 8 in 2008. Hmmmmmmm . . .

Finally, the Nevada Wolf Pack are still looking for their first win of the season. Their 0 – 3 record has come at the hands of Notre Dame, Colorado State, and Missouri, though they did come so close to upsetting Missouri.

At 1 – 3, the Spartans find themselves in plenty of good company. Those teams with just one win on the season include the Maryland (1 – 3), Louisville (1 – 2), Alabama-Birmingham (1 – 3), Memphis (1 – 3), UTEP (1 – 3), Tulane (1 – 2), Temple (1 – 2), Bowling Green (1 – 3), Akron (1 – 3), Buffalo (1 – 3), Washington State (1 – 3), Arkansas (1 – 2), Louisiana Tech (1 – 2), Utah State (1 – 2), Fresno State (1 – 3), San Diego State (1 – 3), Michigan State (1 – 3), Illinois (1-3) Purdue (1-3) and Colorado (1-2).

It is interesting to note that one of Purdue's three losses came at the hands of the Northern Illinois, 28 – 21. San Jose State's next opponent, the Idaho Vandals, with their surprising 3 – 1 record, beat the Huskies 34 – 31. It appears that the Spartans' October 10th Homecoming game against Idaho will be no cakewalk for the Spartans.

Not too many teams finish a 12-game season in the Oh-Fer Club. Last year, only the Washington Huskies ended up winless at 0 – 12, and they recently handed USC a big "L" this year. That's why they actually play the games, I guess.

The point is that San Jose State can't really count on any of this year's 10 winless candidates to finish the year in futility, thus keeping the Spartans out of college football's basement. But, even though Spartans fans must now surely know that it's a long and difficult march to the top, they must surely feel better about at least being out of the cellar.


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R. P. Cotta, Jr., is an Associate Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact R.P with any questions, comments, or tips at rpcottajr@insidesparta.com

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