Being in a Power Five conference comes with a lot of expectations. You play in the biggest and toughest conferences in all of college football and, on some level, are expected to win.
However, as every college football fan knows, there are always teams in the P5 conferences that find themselves at not only the lower end of their respective conference but at rock bottom of college football. Some of these teams are regulars with punch card memberships, while a few can find themselves at the bottom of the barrel every few years or so.
So, which teams are the worst of the worst after a quarter of the way into the college football season? We'll stick to the Power Five for this article for now...
Virginia Tech Hokies (1-3, 0-1)
Brent Pry's second year at Virginia Tech was supposed to show improvement from the 2021 season, but it looks like their 2023 season is headed towards the same result as their 2022 season, when the Hokies finished 3-8 with just one win in conference play. Some credit can be given to the Hokies as they scheduled two Power Five opponents for their non-conference schedule, but they failed to pick up wins in either game. The schedule is 50/50 right now for the Hokies, but they do have a chance of getting to four or five wins by the end of November.
Baylor Bears (1-3, 0-1)
The Baylor Bears have not had the start to 2023 that they were expecting. Following a Week 1 loss to Texas State, the Bears found themselves nearly upsetting the Utah Utes, and following a win over the LIU Sharks, they got blown out in their first conference game against the Texas Longhorns. Not all hope should be lost, but the Bears are going to have to pick up wins against the Big 12 newcomers as well as take care of business at home against Iowa State and West Virginia. Baylor could very well end up with six wins, but do not be surprised with another sub-.500 finish.
Stanford Cardinal (1-3, 0-2)
Unless a monumental upset takes place, the Stanford Cardinal will at best finish with one more win than what they currently have. After opening 2023 with a win over Hawaii, Stanford has dropped three straight games including a blowout loss to USC and an upset loss to FCS Sacramento State, and while the Hornets are one of the top FCS teams, that loss is unacceptable. Aside from Cal, the Cardinal have no chance of picking up wins for the rest of the season as they take on all of the Pac-12 top teams and Notre Dame. As it stands, Stanford also has the 111th-ranked scoring defense, allowing 32.75 points per game, and that's before the five more AP Top 25 teams left on the schedule.
Vanderbilt Commodores (2-3, 0-1)
The Vanderbilt Commodores have two wins, but do not let that fool you with where this team stands amongst Power Five teams. Vandy won two games they should have won, against Hawaii and Alabama A&M, to open the season but has lost three games in a row including to UNLV and two conference games. The Commodores put up three conference wins from 2019 to 2022 and all signs are pointing at that same level of production. However, in 2022, Vandy had two upset wins in conference play so maybe they can replicate that performance from a year ago to avoid a potential 10-loss season.
Virginia Cavaliers (0-4, 0-1)
From 2017-2019, the Virginia Cavaliers went 23-17 with three bowl appearances, and that was capped off with an appearance in the ACC title game and a New Year's Six Bowl Game. But in the years following, Virginia has fallen off, failing to finish above .500 from 2020-2022. This season has been no different, as they are one of four teams in all of college football without a win and are the only Power Five school that is still winless.
A crushing loss to in-state Sun Belt foe James Madison is the worst of the losses. And a defense giving up 418.5 yards per game ranks as one of the worst in the country. The Cavs have a tough schedule ahead of them but should pick up at least one win before the season ends as they play William & Mary on Oct. 7.
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