The clock is ticking towards the start of the 2013 college football betting campaign, and as a part of the preparation for the year, we take a look at the Top 10 Worst ATS teams in the country from 2012.
1: Virginia Cavaliers – The Hoos were disappointing all season last year. The club was nearly beaten by Penn State at home at the outset of the year, and the rest of the non-conference schedule proved to be far too tough to survive. An offense that was held in the teens five times and to seven once in addition to that was really the big time problem. The chance is going to be there to improve in the ACC this season from a dreadful 2-9-1 ATS season, but it’s going to be a long road back to respectability for the men from Charlottesville.
2: Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles – Each and every season, the Golden Eagles were amongst the best teams in Conference USA, and it was only two years ago that they were threatening to bust the BCS. Then Larry Fedora left the program, and the team scrambled to get Ellis Johnson. Johnson was a nightmare, as he led the team to a totally winless 0-12 record and a 3-9 ATS mark. Johnson was supposed to be a defensive mastermind, but his team allowed at least 34 points in each of its last three games of the year and a total of nine times in 12 games last season. Things can’t get any worse for Southern Miss this year for sure.
3: Idaho Vandals – At least the Vandals beat New Mexico State! Let’s face the facts here: The whole WAC was a disaster last season, and there’s a reason that the conference isn’t playing football any longer. Idaho covered three games last season, and it was a dog of 37 points and a dog of 40 points in the last two. It wasn’t a shame to be beaten by Eastern Washington in the first game of the season, but to get beaten in the Kibbie Dome by an FCS team by 17 points in a game that was frankly never even remotely close is a huge disgrace, especially when you factor in the losses to then rising FBS schools Texas San Antonio (at home!) and Texas State.
4: Colorado Buffaloes – Are the Buffs ever really going to be a power in college football again? It’s a tough call to make for sure, and the argument could be made that they just are going absolutely nowhere. They only won one game last season, that coming in a huge come-from-behind effort against Washington State on the road. What’s worse is that the club hasn’t won a game in Boulder since November 12th, 2011. Colorado went 3-9 ATS last season, and it is now 5-17 ATS in its last 22 games dating back to Week 3 of the 2011 campaign.
5: Kentucky Wildcats – Head Coach Joker Phillips did everything that he could to try to make the Wildcats relevant, but the truth of the matter is that in the SEC, something has to give on a regular basis, and in this case, it was Kentucky. The Wildcats not only went 3-9 ATS, but they won just two games all season long as well. The Cats haven’t won an SEC game on the road since winning Between the Hedges in Georgia on November 21st, 2009, and that’s just not going to cut it in the best conference in America. Matters don’t look good this year either, but new Head Coach Mark Stoops is going to get this team turned around at some point.
6: Illinois Fighting Illini – The Illini have been a disaster for years, and last season’s 2-10 effort was no different. The team went just 3-9 ATS, making it the worst team from both an SU and an ATS standpoint in the Big Ten. The team also went 0-5 ATS on the road, losing four of those five games by at least 30 points. That’s eight road losses in a row dating back to 2011, and the last time that the team beat any team not named Indiana in the conference on the road was back in 2010 when the Illini upset Penn State 33-13.
7: California Golden Bears – Head Coach Jeff Tedford always had his work cut out for him in Berkeley, but in the end, the rise of Stanford and the fact that the team could never figure out how to surpass USC, even when it was on bowl ban, was enough to get him canned. The alumni probably didn’t like that 3-9 ATS mark, including the 1-6 ATS record when playing at home last season. The team lost its last five games of the season, and if you didn’t know that Tedford was going to be gone before the trip to Corvallis on November 17th, you knew it when the Golden Bears were beaten 62-14. The team finished out the season with those five straight losses and five straight ATS losses as well.
8: Florida State Seminoles – The Seminoles have historically been a very square team, and last year was no exception whatsoever. They were only 4-9 ATS last season when you include the Orange Bowl win against Northern Illinois, but they really didn’t play a lot of great games in big time spots. The club didn’t cover a single road game last year, and it was knocked out of the National Championship picture when it was beaten by NC State on the road in October. This year’s team is going to have to do without QB EJ Manuel, who was the first quarterback taken in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills.
9: Air Force Falcons – The Falcons only went 3-10 ATS when you include in their bowl game last year, and that was odd considering the fact that this is a team that is always at least respectable from an ATS standpoint. However, last season was a bad one down the stretch for Air Force, as it finished up with losses in four of its last five games, and the only win came against a dismal Hawaii outfit which never seems to win games, especially on the road. The offense averaged 33.0 points per game in its first nine games, but it averaged just 16.0 points per game after that without the schedule really getting all that much more difficult.
10: Arkansas Razorbacks – Life in the SEC has been tough, and life in the SEC West was even more difficult. With the emergence of Texas A&M as a threat, Arkansas was really left out to dry, and the team just never had a chance to get going last year. A loss at home against Louisiana Monroe proved to be the beginning of the end for a team that was once ranked in the Top 15 in the nation, as the very next week came an unexpected home loss against Rutgers, followed by the 58-10 romp at the hands of the hated Aggies. The only wins the rest of the season came against lowly Auburn, lowly Kentucky, and Tulsa, and most of the rest of the games weren’t really all that competitive. In all, the Hogs went just 3-8 ATS on the season, and their defense was often the cause of their demise.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.