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Bottom 64 Sports Universities

These schools are in a special category.  Our bottom 64 basketball teams listed above are simply the worse at playing hoops in a competitive manner. We know many of them are fine colleges and universities if you do not care about athletic excellence. Our bottom 64 sports schools listed here, however, are actually highly competent at basketball and American football, but the worse in combined academics/research, NCAA violations and/or scandals. We are thinking that our 1-25 on this list might be better off just declaring their respective athletic departments professional sports clubs (European style), pay their athletes a decent salary (with option for tuition waiver if they happen to desire a college degree from that institution), and have them compete among each other in a Division I-Plus College-Pro League with their own separate conference and playoff scheme.

Our Top 25 of the Bottom 64 (Who already compete in a Div I-Plus, but need professional club status):

1. Southern Methodist University. Their Death Sentence in American football gains them finalist position, and their perennially weak academic programs gains them the cherished Number One position as the university that minimally needs to exist. But give them an SMU Sporting Club right next to campus and professional salaries for their “student-athletes.”

2. University of Louisville. The latest scandal over the basketball program is the tip of the iceberg. How embarrassing that this low-grade academic institution is actually a member of the once-prestigious ACC.  Since this is a public university, it needs to exist as a source of economical education for the residents of the state of Kentucky, but otherwise, we would recommend closing it down at the same pace as SMU: quickly. Or let the Louisville Athletic Club sponsor not only the athletic department at U of L but also the city of Louisville’s little league teams.

3. University of Alabama. The pros assure us this is not true, but we still think the football team could compete well in American football with the bottom 5 the NFL. The research and teaching mission is among the lowest in the Power 5, far below regional competitors such as the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Tennessee and even Mississippi State. No recent scandals, but their record with the NCAA is not clean. The best thing you can say about this place is they really know how not to air their dirty laundry, and their coach knows how to project the image of a really good guy. If they cannot commit to building a real research university, let them convert their professional athletic club (with a state-of-art training facilities) into something legitimately professional for all concerned. 

4. Auburn University. Their investment in research is slightly superior to the University of Alabama. Their public scandals and known NCAA violations are worse. We will not forget the Auburn fan with the sign at the game when their quarterback Cam Newton was revealed as a recipient of big bills: “Of course we paid him: he is worth it.”

5. Florida State University. Competes well in research and athletics with Auburn and UConn. The most memorable NCAA violation was the 61 athletes caught cheating on exams a few years ago.

6. University of Connecticut. Unlike the University of Texas, they seem to have ways to funnel more big bills toward athletics than research. Placing them into this elite 25 semi-professional league could well improve their American football program, too.

7. Baylor University. This place has made a lot of gestures toward an increased research agenda and attention to education in the last fifteen years. But their record in athletics is among the worst in NCAA violations and serious crime.

8. University of Miami. An insider and honored athletic contributor now in federal prison as a narco? This, along with the rest of the NCAA violations over the years ,make this private university a place that just might better off ceasing to exist as a university. Besides, the undergrads can find plenty of places to party in Miami other than this quasi-university. The only reason this institution has failed to make the top 5 is a strong research faculty in several areas.

9. University of Memphis. Remember what happened after they won a national basketball championship? Enough said. 

10. UTEP (University of Texas-El Paso). Check out the background of the coaches they hire, you will understand. Read more, and it gets worse.

11. The University of Kentucky. Their strong academic programs in some areas keeps them out of the elite top 10. Barely. Their semi-pro basketball team, however, with its attendant “one year and done” recruitment strategy places them squarely in the top 25. The Board of Regents should be embarrassed, but one has the impression they are actually proud of the state of affairs at their flagship university. The record can be traced back to the 1951 point-shaving scandal, so their place among the schools who should be made professional sports clubs has a long track record. Their downtown basketball arena is ready-made as a professional sporting club.

12. Mississippi State University. They are fully credentialed to enjoy a lofty spot on our top ten, but their substantial investment in research precludes this possibility. We hope their athletic director does not lose his position over this ranking. 

13. UNLV. LV stands for Las Vegas. The more you read, the worse it gets.

14. University of Oklahoma. We are seriously impressed with their academic and educational endeavors, from their top-flight journal World Literature Today, its international profile in bringing Nobel Laureate writers to Norman, to their National Merit Scholars on campus. Investment in research is modest, however, and athletically gifted felons in the dorms has been an attendant problem.

15. LSU. Long history of NCAA violations.

16. Clemson. Not much academically, plus recent violations 

17. South Carolina. Competes well with Clemson on most fronts. 

18. NC State. Similar to 16 and 17. 

19. The University of Florida. The football empire built from 1984 through 1990s was based on Charlie Pell’s NCAA violations. Just when things sounding much worse than FSU and Miami, the media dropped the story. One saving grace: this place has investments in research unknown in Miami and Tallahasee.

20. University of Tennessee. Some strong academic and research programs keeps this school out of the select worse 10. Along with Georgia and Tennessee, this is a pretty good research institution that pays serious attention to its educational mission. 

21. University of Georgia. Arguably the best research university of the SEC. Six major NCAA violations, with total of nine years of probation.

22. Penn State University. From the outside, this place looks a lot like OSU and Michigan in terms of research and education, but not really. Hidden in rural Pennsylvania is a lot of academic mediocrity driven by a lot of student and faculty malaise (check out their figures on student alcoholism) as well as the worse athletic scandals. 

23. The Ohio State University. This place is highly qualified for both the top 25 and the 26-64 list. Among the best in research and worst in athletic violations. Just the debate over what to do with OSU could delay the finalization of this plan for a top 25 set of professional athletic clubs based in universities. Our argument in favor of OSU in the top 25 is the following: whom do you want to see OSU to play on your TV on football Saturday: Alabama or Minnesota? Case closed.

24. University of Colorado. They have not had a known felon on their football team since they joined the PAC-12. They do have a Nobel Laureate on their faculty and substantial investment in research in the sciences. They house a lot of California undergraduates and former east coast professors who are there for the cool scene, but much of CU is more about frivolous use of state resources rather than criminal activity. Both the university academic administration and the athletic program, however, do get caught in scandals with regularity. They were among the pioneers in getting caught with their sex scandals in recruitment, but to be fair, that was bad luck in a sphere already well explored by several competitors.(Like Minnesota and Oregon, they are inept as cheaters.) The sky is the limit as a venue for a professional athletic club associated with a university in Boulder, right at the foot of the Rockies. 

25. University of Southern California. A few powerhouse research programs keeps USC out of the select 10, but the complex management schemes to reimburse student-athletes assures their place among the semi-pro athletic club schools that should compete with each other. They already have a training facility better than the Rams or Chargers. The only remaining question: can the professional Trojans compete for fans with the Rams and Chargers?

Our Next 41 of Bottom 64 (Who should compete in Div I, but not compete with pro-am club schools above): 

26. The University of Notre Dame. This is probably the only school that desires to be on our top 25, but they don’t cheat enough. Their weak research agenda keep them in the realm of our 25 too, but their undergraduate educational mission is reasonably sound.

27. The University of North Carolina. O.K. , so they have been caught cheating on grades. Their investment in research and overall academic mission are comparable to their nearest competitors, Duke and Georgia. i.e. tops in the nation. Their NCAA violations are petty. We say get the likes of Louisville out of the ACC and let UNC prosper as a real academic institution, competing with amateurs. 

28. University of Louisiana-Lafayette. We know articulate philosophers who could argue eloquently for this place to have a spot among the top 25 for they have been cheating in with big bills and grades from back in the day when it was known as Southwestern Louisiana.  We think this place would better serve the State of Louisiana as a real university, for there is no legitimate second tier educational option to Louisiana State. Since they could not close down after the worse of their violations, they did the next best thing: they changed their name. Something the likes of SMU, Miami and Louisville might want to consider. How about a renovated and clean athletic club/research university called the University of Caiifornia at Venice Beach Trojans? 

29. University of Minnesota. This truly preeminent research university, like Notre Dame, simply is not very good at cheating. 

30. University of Oregon. They got caught by the NCAA over a minor peccadillo: a mere $25,000 for access to the fastest tailbacks in the state of Texas. Immediately they bowed out of the big- bill-for-athletes competition quietly, but quickly. Squeeky clean ever since Chip Kelly departed—and just not fast. They do not compete minimally with Minnesota or UC-Berkeley in research investment either, but will usually compete with them reasonably well in most sports.

31. University of California-Berkeley. They get caught by the NCAA for having their hands in the cookie jar once in a while, but this place is so deeply research and educationally oriented that they would never fit well into our professional sport club model. Let them compete with Texas in football, Michigan in basketball, Harvard in the classics, and MIT in computer science. 

32. The University of Texas. At least they have funneled, over the years, as many big bills into research and education as sports, probably more. We think they should compete in sports with the likes of Cal, Kansas, and Minnesota. And we really like their library collection, which in some areas is the best to be found anywhere in the world. 

[In March of 2019 we promise to provide the final, full and updated version of our worse 64 athletic violators, along with inside info on how academically legitimate these institutions we call universities really are. You must read this before sending your child to college.]

The Bottom 64 College Basketball Teams 2017-18


1. Delaware St. 4-28 (Hoping the NCAA initiates an NBA-style lottery opening the door for a 2018 McDonald's All-American in their starting lineup next year.)
2. Incarnate Word 7-21 (Everyone on campus is praying the coach isn't fired.)

3. Alcorn 11-21 (Back in the day, when college ballers never saw bills larger than $50, Alcorn had a lot of fun fun playing in the NAIA  tournament in Kansas City. 2018 has not been that much fun in Div I.)

4. Alabama A&M 3-28 (Let's hope someone in the state of Alabama can provide advice on how to get larger bills into the hands of more talented budding scholars with good hand-eye coordination from 3-point range and related scholarly endeavors.)

5. Houston-Baptist 6-25 (Crushing early season overtime loss in Detroit left them singing Aretha Franklin's "Respect" all season, but they never really got even just a little bit.)

6. So. Carolina-Upsate 7-25 (Future scholars more attracted to nearby  PhD- granting programs in UNC, Duke and Kentucky.)

7. Coppin St. 5-27 (Have made it to the Big Dance before, but seem to have left dancing shoes in locker room this season.)

8. Northwestern St 4-25 (The other Northwestern at least has the alibi of high academic standards.)

9. Bryant 3-28 (Might try scheduling more games with teams on this list; less with teams known in Vegas.)

10. Cal State-Northridge 6-24 (Rumored that co-eds have seen more big bills from nearby B-film industry than ballers from LA sports agents. Thinking more empirically, this team one of two worse 64 bottom feeders from Big West. The Northridge women, happily, are headed in March 2018 to the women's final 64 among top winners; rumored to beat the men at practices)

11. Howard 11-23 (For Howard, this season was an anomaly.)

12.Longwood 7-26 (Academic and athletic recognition more likely in future than present)

13. Maine 6-26. (Recruitment to this campus is a special challenge.)

14. American University. (They accept only 25% of applications and tuition is pricey. So not a bad place to study and hang out for 4 years even if it has no Ivy.  At 6-24 they did outperform most Ivy League schools in athletic incompetence.)

15. Alabama St (As we pointed out with the other underachieving Alabama school, consultation with in-state neighbors might begin a useful process of getting big bills into the hands of more gifted late bloomers (who were probably dunking in junior high) and now aspire to appreciate more fully the glories of Chaucer.  

16. Chicago St 3-29 (Coach is trying to lift spirits hosting post season game with U of Chicago, but the South Siders want to send their debate team).

17. Dartmouth 7-20 (The chancellor is on hot seat: Penn has the most Ivy Leaguers who can jump and Columbia has its locker room full of the most professors of Ivy League

 who have been invited to the Big Dance in Stockholm each December, returning with those MVP awards that academics call the Nobel.)

18. Florida A&M 9-25. (This school collects very small bills for a college degree and  let's 5-6 other Florida schools take care of collecting and dispensing the big bills. With orange and green colors on their lively Ratttlers and Lady rattlers, hardly anybody worries about won-loss column.)

19. South Carolina St, 1010-27. (As with the other small SC school in our rankings, tough  recruiting the best ballers surrounded by eminent doctoral programs at the likes of Kentucky, UNC, Duke...)

(We will carry on throughout March Madness.)

20.Jackson St 12-20 (We really like the school's commitment to research and we are ecstatic every time we see The Sonic Boom of the South--itsSouth--its nationally renowned marching band. But you might want to schedule your trip to enjoy these two pearls of academic eminence at some time of year other than the basketball season...)

21. Rice 7-24 (This team has been bad for so long you gotta start wondering If a school that has a small nocturnal bird that sleeps all day for the mascot is at all serious about this stuff...)+

22. Youngstown St. 6-24 (Their distinguished alumni include a lot of NFL players, one NBA players, and one Lithouanian who enhanced his scholarly credentials and returned to his homeland for advanced basketball studies...)

23. Stetson. 12-20.  The Hatters are the opposite of UC Santa Cruz: they pride themselv on being a "military-military-industrial complex friendly" school. Everything is, indeed, very friendly about this place: they happily accept well over half the students who apply and if they invite to you for a friendly game of boys basketball they will treat you with Southern hospitality.

24. Charlotte 6-23 (Manager rumored to fill water bottles with mint julips)

25. Marist 6-25 (Coach trying to cut survival deal with Metatrón and minor archangels)

26. A&M Corpus Christi

27. Loyola Maryland  9-22. (Faculty really good; women faculty outplay this team during lunch hour instead of doing Zumba class.).

28. Sacred Heart 10-21 (Might be consulting with the head dude among archangeles, Metraton, as recruitment deadlines approach.

29. Morgan St. 13-18. Div II was more fun. 

30. Binghamton. 11-20.( Chancellor favors Ph.D. programs over sports.)

31. Presbyterian. 11.21. (Rumored to be drinking more whistkey than usual.)

32. Detoit Mercy. 8-24. (Had some good victories early in season.)

33. Pepperdine. (Old powerhouse used to bhe on the cover of basketball magaines; Excellent academics and college experinece; needs to balance better their high moral principles with the big bills used by competition)


34. Columbia University. Has more Nobel Laureates than any other Ivy League school and zero McDonalds All-Americans. Might consider cutting a deal with University of Kentucky in which Columbia exchanges 50% of their Nobel Laureates for 50% of Kentucky’s McDonalds All-Americans. Let’s face it: Columbia has too many Nobel Laureates and Kentucky has too many McDonalds All Americans. 

35. VMI. Excels more in military formations than zone defenses. 

36. San José State. Only five more months until American tackle football season. Or a few more days until the little Giants start the A-league schedule for 2018. We recommend everyone on campus check out our Top 64 Baseball Teams and Venues. 

37. Louisiana- Lafayette. Formerly Southwestern University. After this basketball season, might want to discretely rename this university again. 

38. Arkansas—Pine Bluff. UAPB has a woman on the 2018 pre-season all-SWAC softball team. We are thinking a Rhodes Scholarship (or spot on our forthcoming top 64 women’s softball list) might well be a nice yin and yang scenario for UAPB. 

39. Northern Arizona—When this team plays, the ski resorts prepare for high volume.

40. University of New Hamphire. Another institution providing strong community support… for local outdoor sports industry. 

41. Sacramento State.  Commuter campus in which few students even know they play boys basketball on a competitive basis. Actually, they do not compete very much. Thus, one of the few places in which the chancellor could transfer the funds from athletics to academics….and hardly anyone would notice. Basketball fans tend to follow nearby Kings, Warriors. 

42. UT-Martin. Same focus as Chattanooga.

43. UT-Chattanooga. In Tennessee, lots of focus on how many more days remain until American tackle football season begins. 

44. Southern University.  Without our bottom 64, there would be no top 64, no March Madness.

45. Arkansas—Little Rock. Everyone pleased that women’s golf season beginning late March.

46. Cal Poly. They excel in thinking here. Coach thinking about how to train them not to overthink. Almost everyone on campus thinks next year will be better.

47. Wisconsin—Green Bay. One of the other Wisconsin schools is fading out its English Department. Governor might consider terminating this basketball program quickly and transferring the funds across state to save English. We support everyone in Green Bay carrying placards reading “Ban Basketball, Save English.” 

48. Western Illinois. Women’s tennis begins on March 29. 

49. Kennesaw State. At 35,000, this Georgia institution is one of top 50 largest in U.S. 


[On the loser bubbcoschle: Portland and Omaha]

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