Legendary sportswriter Wendell Barnhouse recently left the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and is now a correspondent for Big 12 Sports.com. With 30 years experience of observing the college scene, his expertise is unmatched. In the spirit of Steve Harvey's Bottom Ten, Wendell will provide us a capsule look at college football's less fortunate, counting down the Bottom 25 teams in Division I-A football.
No. 9 Eastern Michigan
Location: Ypsilanti, Mich.
Conference: Mid-American, East Division.
Coach: Jeff Genyk, 13-33 in five seasons.
Division I-A history: 425-498-47 in 115 seasons, .462 winning percentage.
Last bowl season: 1987.
Best record last five years: 4-7 in 2004 and 2005.
Rank(ed) because: Unfulfilled promises. The Eagles have spent the last few seasons appearing to be a team ready to turn the corner. The corner is still there and Eastern Michigan's turn signal is still blinking. Over the last three seasons, the Eagles have 12 losses decided by eight or fewer points. This is a program that has yet to learn how to win.
Negative number: Since finishing 6-5 in 1995, the program's last winning season, Eastern Michigan is 35-89.
Possible victory: Indiana State, Aug. 28. The Sycamores have lost 31 of their last 32 games. Eastern Michigan should be able to make it 32 out of 33.
Biggest blowout: At Michigan State, Sept. 6. A victory followed by a loss. The Eagles aren't ready to compete in a Big Ten Conference road game.
Is there hope?: For Genyk, there had better be hope — and victories — in this, his fifth season. This season's team is experienced — 16 returning starters and 46 lettermen. That needs to translate into more than three or four victories.
Thanks to the Helmet Project.