Thursday, August 21, 2008

Barnhouse's Bottom 25: New Mexico State

Legendary sportswriter Wendell Barnhouse recently left the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and is now a correspondent for Big 12 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. 10 New Mexico State
Location: Las Cruces, N.M.
Nickname: Aggies.
Conference: Western Athletic.
Coach: Hal Mumme, 8-29 in three seasons, 115-93-1 overall in 17 seasons.
Division I-A history: 410-538-31 in 112 seasons, .434 winning percentage.
Last bowl season: 1960.
Best record last five years: 5-6 in 2004.
Rank(ed) because: Hal "The Mad Bomber" Mumme has yet to produce a winning season in Las Cruces despite his offense putting up Arena Football League numbers. Even worse, of the eight victories the Aggies have bagged over Mumme's three seasons, only four have come against Division I-A teams.
Negative number: Five. That's the number of statistical categories where the Aggies ranked in triple digits — 109th in rushing offense, 118th in kickoff returns, 105th in pass defense, 107th in scoring defense, 113th in turnover margin.
Possible victory: Nicholls State, Sept. 4. This is the only Division I-AA opponent on New Mexico State's schedule so it has to be a victory, right?
Biggest blowout: At Nebraska, Sept. 13. The Huskers' defense wants to prove it no longer resembles a sieve. Senior quarterback Chase Holbrook will be a moving target for Nebraska's pass rushers. Considering the Aggies' lack of success versus I-A teams, playing on the road against a BCS opponent could make for an ugly outcome.
Is there hope?: Mumme hired Joe Lee Dunn, a veteran coordinator from the Southeastern Conference, toughen up the Aggies' defense. If New Mexico State can start holding a few foes under 30 points, it might be able to beat some I-A teams.

Thanks to the Helmet Project.

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