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Fan Misery Index: Week 7 - Buttgers.

where we retroactively honor(?) the Scarlet Knights

NCAA Football: Illinois at Rutgers Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

In a sense, we owe Rutgers an apology. In another more tangible sense they owe everyone else an apology. Let’s call it even.

If you are unfamiliar with the rules of the Fan Misery Index, please read them here.

Last week a nest of ferrets took hold in the warm, dark servers here at Good Bull Hunting World Headquarters, and damned if those noxious varmints didn’t cause all manner of clerical errors. Most significant among them was the oversight of the fact that the Rutgers Scarlet Knights had already reached the summit nadir of fan sadness and landed in the Ninth Circle. In my defense, a) math is hard, and b) who honestly would expect Illinois to beat anybody by 21 points. Regardless, there they are and there they remain, sole proprietors of a special corner of fan hell reserved only for Harvey Updyke and people from New Jersey.

While there is no reason to believe that anything can pull Rutgers fans out of this spiral, they will receive no awards until the season is over beyond this special salute to a team who failed so doggedly and the fans that one assumes must exist somewhere.

Here’s the board:

Special thanks to user PF4L for putting together this animation!


  • In the inaugural year of this metric it’s not that hard to make history but we celebrate it nonetheless, which is why today we also salute the California Bears. You see, Cal was sitting pretty in the Second Circle with an easy upcoming win against despair giants UCLA in what is apparently the third-longest uninterrupted rivalry in college football. Instead, Cal gave up 150 rushing yards to a Chip Kelly coached RB on their way to a 30 point loss to a rival to complete a 3 game losing streak. Yes #FMI fans, we have our first triple-drop in metric history from the unlikeliest of games.
  • I want to take a moment to recognize the Army Black Knights, who are the only remaining team on the board to have yet to move a level up or down. Only a service academy could produce such a bulwark of unwavering resistance to change, a team not good enough to quicken the pulse nor bad enough to warrant a laugh at their expense. They are fine. Just fine.
  • Congrats to Purdue and fans of the Little Engine That Could. Enjoy your relative lack of happiness, may it somehow outlive the mayfly.
  • The Fan Misery Index is flawed. There is no other way to say it. We hold this up to be The One True Metric, and yet its wrongness sits there like a Big Red scar on its Sixth Circle. I am able to argue away almost any other detraction from the beauty of my opus, but there is no justification for Nebraska being only in the Sixth Circle. The current 10 game losing streak is the longest in school history. In fact, the Cornhuskers have never been 0-6 in their existence. Nebraska fans are a proud, hopeful people and they are currently in a state of abject despair. This will not do.

In my back pocket I have always considered the idea of simply awarding bonus drops/gains based on special circumstances. My hesitation is that over time the objectivity of the metric will be clouded by my own biases and schadenfreude. We need a codified rule, one that is simple, Boolean, and fair that encapsulates what is happening to the Cornhuskers so that we might right this wrong. Help me figure out that rule in the comments.