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Penn State Most 'Embarrassing' Team says Wall Street Journal

by on August 29, 2014 6:30 AM

Penn State football takes one on the chin in an article posted by the Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper rates the Nittany Lions as the single most "embarrassing" team in the nation. The only other team ranked anywhere close is North Carolina.

The rating, called the College Football Grid of Shame, is based on a number of factors and assigns teams positions on a grid which you can see HERE. The most "admirable" teams appear at the top of the grid. The most "embarrassing" teams go to the bottom. The "powerhouses" get pushed over to the far right -- the "weaklings" to the far left. Penn State is pushed over to the powerhouse side of the equation, but sinks to the very bottom on the embarrassing scale.

To come up with the powerhouse/weakling evaluations the Wall Street Journal says it used preseason ratings from several media outlets and predictive computer models all averaged together.

According to the WSJ the admirable/shame scale, "is trickier to quantify, of course, but there is data to help the cause." The newspaper says it used a weighted calculation of every team's academic performance, NCAA violations, probationary records, attendance figures, off-season arrests, funding the football team takes from the university or state and student fees used to subsidize the athletic departments.

The ratings also take into account the "ick factor," the-hard-to-identify something which apparently includes the "juiciest scandals."

Presumably, Penn State's ranking reflects lingering fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

It's interesting to note that Florida State, Alabama and Oklahoma all appear just slightly above Penn State on the shame/powerhouse section of the grid. Those three schools are No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 respectively in the USA Today rankings.

Generally, Big Ten teams did pretty well on the scale. Wisconsin, Nebraska, Northwestern, Indiana, Michigan,  Michigan State, Ohio State and Iowa all appear in the admirable/powerhouse section.

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Steve Bauer is Managing Editor & Chief Content Officer at StateCollege.com. Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy. You can e-mail Steve at Steve.Bauer@StateCollege.com and you can follow him on Twitter @SteveBauerSCcom
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