Not since the New Jersey Institute of Technology did it in the 2007-2008 season has a team managed to run the table on losses, but there's been at least one one-win team every season since then. NJIT also makes that list which includes Bryant, Marist, Centenary (R.I.P) and Towson (thanks, UNC-Wilmington).
So, with 13 winless teams remaining, it's time to start asking that question: Which teams have the best chance of losing every game they'll play this season?
I found three, and I ranked them by likelihood of complete failure.
3. Louisiana-Monroe (0-2)
Pomeroy chance of winless record: 0.4%
The key with a lot of this is scheduling, and while winless teams like Alabama State, Mississippi Valley State, Idaho State, Jackson State and Liberty aren't looking great, they all are basically guaranteed at least one win because they're all either surrounded by terrible teams in the SWAC or they have a non-D-I team on their schedule. Liberty even has three games against non-D-I teams coming up. Ugh.
Such is not the case with Louisiana-Monroe, so here they are. The Warhawks lost three starters from their three-win team, but for some reason (probably because he's been credited with fixing their academic woes) gave third-year head coach Keith Richard a contract extension before this season. With losses to Oklahoma and Louisiana Tech (Richard's former team) behind them, we don't have much to gauge ULM by, so I'm relying on Pomeroy's projections a lot here. Monroe has no non-D-I opponents on the schedule but could ruin everything with a win over Southeastern Louisiana or Southern.
2. Grambling (0-5)
Pomeroy chance of winless record: 9.1%
A lot of bad things came together to set the Tigers up for failure before this season had even started. Due to continued low APR scores, the NCAA hit Grambling with sanctions that didn't allow them to start practicing until the season had almost begun and seriously limits the amount of time that they can practice each week. The Tigers also lost further scholarships, leaving just 10 spots.
Add to that only one returning starter, and first-year head coach Joe Price, the former Notre Dame player and Lamar assistant, has a daunting road ahead of him. Price has to find a way to replace the scoring of Quincy Roberts, who last season accounted for 44.3 percent of the Tigers' points, but he seems eager to give it his best shot.
As a member of the lowest-rated conference in all the land, the SWAC, Grambling will have plenty of chances to snare that elusive win despite all their hardship. The Tigers are set to face nine teams that are rated 300th or worse by Pomeroy, but still aren't favored in any of those games because of their offensive (0.729) and defensive (1.20) efficiencies, which both rank among the four least efficient teams in the nation. No non-D-I teams are on the schedule.
The Tigers were almost as inefficient last season, but still picked off four wins in their easy conference schedule, and that's why they aren't my favorite to run the table.
1. Maryland Eastern Shore (0-6)
Pomeroy chance of winless record: 1.9%
You wouldn't know it by their mascot, but the Fighting Hawks have posted just one winning season since 1974. They haven't been relevant in the MEAC race in a very long time, and fifth-year head coach Frankie Allen is certainly on the hot seat. They're my darkhose selection to run the table this season.
UMES is trying to replace three of their most efficient starters, and brought in a pair of D-I transfers in Kyree Jones (Northern Illinois) and Troy Snyder (Green Bay) to help, but so far nothing is working. The Hawks (can I call them that?) are scoring 0.82 ppp and allowing 1.065 ppp and have already managed to lose to a pair of really bads team in Arkansas-Pine Bluff, a team ranked 339th by Pomeroy, by 10 points, and Houston Baptist, ranked 325th, by 15 points.
UMES gets my nod, because they don't have nearly the number of chances that Grambling does to squeak out a win. The Hawks are slated to face no non-D-I teams, but will get their best shot at wins when they face Coppin State (twice), Howard, Florida A&M and North Carolina A&T. Pomeroy doesn't favor UMES in any of those matchups.