The Bottom Ten/Bowl Game Edition

The Bottom Ten/Bowl Game Edition
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Seldom has the bowl season seen such dire straits. With only 39 bowl games – down one from 2017 and 173 less than 2013’s high – not to mention a surplus of six (6)-win teams, there are no 5-7 teams playing in CrackWhore2U.com Bowls in frozen baseball stadiums this year.  

Sadder, there are only two games where both teams are 6-6, down from five (5) games last year where neither team had a winning record.

It gets worse. Last year, only half of the 80 bowl games featured two (2) teams with winning records. This year darn near three-quarters of all bowl games will feature teams with winning records, a figure which has the good folks at the Special Olympics ready to give somebody associated with college football a plaque or a ribbon or something.

Still, though, Duke – the Bottom Ten Team of the Decade for the Double Aughts – has a bowl game, so the coming weeks will not be complete competitive greatness.

So let’s open the manhole cover on the 2017-18 bowl season:  

1. Bahamas Bowl
Details: December 22; Thomas Robinson Stadium, Nassau, The Bahamas
Teams: UAB (8-4) vs Ohio (8-4)
Reasons To Watch: UAB defeated Bottom Ten champ UTEP and runner-up Rice, so you know they’re not too bad…Ohio actually pretty good, with a Top 20 rushing offense and a Top 10 rushing defense.
Reasons Not To Watch: UAB lost to B-10 finishers Charlotte and Ball State, so you know they’re not any good.
Bottom Line: Thomas Robinson Stadium almost as bad a bowl facility as Yankee Stadium, with 50-yard line seats a mere 130 feet from field, behind running track, long jump/triple jump pits, detention area for opposition leaders.

2. Military Bowl
Details: December 28; Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, Annapolis, Maryland
Teams: Virginia (6-6) vs Navy (6-6)
Reasons To Watch: You purchased a B-2 bomber from Northrop Grumman and you want to see what the 2018 models are looking like…A bowl game “purist”, you enjoying seeing two .500 teams playing in the freezing cold.
Reasons Not To Watch: Both teams are on a roll…Navy has lost six (6) of seven (7) while Virginia has lost five (5) of six (6)…Both have lost three (3) straight (straight).  Bottom Line: Great game to watch if you’re doing shots every time announcer says Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman.

3. Arizona Bowl
Details: December 29; Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Arizona
Teams: New Mexico State (6-6) vs Utah State (6-6)
Reasons To Watch: You’re “pretty sure” this is the first ever bowl matchup between two schools that used to be in the Big West, WAC and Sun Belt conferences together and don’t want to miss it…The in-laws are in a couple of days early for New Year’s and this safer way to annoy them than having affair with babysitter.
Reasons Not To Watch: This is the second and final thriller this bowl season between two teams not good enough to win more games than they lost…Both teams are nicknamed Aggies…Or maybe this is a reason to watch…Your B-10 pollsters are still researching this one.
Bottom Line: New Mexico State barely rushes for more than 100 yards a game, while Utah State gives up almost 220-yards rushing every game…Something’s got to give.

4. Rose Bowl
Details: January 1, 2018; The Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California.
Teams: Oklahoma (12-1) vs Georgia (12-1)
Reasons To Watch: You are Satan incarnate…Maybe ISIS will bomb west grandstand and you want to see the damage.
Reasons Not To Watch: Sooners and Bulldogs have no business playing in Rose Bowl. Bottom Line: With game being played on New Year’s Day and with both teams having played in one previous Rose Bowl, Rose Bowl fan(s) are able to save some shred of dignity, but otherwise game is considered nothing more than sacrilegious affront to God, flag and country.

5. Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl
Details: December 19; FAU Stadium, Boca Raton, Florida
Teams: Akron (7-6) vs Florida Atlantic (10-3)
Reasons To Watch: You’re watching every other goddamned bowl game, so you might as well watch this one, too.
Reasons Not To Watch: The wife wants to talk about the bills… The guy in the van you borrowed money from is knocking on the door and wants to stick something in your eye. Bottom Line: No, we don’t know what/who Cheribundi Tart Cherry is, either, but thank God they forked over money to sponsor this bowl or we would never know who’s better, Akron or Florida Atlantic.

6. Quick Lane Bowl
Details: December 26; Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan
Teams: Duke (6-6) vs Northern Illinois (8-4)
Reasons To Watch: You’re wondering if Duke can finish below .500 by losing a bowl game for the second time this decade…It’s the day after Christmas and you haven’t moved from your chair all day, so why start now?
Reasons Not To Watch: Duke has won one (1) bowl game since 1961…There is no reason to see if they can make it two (2).
Bottom Line: Used to be known as Little Caesar’s Bowl, but changed in 2014 when organizers realized people would rather get an oil change during a football game than order pizza.

7. Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
Details: December 21; Tropicana Field, St Petersburg, Florida
Teams: Temple (6-6) vs Florida International (8-4)
Reasons To Watch: Game might actually be pretty good, as Temple has won three (3) of four while FIU has won five (5) of seven (7).
Reasons Not To Watch: Game might not be any good, as neither team a master of football’s fundamentals, combining to average almost 14 penalties every game…You’re not entirely sure what/who a Gasparilla is/was and you are too embarrassed to ask.
Bottom Line: A match-up of former B-10 stalwarts, with teams expected to wear B-10 stickers on helmets to pay homage to humble origins.

8. Cotton Bowl
Details: December 29; AT&T Stadium, Dallas, Texas
Teams: USC (11-2) vs Ohio State (11-2)
Reasons To Watch: Should be one hell of a game.
Reasons Not To Watch: You’re feeling pouty because Pac-12/Big Ten champions meeting two days before New Year’s in northern Texas instead of on New Year’s Day in Pasadena.
Bottom Line: Don’t get us started.

9. College Football Playoff National Championship Game
Details: January 8, 2018; Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia
Teams: To be determined.
Reasons To Watch: You watch whatever ESPN chooses to spoonfeed us…You genuinely believe a four-team invitational that left out two (2) conference champions is way better than an NCAA Division I  Football Playoff.
Reasons Not To Watch: It’s Monday, January 8, a week after you’ve lost interest in college football…Besides, by watching you’re just encouraging them to keep this nonsense up.
Bottom Line: If a 32-team NCAA Division I Football Playoff had begun on December 2, the nation would be looking forward to the national quarterfinals this weekend instead of three (3) Sun Belt/Conference USA bowl game matchups.  

10. Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl – The NCAA Division III National Championship Game
Details: December 15; Salem Football Stadium, Salem, Virginia
Teams: Mary Hardin-Baylor (14-0) vs Mount Union (14-0)
Reasons To Watch: It’s a real, NCAA national championship game that culminates a 32-team tournament…We are not making that up…Nobody is on scholarship…These are real college kids playing their fifth playoff game – half their regular season – all the while juggling real classes and scamming chicks with football practice/games.
Reasons Not To Watch: You dislike watching the defending national champion take on an eleven-time champion looking for their first title since 2015.
Bottom Line: You’ll note that the players are a little smaller than you’re used to watching on Saturdays, and they’re a mite slower, but pound-for-pound it’s top-quality football…If you haven’t seen a Stagg Bowl, do yourself a favor and introduce yourself this year.

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The Bottom Ten/NFL Week 15

The Bottom Ten/NFL Week 15
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

It’s Cleveland and everyone else in the race for The Dan Henning Trophy – symbolic of NFL Bottom Ten supremacy.

Still. Again. 

With the Browns in command, Bottom Ten fan(s) everywhere have turned their attention to the final two spots on the Bottom Ten medal stand, currently occupied by the Broncos and Bears, who have combined to lose 13 straight, putting them ahead of the two (2)-win Bears and Giants.

This week’s imbroglio, as the nags are at the head of the stretch:   

1. Cleveland Browns (0-12; lost to Los Angeles Chargers 19-10) – All systems go for Browns in quest for 0-16, easily avenging 2016’s only victory…Turnovers key, as Browns seal win with fumble, interception on final two (2) drives…Browns 11th team to start NFL season 0-12…They were also the 10th…Next Loss: Green Bay

2. Denver Broncos (3-9; lost to Miami 35-9) – B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” Broncos first NFL team to have 2-to-1 Safeties Allowed-to-Touchdowns Scored Ratio in “like, a really long time”…Broncos easily retain B-10 runner-up spot with 8th straight loss, best among NFL’s victoried teams…Next Loss: New York (A)

3. Chicago Bears (3-9; lost to San Francisco 15-14) – Bears show strong finishing kick, getting outscored 6-0 in second half…Bears on B-10 medal stand despite having three (3) wins thanks to strength of hot, current five (5)-game losing skid……Next Loss: at Cincinnati

4. New York Giants (2-10; lost to Oakland 24-17) – Giants ownership so intent on complimenting Vince Lombardi trophies with Dan Henning Trophy they fired coach, GM immediately after game, making them take taxi home…Giants have lost two (2) straight and five (5) of seven (5)…Next Loss: Dallas

5. San Francisco 49ers (2-10; defeated Chicago 15-14) – 49ers inexplicably win despite only touchdown offense produces is interception return by Bears…Niners in a box, realistically needing to lose out to finish on B-10 medal stand…Next Loss: Houston

6. Rob Gronkowski Good gravy, Rob, that late hit on an opponent lying face down on the ground was cheap even by NFL standards…You got off easy, too, what with not being ejected and receiving only a one-game suspension…Maybe on appeal it will be upped to the rest of the season.

7. San Francisco at Chicago Neither offense can be bothered to produce touchdown in this thriller, as Niners and Bears keep regional audience on edge of seats, ending 13 of 14 (14) drives with thrilling kicks…49ers display mastery of fundamentals with eight (8) penalties.

8. Bottom Ten Game of the WeekB-10 pollsters working overtime to keep B-10 Game of the Week forms in stock…Usually only one or two a season are needed, but stockpile of crummy games in 2017 means B-10 Game of the Year voting will be closest in ages.

9. GOP Tax Reform Despite owning White House, Congressional majority, GOP utterly unable to produce seamless tax reform experience…No matter what comes out of House/Senate joint committee, it will do nothing to simplify our nine (9) million word tax code or end the government taking more of our money than they are entitled to.

10. AFC West (21-27) – Chiefs have lost four (4) straight, leaving top three (3) teams with 6-6 records…Despite 3-9 mark, Broncos only three (3) games out of first with four (4) to play.

This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Chicago at Cincinnati  
This Is Don Criqui Reporting: Dallas at New York (N)

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The Bottom Ten/NCAA Final

The Bottom Ten/NCAA Final
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

It’s all over. All hail the Miners!

While UTEP made a mockery of the Bottom Ten race – never particularly easy to do – claiming the ESPN Cup as the only 0-12 team, no less than five (5) teams finished 1-11, causing Bottom Ten pollsters to open their bar tabs and crunch the numbers.

The Group of Ones, as they are known, were ranked in the following categories: average margin of defeat, Total Offense, Total Defense and, since the complete inability to both run the football and stop others from doing same is so important to Bottom Ten success, Rushing Offense and Rushing Defense.

The Group of Ones were then issued points according to their ranking within the Group of Ones, these points were added up with the lowest point total getting the highest ranking. Then, strength of schedule points were factored in, with Bottom Ten pollsters calling for shots while declaring that entire bodies of work would be considered and not merely who lost earliest.

The final 2017 fiasco:  

1. UTEP (0-12)
Mitigating Factors: While 2016’s 4-8 set solid tone for this year, everyone in UTEP Nation taken by surprise as Miners run table for first ever B-10 title…Offense key to B-10 success, with UTEP ranking Dead Last in Total Offense and Scoring Offense, easily overcoming defense whose highest national ranking was only 119th in Rushing Defense.
2018 Outlook: Opener against lower level team could prove challenging, and their C-USA schedule will be a minefield, but UTEP could be at start of run that puts them squarely in B-10 Team of the Decade for the 20Teens conversation.

2. Rice (1-11)
Mitigating Factors: While Rice’s ranking within Group of Ones wasn’t particularly high, Owls get enough strength of schedule points to send them straight to B-10 runner-up spot as only win came against UTEP…With five (5) losing seasons in 20-Teens, Owls need to use 2017 momentum for strong finish to decade to really impress B-10 pollsters in hunt for B-10 Team of the Decade Award.  
2018 Outlook: Nicely hitting skids after three (3) straight bowl games, Owls are 9-27 past three (3) seasons and haven’t beaten major division team that has finished season with winning record since 2014.

3. Kansas (1-11)
Mitigating Factors: 2015 B-10 champions making themselves right at home on B-10 medal stand with second Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win – since 2012…With Memorial Stadium Renovation Fund still least-clicked link on Internet, athletic department officials now looking to play home games at renovated field at Lawrence East High School
2018 Outlook: Very Strong…Jayhawks have an average record of 1.9-10.1 this decade, so veteran B-10 fan(s) know you ignore Kansas at your peril.

4. Charlotte (1-11)
Mitigating Factors: 49ers actually had highest numbers ranking in Group of Ones, but big strength of schedule hit for win over bowl-bound UAB keeps 49ers off B-10 medal stand…Athletic Department refuses to confirm reports that players responsible for two-point conversion that sealed overtime UAB win were subjected to hazing before having scholarships revoked.
2018 Outlook: Fourth-year program at crossroads, but fan(s) confident 49ers will be able to turn corner and combine complete lack of tradition with coaches not good enough for ACC for continued B-10 success.

5. Oregon State (1-11)
Mitigating Factors: Only win came against lower level team…In past years this might well have gotten Beavers onto B-10 medal stand as B-10 pollsters didn’t penalize wins against lower level schools, but in change of policy B-10 pollsters decided to reward teams that accepted challenge of playing full, twelve game major-division schedule.
2018 Outlook: Excellent…Beavers are 7-29 past three (3) seasons and will be looking to put it all together in 2018.

6. Baylor (1-11)
Mitigating Factors: Baylor athletic department filing protest claiming loss to lower level Liberty, strength of schedule points for Kansas win, should entitle them to higher ranking…B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” Bears first team ever to parlay new stadium, humiliating sexual harassment scandal into B-10 glory.
2018 Outlook: Not good…2017 first season this decade that Bears haven’t appeared in bowl game and could be one of those rare B-10 “one and done” teams.

7. Earlham (0-10)
Mitigating Factors: Division III Quakers take home second consecutive Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in NATO – with 43 straight losses…Quakers can tie Macalester’s all-time D-III mark of 50 straight losses with 0-7 start in 2018…Head Coach Nick Johnson spending offseason preparing remarks for B-10 Tenny awards banquet, as consecutive Continental Cups entitle team, coach to automatic enshrinement in B-10 Hall of Fame.
2018 Outlook: Strong…Incoming crop of future hotel desk clerks and bank tellers might be Quakers weakest recruiting class yet.

8. Air Force (5-7)
Mitigating Factors: Despite record, Falcons soar into final B-10 survey by earning Sgt Bilko Trophy – symbolic of service academy lousiness…Air Force hampered in losses to Army and Navy by Secretary of Air Force ruling requiring lineman to use orange aviation cones to guide running backs instead of actually blocking for them.  
FunFact: Always tough to predict service academies, though B-10 pollsters hopeful at least one service academy will start sucking again as latest crop of officer candidates always prime source of material.

9. Ball State (2-10)
Mitigating Factors: Another team hurt by win over UAB, Cardinals finished strong with nine (9)-game skid…While not on medal stand, Cardinals getting lots of respect nationwide for running table in always-tough MAC, losing eight (8) MAC games by average score of 46.1-to-11.8…Cardinals 13-game conference losing skid currently best in country.
2018 Outlook: Fair…Ball State has lost 17 of 20, but so has everyone else in the MAC…Returning to B-10 glory could be tough.

10. Conference USA
Mitigating Factors: Though non-conference record not as bad as Sun Belt’s – no one’s non-conference record is ever as bad as the Sun Belt’s –  C-USA still easy pick for coveted B-10 Conference of the Year award with 40 percent of final 2017 survey either the conference itself or one of its teams…Only Charlotte win over UAB prevented complete C-USA occupation of B-10 medal stand.
2018 Outlook: Will be strong pick to defend title, though B-10 fan(s) everywhere know you ignore the Sun Belt Conference at your peril…Regardless, C-USA expected to again rebound for strong .500 conference play mark in 2018.

Bottom Ten Alumni Association: Only Earlham, Kansas and Rice – as part of hilarious Trilateral Commission entry with Duke and Vanderbilt – returned from the 2016 final Bottom Ten survey in 2017.

Yeah, Great Prognosticating Skills, Guys: Earlham, Rice, Oregon State and Conference USA are the only entries from the 2017 Week 1 survey to go the distance and be ranked this week.

Next Week: The Bottom Ten Bowl Game Edition!

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December 2, 2017

Friends, The Daily Dose and The Thought for the Day will be taking some time off. At least this week, maybe more. We’ll see.

The Bottom Ten, of course, will run as scheduled. The second coming wouldn’t stop that. The final NCAA Bottom Ten survey of 2017 will run Tuesday and the following week it will be the traditional Bottom Ten Bowl Game Edition. The NFL Bottom Ten will continue to move on Wednesday and the entire fiasco will end with the return of the Bottom Ten Best Of edition in early January.

But The Daily Dose and The Thought for the Day need a break. In their stead, you will be seeing some Gaylon For Congress columns move. For the uninitiated, I was the Libertarian nominee for Congressional District 3 last year and in 2014 I was their nominee for the United States Senate, a fact it still gives me a great deal of pleasure to trot out.

Now, we have not decided if we are going to run in 2018. There are a variety of considerations and while we probably will, we don’t know for sure yet. Still, though, there are some things I want to discuss regardless if I run or not, so batten down the hatches because not only will I have columns, but some videos as well.

Thank you for reading,
Gaylon

 

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America’s Long-Term Future

Friends, if a preview of the video does not appear below, click on the title to watch it. Many thanks.

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The Bottom Ten/NFL Week 14

The Bottom Ten/NFL Week 14
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Wow.

Never has head-to-head competition been so important in the race for sport’s grandest trophy, The Dan Henning Trophy – symbolic of NFL Bottom Ten supremacy.

It actually had made things rather easy for Bottom Ten pollsters as Denver losing to the Giants and the Giants losing to San Francisco has made the rankings easy, even though San Francisco fan(s) have filed an official protest as their one-win team has been left off the Bottom Ten medal stand.

This week’s imbroglio, as the nags stumble around the far turn:  

1. Cleveland Browns  (0-11; lost to Cincinnati 30-16) – Browns sprint out to early 3-0 lead before turning it over to defense, who gives up points on first five (5) possessions…Browns seeking to avenge only 2016 win with loss to Chargers this week…Browns 17th NFL team to start season 0-11…They were also the 16th…Next Loss: at San Diego

2. Denver Broncos (3-8; lost to Oakland 21-14) – While three (3) wins usually not good enough for B-10 runner-up spot, Broncos peaking at right time with seven (7) straight losses…Broncos showing they can lose close ones, losing last two (2) games by combined ten (10) points after three straight blowouts…Next Loss: at Miami

3. New York Giants (2-9; lost to Washington 20-10) – Defense key, breaking open tie game, allowing touchdown, field goal in last five (5) minutes…Despite two (2) wins, Giants keep coveted B-10 (10) medal stand berth by having loss in hand to 49ers…Next Loss: at Oakland

4. San Francisco (1-10; lost to Seahawks 24-13) – Victory over Giants coming back to haunt Niners, as B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” San Francisco first 1-10 team ever to miss B-10 medal stand…Next Loss: at Chicago

5. Chicago Bears (3-8; lost to Philadelphia 31-3) – Bears limbering up for B-10 stretch drive with fourth straight loss…With games against 49ers and Browns still to come, Bears strong dark horse candidate for B-10 title…Next Loss: San Francisco

6. Miami Dolphins (4-7; lost to New England 35-17) – Game not as close as score indicated, with offense producing three (3) turnovers while defense breaks out to early 14-0 deficit…Showdown vs Broncos this week will show if Dolphins contenders or pretenders for B-10 medal stand…Next Loss: Denver

7. New York Jets (4-7; lost to Carolina 35-27) – Jets at their best when chips are down, blowing fourth quarter lead though loss not secured till defense allows last-minute field goal…Jets have lost five (5) of six (6), though they must not get caught looking ahead to 12/10 showdown vs Broncos…Next Loss: Kansas City

8. NFL – League so bad in 2017 Browns, 49ers and Giants were only eliminated from playoff contention with clutch losses this weekend…With ratings and youth football participation both declining, NFL owners secretly formed National Lacrosse League steering committee this past week.

9. Indianapolis Colts (3-8; lost to Tennessee 20-16) – Lost in cacophony of Browns/Broncos/Giants axis, steady-as-she-goes Colts have also lost five (5) of six (6)…With wins against Browns and 49ers, Colt fan(s) petition B-10 pollsters claiming strength-of-schedule points should entitle them to higher ranking …Next Loss: at Jacksonville

10. AFC West (19-25) – Long-time AFC division coming into its own in 2017, with second straight coveted, weekly, Pete Rozelle Award, issued to league’s worst division…First place Chiefs sinking like stone with three (3) straight losses while Chargers hottest team in division with two (2) straight wins and are still 5-6.

This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Denver at Miami
This Is Don Criqui Reporting: Cleveland at Los Angeles (A)
Let’s Screw CBS II: Kansas City at New York (A)
Exciting Regional Action: Indianapolis at Jacksonville

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The Thought for the Day – James Russell Lowell

One thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning.  – James Russell Lowell


James Russell Lowell (1819-91) was an American poet, critic and diplomat. As a poet he was one a group of New England poets known as the Fireside Poets because people read their poems by the fireplace and the were one of the first American poets to rival British poets in popularity. In addition to writing poetry, Lowell would also serve his fellow citizens as ambassador to both Spain and England.

One thorn of experience…

There is no substitute for experience. Thorns, however, hurt and draw blood and it’s well within human nature to avoid them. But if we avoid the thorns we’ll never smell the flowers. We must go out in life and take our risks and make our mistakes. A good example of this, one we are familiar with, is sports officiating. You can take all the instruction there is, from local clinics to professional umpire school, and read rulebooks left and right but until you actually go out and blow a call or two or three you are you ever going to withdraw the benefits the trade offers. It’s the same with any other aspect of our human experience. You can read books and attend lectures on an awful lot of things, but until you’ve actually gone out and seen what value it has in your own life, the books and lectures aren’t going to do you any good.

…a whole wilderness of warning.

People give us advice all the time. Some we ask for and a lot is unsolicited. Advice is similar to a recipe: of little use until we’ve cooked them in our own kettle. We must go out and prove its veracity in our own lives because the only way we will know what is on the other side of the river to cross it and find out for ourselves.

Thorns, while painful for a small while, generally yield dividends if we are open to discovering them. So let’s not avoid life’s thorns. They allow us to sharpen our abilities on the metal of experience. This allows to live the lives we were meant to live – life’s great prize.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

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The Daily Dose – 11/29/17: The NCAA: Pimp, Whore and John

Notes from around the Human Experience…

HUT HUT HIKE: Most college football teams – at least those bad enough to consider firing their coaches – have completed their seasons. As we write this ten coaches have been fired, some in season, some after the season.

Dry, Technical Matter: Some coaches were fired because their teams only won one or two games this year. Fair enough. You don’t win, even at Kent State, you are going to be fired. This is hardly a bulletin. Coaches know this when they sign their contract. 

Fly In The Ointment: Some of the 2017 crop of dismissed coaches, however, did win. They not only produced a winning record this year but winning records over their tenure. You may not have seen them playing in January, but they produced winning teams, some of which will be playing in bowl games next month, though it should be noted earning a bowl berth isn’t the accomplishment it used to be. Some were fired despite demonstrably improving a team’s culture and academic performance.

The Good Old Days: You know, it used to be that winning a couple more games than you lost and playing in the Scotch Adhesive Tape Bowl would get you a pat on the back and another year’s job security. Now it has coaches looking over their shoulders.

Yeah, Yeah, Whatever: When the change is announced schools all trot out the same institutional claptrap: they were grateful for their coach’s service. He and Mrs Coach are class acts and the school wishes them the best in their future endeavors. However, the expectations here are high. They expect to contend for conference and national championships, despite the fact they have no history of doing so. In due course they will trot out their new coach, who it turns out, is everything they’ve been looking for all along. It’s what they said when the old coach was hired and what they will say when this new coach’s replacement is hired a few years later.

The coaches have their ritual, too. They were grateful for the opportunity and hope to always consider themselves Sun Devils or Eagles or whatever the hell their mascot happened to be. In truth, U-Haul is on speed dial, waiting to help clear out the house as they move on to the next job.

More Fly In The Ointment: Meanwhile, players watch their coaches move from one million dollar job to another and wonder why they’re not getting any more out of this than college classes and training table meals.

The Bottom Line: The patience required to establish top programs has long vanished from college sports. No American institution – except, perhaps, Congress – does a better job at being pimp, whore and john at the same time better than major division college athletics. We keep tolerating it though. We watch their games and buy their tickets and luxury suites and until their conduct starts hitting them in the TV contract, we will continue to go through this same charade every November. 

SPEAKING OF AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS: The United States Military Academy and the United States Naval Academy meet in football for the first time on this date in 1890. Meeting at West Point, Navy won, of course, beating the Black Knights of Confusion 24-0.

The Postgame Show Is Brought To You By USAA: Interestingly, this was the first football game in Army history. They would play six games the following season, capping off a 4-1-1 campaign with their first win over the Midshipman.

Oh Yeah: Navy had considerably more experience in that first game, having fielded a football team since they tied the dreaded Baltimore Athletic Club 0-0 in 1879. The Midshipmen came into that first Army/Navy game with an all-time record of 18-13-3.

Go Navy, Beat Army…Again And Again: Navy has won 17 of the last 20 meetings – 17 of the last 20! – and leads the series 60-50 with seven ties. This year’s game, the 118th in the series, will be played in Philadelphia for the 87th time on December 9.

3…2…1…Blastoff: Despite the fact the Soviet Union had already sent two humans into Earth orbit without incident, and despite the fact Alan Shepard had survived a sub-orbital flight the previous May, the United States sends a monkey into orbit on this date in 1961.

The Mercury-Atlas 5 mission was not without incident. Enos the Chimp’s’ capsule was overheating. The clock was 18 seconds fast. The attitude control system malfunctioned. Roll thrusters failed. These and other problems were enough to limit the flight to two orbits and the capsule landed 200 miles south of Bermuda three hours and 20 minutes after launch. Enos survived the flight, though he died of an unrelated illness the following November.

Quotebook: A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience. – Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Margaret Thatcher replaced James Callaghan as prime minister of Great Britian.

Today’s Stumper: How many times has the Army/Navy game been played at either West Point or Annapolis? – Answer next time!

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The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 14 – The Interregnum Poll!

The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 14
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

While most of the contenders for the ESPN Cup have completed their bodies of work, there are still two more weekends of regular season college football remaining – including a full slate of exciting Sun Belt Conference action this Saturday – and Bottom Ten fan(s) everywhere are, probably, excited about another edition of the Bottom Ten NCAA Week 14 Interregnum Poll.

Like it’s counterpart, the NFL Week 2 Interregnum Poll, this week’s survey is chock full of the biting analysis and witless social commentary America has come to know and tolerate over the years.

Scheduling note: with next spring’s Army/Navy game playing no role in either the race for the ESPN Cup or the Sgt Bilko Trophy – symbolic of service academy lousiness – this season, the final Bottom Ten survey of 2017 will move next week and the Bottom Ten Bowl Game Edition will move on December 12.

This week’s mess:  

1. College Football Playoff: Tops the Week 14 Interregnum Poll for second consecutive year..CFP looking to continue success of last year when Ohio State made it despite not being good enough play in Big Ten title game…Upcoming selection fiasco expected to make best possible case for NCAA playoff yet.

2. ARA San JuanB-10 pollsters, qualified submariners themselves, in mourning with open bar tabs for foreseeable future after Argentine submarine presumed lost after explosion near its last reported position…An old diesel submarine, like the one we used to ride, had 44 shipmates on board, all lost…B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” San Juan first smoke boat “basically ever” to make B-10 medal stand.

3. 2017 Holiday Season – Thanks to Christmas stuff being trotted out immediately after Labor Day, Americans already in holiday mood when holidays actually do roll around ten (10) weeks later…Americans eagerly awaiting day when Amazon, Walmart give permission for holidays to begin with He Is Risen sales after Easter sunrise services. 

4. Donald Trump – Must be given credit for consistency, as he did not have a cogent, long-term plan for our country when he entered GOP race in 2015 and he still doesn’t have one…With GOP-controlled Congress unable to pass anything stronger than a lunch order, some wondering why Party of Lincoln still around.

5. Coastal Carolina (2-9) – Chanticleers, named after some sort of chicken – or maybe it’s a goose – in first year of major division football and ineligible for B-10 ranking, can lay strong foundation for 2018 with loss to equally 2-9 Georgia Southern Saturday.

6. Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-8) – Despite loss to compass point MAC school and hot, season-ending four (4)-game skid, Huskers bow to fans will and fire head coach for failing to bring home B-10 title.

7. 2017 Bowl Season – With only 39 bowl games, entirely possible deserving 6-6 MAC or Sun Belt conference teams could get left out of excitement of Fritos Bean Dip or Vagisil Personal Lubricant bowls.

8. Bottom Ten Tiebreakers – With several one-win teams and only two (2) open medal stand berths behind UTEP, stalwarts of journalism considering moving from current “winging it” method of determining positions in final B-10 survey to scientific, “stat-based” method that could feature strength of schedule, power losses and average margin of defeat criteria.

9. Sun Belt Conference – Once proud bellwether for B-10 Conference excellence, Sun Belt fell on hard times in 2017 with zero (0) winless teams and only eight (8) teams with losing records…Sun Belt did save some face with 6-29 non-conference mark, though entire conference fought hard to come back strong with .500 conference play mark.

10. NCAA Division I  Football Playoffs – A 32-team tournament could begin this weekend and still finish on New Year’s Day and would become an American classic quicker than you can say “Nick Saban”…Major division schools could take lessons from Division III, where 32-team tournament forces actual students to really multitask, working playoff schedule around actually going to challenging classes, scamming chicks.

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The Thought for the Day – Mark Messier

You can’t be afraid to slay the dragon. – Mark Messier


Mark Messier was a professional hockey player who played two seasons in the World Hockey Association before playing 25 seasons in the National Hockey League. Teams he played on won six Stanley Cup titles and Messier still ranks third on the NHL’s all-time scoring list and second on the games played list. Almost interesting is the fact Messier was the last active NHL player to have played in both the WHA and in the 1970’s.

Today’s Thought comes from 1994 when Messier’s New York Rangers were playing for the Stanley Cup the Rangers hadn’t won for 54 years. The Rangers had twelve players appearing in their first Stanley Cup final and led by Messier the Rangers would win the Cup in seven games, with Messier himself scoring the go-ahead goal in the second period.

We all have our dragons to slay. You have them, I have them, the accomplished people we admire have them. Those who get on in this life don’t let their dragons stop them.

Sometimes the biggest barrier to us slaying our dragons looks us in the mirror every morning. Sure, there outside factors that affect everyone’s life, but by and large we get out of our lives what we put into them. The difference between a life well-lived and time squandered is often the work and the patience we are willing to put into our years on this planet.

While it is not always easy to slay our dragons, once you’ve slain one or two you might well look back and wonder what all the fuss was about. A plan for slaying your dragons, plus the courage to go and do it, aided by the patience to see them slain seldom fails to produce dividends. It’s a dividend of confidence we can use to slay the other dragons that will appear throughout our life.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

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