The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 9


The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 9
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy


With 2017 stalwarts UMess and Charlotte both winning, and with UTEP off, the Bottom Ten medal stand has an entirely new look with two (2) new teams, Baylor and Kansas, and last week’s #3 team, Charlotte, now holding the top spot.

Recent races in the Bottom Ten have been heralded for their depth and tightness, and the 2017 race for the ESPN Cup – symbolic of Bottom Ten supremacy – is no different, with no less than 15 teams having lost at least five (5) straight games.

This week’s mess:

1. Georgia Southern (0-6; lost to UMess 55-20)
Mitigating Factors: Eagles ascend B-10 throne for first time following decisive loss to UMess squad that had been #1 until fortnight of hurricane-inspired bye weeks…Eagles never in it, of course, breaking out to 21-0 and 41-10 deficits, among others…Strong, early tone set as Eagles fumble ball away following 76-yard gain on first play.
FunFact: Despite being on track for first B-10 title, Georgia Southern fires head coach after game for not losing big enough.
Next Loss: at Troy

2. Baylor (0-7; lost to West Virginia 38-36)
Mitigating Factors: Bears, searching for first B-10 title, breathing sigh of relief as loss not secured until offense blows two-point conversion in final minute…Bears doing it with defense, ranking 125th in Total Defense (514.1) and 123rd in Scoring Defense (39.7ppg)…Baylor 0-7 for just second time ever, chasing 1969’s vaunted 0-10 squad.
FunFact: B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” Bears first team ever to lose 13 out of 14, with win coming in bowl game.
Next Loss: Texas

3. Kansas (1-6; lost to TCU 43-0)
Mitigating Factors: Jayhawks back on B-10 medal stand after tying major division record with 44th consecutive road loss…Team so bad athletic website leading off with pics of basketball exhibition, chick rowing match or game or whatever rowers have…Total Team Effort (TTE) sees Kansas give up 475 yards, gain 21…Football Premium Seating tab on website now least clicked link on the Internet.
Up Next: Jayhawks just two (2) road losses away from all-time Most Consecutive Road Games Without A Win record (46, Northwestern, 0-45-1, 1974-82)
Next Loss: Kansas State

4. BYU (1-7; lost to East Carolina 33-17)
Mitigating Factors: BYU humming on all cylinders in loss to lousy Pirates…BYU gets out to early 7-0 lead before turning it over to defense…Cougars seven (7)-game losing skid tied with Baylor for nation’s longest and upstart Cougars can really impress B-10 pollsters by coming back strong with loss to San Jose State after bye week.
FunFact: Cougars not only in hunt for first B-10 title, but can claim no less than partial share of Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win – by losing out.
Next Loss: San Jose State (10/28)

5. Rice (1-6; lost to UT-San Antonio 20-7)
Mitigating Factors: Owls keep B-10 hopes alive with spirited loss to Roadrunner squad that only took football up in 2012…Though defense traditionally key to B-10 glory, Owls doing it with offense, ranking Next-To-Dead-Last in Scoring Offense (11.0 ppg) and 123rd in Total Offense 298.7 ypg)…Owls have lost at least five (5) straight games in a season for fifth time this century.
FunFact: Owls really kicking themselves, as win over UTEP means Owls merely another 1-6 with problems instead of being perched on B-10 medal stand.
Next Loss: Louisiana Tech

6. Charlotte (1-7; defeated UAB 25-24 OT)
Mitigating Factors: Relative newcomers knuckle under B-10 pressure with first win of 2017…Coaching staff still scratching heads, as B-10 title bonuses go up in smoke as 49ers somehow overcome 17-0 fourth quarter deficit after punting or turning ball over on seven (7) consecutive possessions.
FunFact: With win coming in mid season, 49ers will need help to claw their way back onto B-10 medal stand.
Next Loss: at Old Dominion

7. UMess (1-6; defeated Georgia Southern 55-20)
Mitigating Factors: Rusty in first game since September 30, not even Minutemen bad enough to overcome 21-0, 41-10 leads…In role reversal, offense gains 670 yards while defense forces four (4) turnovers…2016 B-10 medal stand laureate and former #1 this season now just another one (1)-win team that can’t stop the run following stunning win.
Broad Historical Context: Though still lacking B-10 title, UMess still strong B-10 Team of the Decade contenders, with 11-56 mark since resuming major division football in 2012.
Next Loss: Appalachian State

8. Earlham (0-7; lost to Hanover 49-14)
Mitigating Factors: Small, Division III school from Indiana, Quakers lose 40th consecutive game to retain Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in NATO…Despite getting so little practice at it, Quakers actually rank 15th in Punt Returns (15.67 ypr)…With three (3) games left this year, Quakers can tie Macalester’s all-time D-III losing streak mark at 50 games in Week 7 next year.
Brand Loyalty: Team so bad squad has Nike logo on jerseys even though they are sponsored by Under Armour.
Next Loss: Manchester

9. Duke (4-4; lost to Pitt 24-17)
Mitigating Factors: Though four wins usually not enough to garner B-10 ranking, Bleu Devils cite obscure B-10 bylaw – is there any other kind? – requiring former B-10 Team of the Decade to be ranked anytime they have lost four consecutive games…Bleu Devils have lost four (4) consecutive games.
FunFact: The B-10 Team of the Decade for the Double Aughts, Bleu Devils looking to lose out in 2017, as 2016’s 4-8 record was only fourth losing season this decade.
Next Loss: at Virginia Tech

10. Big 12
Mitigating Factors: With Big 12 teams occupying two-thirds of the B-10 medal stand, league easy selection for coveted B-10 Conference of the Week award…Despite counting on their fingers, twice, B-10 staffers still “pretty sure” Big 12 Conference only has ten (10) teams.
FunFact: Despite bottom two teams combining for 13 straight losses, conference officials confident they continue strong .500 mark in conference play.

This Week’s Clash of the Titans: San Jose State at BYU
Up Next On ESPN735: Texas-San Antonio at UTEP

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The Thought for the Day – Omoro

When you clench your fist, no one can put anything in your hand, nor can your hand pick anything up. – Omoro

Omoro is the father of Kunta Kinte, both characters in the book Roots by Alex Haley. As those familiar with the story know, Roots is based on Haley’s research into his ancestry, a lineage he traces back to The Gambia. In Roots, Kinte was captured by slave traders and brought to America. Though based on Haley’s research and his family’s oral history, the book is considered to be a historical novel. Later, Haley would acknowledge that some of Roots was plagiarized. Despite this, Roots remains one of the 20th century’s most important works and Roots is a fascinating and as good a book as we’ve read.

As we recall, today’s Thought came in the context of fatherly advice from Omoro to Kunta because Kunta was a rather headstrong lad, a trait he would carry into slavery, where he tried to escape four times. After his final capture, Kinte was given the choice of having his male organ or a foot cut off, and he chooses his foot.

When you clench your fist…

Clenching a fist is not a peaceful act. It is either a prelude to an assault or, perhaps, defense from one, or a sign of fear or anger. None of these acts or emotions are particularly constructive.

…no one can put anything in your hand, nor can your hand pick anything up.

Clenched, a fist is useless for anything except causing harm. As Omoro so brilliantly noted, a clenched fist prevents the hand from acquiring anything, including the holding of another hand. As our fist closes, so does our mind, as anger and bitterness and revenge become our ruling passions.

We cannot afford clenched fists or closed minds in our lives. They do not do ourselves or anyone else any good. When we clench our fists and close our minds we are not open to what nature and circumstance have in store for us, which means we are unable to capitalize on them.

It is useful to note that open is the hand’s natural position. When our hands, and our minds, are open we are liberated from the shackles of anger and free to live the life we are meant to live, instead of being dragged down the road the closed fist has for us. It puts us in a position to put nature and circumstance to work for us.

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

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The Daily Dose – October 24, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

GO GOP!: Last year, when it appeared Donald Trump did not have much chance to win the presidency, we said that his impending loss might well herald the end for the Republican Party. It would serve them right for nominating a gauche, tasteless thug who had no concrete, original ideas and whose only real talent was, and remains, drawing attention to himself.

Fly In The Ointment: Then he won and we thought well, there goes that theory but after nine months of the Trump Administration we again find ourselves wondering why the GOP continues to favor America with its existence.

Because they really should disappear. The GOP has shown time and time again they are utterly incapable of governing. They own the White House and both houses of Congress and have done nothing of substance. Instead of Hail to the Chief, the Marine Band should be playing circus calliope music.

Dry, Technical Matter: There is no leadership in the party, therefore there is no leadership in America. Nobody is saying here’s we are going and then providing the inspiration to get there. Because that is all executive leadership is: Right now we’re at Point A, we are going to Point B, – LET’S GO!!! – and then inspire us to want to go there with you.

Leadership, however, is beyond the GOP’s reach right now. They prefer to wallow in the past, trying to undo what others have done instead of producing anything original.

Get Out Your History Books: Not only are they not leading this country now, the Republicans have not produced a decent elected president since Eisenhower three generations ago.

Here We Go: Nixon was a crook. Reagan was brilliant in narrowing his vision to a few concrete issues, but he was the most managed president in history, setting a precedent that continues to this day. Reagan also presided over the most corrupt Administration in American history, with 138 officials either investigated, indicted and/or convicted of misconduct. Neither George Bush was particularly effective or articulate, and the second one lied to us to get us to fight wars that plague us to this day. Trump’s inadequacies have been well documented here.

OTOH: Gerald Ford, who succeeded Nixon but was never elected vice president or president, was a good, decent man, but following Nixon was an impossible job and the Son of Man would have had a hard time getting elected to his own term.

The Bottom Line: The party of Lincoln is dead. They have not produced a decent elected president in 56 years. They should have been gone long ago.

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE! Harry Houdini, one of the best escape artists ever, performs for the last time in Detroit on this date in 1924. He was very sick, with a temperature of 104 and was suffering from appendicitis besides, which may or may not have been caused or exacerbated by some blows to the abdomen he had received two days earlier.

Oh Yeah: Houdini was hospitalized after the show, where he would die on October 31.

Sell, Godammit, Sell!: The Great Stock Market Crash of 1929 occurs on this date when the New York Stock Exchange loses 38 points and 12.82 percent of its value. It closed 260.64.

Though not the largest decline in either points or percentage, it was the most devastating, combining with an earlier stock market crash in London to herald the start of the Great Depression.

FunFact, Unless You Lost Your Shirt, Of Course: The Depression would last until petering out in World War II, and stock prices would not return to pre-crash levels until 1954.

FunFact, Unless You Lost Your Shirt, Of Course II: Though a 38 point decline in the Dow is no longer significant, the 12.82 percent decline remains the second highest percentage drop ever.  

Well, This Should End War Forever And Ever: The United Nations comes into existence on this date in 1944 when its member nations ratify the United Nations Charter. The UN General Assembly will meet for the first time the following January and Norwegian Foreign Minister Trygve Lie was elected the first secretary-general.

Great Moments In Pablo Sandoval: For the fifth time, a player hits three home runs in a World Series game when Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants does it on this date in 2012. Sandoval’s home runs help the Giants defeat the Detroit Tigers 8-3 in game one and the Giants would win the series in four games.

Oh Yeah: Sandoval joined Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols as the only players to hit three home runs in a World Series game. Ruth did it twice.

Quotebook: He decided, as usual, that it was wisest that he mind his own business… – Alex Haley, Roots

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: James Pinckney Henderson was the first governor of Texas.

Today’s Stumper: What are the single-day records for the highest point and percentage losses on the New York Stock Exchange? – Answer next time!

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The Thought for the Day – John F Kennedy

Well, we’ll hang on tight. – John F Kennedy, 35th president of the United States, telephone conversation with former president of the United States Dwight Eisenhower, October 22, 1962

October 22 was day seven of the Cuban Missile Crisis, a momentous time when the United States had discovered the presence of Soviet Union nuclear missiles in Cuba. The call came a day after Kennedy had ordered a naval blockade of Cuba and a few hours before he addressed the nation on the matter. Some in the government were not thrilled with a mere blockade and wanted a more forceful response, like an invasion.

Some things were apparent during this conversation. One, President Kennedy was a good listener. Two, he was completely at ease having the specter of nuclear war resting on his shoulders. Three, Eisenhower cut right to the heart of the matter, noting that the Soviets will do whatever they damn well pleased, their main interest is getting away with whatever the world would let them get away with.  

Kennedy, we think, did well to order the blockade instead of an invasion. One, a blockade was doable. As we showed during the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961, invading Cuba was not. Second, it showed how seriously we took the matter while, equally important, giving the Soviets a way out an invasion would not offer. 

…we’ll hang on tight. 

Sometimes life offers circumstances that are as challenging as they are momentous. They may not happen with us on the world stage – or then again they might – but either way, it is often beneficial to act with restraint and not with every force available to us. You can always turn up the power, though it is difficult to retreat from restraint. This is a lesson Kennedy demonstrated during the Cuban Missile Crisis and one we can put to use each day in our lives.

If we are on our path, if we put nature and circumstance to work for us instead of trying to ram ourselves down life’s throat, the things that are meant to happen in our lives generally do.

Though sometimes we do end up hanging on tight.

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

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The Daily Dose – October 22, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

HUT, HUT HIKE: The NFL decided to nothing regarding player conduct during the playing of the national anthem in at its annual fall meeting this past week. Owners were so intent on good PR from this evolution they even invited players to take part, showing the type of concern usually reserved when money is at stake.

Because money is at stake. The average Americans that watch NFL games and buy NFL tickets and jerseys are not enjoying these anthem protests. The long-term stability of the private mint that is the National Football League is being threatened.

Status Quo On Two: The league ended up doing nothing. No change was made to the NFL policy suggesting team personnel “should” stand for the national anthem.  

Dry, Technical Matter: This was funny. The NFL had every option and they had zero options. They had an open field ahead of them yet they were completely hamstrung. Oftentimes in these situations, regardless of the circumstances, nothing is sometimes the best thing to do. It was this time.

Fly In The Ointment: Let’s say the NFL did mandate everyone from team captains to water boys pop-to and stand for the national anthem? And what if they mandated penalties for non-compliance?

Well, invariably some, perhaps many, would not stand. And then what?  America being America right now the issue would end up in court because the NFL cannot even suspend players anymore without judicial review. The NFL may well end up backing down and none of this would result in anything remotely resembling the PR the NFL needs.

Read My Lips: Nothing Of Substance: Of course, nothing resembling straight talk on the matter came out of the NFL office. Commissioner Roger Goodell was, as ever, standing by with the usual corporate claptrap. After first denying the issue was even discussed – which no one really believes – Goodell then explained why showing that few others are better at talking without actually saying anything:

It wasn’t necessary. We had a real focus on making sure all of our teams understood the kind of dialogue that took place and the kind of things that they were interested in getting support.

The Bottom Line: The NFL was in a box, damned if they did and damned if they didn’t. By doing nothing they will continue to alienate the average Americans who buy their tickets and jerseys and who watch their games on TV, but they will also avoid the headaches and further alienation, that would have attended mandatory compliance.

IN THE BEGINNING: According to a chronology promulgated by James Ussher, an archbishop in the Church of Ireland, the Earth is formed on this date in 4004 BC. Ussher used a variety of chronologies, both sacred pagan, to arrive at this date and his theory remains the most widely-known of several of that ilk that were issued around that time.

Football Vs. Harvard Saturday: Princeton University, then known as the College of New Jersey, receives its charter on this date in 1746. Its original purpose was to train ministers, it became Princeton University in 1896 and is the fourth-oldest college in the United States.

I  Do Solemnly Swear: Sam Houston is inaugurated as president of the Republic of Texas on this date in 1836, replacing Interim President David Burnet. Texas had become an independent nation in April and would remain its own nation it was admitted as the 28th state of the Union in 1845.

Great Moments In Being On The Brink Of Nuclear War: One day after ordering a military blockade of Cuba, and six days after first being advised the Russians had nuclear weapons in Cuba, President John F Kennedy addresses the American people, and the world, on this date in 1963. Among other things, he announces that an attack by the goddamned Soviets on anyone in the Western Hemisphere would be considered an attack on the United States that would require a full retaliatory response.

The decision to order a naval blockade was not met with unanimous approval in the United States. Some, including many in Congress, wanted a stronger response. Kennedy’s decision was influenced, in part, by a phone conversation he had with former president Dwight Eisenhower earlier in the day.

Dry, Technical Matter: Listening to a recording of this conversation, some things stand out. One, Kennedy, like all great leaders, is a superb listener. Two, he seemed utterly at home with the specter of nuclear war on his shoulders. And Eisenhower, has he did well, cut right to the heart of the matter:

The damn Soviets will do whatever they want, what they figure is good for them….They just find out what they can do here and there…

A brilliant observation, applicable, though often forgotten, in most human situations.  In the end, of course, the Soviets decided what was good for them was to remove their missiles from Cuba.

Going…Going…Gone: Albert Pujols of St Louis Cardinals becomes the third player to hit three home runs in a World Series game, doing so against the Texas Rangers on this date in 2011. The Cardinals won the game 16-7 to take a two games to one lead in the series and would win the series in seven games.  

The Post Game Show Is Brought To You By Old Style Beer: Pujols joined Babe Ruth, who did it twice, and Reggie Jackson as the only players to hit three home runs in a World Series game. Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants would join the club the following year.

Quotebook: [he] taught with a fervid, burning passion, like that which moves martyrs and heroes. – William Woodward, The Way Our People Lived

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The USS Constitution last saw battle for the United States in the War of 1812.

Today’s Stumper: What three United States universities are older than Princeton? – Answer next time!

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The Thought for the Day – John F Kennedy

Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. – John F Kennedy

Today’s Thought might be the most famous quote from a presidential inaugural, a speech that has produced its share of memorable quotes over the centuries. JFK has been quoted in this feature so the usual introductory paragraph isn’t required, but we will note Kennedy was an indifferent student and was not the most accomplished United States Senator ever. But he found a home in the presidency, serving his country well in the Cuban Missile Crisis and he commanded and marshaled our resources to produce the Apollo program, the only time man has visited the moon.

Ask not what your country can do for you…

We should really demand very little of our government. We’ve always thought government’s only legitimate function was to make sure the 24 hours each of has every day is ours to with what we want, to give us the chance to go out and make something good happen for ourselves.

…ask what you can do for your country.

The very best thing we can do for our country right now is simply to pay attention. Pay attention to what our government is doing and the effects it has on us as a country and the effects our policies have on our planet. Pay attention to both short-term outcomes and our long-term prospects. Is America on a collision with peace and prosperity, or might we be tossed aside the scrap heap of history at some future point?

Opinions on these points vary and it is beyond the scope of this feature to persuade you one way or the other. It is, however, the purpose of this feature to get you to think about them. As concerned and conscientious citizens, we must be able to answer these questions for ourselves.

More than anything, what each of us can do for our country is to become informed, demanding and participating citizens, citizens who hold their leaders accountable for what they are doing. When we do that, we will have a country we can be proud of.

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

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The Daily Dose – October 21, 2017

Notes from around the Human Experience…

STOP US IF YOU HEARD THIS BEFORE: In a recent column we came out against term limits, a long-held position, on the theory that the best form of term limits are the regular elections we enjoy as Americans. That we keep electing people who provide lousy government is our fault, not theirs.

Circumstantially, of course, term limits work, preventing people from serving longer than the law allows. Intrinsically, though, do they help provide better government? Let’s take a look.

Dry, Technical Matter: Currently, the president of the United States is limited to two terms, the only federal term limit, enacted after everybody wet their pants after Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was elected president four times.

It’s difficult to quantify the effects the 22nd Amendment has had on the presidency, however. Seven times one party has held the White House for consecutive terms and six times the other party won the White House, the only exception George H. W. Bush succeeding Ronald Reagan. The times of this period, while challenging, have not been as momentous as FDR’s time, and we don’t think the merits of the 22nd Amendment are particularly clear.

Get Your Official Daily Dose Policy Right Here: We think America needed every day of FDR’s presidency. FDR’s genius came not from his specific policies, but in his brilliance in mobilizing America – from those on the front lines to those who made the planes and ships and ammunition – to put the work in that was required to win World War II. For this, he was in the right person in the right place at the right time and we are not entirely sure anyone else could have done that. Had FDR been limited to two terms, our country and world might a far different than they are now.

Food For Thought: FDR did his work well and like Abraham Lincoln died after his work was more or less completed.

Back On Message: Additionally, 36 states have gubernatorial term limits, while 15 states limit the terms their legislators can serve. A complete analysis of this is, thankfully, beyond the scope of this column, but our native California provides a useful, though admittedly not all-inclusive, example.

Service in the California State Assembly is limited to six years and California state senators are limited to two four-year terms. Nothing has really changed in that time. California state government is still a fiasco, in no small part because nobody has any real, long-term experience. Any legislator’s experience and working knowledge is, by definition, limited.

Oh Yeah: Additionally, because legislators have a limited amount of time to make their mark, fundraising, and all its attendant special interest evils, is as important as ever.

More Effing Daily Dose Policy: All term limits do is prevent citizens from voting for whom they want. Of course, the argument that we currently do not have good people in our government is valid: by even the most charitable standards our government is partisan, fractured, bickering mess. But whose fault is that? You can’t blame congressmen and senators. They are merely politicians trying to retain power.

The fault is ours. We elected everyone there.

The Bottom Line: If we do not have good people running our country, we have nobody to blame but ourselves. To blame incumbents, the media or lobbyists is not productive. Nobody fills out our ballot for us.

All it takes to make America great again is concerned, conscientious and demanding citizens taking command on Election Day. The government we want and deserve is always as close as the next election.

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE!: Old Ironsides, the USS Constitution, is launched in Boston Harbor on this date in 1797. It was the third attempt. The first two attempts had only gotten the Constitution partway down the ramp. 

FunFact: Over the centuries the Constitution has served America in a variety of functions, and currently is a museum ship in Boston Harbor. It last sailed in 2012 and is the oldest commissioned naval ship still afloat in the world.

Hut, Hut Hike: Fred Dryer of the Los Angeles Rams becomes the only player in NFL history to record two safeties in one game on this date in 1973. Both safeties occurred within five minutes of each other in the fourth quarter of a game in Los Angeles won by the Rams 24-7.

The Post Game Show Is Brought To You By Cal Worthington And His Dog Spot: With the win, the Rams moved to 6-0 on their way to winning the NFC West with a 12-2 record. The Packers fell to 2-2-2.

Quotebook: The hasty stroke goes oft astray. – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: No, the 22nd Amendment limiting presidents of the United States to two terms does not apply to vice presidents. The 12th Amendment, however, does specify that no one is ineligible for the presidency shall serve as vice president.

Today’s Stumper: When did the USS Constitution last fight a battle for the United States? – Answer next time!

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The Bottom Ten/NFL Week 8

The Bottom Ten/NFL Week 8
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

It’s not easy to go winless in the NFL, at least not as easy as Cleveland and San Francisco are making it look. Witness the New York Giants stunning fall the ranks of the unvictoried: a 23-10 road win in Denver.

The old adage that on Sunday any team can lose to any other team is proving true, as only three (3) teams have one (1) or fewer victories, heralding a dogfight in 2017 for The Dan Henning Trophy, symbolic of NFL Bottom Ten supremacy.

This week’s mess, as the nags limp their way through the clubhouse turn:

1. Cleveland Browns (0-6; lost to Houston 33-17) – Browns offense relentless in quest for consecutive B-10 titles, producing three (3) turnovers, safety and pick six (6)…first team in NFL to start season 0-6 since Cleveland Browns in 2016…Next Loss: Tennessee

2. San Francisco 49ers (0-6; lost to Washington 26-24) – Niners show mettle that leads straight to B-10 medal stand, blowing 17-point deficit for key road loss…49ers have lost 35 of 43, but need B-10 title so they can hold head up at annual B-10 banquet…Next Loss: Dallas

3. Oakland Raiders (2-4; lost to Los Angeles Chargers 17-16) – Balanced Raiders ascend B-10 medal stand as defense secures loss with last second field goal, special teams miss extra point…Raiders have lost four (4) straight…Next Loss: Kansas City (10/19)

4. New York Giants (1-5; defeated Denver 23-10) – Giants blink in quest for first B-10 title, shooting selves in foot with morale-depleting road win…Stretch of three (3) of four (4) at home will test committment to B-10 glory…Next Loss: Seattle

5. Detroit Lions (3-3; lost to New Orleans 52-38) – Lions gracious guests with offense producing 21-points for Saints, easily overcoming curiously strong defense that produced turnover, six (6) punts in final quarter…Lions have lost three (3) of four (4) after 2-0 (2-0) start…Next Loss: Pittsburgh (10/29)

6. Chicago Bears (2-4; defeated Baltimore 27-24) – Bears general manager, whoever the hell that might be, filing official protest with B-10 staff after being left off of Week 7 survey, citing loss of sponsorship revenue…Next Loss: Carolina

7. Indianapolis Colts (2-4, lost to Tennessee 36-22) – Colts officially take mantle of AFC North’s worst after blowing two (2) leads, overcoming late, game-tying field goal for key intra-division loss…Next Loss: Jacksonville

8. Denver Broncos (3-2; lost to New York Giants 23-10) – Broncos come back strong following bye week, making first B-10 appearance of 2017 after snapping Giants five-game losing streak with attention-getting, not particularly close prime time home loss…Next Loss: at Los Angeles Chargers

9. AFC North (11-13) – With yet another weekly Pete Rozelle Award, issued to NFL’s worst division, alleged NFL division threatening to make mockery of race for yearly Pete Rozelle Award…B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” it’s still “pretty tough” to make a mockery of anything in B-10…Next Loss: team

10. Chicago Cubs (0-3; lost to Los Angeles Dodgers 6-1) – Historically out of it by Memorial Day, lovable losers have been pretty good the last few years, though defending champs in a hole to goddamned Dodgers in questfor first World Series repeat since 1907-08……Next Loss: team

Game of the Week: Tennessee at Cleveland
This Is Don Criqui Reporting: Indianapolis at Jacksonville

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October 17, 2017

Today’s Menu
The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 8

As we talk about from time to time in The Thought for the Day, you’ve got to trust your instincts. Last night our instincts started making noises about it being time for a break from the grind of daily columns for a few days. We certainly enjoy producing our usual crap for you, but from time to time the mind needs a break, just like athletes need a break from time to time, too.

It’s best to trust these instincts. If we ignore them and write when we shouldn’t be writing, we are typing and that doesn’t do any of us any good. We take great pride in producing funny, substantive content for you every time out. Everything we have goes into every word.

So after this week’s Bottom Tens, we are going to take a few days off. We will probably be back with a fresh Daily Dose and Thought for the Day Saturday morning. We will certainly be back in time for the next round of Bottom Ten mayhem – we are mandated by heaven to do that – but there may, or there may not, be columns before then.

All of this, of course, is subject to change based on what is coming out of the White House.



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The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 8

The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 8
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Talk about taking advantage of an opportunity.

With UMess not playing again thanks to hurricane-inspired scheduling changes, Charlotte remains on top and now has the nation’s longest losing streak to boot at ten (10) games.

Meanwhile, UMess finally returns to the field Saturday, hosting equally winless Georgia Southern in one of the most anticipated Bottom Ten showdown games in the past couple of weeks.

This week’s mess:

1. Charlotte (0-7; lost to Western Kentucky 45-14)
Mitigating Factors: With UMess still idle, 49ers retain vice-like grip on top spot with nation’s-best 10th straight loss…After scoring on two (2) of first three (3) possessions, offense settles with turnover, missed field goal, eight (8) punts rest of the way…49ers rank Dead Last in Team Passing Efficiency, though B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” they don’t know what Team Passing Efficiency is.
Name Game: School changed name from UNC-Charlotte a few years back so lousy football team could establish identity separate from basketball team that has actually won some games over the years.
Next Loss: UAB

2. UTEP (0-7; lost to Southern Mississippi 24-0)
Mitigating Factors: Miners hell-bent on B-10 glory, posting first shutout loss of 2017…Offense stellar, punting or turning the ball over on every possession, with only six (6) first downs, 17-yards rushing, marring effort…Current seven (7)-game skid third best in nation…Balanced Miners losing games by average score of 37.9-to-12.3
Broad Historical Context: Miners looking for sixth winless season ever and first since iconic 1973 ran the table at 0-11.
Next Loss: Texas-San Antonio (10/28)

3. Georgia Southern (0-5; lost to New Mexico State 35-27)
Mitigating Factors: Formerly under-the-radar Golden Eagles now have B-10 pollsters undivided attention following fifth straight loss…With losses to lower level team, Power 5 schools, Sun Belt Conference schools, Golden Eagles constructing classic B-10 run…Can make big B-10 statement with loss to UMess this week.
Lose One For The Gipper: Coaching staff motivates team at halftime with inspiring speech about how “they came here to win B-10 titles and not be some middling, pansy-ass two (2) win team”.
Next Loss: at UMess

4. Kansas (1-5; lost to Iowa State 45-0)
Mitigating Factors: 2015 B-10 champions back in survey with hot, new five (5)-game losing skid…Only blemish so far Week 1 win against lower level, compass point East South Central Western Missouri Southern …With B-10 title already under their jockstraps, Jayhawks strong contenders for B-10 Team of the Decade award with 15-75 mark since Double Aughts.
Carry On, Wayward Losers: Annual contenders for coveted Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win – Jayhawks assured of second such award in three (3) seasons by losing out.
Next Loss: at TCU

5. BYU (1-6; lost to Mississippi State 35-10)
Mitigating Factors: Cougars surprise team of 2017, as B-10 run complete surprise following consecutive nine (9)-win campaigns…Offense has produced ten (10) or fewer points four (4) times in 2017…Cougars expected to lose valuable practice time this week as “academics first” students prepare for future missions by trying to find this week’s opponent East Carolina on a map.
With This Losing Streak, I Thee Wed: To help improve morale and deplete energy for B-10 stretch run, athletic department at Mormon school has authorized additional wives for married players.
Next Loss: East Carolina

6. San Jose State (1-7; lost to Hawaii 37-26)
Mitigating Factors: Spartans quest for second B-10 title this decade kicked into overdrive with sixth straight loss…Offense does the little things, producing false start and pass interference penalties while on Hawaii’s one (1)-yard line, more than making up for early 10-0 lead…Goal line stand penalties part of overall display of fundamental mastery, as Spartans get penalized eleven (11) times for 104 yards.  
FunFact: Spartans can earn sixth one (1)-win season ever and second this decade by losing out.
Next Loss: at BYU (10/28)

7. Baylor (0-6; lost to Oklahoma State 59-16)
Mitigating Factors: Refreshed and refocused following bye week, Bears not missing beat in quest for first B-10 title..Following slow start, defense comes on strong, allowing touchdowns on final five (5) possessions of first half…Bears chasing history, looking to become only second Baylor team ever, and first since 1969, to finish season winless.
:  To instill sense of chivalry in players in wake of sex abuse scandal, athletes now required to bow, say ‘top of the morning’ m’lady’ and squirt coeds with seltzer bottles instead of sexually attacking them.
Next Loss: West Virginia

8. Conference USA
Mitigating Factors: C-USA earns second straight B-10 Conference of the Week award…C-USA setting itself apart in tightest race for B-10 Conference of the Year award with two (2) teams on B-10 medal stand, both of them winless, and seven teams with sub-.500 records.
Stop Us If You’ve Heard This Before: Despite best top-to-bottom weakness of any major division conference, C-USA teams valiantly rebounding for strong .500 conference play mark.

9. Earlham (0-6; lost to Mount St. Joseph 66-7)
Mitigating Factors: 39th straight loss for D-III Quakers puts them on Easy Street in quest for second straight Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in ISIS sphere of influence…Offense and defense both in championship form, as 66 is most points allowed in 2017 and 7 points scored a season low….Macalester’s all-time D-III mark of 50 consecutive losses now starting to appear in crosshairs.
Now You Know: School name is pronounced EARL-um, not EARL-ham or earl-HAM.
Next Loss: Hanover

10. Vanderbilt (3-4; lost to Ole Miss 57-35)
Mitigating Factors: While chance at B-10 title probably gone, Commodores, a B-10 Legacy Team, still with outside shot at Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win – if they can lose out…Offense makes quick work of matters, producing seven (7) drives of three (3) plays or fewer.
FunFact: Vanderbilt still feeling effects of turn-of-century merger of Athletic, Student Affairs departments as Drama Department students assigned temporary duty as defensive coaches require linebackers to really “get in touch with their inner self” while Ole Miss running backs blow past them for 252 yards rushing.
Next Loss: at South Carolina (10/28)

This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Georgia Southern at UMess
Up Next On ESPN735: BYU at East Carolina  

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