The Bottom Ten
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Foremost Humorist
The cream is starting to rise, as Florida International and Iowa State turn up the heat in the race for the ESPNCup, symbolic of Bottom Ten supremacy. The field so deep that despite Rice remaining unvictoried with their usual loss the hilarious Tri-Lateral Commission entry (Rice, Duke, Vanderbilt) returns to the survey.
Also, it’s Historical 500 week at the Bottom Ten as we take our almost-yearly look at the all-time records of this week’s ranked teams.
This week’s mess:
- Kansas (1-2; lost to Memphis 43-7)
Mitigating Factors: Following Week 1 win over lower level school, Jayhawks show they’re all in in defense of 2015 B-10 title with eight (8) punts, five (5) turnovers and five (5) three and outs…Offense getting smiley faces on playbooks for managing not to lower Red Zone Scoring percentage by avoiding red zone altogether…Despite teams changing conferences every hour on the hour, B-10 pollsters still “pretty sure” Jayhawks only have conference games remaining, giving Jayhawks inside track to B-10 glory in weak Big 12.
Broad Historical Perspective: While only 522-589-54 for 116 years, Jayhawks have one (1) B-10 title and two (2) Tostitos Plaques – issued to team(s) with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win – to their credit and can still hold heads high at annual B-10 banquet.
Next Loss: at Texas Tech (9/29)
2. Florida International (0-3; lost to UMass 21-13)
Mitigating Factors: After pulling within one (1) with curious third-quarter field goal, offense finishes strong with two (2) punts and a fumble…Consistent Panthers getting it done on both sides of the ball, ranking 104th in Total Offense and 106th in Total Defense…Though current five (5) game skid rather modest by B-10, FIU standards, it’s still good for third best in country…Though minefield of C-USA schedule remains, Panthers have best chance to claim first B-10 title since 2007 squad blew title with win in final game.
Historical .500 Watch:With 45-101 all-time mark, Panthers make strong claim for coveted Worst Team To Never Win B-10 Title award.
Next Loss: Central Florida
3. Charlotte (1-2; lost to Eastern Michigan 37-19)
Mitigating Factors: Showdown loss to B-10 perennials thrusts 49ers back into B-10 spotlight…Though leading in most stat categories, efficient 49ers show type of mettle that leads straight to B-10 glory, allowing 21 points off their three (3) turnovers…Game not as close as score indicated, as two (2) late touchdowns came against EMU seventh string defense and some band members looking for some PE extra credit.
Young, But Determined: Though only in their second season of major division football, 49ers already strong contenders for Rookie of the Decade award with 3-12 all-time mark.
Next Loss:at Temple
4. Iowa State (0-3; lost to TCU 41-20)
Mitigating Factors: B-10 pollsters sending radar out for repair as Cyclones make first appearance of 2016, despite having lost nation’s-best seven (7) straight…Cyclones actually play pretty well, putting up decent offensive numbers while stubbornly refusing to turn ball over…With lack of B-10 playoff, Cyclones need non-conference loss this week against 2010 B-10 champs to stay in title chase.
The Long Road: At 493-625-45 Cyclones are very respectable 134 games under historical .500…Would be dismal 492-626-45 without 1997 Colorado loss being vacated due to NCAA sanctions against Buffaloes.
Next Loss: San Jose State
5. Tri-Lateral Commission (2-7; Rice: lost to Baylor 38-10; Duke: lost to Northwestern 24-13; Vanderbilt: lost to Georgia Tech 38-7)
Mitigating Factors: Rice fan(s) file official protest as Owls lose solo entry in survey despite losing so B-10 pollsters can also make fun of perennials Duke, Vanderbilt…Duke secures spot in entry with easy loss to Northwestern in annual B-10 Hall of Fame game…Bleu Devils – B-10 Team of the Decade for Double Aughts – still trying to recover from four (4) consecutive bowl appearances…Vanderbilt – still benefitting from turn-of-the-century decision to merge Athletic, Student Affairs departments – sees offensive anchored by 5-10, 185-pound Divinity School students up front turn in four (4) punt, one (1) turnover second half.
Really Broad Historical Perspective: At combined 1458-1663-103, Tri-Lateral Commission second worst combined entry ever behind Burrito Supreme entry of Tijuana Tech/Juarez State, who are a combined 736 games below Historical .500
Next Losses: Rice: North Texas; Duke: at Notre Dame; Vanderbilt: at Western Kentucky
6. Kent State (1-2; defeated Monmouth 27-7)
Mitigating Factors: While running the table in 2016 is out of the question, Kent State fan(s) taking some solace in fact defense allowed late touchdown, thereby avoiding first shutout this decade…Golden Flashes finish 2016 with good, but not great, 1-1 mark vs. lower level teams and are looking to come back strong with .000 mark in the minefield that is MAC play…Kent State can get B-10 swagger back with huge road force feeding to defending national champions this week.
Historical .500 Hunt: Golden Flashes are 197-398-5 all-time…While only criminals with long prison sentences have the time to research this, B-10 pollsters “almost positive” Kent State can become the first major division program “in, like, forever” to reach 400 losses before reaching 200 wins.
Next Loss: at Alabama
7. Earlham (0-3; lost to Anderson 31-14)
Mitigating Factors: D-III Quakers show Continental Cup – issued to team with the longest all-division losing streak in NATO – may reside in Earlham trophy case for a while, losing big to Anderson squad that had lost 49 of 54…Earlham has now lost 26 straight…With minus-30 yards rushing and 165 penalty yards in 2016, B-10 staffers slide rule disintegrated trying to figure out Rushing-Yards-To-Penalty-Yards ratio.
The Long March: With D-III teams only playing ten (10) games a year and an all-time record of 360-608-23 Quakers would have to go undefeated through Week 8 in 2040 to reach historical .550…Not including playoffs.
Next Loss: Defiance (10/1)
8. Sun Belt Conference
Mitigating Factors: Sun Belt back in familiar territory, claiming first B-10 Conference of the Week award of 2016…5-16 non-conference record easily sets pace among major division conferences…Rare for Conference of the Week winner, Sun Belt does not have any teams ranked this week, though two former teams – North Texas and Florida International – infest survey…Printable version of conference standings on official website begs the question why in the hell anyone would want to print out Sun Belt Conference football standings in the first place.
New Material Budget Is Still Zero, I See: With 3-3 conference play mark, Sun Belt on track to finish conference season with strong .500 mark.
9. North Texas (1-2; lost to Florida 32-0)
Mitigating Factors: Once and current B-10 darlings poised for strong 2016 run following obligatory road loss to traditional national power… Mean Green dominates in all phases of the game, mustering just 53 total yards while giving up 471…Only win came against lower level team, meaning Mean Green not only in good position for B-10 title run by losing out, but also Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win.
Yeah, We Bad:Loss to Rice this week would not only boost B-10 medal stand hopes, but also improve all-time record to 239-313-11.
Next Loss:at Rice
10. Army (3-0; defeated UTEP 66-14)
Mitigating Factors: B-10 pollsters still scratching heads over best Army start since 1996…Entire corps of service academies out of their minds, as Cadets, Midshipmen and Airedales are a combined 8-0, leaving vast stockpile of jokes B-10 pollsters can’t use…Army benefitting from Defense Secretary rescinding 2013 order requiring Cadets – in order to better prepare for War on Terror – to drop and give back judge 20 before entering end zone…B-10 pollsters so shaken by 3-0 start, they didn’t even refer to Army as Black Knights of Confusion this week.
Your Mother Wears Army Boots: With 652-501-51 all-time mark, versatile Cadets both winningest, losingest team in this week’s survey.
Next Win: Buffalo
This Week’s Clash of the Titans: North Texas at Rice
B-10 Past vs B-10 Future vs. B-10 Past: Charlotte at Temple
Up Next On ESPN693: San Jose State at Iowa State
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