The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 13
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy
With Air Force already claiming the Sgt Bilko Trophy – symbolic of service academy lousiness – and Division III Earlham already earning the Continental Cup – issued to the team with the longest all-division losing streak in NATO – Bottom Ten fan(s) everywhere can now focus on the ultimate prize: the ESPN Cup – symbolic of Bottom Ten supremacy.
The race is UTEP’s to lose – literally. With a loss this week the Miners will claim their first ever Bottom Ten title, with 2017 marking the Miners best chance for Bottom Ten glory since 1935’s 1-8 squad beat Tijuana Tech in the finale.
Should UTEP win, though, complete chaos will reign and B-10 pollsters are busy jotting down potential tiebreakers on their cocktail napkins.
This week’s mess:
1. UTEP (0-10; lost to Louisiana Tech 42-21)
Mitigating Factors: Miners offense brutally efficient, turning Tech fumbles on first two drives into turnover on downs, punt…Defense takes time getting into flow of game, not giving up first touchdown until 1:20 left in first quarter…Miners rank Dead Last in Total Offense and Scoring Offense, Next-To-Dead-Last in Team Passing Efficiency, whatever that is.
The Thrill Of Defeat…The Agony Of Victory: Miners guaranteed B-10 hardware no matter what, as loss this week delivers B-10 title, while win guarantee no worse than share of Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest streak in a season that actually includes a win.
Next Loss: at UAB
2. Rice (1-10; lost to Old Dominion 24-21)
Mitigating Factors: Owls keep up their end of B-10 bargain with ninth straight loss…Owls in top form, blowing two (2) leads, including allowing go-ahead touchdown in final minute…With only win coming against UTEP, Owls unlikely to win B-10 title since head-to-head competition first tiebreaker…With 73 one-win teams in 2017, even Owls spot on final B-10 medal stand could be dependent on whatever other tie-breakers B-10 pollsters drum up on their cocktail napkins.
FunFact: B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” Owls first team “in, dude, like eternity” to lose games in Australia, Texas, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Virginia in same season.
Next Loss: North Texas
3. San Jose State (1-11; lost to Colorado State 42-14)
Mitigating Factors: 2000 B-10 champs still in running for 2017 throne, with 10th straight loss…After somehow scoring TD on opening drive, offense settles in, punting or turning ball over until another curious touchdown on final drive…Spartans riding defense straight to B-10 glory, ranking Dead Last in Rushing “Defense” (293.6 ypg) and Scoring “Defense” (43.8 ppg)
FunFact: With 13 games this season thanks to trip to Hawaii, Spartans can claim no worse than portion of Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win – by losing out.
Next Loss: Wyoming
4. Kansas (1-10; lost to Oklahoma 41-3)
Mitigating Factors: Jayhawks play mind games in this one, ensuring defeat by pissing off Heisman candidate opposing QB by refusing to shake his hand at coin toss…Jayhawks, another team battling for second B-10 title of 20Teens, filed paperwork with B-10 office seeking “technically winless” designation as only win came in opener against lower level team.
FunFact: Memorial Stadium renovation page still least clicked link on Internet, with renovation being scaled back to include Baker Mayfield urinal cakes in restrooms and new plastic forks in press dining room.
Next Loss: at Oklahoma State
5. Baylor (1-10; lost to Iowa State 23-13)
Mitigating Factors: Bears actually don’t play too bad, with loss not secured until clutch offense tosses interception in final drive…Bears looking to secure sixth one-win season ever and first since 1999 squad went 1-10 with loss Saturday.
Running The Numbers: Though final tie-breaker for one (1)-win teams still under construction, B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” Bears Average Margin of Defeat (10.6 pp) “kinda sucks and stuff”.
Next Loss: at TCU
6. Oregon State (1-10; lost to Arizona State 40-24)
Mitigating Factors: Quick start key for Beavers, bursting out to 30-0 first half deficit before concession stands can run out of nachos…Offense makes quick work of it, producing six (6) drives of three (3) plays or less, while defense works overtime in allowing six (6) drives of 50 or more yards.
FunFact: Beavers not the statistical juggernaut B-10 fan(s) expect, ranking Dead Last in only one (1) NCAA stat category, Third Down Conversion Percentage Defense…This would probably hurt the Beavers more if B-10 pollsters knew what Third Down Conversion Percentage Defense was.
Next Loss: at Oregon
7. Charlotte (1-10; lost to Southern Mississippi 66-21)
Mitigating Factors: Eagles or Knights or whatever the hell they’re called return to survey for first time since only win in October…Team entitled to be ranked since then, but B-10 pollsters forgot all about Charlotte until finding squad hiding underneath their bar tab recently…While complete lack of defense key to any B-10 run, offense chipping in with five (5) games of ten (10) or fewer points, including two (2) shutouts (0).
FunFact: B-10 pollsters really enjoyed research into team until realizing scantily clad girls weren’t Charlotte coeds, but models at Charlotte Russe website.
Next Loss: Florida Atlantic
8. Georgia Southern (1-9; defeated South Alabama 52-0)
Mitigating Factors: It’s not only how you lose, but when you lose that counts in B-10, as Eagles fall from runner-up spot to bottom of one-win heap following first win of season…Eagle fan(s) left wondering what might have been after B-10 title hopes die in blowout win…Entire squad forced to run extra wind sprints after offense rushes for 356 yards while defense inexplicably tough, forcing nine (9) punts and three (3) turnovers.
FunFact: Eagles thanking Mr Schedule Maker, as team has two (2) games left in which to impress B-10 pollsters.
Next Loss: at UL-Lafayette
9. Illinois (2-9; lost to Ohio State 52-14)
Mitigating Factors: Get’s tiebreaker over other two (2)-win teams thanks to hot nine (9)-game losing skid…Illini so bad they rank 14th in conference that only admits to having ten (10) teams in no less than six (6) official NCAA stat categories…Citing new emphasis on sportsmanship, Buckeyes gracious hosts, fumbling ball away to start second half, allowing shocked Illini defender to run it into end zone.
FunFact: Though they need some help, Illini still in running for Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win.
Next Loss: Northwestern
10. Conference USA
Mitigating Factors: With nation’s only winless team and two (2) one (1)-win teams, C-USA easy selection for coveted B-10 Conference of the Week Award…C-USA drawing admiring nods from Sun Belt Conference, as 40 percent of Week 13 survey made up of conference teams or conference itself…
The New Material Budget Is Still $0.00 I See: Despite 2017 struggles, C-USA has valiantly rebounded for strong .500 conference play mark.
This Week’s Clash of the Titans: UTEP at North Texas
Up Next On ESPN723: Georgia Southern at UL-Lafayette
Lousy Rivalry Game of the Week: Illinois at Northwestern