The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 7
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy
There’s no room at the inn.
With 24 teams with one (1) or fewer wins and only ten (10) spots in the Bottom Ten – that’s why it’s called the Bottom Ten and not the Bottom 17 – there are bound to be some disappointed fan(s) this week.
Spots are even harder to come by this week because the Bottom Ten pollsters insisted on ranking Baylor, who didn’t play, because they didn’t want to waste a funny line the Bears inspired, and Vanderbilt, a Bottom Ten Legacy Team that has three (3) wins.
This week’s imbroglio:
1. Charlotte (0-6; lost to Marshall 14-3)
Mitigating Factors: With UMess on vacation, 49ers take command, not only ascending B-10 throne, but tying UMess with nation’s best ninth straight loss…Offense showing way to B-10 glory, averaging 9.2 ppg in five losses to major division teams…Offense is getting smiley faces on playbooks, however, for putting two rushers over magical 30-yard plateau.
FunFact: Next box for 49ers to check off is matching school-best eleven game losing streak, done by vaunted 1014-15 teams.
Next Loss: at Western Kentucky
2. UTEP (0-6; lost to Western Kentucky 15-14)
Mitigating Factors: Another offensive juggernaut, Miners rank 120th or worse in every major NCAA stat category, including Dead Last in Total Offense (231.7 ypg)…Defense isn’t any good, either, ranking 122nd in Scoring Defense (40.2 ppg)….B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” Miners can become first team to lose consecutive games to former B-10 champions in “quite a while” with loss this week to Southern Mississippi.
Broad Historical Context: MIners with best shot at B-10 glory since turn-of-century squads put together three straight two (2)-win seasons.
Next Loss: at Southern Mississippi
3. Rice (1-5; lost to Army 49-12)
Mitigating Factors: Though there are other unvictoried teams, Owls ascend B-10 medal stand thanks to big strength-of-schedule points for only win coming against UTEP…Total Team Effort (TTE) results in defense allowing 35 points following offense delivering five (5) fumbles and one (1) interception.
Uh, Gee, Thanks, Guys: Not that it mattered, but special teams limbers up for potential close games down the road by blowing two extra points.
Next Loss: at Texas-San Antonio
4. Baylor (0-5; DNP)
Mitigating Factors: With loss to lower level school, a B-10 perennial, ranked national power and lousy major division start-up, Bears constructing classic B-10 run that has B-10 pollsters nodding with approval…Bears off this week, though still ranked thanks to lousy week of practice, fact B-10 pollsters came up with funny line about Bears program.
FunFact: With most of roster decimated in sex abuse scandal, Bears left with only Persian eunuch exchange students on scholarship.
Next Loss: at Oklahoma State
5. San Jose State (1-6; lost to Fresno State 27-10)
Mitigating Factors: Steady as she goes Spartans humming on all cylinders in decisive loss to defending B-10 champions…Spartans can’t even be bothered to show cursory, early interest in this one, sprinting out to impressive 21-0 halftime deficit…Spartans part of logjam of four (4) teams that are tied for third-best losing streak in nation with five (5) straight losses.
FunFact: 2010 B-10 champs looking to solidify B-10 Team of the Decade credentials with strong 2017 B-10 run.
Next Loss: at Hawaii
6. Kent State (1-5, lost to Northern Illinois 24-3)
Mitigating Factors: Offense showing to B-10 glory, putting up three (3) points in a game three (3) times with one (1) shutout…Golden Flashes also rank Dead Last in Scoring Offense (10.0 ppg)…Offense in usual form in latest fiasco, producing nine (9) punts, four (4) turnovers and three (3) drives of negative yardage…Only blemish on day was field goal midway through second quarter.
FunFact: Current four (4)-game skid best in always tough MAC.
Next Loss: Miami, Ohio
7. Earlham (0-5; lost to Franklin 56-26)
Mitigating Factors: Division III Quakers easily retain Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in NATO – with 38th straight loss…With 0-25 start as Earlham head coach, Nick Johnson starting preliminary work on B-10 Hall of Fame induction speech.
Broad Historical Context: Since starting football in 1889, Quakers have had 15 winless seasons, including five (5) this century and haven’t had winning season since 2000 squad went 6-4.
Next Loss: at Mount St. Joseph
8. Air Force (1-4; lost to Navy 48-45)
Mitigating Factors: Falcons fire opening salvo in quest for Sgt Bilko Trophy – symbolic of service academy lousiness – soaring to inspiring come-from-ahead road loss…Leading 45-41 with less than two (2) minutes remaining, Falcon “defense” takes charge, allowing Navy to go 75-yards for winning touchdown…B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” Falcons first team to gain over 600 yards of offense and lose in “like, dude, forever or something”.
FunFact: Both teams hampered by pregame Defense Secretary ruling requiring players – to inspire further patriotic fervor – to call audibles to tune of God Bless America.
Next Loss: UNLV
9. Vanderbilt (3-3; lost to Georgia 45-14)
Mitigating Factors: Complete inability to run football, stop others from running football behind latest B-10 surge, as Commodores rank 126th in Rushing Offense, 120th in Rushing Defense…Vanderbilt still reeling from turn-of-century decision to merge Athletic, Student Affairs departments as latest crop of 5-8, 135 pound Jewish Studies majors on offensive line paves way for 64-yards rushing.
FunFact: Historically strong finishers, Commodores can finish a season with nine (9)-straight losses for first time since 1990 by losing out.
Next Loss: at Ole Miss
10. Conference USA
Mitigating Factors: Though not as strong top-to-bottom as, say a MAC or Mountain West, complete occupation of B-10 medal stand makes C-USA easy pick for weekly B-10 Conference of the Week award…Forty percent of Week 7 survey either the conference itself or its teams, leaving the Sun Belt Conference – the unquestioned standard for B-10 conference lousiness – beaming with pride.
FunFact: Conference so bad, ability to rebound with strong .500 conference play mark for rest of season now being questioned.
This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Rice at Texas-San Antonio
Another Mountain West Thriller: Vanderbilt at Ole Miss