The Bottom Ten
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Foremost Humorist
The cream rises.
Forced to bide its time following a Week 1 win, defending ESPNCup champion Kansas is back atop the throne following Rice’s shocking win. Another Bottom Ten title is the Jayhawks to lose – literally.
With Rice’s win and both Fresno State and UMess taking the week off, the Week 12 Bottom Ten is wide open with no less than three (3) new entries making their Bottom Ten debut this week.
This week’s imbroglio
- Kansas (1-9; lost to Iowa State 31-24)
Mitigating Factors: Jayhawks dismiss Cyclones from B-10 title race, getting outscored 15-0 in final 15:10 to secure nation’s best ninth (9th) straight loss…Jayhawks also on track to claim second, or maybe third, Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win – by losing out…Jayhawks still refusing to take B-10 pollsters advice and have tall basketball player just fall forward on punt returns, now averaging a full minus 1-yard on punt returns.
On The Road Again: Jayhawks have also lost nation’s best 40 straight on road, with last road win coming in 2009 at UTEP.
Next Loss: Texas
2. Rutgers (2-8; lost to Michigan State 49-0)
Mitigating Factors: Despite experience of playing in first ever college football game in 1869, Rutgers still not any good, having lost seven (7) straight…With Fresno State enjoying a bye week, Scarlet Knights getting opportunity to test drive runner-up spot…Offense getting smiley faces on playbooks after nearly flawless performance, punting or turning the ball over on every possession…Only wins came against local loan shark named Howard and past B-10 perennials New Mexico.
Yeah, We Bad: Rutgers a statistical juggernaut, ranking Next-To-Dead-Last on Total Offense and Scoring Offense…Also Team Passing Efficiency, but B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” they don’t know what Team Passing Efficiency is.
Next Loss: Penn State
3. Earlham (0-10; lost to Rose-Hulman 74-6)
Mitigating Factors: D-III Quakers claim coveted medal stand spot and earn first B-10 hardware of 2016, taking Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in NAFTA sphere of influence – home for the winter following 33rd straight loss…Earlham finishes season ranked Dead Last in Rushing Offense (39.7 ypg) and lost games by an average score of 49.6-to-11.3 in 2016.
Commitment To Excellence: Emphasis at Earlham apparently on academics or something because combined record of fall sports squads is 19-72-1, making Quakers favorites for B-10 Pollster’s Cup – issued to worst athletic department in country.
Next Loss: 2017
4. Rice (2-8; defeated Charlotte 22-21)
Mitigating Factors: Minefield of C-USA schedule simply too rough to navigate week in and week out, as Owls drop from B-10 top spot following first conference win of 2016…Owls still wondering what the hell happened, as offense unable to hold on to 21-0 deficit, outscoring 49ers 22-0 from second quarter on… While anything can happen in final couple of weeks, Owls will need help in addition to losing out to finish on B-10 medal stand.
It’s Always Fun Until Somebody Wins: Owls blow best chance for B-10 title since 2009 squad up and won two (2) straight after 0-9 start.
Next Loss: UTEP
5. College Football Playoff
Mitigating Factors: Holy BCS, Batman!!!…CFP selection committee researching 1978 Jonestown massacre for Kool-Aid recipes after three (3) of top four (4) teams lose…It is entirely possible that national semifinals will feature at least one team that did not qualify for their conference championship game, much less win it…Or a national semifinal could include Washington State, which opened 2016 with morale-boosting loss to lower level squad.
FunFact: A 32-team NCAA Division I football playoff could begin Thanksgiving weekend and end on New Year’s Day, the last day anyone really cares about college football.
Next Loss: Stand by, it’ll get worse.
6. Conference USA
Mitigating Factors: C-USA barely noses out MAC, Power V conferences for B-10 Conference of the Week award as Conference of the Year race threatens to go down to wire…Rice loss shows just how deep conference is in 2016 as no less than five (5) C-USA teams have been ranked this season…Only four (4) of 14 conference teams have winning records
The New Material Budget Is Still Zero, I See: To ward off detractors and to impress zero-star recruits, conference proudly points to strong .500 mark in conference play.
7. Tulane (3-7; lost to Houston 30-18)
Mitigating Factors: Once regular patrollers of B-10 terrain, Green Trickle back in survey on strength of hot, new five (5) game losing skid…Tulane ranks Dead Last in only one official NCAA stat category, Team Passing Efficiency, though B-10 pollsters are still no more certain what Team Passing Efficiency is than they were earlier in the survey…Only tough overtime win, victory over UMess keeping Tulane from B-10 glory in 2016.
FunFact: New $75 million on-campus football stadium seats 30,000, enough to impress Louisiana recruits, but 5-star recruits in neighboring Texas not considering Tulane because they don’t want to play in downgraded facility.
Next Loss: Temple
8. Army (5-5; lost to Notre Dame 44-6)
Mitigating Factors: Strong loss to Irish – who were ranked in last week’s survey – sets morale-boosting tone for season-ender against Navy that will be for Sgt Bilko Trophy – symbolic of service academy lousiness…Cadets hampered by angels and arch-angels kidnapping of Army Secretary, threatening to kill him if Army didn’t cover spread.
FunFact: With quality losses to Buffalo, Duke and North Texas, Black Knights of Confusion still have outside chance at final B-10 ranking by losing out.
Next Loss: Morgan State
9. Team Passing Efficiency
Mitigating Factors: B-10 pollsters extending bar tabs, “bound and determined” to find what this stat means as so many B-10 teams are lousy at it…Some research shows it is similar to NFL passer rating…Further research show Team Passing Efficiency formula well beyond comprehension of B-10 pollsters.
Running The Numbers: As long as B-10 pollsters were banging their head against the wall, they decided to look up Miscellaneous Yards, long a staple of NCAA stat sheets, though we’ve never seen any team actually gain Miscellaneous Yards and we look all the time…Some research shows Miscellaneous Yards usually awarded during yardage gained by defense following blocked field goal.
10. Texas State (2-7; lost to Idaho 47-17)
Mitigating Factors: Bobcats making late charge, as current five (5)-game skid tied for fourth best in nation…Texas State shows how ciritcal complete inability to rush football, stop others from doing same is to B-10 glory, ranking Dead Last in Rushing Offense (67.8 ypg) and 115th in Rushing Defense (231.6 ypg).
FunFact: Bobcats only ranked tenth thanks to loss of strength-of-schedule points as two wins include victory against Ohio team that has seven (7) wins and priest novitiates from lower level Incarnate Word who thought they were on field trip to old Mexican fort.
Next Loss: at New Mexico State
This Week’s Clash of the Titans: UTEP at Rice
This One Isn’t Going To Be Any Good, Either: Texas State at New Mexico State
Big Ten Thriller of the Week: Whoever Rutgers is playing