The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 3
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Foremost Humorist
All hail the Jayhawks!
The defending ESPNCup holders refused to rest on their laurels, following up their Week 1 smackdown of a lower level team to start yet another losing streak, with a breathtaking home loss. A repeat of last year’s Bottom Ten title isn’t going to be easy, though, as the medal stand is filled out with 0-2 teams that threaten to run the table in 2016.
Elsewhere in the Bottom Ten, chaos reigns as Charlotte is bumped from the top spot following a win over a lower level team, a clear violation of some Bottom Ten bylaw or another. Fortunately, at this stage of the season, any team can make a strong claim for Bottom Ten glory merely by losing out.
This week’s mess:
1. Kansas (1-1; lost to Ohio 37-21)
Mitigating Factors: Defending B-10 champions come back strong after smacking around lower-level team in Week 1…While defense sets pace by bursting out to early 25-0 deficit, steady-as-she-goes offense in midseason form with six (6) punts, three (3) turnovers and a (a) safety…With loss Jayhawks back on track for Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win…Despite Week 1 win, Kansas has still lost 21 of 23.
Dust In The Wind: With B-10 race expected to be close, Jayhawks could benefit from strength-of-schedule points received from losing to MAC team.
Next Loss: at Memphis
2. Kent State (0-2; lost to North Carolina A&T 39-36)
Mitigating Factors: Unranked in first polls of 2016, Golden Flashes return to B-10 medal stand following classic four (4) OT, come-from-ahead home loss to lower-level team…Coaching staff officially “pleased” with type of no heroes, next-man-up total team loss that really builds character for B-10 title run, showing Golden Flashes can play well and still lose the close ones…Current seven (7) game skid second-best in nation and best since 2007-08 squads blew nine (9) straight.
As The World Turns: Kent State can really go all-in for B-10 title run with second consecutive loss to lower level team this week.
Next Loss: Monmouth
3. UMess (0-2; lost to Boston College 26-7)
Mitigating Factors: Thinking game was being played under experimental Team-Leading-At-End-Of-First-Quarter-While-Playing-In-NFL-Stadium-WIns rule, Minutemen lead 7-0 after first quarter before putting in scout team…Offense says “we got this” taking charge with minus 23-yards rushing, seven (7) drives of negative yardage and three (3) turnovers…Strong second half key, as offense produces six( 6) punts and an interception, while defense stays the course, giving up 13 points…College football so popular in Massachusetts only 25,000 or so showed up for lousy interstate battle played in professional stadium.
Broad Historical Context: UMess, which resumed major division football in 2012, has not a season that featured a losing streak of less than four games since 1904 squad went 5-2-1.
Next Loss: Florida International
4. Washington State (0-2; lost to Boise State 31-28)
Mitigating Factors: Sort of B-10 perennial Cougars back in well-charted waters following stirring loss to ranked team, which followed stirring Week 1 loss to lower-level school…Cougars off to first 0-2 start since treasured 2009 squad finished year on B-10 medal stand…Loss to Idaho this week for Potato Famine Plaque could be type of classic morale-depleting loss that sends Cougars straight to B-10 medal stand.
Coach, U-Haul On Line Two: In his sixth season at Washington State, pressure really on coach Mike Leach to produce solid B-10 run in 2016.
Next Loss: Idaho
5. Charlotte (1-1; defeated Elon 47-14)
Mitigating Factor: 49ers fan(s) file official protest after B-10 pollsters violate B-10 bylaws and drop Charlotte from top spot following win against lower level team…B-10 pollsters cite lack of B-10 pedigree, failure of bribe check to clear by deadline, as reasons for dropping 49ers from top spot…With deep B-10 field starting to assert itself, 49ers need to break off long losing streak, deposit funds in bank account, to get back in B-10 race.
Only 108 Shopping Days Till Christmas: Proof that Charlotte still developing football tradition can be found that when googling “Charlotte football” the first thing that is auto-populated is name of chick clothing site.
Next Loss: Eastern Michigan
6. Earlham (0-2; lost to Gallaudet 30-0)
Mitigating Factors: Quakers lose 25th straight, easily retaining Continental Cup – issued to team with longest losing streak in NAFTA sphere of influence…Consistent Quakers give up one (1) touchdown in each quarter…With 90 penalty yards and minus-34 rushing yards, B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” they are unable to figure out Earlham’s Penalty-Yards-To-Rushing-Yards ratio, though they are “more or less” certain it’s “really bad and stuff”.
In The Crosshairs: Earlham hasn’t won since October 2013’s 21-20 win over Anderson…Anderson isn’t any good either, having lost 49 of 54, including 29 straight earlier this decade.
Next Loss: Anderson
7. Rice (0-2: lost to Army 31-14)
Mitigating Factors: Owls back in B-10 mix following decisive loss to eight-time defending Sgt Bilko Trophy – symbolic of service academy lousiness – winners…Owls come back strong following touchdown on opening drive with five (5) punts and an interception while “defense” lays down gauntlet, giving up touchdowns on three (3) of first four (4) drives…Owls getting back on B-10 schneid, going 5-7 in 2015, which followed three straight bowl game appearances.
Now Hear This: Rice hindered by Army Secretary pregame ruling requiring Cadets to impale all tackled runners on stake, leading to depleted running back corps that saw tuba players carrying ball at end of game.
Next Loss: Baylor (9/16)
8. Coast Guard (1-1; lost to Merchant Marine Academy 31-27)
Mitigating Factors: With major division service academies off to a combined 6-0 start, B-10 pollsters really slumming, making fun of small college, shallow water officer candidates in spot normally reserved for Army…Though a D-III school, Bears show mettle of traditional B-10 power, blowing two leads and rushing for only 70-yards…Coasties have lost five (5) of six (6) Secretaries Cups against arch-rival Mariners.
Name Game: Starting QB Derek Victory expected to change name to Derek .500 later this week.
Next Loss: Catholic
9. Louisiana – Famous Dead Person (2-2; UL-Monroe: lost to Oklahoma 59-17; UL-Lafayette: defeated McNeese State 30-22)
Mitigating Factors: Hilarious joint entry back in B-10 survey, following #9 ranking in final 2015 poll…UL-M keeps entry on track with strong blowout loss to traditional national power, breaking out to 42-0 halftime deficit before coasting in second half…With Sooners playing special ed students and PE majors in second half, UL-M keeps starters in to pad stats with 17 points…UL-L keeps pace with close win against lower level school, with game not decided until UL-L recovers onside kick, takes knee at end of game.
Mark Your Calendars…Now: Annual match-up between two teams always highlight of B-10 social season…It’s on 12/3 this season, with loser, as usual, receiving Billy Cannon Certificate, symbolic of Cajun football ineptitude.
Next Losses: UL-M: Georgia Southern; UL-L: Southern Alabama
Mitigating Factors: Paced by Kent State, MAC teams have three (3) of the five (5) longest losing streaks in the country, easily earning B-10 Conference of the Week award…Three-quarters of MAC is either at .500 or below, and four (4) are winless…With usual powers MAC and Sun Belt Conference expected to be strong, and with the Pac-12 making noises they aren’t any good, it could be a pitched battle for coveted B-10 Conference of the Year award.
This Line Never Gets Old…We Don’t Think: Despite slow start, MAC fully expected to mimic Sun Belt Conference and rebound for strong .500 mark in conference play.
This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Eastern Michigan at Charlotte
Up Next On the Fox Sports Southeastern Washington/Really Western Idaho Network, Following This From Your Friends At Dave’s Dairy: Idaho at Washington State
B-10 Past vs B-10 Future: Florida International at UMess