The Bottom Ten
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Foremost Humorist
And then there was one.
The Rice Owls are it: the last remaining winless team in college football following a tough, one-point loss that has Owl fan(s) dreaming of hoisting the ESPNCup – symbolic of Bottom Ten ineptitude – for the first time.
It ain’t over yet, though. Not only do C-USA and the always-tough MAC have multiple contenders in the hunt for coveted B-10 medal stand berths, but UMass – known as UMess to Bottom Ten staffers – is back on the medal stand and defending ESPNCup holders Kansas are dismissed at your peril
This week’s mess:
- Rice (0-6; lost to Texas-San Antonio 14-13)
Mitigating Factors: Owls putting it all together, outgaining their opponents, scoring on their opening drive and only turning ball over once and still pulling out close, hard-fought home loss…Rice puts “special” in special teams, missing to field goals…Though minefield of C-USA schedule still remains, first ever B-10 title is theirs to lose – literally…Owls off to best start since 2009 squad started season 0-9 and are looking for first winless season since Reagan Administration.
Broad Historical Perspective: 206 Owls can lay foundation for B-10 Hall of Fame membership with loss this week to lower level team that once lost galaxy-best 80-straight games.
Next Loss: Prairie View A&M
2. Florida Atlantic (1-6; lost to Marshall 27-21)
Mitigating Factors: Owls blow two (2) leads in type of morale-depleting conference loss that tends to lead straight to the B-10 medal stand…After second quarter touchdown, FAU finishes strong, turning the ball over or punting the rest of the way…Current six (6)-game skid tied with Rice for nation’s best…With only win coming in opener, FAU in prime position to claim first ever Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win.
FunFact: With bye week coming up, FAU must remain focused on lousy week of practice, Oct 29 game vs Western Kentucky and not be caught looking ahead to Nov 5 showdown with Rice.
Next Loss: Western Kentucky (Oct 29)
3. UMess (1-6; lost to Louisiana Tech 56-28)
Mitigating Factors: Offense takes center stage with two (2) missed field goals and two (2) turnovers, while turning two (2) Louisiana Tech turnovers into two (2) punts…Minutemen still have not had winning season as major division program since 1904 squad finished 5-2-1, leading athletic staff to seek to resume series with Williams, Wesleyan and Worcester Tech.
FunFact: Minutemen not putting a whole lot of drama into B-10 run, losing games by an average of 17.8 points.
Next Loss: at South Carolina
4. Kansas (1-5; lost to Baylor 49-7)
Mitigating Factors: Jayhawks – the defending B-10 champions – show their “all in” for two straight with obligatory blowout road loss to established national power…After blowing shutout with third quarter touchdown Jayhawks coaching staff calls off dogs by putting in fifth string to compete with Baylor PE majors getting some extra credit work in.
Carry On, Wayward Losers: Jayhawks one of 735 teams who can earn Tostitos Plaque – issued to tam with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win – by losing out.
Next Loss: Oklahoma State
5. Notre Dame (2-5; lost to Stanford 17-10)
Mitigating Factors: Leading 10-0 at half and seeing B-10 medal stand hopes fading, Irish offense takes command, allowing both fumble and interception returns for touchdown, plus safety in second half…Notre Dame enjoying best B-10 campaign since 2007 when they earned Sgt Bilko Trophy – symbolic of service academy lousiness – with losses to Navy and Air Force…With ND having lost to Duke, who lost to Northwestern who lost to Illinois State, B-10 staffers searching for path to national title to Kankakee Prep.
Bottom Ten Jesus: Irish losing games by only an average of 5.6 points, impressing B-10 pollsters with ability to lose close ones.
Next Loss: Miami, Florida (Oct 29)
6. Kent State (2-5; lost to Miami, Ohio 18-14)
Mitigating Factors: Golden Flashes throw MAC B-10 race into complete chaos, snapping Miami’s nation’s best six (6)-game losing streak…Kent State actually not too bad on defense, getting it done with passing game that couldn’t toss screen pass against eleven (11) nuns, ranking 122nd in Passing Offense…With only wins coming against lower level team and MAC squad, Golden Flashes still in contention for B-10 medal stand thanks to strength of schedule points.
FunFact: Recruits tab on football home page actually leads to text page advising high schoolers “DON’T COME HERE”
Next Loss: Ohio
7. Conference USA
Mitigating Factors: With emergence of Kent State and Bowling Green, C-USA staves off big challenge from MAC to barely hold on to coveted B-10 Conference of the Week award…Six teams in country have lost five (5) or six (6) consecutive games, three (3) are from C-USA, most in country…Conference so weak nine (9) teams have a Future Opponents Winning Percentage of less than .400.
The New Material Budget Is Still $0.00 I see: Despite winless teams, conference bravely mustering strong .500 mark in conference play.
Next Loss: Affiliation with Fritos Bean Dip Bowl Presented By Mobile Prostitute Alliance
8. Earlham (0-6; lost to Mount St. Joseph 61-7)
Mitigating Factors: Division III Quakers retain Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in country spied on by the NSA – with 29th straight loss…Quakers rank Dead Last in Rushing Offense (22.8 ypg), only 381.4 ypg behind D-III leading Washington and Lee…Earlham setting the pace in tough Division III, as Quakers followed closely by Lewis and Clark (28 straight losses) and Grove City (27 consecutive losses).
This Is Casey, Counting Them Down: Quakers rank 200th or worse in 15 D-III stat categories, up from twelve (12) last week…Gentlemanly Quakers do rank 67th and 43rd in Fewest Penalties and Fewest Penalty Yards Per game.
Next Loss: at Hanover
9. Bowling Green (1-6; lost to Toledo 42-35)
Mitigating Factors: 21-point fourth quarter means Falcons good enough to turn potential blowout into heartbreaking road loss…Current five (5)-game skid second best in nation…Defense showing way to B-10 glory, as Falcons rank Dead Last in Scoring “Defense”, allowing 45.9 ppg…Defense also ranks Dead Last in Turnover Margin…Though B-10 pollsters not bright enough to completely understand this stat, they’re “pretty sure” Dead Last is still “like, really bad and stuff”.
FunFact: With Week 1 blowout loss to Ohio State, followed by win against lower level team Falcons can construct classic B-10 run by running table in MAC play.
Next Loss: Miami, Ohio
10. Fresno State (1-6; lost to San Diego State 17-3)
Mitigating Factors: Bulldog fan(s) filing official B-10 protest, claiming usual East Coast bias that sees Bulldogs as only West Coast team in survey this week, and no higher than number ten (10)…Offense shows way to fifth straight loss, sleepwalking to inspired ten (10) first down, three (3) interception, one (1) field goal performance…Defense allows 292 rushing yards but only two (2) touchdowns, leading coaching staff – hell bent on B-10 glory – to wonder if they should just stop tackling people entirely in order to pad points per game stats.
FunFact: With only win coming in Week 2, Bulldogs need help to win Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win – even if they lose out.
Next Loss: at Utah State
This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Miami, Ohio at Bowling Green
This One Isn’t Going To Be Any Good, Either:Fresno State at Utah State