The Bottom Ten/Opening Week Q and A
By Gaylon Kent
Bottom Ten pollsters are nothing if not adaptable, both with their bar tabs and the weekly Bottom Ten surveys.
The NFL season begins two weeks after the Week 1 survey? No problem. The NFL Week 2 Interregnum Poll has become an American classic, combining the awarding of The Jim Hanifan Medallion – symbolic of NFL preseason lousiness – with the witless social commentary you’ve come to know and love.
The Army/Navy game is moved the week after the conference championship games? B-10 pollsters were in step with that, too, tossing in yet another goddamned Interregnum Poll in December, before the final NCAA poll is released.
Now college football is starting two weeks before the NFL?
No problemo. After fretting over the matter for a matter of minutes, the Bottom Ten is pleased to kick off 2017 with the Top 10 questions facing Bottom Ten fan(s) this season.
1. Will the service academies return to mediocrity? You guys sure missed them last year. Your lack of material was evident.
No kidding. Air Force, Army and Navy combined for a 27-12 record in 2017 forcing B-10 pollsters to look elsewhere – hi there VMI! – for military football material. Still, though, B-10 pollsters are optimistic and have their trusty, usual “Black Knights of Confusion” and “Army hindered by pregame Army Secretary ruling…” lines ready to go.
2. Does Bottom Ten staff have trouble keeping track of all the awards you guys hand out? Between Tostitos Plaques and Sgt Bilko Trophies and Continental Cups, there sure are a lot of them.
You bet we do! While B-10 pollsters are good at regularly passing out the stalwarts – Sgt Bilko Trophy, Tostitos Plaque, Jim Hanifan Medallion, et all – they do tend to forget some of the lesser awards they’ve issued and make others up as they go along, with B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” they’ve issued no less than 7,235 awards over the years.
3. How are the Week 1 matchups shaping up?
Oh, the season gets off to an exciting start, with 2017 medal stand laureate UMess, #9 finisher Rice – part of the hilarious Trilateral Commission entry with Vanderbilt and Duke – and past B-10 champion San Jose State all in action Saturday. Oregon State, 6-18 the past two (2) seasons will be looking to make an early-season splash with a big road loss at Colorado State.
4. Do the Jacksonville Jaguars have what it takes to win their first B-10 title?
The question for the ages. Sure, the Jaguars have significant B-10 street cred. They have a demanding owner and opening up their quarterback job two weeks into the exhibition season shows the lack of judgment and foresight that usually leads straight to the B-10 glory. But Jaguar fan(s) are still awaiting their first Dan Henning Trophy, symbolic of NFL Bottom Ten supremacy. Still though, with Tom Coughlin there to keep everybody toeing the line, veteran B-10 watchers know you ignore the Jaguars at your peril.
5. Why does LA have both the Chargers and the Rams? Did LA’s application to be a nuclear dump site get turned down?
Despite the fact this arrangement didn’t work in the Kennedy Administration, both Rams and Chargers back for another go-round sharing Los Angeles. In 2020 they will share a stadium. Between now and then they’ll fight for the two dozen or so LA sports fans that aren’t following the Dodgers or USC or even the resurgent Los Angeles High School Romans football team
6. Is the Continental Cup returning? Do you guys ever tire of making fun of small college teams that can’t win a game?
Of course the Continental Cup – issued to the team with the longest all-division losing streak in NATO – is returning and is currently held by Division III Earlham College in Indiana with 33 straight losses. And no, we don’t ever get tired of making fun of losing small college football programs. It’s what we do.
7. We miss Duke. Will they ever return to form?
The B-10 Team of the Decade for the Double Aughts will always have a hold on the hearts of B-10 fans everywhere. While they were ranked in the final survey last year as part of the hilarious Trilateral Commission entry, the Bleu Devils haven’t made the final B-10 survey on their own since 2011. Duke finished 2017 strong, however, losing five (5) of their last six (6) to finish 4-8 and B-10 fans everywhere are hopeful this nonsense of going to bowl games regularly is over.
8. Cleveland Browns = Bottom Ten dynasty?
Who knows? The week in, week out sucking of hind tit required to ascend the B-10 throne is immense. We would have thought Jacksonville would be looking back on multiple B-10 titles, but sometimes they’re not even the worst team in the brutal AFC South. The Browns, though, still do not have a quarterback and they are only slightly older than a Pop Warner team, so their 2016 B-10 title could be the start of a long run of Cleveland B-10 glory.
9. Will the NFL exist in 20 years?
Probably not. Between fans tuning out because of national anthem protests and players no longer playing the game, we are watching the beginning of the end for the NFL. The threats are real. The whites that watch NFL games don’t want to watch black athletes make valid points about their country by protesting the national anthem and parents will stop letting their kids play football. B-10 pollsters starting the long process of familiarizing themselves with lacrosse for the debut of National Lacrosse League Bottom Ten in 2037.
10. Will over half the NCAA still qualify for bowl games this year?
Not quite. In fact, there’s one less bowl from last year as the revered Poinsettia Bowl rolled over and called it a day. Still, though, there are 40 bowl games this season and they’re still going to be played in baseball stadiums, the freezing cold and, of all the silly places, the Bahamas. B-10 pollsters currently placing the over/under on number of bowl teams without a winning record this year at 4.5.