The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 5
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy
Next loser up.
It happens every year in the race for the ESPN Cup: one team wins and drops while another teams takes advantage and moves up with a loss. With last week’s #2 East Carolina up and winning their first game of the season, Charlotte took advantage and lost to move into the runner-up spot.
And while dropping from #2 completely out of the survey is rare, Bottom Ten pollsters – in a tender and candid moment – admitted they were actually glad to see East Carolina drop from the survey because they were running out of East Carolina statehood jokes.
This week’s triumph:
1. UMess (0-5; lost to Tennessee 17-13)
Mitigating Factors: Minutemen in rare dogfight with Power 5 school, dangerously close to blowing B-10 top spot after trailing only 17-13 at end of three periods…UMess shows type of mettle that leads straight to B-10 glory, though, taking charge late and retaining top spot with scoreless fourth quarter…Current eight (8) game losing skid nation’s best.
WTF?: While offense does its part by punting ten (10) times, stubborn defense getting frowns on playbooks for forcing eight (8) punts and a fumble.
Next Loss: Ohio
2. Charlotte (0-4; lost to Georgia State 28-0)
Mitigating Factors: Offense showing the way in quest for first B-10 title, setting strong early tone with punts on first six (6) possessions…Defense getting frowns on playbooks for only allowing seven (7) points off the three (3) turnovers their offense worked hard to produce….49ers have lost seven (7) straight and are an impressive 6-22 since starting major division football in 2015.
Bottom Ten Alumni Association: Charlotte hoping to get blessing for 2017 B-10 run with loss to once and probably future B-10 power Florida International this week.
Next Loss: at Florida International
3. UTEP (0-4; lost to New Mexico State 41-14)
Mitigating Factors: After clawing back to tie game 7-7 in first quarter, Miners send regrets for remainder of game…UTEP a statistical juggernaut, ranking Dead Last in Total Offense and Rushing Offense and 123rd in Total Defense…Miners have lost four (4) straight and are off to best start since 2003 squad started 0-4 and are looking for first 0-5 start since 1992 squad started 0-6.
There Is No “I “ In Bottom Ten: Total team effort on both sides of the ball has Miners losing games by an average score of 47.8-to-12.8
Next Loss: at Army
4. Bowling Green (0-4; lost to Middle Tennessee 24-13)
Mitigating Factors: Never in this one, Falcons not completely out of it until offense clinches it with punts on final four possessions…Another team that values consistency on both sides of the ball, Falcons rank 125th in Total “Defense” (549 ypg) and 107th in Total Offense (330 ypg)…Probably because they get so much practice, Falcons do rank 5th in Net Punting (44.53 ypk), however.
FunFact: Though Falcon fan(s) cautiously optimistic about B-10 title chances, they realize team must avoid three (3) and seven (7) game winning streaks that have plagued B-10 chances over the years.
Next Loss: Akron
5. Silver Convention (1-6; UNLV: lost to Ohio State 54-21; Nevada: lost to Washington State 45-7)
Mitigating Factors: Silver State’s two major universities combine for first hilarious joint entry…UNLV comes back strong after bye week with obligatory loss to national power while Wolf Pack joins logjam of 0-4 teams with fourth straight loss…Both teams impressing B-10 pollsters with losses to lower level teams and Nov 25 meeting could be for B-10 medal stand berth.
Get Out Your History Books: B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” this is first time two teams from gambling states have formed joint entry since Tijuana Tech and Monte Carlo A&M joined forces in 1960’s
Next Losses: UNLV: San Jose State; Nevada: at Fresno State
6. Baylor (0-4; lost to Oklahoma 49-41)
Mitigating Factors: Under the radar Bears making first appearance in 2017 survey as B-10 pollsters have classic a-ha “Look, Baylor’s 0-4” moment…Bears constructing classic B-10 run, with losses to lower level school, team that didn’t even exist at start of decade, B-10 Team of the Decade for Double Aughts and traditional national power.
Book’em Dano: B-10 pollsters taking waiting-and-see attitude, ranking Bears in lower half of survey until B-10 staffers decide whether or not school’s sex abuse scandal warrant suspension from survey on morals charges.
Next Loss: at Kansas State
7. Simon Fraser (0-4; lost to Azusa Pacific 83-7)
Mitigating Factors: With Earlham taking week off, Clan earn Interim Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in NATO that actually played a game – with 27th straight loss…Though B-10 pollsters strongly suspect school is located in Canada, Simon Fraser plays in NCAA Division II.
Insert Own Funny Line Here: Mascot is McFogg the Dog, a Scottish terrier that wears a kilt. We are not making that up.
Next Loss: Central
8. Louisiana – Famous Dead Person (2-5; UL-Lafayette: lost to UL-Monroe 56-50, 2OT; UL-Monroe: defeated UL-Lafayette 56-50, 2OT)
Mitigating Factors: Wow…B-10 fan(s) everywhere, well in some places, at least, will be talking about UL-Lafayette’s classic loss for Billy Cannon Certificate – symbolic of Cajun football lousiness – for days, maybe weeks…UL-L recovers from tying game on final play of regulation to blow field goal in second overtime, leading to UL-M’s game-winning touchdown.
Running The Numbers: Though B-10 staffers anticipated loser of this game would get own B-10 entry, UL-Monroe’s strength of schedule points for beating lousy UL-L team enough to keep joint entry in survey.
Next Losses: UL-Lafayette: at Idaho (10/7) ; UL-Monroe: Coastal
9. Florida Atlantic (1-3; lost to Buffalo 34-31)
Mitigating Factors: Owls hiring of name coach paying off dividends, as Lane Kiffin delivering on promise to “contend for B-10 medal stand, goddammit”…Owls impress with ability to defy odds, losing to lousy Buffalo team despite gaining 262 yards rushing and turning ball over only once.
We Are Outta Here: Efficient offense produces seven (7) droves of less than two (2) minutes with none longer than 3:24.
Next Loss: Middle Tennessee
10. Conference USA
Mitigating Factors: Despite tight race, C-USA gets coveted B-10 Conference of the Week for second straight week, thanks to having 40 percent of nation’s 0-4 teams…40 percent of Week 5 survey is either conference teams or conference itself…In improvement from last week, C-USA now has ten (10) of 16 teams without winning records.
The New Material Budget Remains $0.00 I See: Despite .294 winning percentage in non-conference action, conference still heroically managing .500 record in conference play.
This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Nevada at Fresno State
Up Next On ESPN793: Akron at Bowling Green