The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 8
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy
Talk about taking advantage of an opportunity.
With UMess not playing again thanks to hurricane-inspired scheduling changes, Charlotte remains on top and now has the nation’s longest losing streak to boot at ten (10) games.
Meanwhile, UMess finally returns to the field Saturday, hosting equally winless Georgia Southern in one of the most anticipated Bottom Ten showdown games in the past couple of weeks.
This week’s mess:
1. Charlotte (0-7; lost to Western Kentucky 45-14)
Mitigating Factors: With UMess still idle, 49ers retain vice-like grip on top spot with nation’s-best 10th straight loss…After scoring on two (2) of first three (3) possessions, offense settles with turnover, missed field goal, eight (8) punts rest of the way…49ers rank Dead Last in Team Passing Efficiency, though B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” they don’t know what Team Passing Efficiency is.
Name Game: School changed name from UNC-Charlotte a few years back so lousy football team could establish identity separate from basketball team that has actually won some games over the years.
Next Loss: UAB
2. UTEP (0-7; lost to Southern Mississippi 24-0)
Mitigating Factors: Miners hell-bent on B-10 glory, posting first shutout loss of 2017…Offense stellar, punting or turning the ball over on every possession, with only six (6) first downs, 17-yards rushing, marring effort…Current seven (7)-game skid third best in nation…Balanced Miners losing games by average score of 37.9-to-12.3
Broad Historical Context: Miners looking for sixth winless season ever and first since iconic 1973 ran the table at 0-11.
Next Loss: Texas-San Antonio (10/28)
3. Georgia Southern (0-5; lost to New Mexico State 35-27)
Mitigating Factors: Formerly under-the-radar Golden Eagles now have B-10 pollsters undivided attention following fifth straight loss…With losses to lower level team, Power 5 schools, Sun Belt Conference schools, Golden Eagles constructing classic B-10 run…Can make big B-10 statement with loss to UMess this week.
Lose One For The Gipper: Coaching staff motivates team at halftime with inspiring speech about how “they came here to win B-10 titles and not be some middling, pansy-ass two (2) win team”.
Next Loss: at UMess
4. Kansas (1-5; lost to Iowa State 45-0)
Mitigating Factors: 2015 B-10 champions back in survey with hot, new five (5)-game losing skid…Only blemish so far Week 1 win against lower level, compass point East South Central Western Missouri Southern …With B-10 title already under their jockstraps, Jayhawks strong contenders for B-10 Team of the Decade award with 15-75 mark since Double Aughts.
Carry On, Wayward Losers: Annual contenders for coveted Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win – Jayhawks assured of second such award in three (3) seasons by losing out.
Next Loss: at TCU
5. BYU (1-6; lost to Mississippi State 35-10)
Mitigating Factors: Cougars surprise team of 2017, as B-10 run complete surprise following consecutive nine (9)-win campaigns…Offense has produced ten (10) or fewer points four (4) times in 2017…Cougars expected to lose valuable practice time this week as “academics first” students prepare for future missions by trying to find this week’s opponent East Carolina on a map.
With This Losing Streak, I Thee Wed: To help improve morale and deplete energy for B-10 stretch run, athletic department at Mormon school has authorized additional wives for married players.
Next Loss: East Carolina
6. San Jose State (1-7; lost to Hawaii 37-26)
Mitigating Factors: Spartans quest for second B-10 title this decade kicked into overdrive with sixth straight loss…Offense does the little things, producing false start and pass interference penalties while on Hawaii’s one (1)-yard line, more than making up for early 10-0 lead…Goal line stand penalties part of overall display of fundamental mastery, as Spartans get penalized eleven (11) times for 104 yards.
FunFact: Spartans can earn sixth one (1)-win season ever and second this decade by losing out.
Next Loss: at BYU (10/28)
7. Baylor (0-6; lost to Oklahoma State 59-16)
Mitigating Factors: Refreshed and refocused following bye week, Bears not missing beat in quest for first B-10 title..Following slow start, defense comes on strong, allowing touchdowns on final five (5) possessions of first half…Bears chasing history, looking to become only second Baylor team ever, and first since 1969, to finish season winless.
#MeToo: To instill sense of chivalry in players in wake of sex abuse scandal, athletes now required to bow, say ‘top of the morning’ m’lady’ and squirt coeds with seltzer bottles instead of sexually attacking them.
Next Loss: West Virginia
8. Conference USA
Mitigating Factors: C-USA earns second straight B-10 Conference of the Week award…C-USA setting itself apart in tightest race for B-10 Conference of the Year award with two (2) teams on B-10 medal stand, both of them winless, and seven teams with sub-.500 records.
Stop Us If You’ve Heard This Before: Despite best top-to-bottom weakness of any major division conference, C-USA teams valiantly rebounding for strong .500 conference play mark.
9. Earlham (0-6; lost to Mount St. Joseph 66-7)
Mitigating Factors: 39th straight loss for D-III Quakers puts them on Easy Street in quest for second straight Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in ISIS sphere of influence…Offense and defense both in championship form, as 66 is most points allowed in 2017 and 7 points scored a season low….Macalester’s all-time D-III mark of 50 consecutive losses now starting to appear in crosshairs.
Now You Know: School name is pronounced EARL-um, not EARL-ham or earl-HAM.
Next Loss: Hanover
10. Vanderbilt (3-4; lost to Ole Miss 57-35)
Mitigating Factors: While chance at B-10 title probably gone, Commodores, a B-10 Legacy Team, still with outside shot at Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win – if they can lose out…Offense makes quick work of matters, producing seven (7) drives of three (3) plays or fewer.
FunFact: Vanderbilt still feeling effects of turn-of-century merger of Athletic, Student Affairs departments as Drama Department students assigned temporary duty as defensive coaches require linebackers to really “get in touch with their inner self” while Ole Miss running backs blow past them for 252 yards rushing.
Next Loss: at South Carolina (10/28)
This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Georgia Southern at UMess
Up Next On ESPN735: BYU at East Carolina