The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 1
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy
It’s put up or shut up time for the dregs of college football, as the race for the ESPNCup, symbolic of Bottom Ten supremacy, starts misfiring on all cylinders this week.
Can UTEP run the table again? Will Earlham win an unprecedented third straight Continental Cup – issued to the team with the longest all-division losing streak in NATO? Can Vanderbilt return to past glories?
Hell, we don’t know, either, but Bottom Ten pollsters are pleased to announce an exciting new the feature, the Bottom Ten Leaderboard, which is ranked #10 this week.
The Week 1 fiasco:
Editor’s Note: Records in parenthesis are 2017 records, final Bottom Ten finish for teams that have not played a game yet or 2018 records for teams that have played a game.
1. Charlotte (1-11; 4th)
Mitigating Factors: After just missing out on B-10 medal stand with 2018’s #4 finish, 89ers have first ever B-10 title squarely in sights…Charlotte bucking for B-10 Team of Half-Decade award, at 12-35 since starting major division football in 2014…Athletic department raking in cash with signing of long-term TV deal with ESPN7,324 for $17.95/season.
FunFact: New uniform supplier Charlotte Russe pleased with padded shoulder look, but appalled with knickers, plain cleated, oxford shoes…And those socks have got to go, too.
Next Loss: Fordham
2. UTEP (0-12; 1st)
Mitigating Factors: Defending B-10 champions have targets on their jerseys this year, as opponents will try to be at their worst to upend Miners’ quest for back-to-back ESPNCups… Miner fan(s) file official protest of #2 ranking with B-10 staffers, insisting top ranking is theirs until they “lose it on the field”…Brutal early schedule, as games against lower level school, Nevada-Loss Vegas could spell trouble before Week 3’s obligatory national power blowout at Tennessee.
Time Machine: The original Bottom Ten columnist Steve Harvey, then of The Los Angeles Times, used to refer to UTEP as Texas at El Intercepted Paso.
Opening Loss: Northern Arizona
3. Rice (1-0; defeated Prairie View A&M; lost to)
Mitigating Factors: Owls already in midseason form, requiring field goal on final play to ensure come-from-behind win against lower level school…Though what figures to be minefield of C-USA schedule still to come, Owls can win 2018 Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win – by losing out.
FunFact: With attendance already in the tank school officials considering tarping over entire stadium, at least until high school 6-man football playoffs promise to draw sellout crowds
Next Loss: Houston
4. Kansas (1-11; 3rd)
Mitigating Factors: 2015 B-10 champions and two-time winners of Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win – looking to solidify B-10 Team of the Decade credentials with another stellar season…B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” Jayhawks only team this decade to average less than two (2) wins and more than ten (10) losses this decade…Maybe last decade, too.
FunFact: With 15-81 mark this decade, Memorial Stadium renovation plans scaled back, though new Danny’s Taquito Pagoda scheduled to be completed in time for opener.
Opening Loss: Nichols State
5. Earlham (0-10; won Continental Cup)
Mitigating Factors: Division III Quakers can secure own wing in B-10 Hall of Fame with unprecedented third straight Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in NATO…Quakers have lost 43 straight, with last win coming in 2013, a 21-20 thrashing of Anderson.
In The Crosshairs: Quakers can tie Macalester’s all-time D-III mark of 50 consecutive losses with an 0-7 start…B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” they can break it with 0-8 start.
Opening Loss: Wilmington (Ohio)
6. Air Force (0-0; won Sgt Bilko Trophy)
Mitigating Factors: Anemic offense, porous defense should once again pave way to B-10 glory for current holders of Sgt Bilko Trophy – symbolic of service academy lousiness…Air Force expected to be hampered by Air Force secretary’s preseason ruling requiring all forward passes to be guided into receiver’s hands by teammate using orange flashlight batons for guidance.
Time Machine II: The original Bottom Ten columnist, Steve Harvey, then of the LA Times, used to call Air Force Error Force.
Opening Loss: Stony Brook
7. Big Ten Conference
Mitigating Factors: While not expected to contend with national powers like Conference USA, Sun Belt Conference for coveted B-10 Conference of the Year award, Big Ten earns Week 1 Conference of the Week award thanks to current Ohio State fiasco…While still working out the details, conference planning to introduce Sexual Assault as sanctioned sport in 2019.
FunFact: While traditionally strong conference expected to dominate non-conference play, B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” they’ll come back to Earth for routine .500 mark in conference play.
8. Bottom Ten Combined Entries
Mitigating Factors: Combined entries have long, somewhat honored history here at B-10…While no combined entry made Week 1 survey, B-10 fan(s) everywhere standing by to see if such perennials as Trilateral Commission (Duke, Vanderbilt, Rice) or Louisiana-Famous Dead Person (UL-Lafayette, UL-Monroe) will have what it takes to make an appearance or two…Or three…Or four.
FunFact: Other faves include Confederacy of Dunces (Charlotte, North Carolina, Florida Atlantic) and the New Mexicans (New Mexico, New Mexico State, New Mexico Highlands).
9. Duke (0-0; NR)
Mitigating Factors: Bleu Devils not too bad nowadays, though as B-10 Team of the Decade for Double Aughts they are entitled to courtesy Week 1 ranking.
FunFact: Though they won a bowl game named after an oil change company and one played in a freezing baseball stadium, Bleu Devils haven’t won real bowl game since slapping Arkansas around 7-6 in 1961 Cotton Bowl.
Next Loss: Army (8/31)
10. Bottom Ten Leaderboard
Mitigating Factors: Exciting new feature will rank bottom five (5) teams in following categories: Total Offense, Total Defense, Scoring Offense, Scoring Defense with five (5) points issued for Dead Last, four (4) for Next-To-Read-Last and so on…Beginning next week, B-10 Leaderboard leader guaranteed spot in weekly B-10 survey, though any team that bad will probably be in survey anyway.
FunFact: Though only six (6) teams have played games so far, B-10 pollsters field test new system, sending shout out to New Mexico State, the Week 1 B-10 Leaderboard leader with 16 (16) points.
This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Army at Duke
Not A Rose Bowl Preview: Oregon State at Ohio State
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