The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 8

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The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 8
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

All hail Earlham! Go Big Red!

As Division III Earlham enters the history books, Nebraska takes advantage of UTEP’s bye week to snag – after only 1,319 games – their first ever #1 Bottom Ten ranking as the race for the ESPNCup – symbolic of Bottom Ten supremacy – rolls on.

Elsewhere, the MAC also takes advantage of UTEP’s bye week, snagging Conference of the Week honors away from Conference USA.

Also, Bottom Ten pollsters would like to acknowledge the passing of real Hall of Fame coach John Gagliardi, who won four small school national titles at St John’s in Minnesota and 489 games, more than any other college football coach. Look up college football coach in the dictionary and you’ll find Gagliardi’s picture.

Now, on with the countdown. This week’s mess:

1. Nebraska (0-6; lost to Northwestern 34-31 OT))
Mitigating Factors: With UTEP resting up for stretch run, Huskers allowed to give B-10 throne test drive…Huskers show heart that leads straight to B-10 glory, blowing two (2) leads, giving up game-tying touchdown pass with 12 seconds remaining in game…Three (3) turnovers, including clutch overtime interception, lead to ten (10) Northwestern points.
GBR: Novitiate Huskers still getting B-10 sea legs, with B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” current ten (10)-game skid worst ever for team occupying B-10 top spot.
Next Loss: Minnesota

2. Rice (1-6; lost to UAB 42-0)
Mitigating Factors: Owls can’t even be bothered to show cursory early interest, busting out to 7-0 deficit on game’s fourth play…Offensive line taken out behind shed for Texas-sized whoopin’ as squad only one holding call away from having more penalty yards than rushing yardsOwls still in prime position to claim Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes win – by losing out… Owl looking pretty hard for first consecutive one (1)-win seasons since 1983-84 squads each went 1-10…
Gonna Fly Now: Owls really turning on the afterburners in quest for B-10 title, getting outscored 62-3 last two (2) games
Next Loss: at Florida International

3. San Jose State (0-6; lost to Army 52-3)
Mitigating Factors: Thinking game was being played under experimental have-to-be-as-lousy-as-pro-team-when-playing-in-their-stadium rule, Spartans earn blowout loss to latest crop of army officer candidates…Not that they needed it, but Spartans show strong finishing kick, fumbling ball away on first four (4) second-half possessions.
Numbers Racket: Complete inability to run ball, stop others from running ball key, as Spartans rank Dead Last in Rushing Offense (50.3 ypg) while giving up 184 ypg on ground.
Next Loss: at San Diego State

4. Earlham (0-7; lost to Anderson 63-0)
Mitigating Factors: Day that had been circled on calendars for two (2) years finally comes, as Quakers tie Macalester’s all-time NCAA Division III record with 50th consecutive loss…Earlham’s vice-like grip on Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in NATO – not likely to be loosened anytime soon as Quakers getting outscored 57.7-to-5.6 every week.
In The Crosshairs: With D-III mark safely in trophy case, Quakers not resting on laurels, already looking ahead to tying I-AA Prairie View’s all-division NCAA record of 80 consecutive losses in just three (3) short years.    
Next Loss: at Franklin

5. Texas State (1-5; lost to Georgia Southern 15-13)
Mitigating Factors: Safely out of game trailing 15-0 in third quarter, Bobcats show uncharacteristic finishing kick with two (2) late touchdowns though offense, already with seven (7) drives of ten (10) or fewer yards under their belts, saves day blowing two (2)-point conversion…Consistent Bobcats scoring red zone points 83 percent of time, giving up red zone points 83 percent of time.
Number Racket II: B-10 staffers still working overtime to figure out strength-of-schedule points as Bobcats only win came against 1-5 I-AA squad whose only win came against 2-5 D-II school.
Next Loss: at UL-Monroe

6. Central Michigan (1-6; lost to Ball State 24-23)
Mitigating Factors: Scrappy Chippewas blow two (2)-fourth quarter leads in third straight loss…Chippewas doing it with offense, ranking 100th or worse in every major official NCAA offensive stat category…B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” Central Michigan looking to become first team “basically ever” to finish in B-10 survey after losing four (4) straight bowl games.
FunFact: Chippewas still favorites for B-10 Pollsters Cup – issued to B-10 school with worst all-around program – as fall squads combined 11-48 in 2018.
Next Loss: Western Michigan

7. Navy (2-4; lost to Temple 24-17)
Mitigating Factors: Forget quest for Sgt Bilko Trophy – symbolic of service academy lousiness – Navy earns current B-10 ranking on merits, rounding into form with third straight loss…Middies show mettle that leads straight to B-10 glory leading 17-7 early in third quarter before closing with strong 17-0 run…Navy ranks Dead Last in Passing Offense (61.7 ypg) though B-10 pollsters manfully concede service academies seldom pass amid charges stat only included to pad entry.
FunFact: Midshipman hampered by pregame Navy Secretary order requiring interior linemen – to better prepare for future SEAL training – to wear frogman flippers in second half.
Next Loss: Houston

8. Bowling Green (1-6; lost to Western Michigan 42-35)
Mitigating Factors: Total Team Effort (TTE) sees defense blow lead with two (2) fourth-quarter touchdowns, offense secure loss with interceptions on final two drives…Cardinals administration not content, though, firing head coach after game for not being able to deliver winless season…Nobody stops run less than Cardinals, who rank Dead Last in Rushing Defense (325.1 ypg)
FunFact: With losses to Oregon, Maryland, Cardinals petitioning to let marching band perform at Rose Bowl pregame show.
Next Loss: at Ohio

9. Kent State (1-6; lost to Miami, Ohio 31-6)
Mitigating Factors: Another team whose only win came against I-AA squad, Golden Flashes impress B-10 pollsters with fifth straight loss…Game not as close as score indicated, as Golden Flashes punt, miss field goals or turn ball over in first eleven (11) possessions before scoring touchdown on final drive against assorted Miami PE majors earning Practical Experience credits.
FunFact: Golden Flashes need help, but team still in running for Tostitos Plaque – issued to team(s) with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win.
Next Loss: Akron

10. Mid-American Conference
Mitigating Factors: With half of conference possessing losing records, MAC easy pick for weekly B-10 Conference of the Week honors…B-10 Hall of Famers Sun Belt Conference nodding collective heads admiringly as 40 percent of Week 8 survey either MAC teams or the MAC itself…MAC so weak entire conference schedule rife with B-10 implications, strength-of-schedule points for teams losing games.  
FunFact: Despite near monopoly of Week 8 survey, MAC expected to stubbornly continue trend of strong .500 conference play mark through end of season.
Next Loss: Automatic berth for alleged conference ‘champion’ in Aleve PM Bowl sponsored by Purina Horse Chow.

This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Rice at Florida International
As The MAC Turns: Akron at Kent State
Mountain West Thriller of the Week: San Jose State at San Diego State

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