The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 9

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The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 9
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Give me a U!

After a week off to recharge for the tough Bottom Ten homestretch, UTEP returns to the top in the chase for the ESPNCup with their 19th straight loss.

In other news, the Bottom Ten Conference of the Week vote was the closest ever. Bottom Ten pollsters had to choose between the conference occupying two-thirds of the medal stand and the conference with the most teams in the survey. Bottom Ten pollsters kept their bar tabs open overtime this week while deciding the Conference of the Week honoree.

This week’s imbroglio:

1. UTEP (0-7; lost to Louisiana Tech 31-24)
Mitigating Factors: Miners come back strong following bye week, showing mettle expected of defending B-10 champions pulling out close, conference road loss…Miners never led, of course, but were dangerously tied 24-24 in fourth quarter…Current 19-game skid best in nation and best ever in B-10 Border Region since Tijuana Tech lost 37 straight in early 60’s.
The Light At The End Of The Tunnel: First tentative whispers of achieving Holy Grail – Northwestern’s all-time major division losing streak of 34 straight – starting to be heard by most optimistic UTEP fan(s).
Next Loss: UAB

2. Rice (1-7; lost to Florida International 36-17)
Mitigating Factors: Owls overcome early lead with strong finishing kick, punting or throwing interceptions entire fourth quarter…Probably because they get so much practice at it, Owls actually rank 7th nationally in Kickoff Returns (27.54 ypr) …Consistent Owls also rank 123rd in both Scoring Offense (19.2 ppg) and Scoring Defense (38.8 ppg).
FunFact: Rice athletic department acts quickly to dispel rumors that  – with game in Miami – players majoring in Naval Architecture built boat and tried to defect to Cuba to avoid humiliation of finishing season.
Next Loss: at North Texas

3. Earlham (0-8; lost to Franklin 64-20)
Mitigating Factors: Division III Quakers make rare B-10 medal stand appearance retaining Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak Saudi crown prince’s sphere of influence – shoving Macalester aside as sole possessor of all-time D-III record with 51st consecutive loss…Despite banner year, Quakers – surprisingly – do not rank Dead Last in any official NCAA stat category.
FunFact: Quakers even worse than last year – once thought impossible by NASA scientists – getting outscored 58.5-to-7 in 2018.
Next Loss: Defiance

4. San Jose State (0-7; lost to San Diego State 16-13)
Mitigating Factors: Complete inability to run football key, as 62 rushing yards overcomes curiously stingy defense…Spartans petitioning NCAA for Morale Victory designation after leading as late as midway through first quarter…Spartans hoping to overcome obvious B-10 C-USA bias and avoid becoming first team since Eastern Michigan in 2009 to run table and not win B-10 title.
FunFact: Spartans have lost seven (7) straight and 18 of last 20.
Next Loss: UNLV

5. Kent State (1-7; lost to Akron 24-23 OT)
Mitigating Factors: Golden Flashes constructing classic B-10 run, adding clutch overtime defeat to usual assortment of losses to big name teams…Heroic offense does its part, punting on final five (5) drives that produced 64 (63) total yards…B-10 pollsters issue props to coaching staff for going for two (2)-point conversion in overtime, though stubborn offense – hell bent on B-10 glory – refuses to score. 
FunFact: Golden Flashes get nod for highest B-10 ranking in tight MAC race as current six (6)-game skid best in conference.
Next Loss: at Bowling Green (10/30)

6. Tulsa (1-6; lost to Arkansas 23-0)
Mitigating Factors: Completely under the radar past couple of seasons, B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” this is Golden Hurricanes’ first B-10 ranking in “like, quite a while dude”…Current six (6)-game skid tied for third best in nation and Tulsa has lost 16 out of 19 past two (2) seasons…Peeved B-10 pollsters sending staffers out for beatings for leaving Tulsa off survey until now.
FunFact: Tulsa staffers petitioning NCAA Marketing Department to change nickname temporarily from Golden Hurricanes to Golden Chance of Showers if they don’t start winning some games.
Next Loss: Tulane

7. Bowling Green (1-7; lost to Ohio 49-14)
Mitigating Factors: Cardinals show token early interest, setting season mark by leading after fourth play of the game before defense takes over, allowing touchdowns on first four (4) possessions…Defense allows 392 rushing yards, easily retaining Dead Last Rushing Defense ranking (332.9 ypg)…Cardinals can make big pitch for B-10 medal stand with losses to Kent State and Central Michigan next two (2) games.
FunFact: With only win coming after 0-2 start, Cardinals with only glimmer of hope for Tostitos Plaque – issued to team(s) with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win.
Next Loss: Kent State (10/30)

8. Central Michigan (1-7; lost to Western Michigan 35-10)
Mitigating Factors: Thinking game was being played under experimental Team That Outscores Opponent 10-0 In Third Quarter Wins Game rule, Chippewas outscore Broncos 10-0 in third quarter…Central Michigan never in this one, either, cruising to 21-0 halftime deficit…Efficient offense punts or turns ball over on first ten (10) possession.
FunFact: 2-3 mark by fall sports squads last week keeps Chippewas – 13-51 for fall sports season – favorites for Pollster’s Cup – issued to B-10 school with worst all-around fall sports program.
Next Loss: at Akron

9. Rutgers (0-0; lost to Northwestern 18-15)
Mitigating Factors: Another fiasco forced to wait for initial 2018 B-10 appearance, Scarlet Knights have lost six straight after winning opener, putting them in prime position to claim Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win – by losing out…Rutgers athletic department filing paperwork with B-10 staffers for Legacy Award citing 2018 B-10 run, share of first ever B-10 title in 1869, though B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” Legacy Award doesn’t exist.
FunFact: Rutgers threatening to make mockery of Big Ten Team of the Decade race – never particularly easy to do – with 7-31 conference mark since entering conference in 2014.
Next Loss: at Wisconsin

10. Mid-American Conference
Mitigating Factors: With three (3) 1-7 teams in survey and two-thirds of teams declining to post winning records, MAC easy pick for B-10 Conference of the Week award.
FunFact: Despite impressive 30-51 major division non-conference mark, minefield that is weekly MAC schedule, conference teams manning up for combined .500 conference play mark.

This Week’s Clash of the Titans: UAB at UTEP
This One’s Going To Blow, Too: Tulane at Tulsa
MAC Thriller of the Week: Central Michigan at Akron
Bottom Ten Past vs Bottom Ten Future: North Texas at Rice

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