The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 12

The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 12
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy 

Even with the top two teams in last week’s Bottom Ten – Rice and Akron – taking the week off, from actually playing at least, the chase for the ESPNCup is so deep, this week’s medal stand still checks in with a combined 2-27 record. 

The big news is Thiel College is the new holder of the Continental Cup – issued to the team with the longest all-division losing streak in NATO – as Shorter won, ending their losing streak at 49 games. 

This week’s mess: 

1. New Mexico State (0-9; lost to Ole Miss 41-3)
Mitigating Factors: Aggies take advantage of opportunity to test drive B-10 top spot with clutch, road blowout loss…Game not as close as score indicated, as Aggies give up 606 yards total offense as only blemish on shutout was curious second-quarter field goal…Aggies 0-9 for first time since vaunted 2005 squad claimed school’s only B-10 title, running table with perfect 0-12 season.
FunFact: Current eleven (11)-game skid best amongst teams who could be bothered to have actually played game last Saturday.
Next Loss: Incarnate Word

2. UMess (1-9; lost to Army 63-7 )
Mitigating Factors: UMess back in natural habitat – the B-10 medal stand – with huge loss to latest crop of Army officer candidates…UMess hurt by pregame Army secretary ruling requiring Cadet defense to impale ball carriers with bayonets instead of tackling them…Defense showing way to B-10 glory, ranking Dead Last in Total Defense, Scoring Defense, Rushing Defense and Team Passing Efficiency Defense, though B-10 pollsters remain “pretty sure” they don’t know what that means.
FunFact: With only win against Akron, Minutemen in classic B-10 Catch-22 situation, as future Akron win opens path to B-10 title, but also means UMess would no longer rack up huge strength-of-schedule points with each Akron loss.
Next Loss: at Northwestern 

3. Old Dominion (1-9; lost to UTSA 24-23)
Mitigating Factors: Up-and-coming Monarchs make first B-10 medal stand appearance in only fifth year of major division football…Monarchs show mettle that leads straight to B-10 glory, blowing 23-10 fourth-quarter lead…Offense clutch, producing fumble on final drive to end last scoring threat, complimenting defense that gives up two long fourth-quarter touchdown drives.
FunFact: With only win coming in opener, Monarchs can earn no worse than share of Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win – by losing out.
Next Loss: at Middle Tennessee (11/23)

4. UTEP (1-8; lost to Charlotte 28-21)
Mitigating Factors: Miners show strong finishing kick by getting shut out 21-0 in second half…Defense clutch when it has to be in 2019, ranking Dead Last in both Third and Fourth-Down Conversion Defense…Miners another team with chance to claim Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win – by losing out…Miners have lost 29 of 31. 
FunFact: Miners merely marking time until final two (2) games when losses to New Mexico State, Rice, could propel Miners to second B-10 title in three (3) years.
Next Loss: at UAB

5. Vanderbilt (2-7; lost to Florida 56-0)
Mitigating Factors: Though longshot for B-10 medal stand, Commodores maintain spot in survey with usual pasting by established SEC power…After struggling through scoreless first quarter, Commodores kick it into gear, giving up touchdowns on eight (8) of last twelve (12) possessions…Once a B-10 staple, Vanderbilt has not finished season with two (2) wins since 2010.
FunFact: Commodores still hampered by turn-of-century decision to merge Athletic, Student Affairs departments as debate team members sent out to play defense caught off guard while discussing philosophical merits of fair catch rule with field judge.
Next Loss: Kentucky

6. South Alabama (1-8; lost to Texas State 30-28 )
Mitigating Factors: The celebration is on as Jaguars make first B-10 appearance since beginning major division football in 2012…Only win in 2019 so far came to lower-level team…Defense not completely lousy as Jaguars doing it with offense, ranking 120th or worse in four (4) of five (5) official NCAA offensive stat categories….Current 14-game road losing streak second-best in nation, trailing only Rice’s 15-gamer.
FunFact: Though current record certainly good enough for own ranking in its merits, Jaguars continue to earn strength-of-schedule points for opening loss to Nebraska.
Next Loss: UL-Lafayette

7. Thiel (0-9; lost to Bethany 37-7)
Mitigating Factors: B-10 staffers rush off on-boarding packet to Division III Tomcats, a Luthern school in Pennsylvania, new holders of Continental Cup – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in NATO – with 26 consecutive losses…Football failures blamed on Lutheran trait of not wanting to hurt opponent’s feelings by denying them access to end zone…Last win came on 9/16/17, a 28-13 pasting of dreaded Bethany…Tomcats doing it with (lack of) offense, having scored seven (7) or fewer points in seven (7) of nine (9) games in 2019 (2019).
FunFact: B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” Tomcats have tied NCAA record by being Homecoming opponents for all four (4) road games this season.
Next Loss: Grove City

8. Southeastern Conference
Mitigating Factors: Upset choice for coveted B-10 Conference of the Week award as one-third of Week 12 survey made of conference itself or its teams…With Alabama losing to LSU this past week, organizers of four (4) team playoff might be obliged to rename it from Nick Saban Invitational.
FunFact: SEC one of few Conference of the Week selections where usual .500 conference play mark is worse than non-conference mark, as SEC has won nearly two-thirds of non-conference games against major division opponents. 

9. Arkansas (2-8; lost to Western Kentucky 45-19)
Mitigating Factors: Razorbacks show commitment to B-10 excellence, firing coach good enough to average 3.5 wins a year, none of them in the SEC…Versatile Razorbacks rank 100th or worse in 14 official NCAA stat categories…Defense sets strong early tone, giving up touchdowns on first five (5) possessions.
FunFact: Razorbacks unaccustomed to basking in B-10 glare, looking for first consecutive two (2)-win seasons since second Theodore Roosevelt Administration, when 1905, 1906 squads combined for 4-10-2 mark.
Next Loss: at LSU (11/23)

10. Northwestern (1-8; lost to Purdue 24-22)
Mitigating Factors: B-10 Team of the Century for 1900s, Wildcats looking for first eleven (11)-loss season since beloved 1989 squad went 0-11…Offense getting smiley faces on playbooks as two (2) turnovers, botched two (2)-point conversion, all key in running losing streak to seven (7) straight…Only win came vs UNLV in Week 2, meaning Wildcats need help for Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in season that actually includes a win.
FunFact: Wildcats can make big B-10 statement with clutch home loss to UMess this week.
Next Loss: UMess

This Week’s Clash of the Titans: UMess at Northwestern
Conference USA Spellbinder: UTEP at UAB
Let Us Pray: Incarnate Word at New Mexico State


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