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The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 15
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy
With all the uncertainty in 2020, it’s nice to know Bottom Ten fan(s) everywhere can count on the consistency of Kansas in the race for the ESPNCup – symbolic of NCAA Bottom Ten supremacy, as the Jayhawks – once and probably future Bottom Ten champions – return to the top spot.
And it’s welcome back to the Duke Bleu Devils, as the Bottom Ten Team of the Decade for the Double Aughts return to the survey. Sure, they’ve been included as part of the hilarious Tri-Lateral Commission entry with Vanderbilt and Rice, but it’s exciting to have them back on their own merits.
This week’s mess:
Editor’s Note: With most of the lower level schools not playing this year, the Continental Cup – issued to the team with the longest all-division losing streak in NATO – is not being awarded this year.
1. Kansas (0-9; lost to Texas Tech 16-13)
Mitigating Factors: Jayhawks back on B-10 throne, earning COVID Cup – issued to team with longest losing streak amongst teams actually playing games – with 13th straight loss…Total Team Effort (TTE) pacing Jayhawks in 2020, as squad ranks Dead Last in Scoring Defense and not a whole lot better in Scoring Offense, losing games by average score of 46.0-to-15.8
FunFact: Jayhawks 0-9 for first time since 2015 squad started, finished 0-12 to earn B-10 title.
Next Loss: Texas
2. Bowling Green (0-5; lost to Akron 31-3)
Mitigating Factors: Falcons soar onto B-10 medal decisively snapping Akron’s 21-game losing skid with type of blowout loss that tends to lead straight to B-10 glory…Falcons settle down after needless 3-3, 1st-quarter tie, getting outscored 28-0 the rest of the way…Falcons have lost eight (8) straight and haven’t won consecutive games against teams that finished season with winning record since 2015.
FunFact: Falcons another statistical juggernaut, ranking 120th or worse in no less than 13 official NCAA stat categories.
Next Loss: Miami, Ohio
3, Louisiana-Monroe (0-10; lost to Arkansas State 48-15)
Mitigating Factors: Warhawks back on B-10 medal stand following 8th loss of season by 20 or more points…Players welcome opportunity to play in front of small crowds because nobody can come to their games because it’s good training for playing in front of small crowds because nobody wants to come to their games in future years.
FunFact: Current, exciting eleven (11)-game losing skid and tied for second-best amongst major-division teams..
Next Loss: at Troy
4. Northern Illinois (0-5; lost to Toledo 41-24)
Mitigating Factors: Huskies knocking on door to B-10 medal stand for first time ever, as strong finishing kick sees team get outscored 17-0 in 4th-quarter…B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” Huskies can become first team “like, dude, ever” to go winless two (2) years after losing Boca Raton Bowl.
The New Material Budget Is Still Zero, I See: B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” COVID a blessing as it gives them chance to trot out “team not sure announced crowd of zero due to COVID restrictions or what they would have drawn anyway” line every week.
Next Loss: at Easter Michigan
5. South Carolina (2-8; lost to Kentucky 41-18)
Mitigating Factors: Gamecocks one of first teams under B-10 wire, ending season with classic four (4)-turnover blowout road loss…South Carolina gets nod over fellow SEC team Tennessee thanks to Week 1 loss to Volunteers…Win over Vanderbilt not too big a detriment to B-10 fortunes, as Gamecocks will earn big strength-of-schedule points should (when), Commodores lose out.
FunFact: Despite losses coming in games 3 and 4, Gamecocks still with outside shot at Tostitos Plaque – issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win.
Next Loss: Season over.
6. Duke (2-8; lost to Miami, Florida 48-0)
Mitigating Factors: Bleu Devils back in natural habitat – the B-10 survey – with type of commanding shutout road loss that lands teams squarely on patented B-10 TitleTrak Radar…Offense does its part, too, punting or turning ball over on twelve (12) of thirteen “drives”…Loss worst shutout loss since 1990 squad lost to Virginia 59-0 on late field goal.
FunFact: Current three (3)-game losing skid modest – especially by Duke standards- as Bleu Devils accustomed to losing three (3)-straight as traditional warm-up for league play.
Next Loss: at Florida State
7. Southeastern Conference
Mitigating Factors: With MAC in complete chaos for time being, SEC takes first, coveted B-10 Conference of the Week Award for 2020…Despite national prominence, conference leveling up in 2020, producing a MAC-ish four (4) teams with two (2) or fewer wins.
This One Never Gets Old…We Hope: Despite tough go in 2020, SEC manfully producing strong .500 conference play mark.
Next Loss: Automatic berth in NFL playoffs if losing continues.
8. Akron (1-4; defeated Bowling Green 31-3)
Mitigating Factors: it’s all over – coeds, B-10 title hopes, losing streak glory – as Zips now just another one (1)-win team that can’t stop the run following first win since October 2018…After obligatory opening-drive punt, Zips offense completely loses mind, scoring on five (5) of next eight (8) possessions.
FunFact: Forget B-10 title that was there for the losing, Zips need major COVID outbreak at several schools to even think about contending for coveted B-10 medal stand berth.
Next Loss: at Buffalo
9. Navy (3-6; lost to Tulsa 19-6)
Mitigating Factors: Midshipmen back in survey, despite relatively close loss to team they should have named score against…Navy hampered by pregame Defense Department ruling requiring squad – to better prepare for future sea duty – to sneak booze into on-field huddles and slip in shots before snaps.
FunFact: With loss in hand to Air Force, Midshipmen can claim Sgt Bilko Trophy – symbolic of service academy lousiness – with loss to Army this week.
Next Loss: at Army
10. Arizona (0-4; lost to Colorado 24-13)
Mitigating Factors: Wildcat fan(s) ecstatic as team livens up COVID-invested season with first B-10 ranking…Current eleven (11)-game losing streak best in school history…Special teams doing its park, only averaging 51 feet per kickoff return despite fact opponents start play 65-yards away.
FunFact: B-10 pollsters really giving bar tabs a workout, in deep reflection wondering how team that has lost eleven (11)-straight is debuting in B-10 survey this late in the season.
Next Loss: Arizona State
This Week’s Clash of the Titans: Northern Illinois at Eastern Michigan
Lousy Rivalry Game of the Week: Arizona State at Arizona
Welcome Back: Duke at Florida State