The Bottom Ten/Preseason Q&A

The Bottom Ten/Preseason Q&A
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy 

With college football still beginning a week earlier than it used to – and with federal law requiring material before the season kicks off – your more or less fearless Bottom Ten pollsters are pleased to trot out the now-annual Preseason Q&A. 

What in the hell is Zero Week?: In the past, early games all featured teams that were scheduled to play at Hawaii later that year. This was to allow them an extra week off later on. (If you go to Hawaii you also get to play an extra game. The extra game was allowed to help schools offset the cost of having to travel to Hawaii.) 

Refreshingly, however, Zero Week has been turned into merely another way for ESPN to make money, as Florida and Miami play Saturday and neither team is playing in Hawaii this season. 

You’re not just going to cut-and-paste last year’s Q&A column are your?
Uh, no, why? What have you heard?

The hard question: Can UConn and the San Francisco 49ers repeat?
It might well be the toughest repeat in sports: consecutive Bottom Ten titles. Not only is supremely difficult to be that bad for two straight years, but Bottom Ten pollsters can be bribed, as well. It’s hard to tell right now, too, because no one has returned their Bottom Ten questionnaires yet. Right now, the off-the-top-of-the-bar-tab guess is Central Michigan and UTEP will battle it out for the ESPNCup, while the Raiders, Jets and Cardinals should all battle it out for the Dan Henning Trophy, symbolic of NFL Bottom Ten supremacy.

Does Dan Henning know what’s going on here?
Your Bottom Ten pollsters are “pretty sure” he doesn’t. If he does, he and his lawyers are doing a wonderful job of keeping it to themselves.

What’s the schedule going to be this year?
Next week things really kickoff with the Week 1 NCAA and NFL surveys and since the NFL gets started after Labor Day, Week 2 will feature the American classic the NFL Interregnum Poll, our annual, classic trough of witless social commentary, plus the awarding of the Jim Hannifan Medallion, symbolic of NFL preseason ineptitude. The college season will conclude with the Bottom Ten Bowl Game edition and we’ve been warned to expect the Best Of column to return, presuming there’s enough funny material, never a given. 

What’s the outlook for the hilarious joint entries?
Long a favorite of Bottom Ten fan(s) everywhere, some untimely wins have seen a decrease in their frequency. Especially hurt was the Trilateral Commission. Now, UTEP and Vanderbilt, of course, do their part, but Duke’s return to mediocrity really took its toll. Louisiana-Famous Dead Person (UL-Lafayette and UL-Monroe) could make an appearance and, of course, their Nov. 30 meeting will be for the Billy Cannon Certificate, symbolic of Cajun football lousiness. 

What’s the Bottom Ten awards lineup look like?
Steady as she goes. As always, Bottom Ten fan(s) can look forward to the following prizes being issued in 2019:

ESPNCup
Issued annually to NCAA Bottom Ten champion. Used to be known as Walmart Trophy presented by Motel 6.

The Dan Henning Trophy
Issued annually to NFL Bottom Ten champion. 

The Tostitos Plaque
Issued to NCAA team with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win.

The Continental Cup
Issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in NAFTA sphere of influence.

The Sgt Bilko Trophy
Symbolic of service academy lousiness. Retained by previous year’s recipient in case of a tie.

The Jim Hanifan Medallion
Issued in Week 2 and symbolic of NFL preseason ineptitude. Usually issued to team, but once issued to Colin Kaepernick’s ‘Fro.

The Pete Rozelle Award
Issued weekly and annually to NFL’s worst division. Can be subdivided into Ray Malavasi Medallion (NFC) and Marv Levy Broach (AFC) at need for conference awards. 

Conference of the Week/Conference of the Year
Otherwise unnamed award – at least until renamed for Sun Belt Conference – issued to worst major division college conference. B-10 pollsters considering separate Power 5/Group of 5 awards, though hampered by fact column is Bottom Ten and not Bottom Eleven.

Billy Cannon Certificate
See above. 

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