Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
I used to be hell on wheels,
Back when I was a younger man.
Now my body says, “Oh, you can’t do this boy,”
But my pride says, “Oh, yes, you can”
I ain’t as good as I once was,
My how the years have flown.
But there was a time
Back in my prime
When I could really hold my own.
— “As Good As I Once Was” by Toby Keith
Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located in the somewhat dicey Italian restaurant kitchen where Chris “The Bear” Fallica crunches numbers and cannolis, we crunch too, as we attempt to walk around on our aging, stiff knees. These joints used to be loose and fluid. Back in the day, they used to make cuts and turns with no problem. Now, there’s always a problem. The legs that once carried us to glory in high school football games, track meets and breakdancing competitions are now a bit wobbly. For no matter how good we once were, no matter how athletic, in the end, we are all merely the voodoo dolls of Father Time.
The calendar doesn’t care what you used to do. It threw those pages in the trash long ago. The only time that matters now is now. Just ask Miami. Or Georgia Tech. Or USC. Or Tennessee.
Perhaps one day they will all be as good as they once was … er, were. But even if they never return to former glory, they can sleep soundly in the college football basement, knowing that there will always be a place for them. It’s this place: the Bottom 10. This isn’t where dreams go to die. They just go into a really, really, really deep hibernation.
With apologies to Uncle Rico and Steve Harvey, here’s this week’s Bottom 10.
1. Akron-monious (0-5)
The Zips lost their Week 6 game against the Fightin’ Byes of Open Date U and next travel to State of Kent, which is 2-3 but 1-0 in the conference. ‘Tis a common tale in the MAC East, where there are six teams, and none of them is above or even at .500. It’s the creamed wheat division of college football.
2. U-Can’t (1-4)
Yes, the Huskies lost again, 48-22 to US(not C)F, but according to USA Today, head coach Randy Edsall received yet another $2,000 bonus, this time because his legendary Huskies defense forced a pair of turnovers. That brings his season bonus total to at least $40,000, ensuring that even while losing, Edsall is the big winner. But not the biggest winner. That would be Edsall’s lawyer, Vinny Mephistopheles.
3. Whew, Mexico State (0-6)
The Other Aggies were smoted by Liberty in the first round of their in-season home-and-home series with the Flames. You might think it impossible for someone to break the 2019 Akron-UConn blockade at the top/bottom of our standings, but NMSU’s independent schedule includes many opportunities to make a second-half Bottom 10 statement, with a visit to Georgia Southern and a visit from UTEP. All of which might be followed by a visit from us with the Bottom 10 Championship trophy. Which reminds us, we need to come up with a Bottom 10 Championship trophy. Randy Edsall stole the original and sold it for cash.
4. UMess (1-5)
The Minutemen were clearly hungover from their emotional win over Akron in the Pillow Fight of the Week of the Year of the Century, losing Pillow Fight of the Week of the Year (but not of the Century) 2: Electric Boogaloo at FI(not A)U 44-0. Now the question is will they be pre-hungover this weekend when they play Louisiana Tech, already looking ahead to their next game, the Oct. 26 Pillow Fight of the Week of the Year: Episode 3, when they host U-Can’t. And yes, you can definitely be pre-hungover. The College Football Playoff National Championship in New Orleans is still three months away, and my breath already smells like a Hurricane cocktail.
5. Pac(it in)-12
Washington went down at Stanford, and Oregon slogged through Cal, all while the Ducks’ best résumé-building loss, Auburn, also lost. Oh, and the UCLA Boo-ins lost the Pac-12 Pillow Fight to Ore-gone State. All of that means the Conference of Champions is already looking at missing out on a shot at a College Football Playoff championship. Again. The Pac-12 is not the worst conference in the land (wassup, ACC?), and the truth is that it might very well be college football’s most internally competitive league. But in the era of the four-team postseason, ye who dost not have thine dominant brand name program within thy final four teams shall not be includeth in thine national collegiate football conversationeth. By the way, this is the third Power 5 conference to hold down the Coveted (Power) Fifth Spot this season. C’mon, Big 12 and Big Ten, get in on this party while there’s still time! And bring chips. Randy Edsall ate them all.
6. In A Rut-Gers (1-4)
As the actual date of college football’s 150th anniversary — Nov. 6 — approaches, have we considered that perhaps Rutgers has pulled off some sort of time machine “Field of Dreams” thing where the 2019 players have actually been replaced by the guys from 1869, who mainly just laid in a big pile in the middle of the field for a few hours and scored only six points?
7. Minute Rice (0-6)
As one of the nation’s three winless teams, why isn’t Rice ranked higher (or is it lower?) than it is? Because the Owls have been competitive in nearly every one of those losses. Besides, if they are going to suddenly wake up and swoop out of the darkness into the top spot, there’s certainly time left to do it. After a home game against Bye Week State U, they travel to R.O.C.K. in the UTSA, a game that doesn’t have the Bottom 10 umph we originally thought it would because …
8. UTEPID (1-4)
… the Roadrunners dropped an ACME anvil on these guys. Suddenly, it’s the Miners who are primed for a potential climb up (or is it down?) the Bottom 10 ladder. They also have a date with Open Date before traveling to FI(not A)U. Remember: They end the season with a Double-Stuft Double-Goozle of New Mexico State and Rice.
9. South Alabama Redundancies (1-5)
Speaking of Double Goozles, did you see the double-overtime finish of South Alabama vs. Georgia Southern in the annual Battle For Best Unnecessary Location Inclusion In Name? The first OT session ended with missed field goals by each team. Then the game ended when South Not North Alabama fumbled on the first play of the second OT and set up a winning kick for Georgia Southern Not State. Back in college, I once slipped and fell down a wet flight of stairs at a bar, crashing into the legs of a waitress, who dropped a cheeseburger on my face and said I could keep it. That’s how they feel in Statesboro, Georgia, right now.
10. Boiling Green (1-4)
Boiling Green lost its check-cashing ceremony at Notre Dame 52-0 and returns to #MACtion this weekend to face 5-1 Toledo. But everything that happens over the next three weekends is mere garnish, a series of appetizers that leads into Nov. 2 and a visit from No. 1-ranked Akron in what could very well be Pillow Fight of the Week of the Year of the Century of the Year Again. And it’s my birthday. How’d they know?
Waiting list: Rambling Tech (1-4), Pur-don’t (1-4), North by Northwestern (1-4), Stuck in the MTSU (2-3), OD-Yew (1-4), Northern Ill-uh-nois (1-4), Colora-duh State (1-5), UCLA Boo-ins (1-5), UNLV Tumblin’ Tarks (1-4), Rocky Slop (1-4), Van-duh-bilt (1-4), expecting Snoop Dogg to be family-friendly
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