- Senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com
- 2-time Sports Emmy winner
- 2010, 2014 NMPA Writer of the Year
[Editor’s note: The college football schedule keeps changing, but the undeterred Bottom 10 keeps losing, especially in the Big Ten and the big brand-name teams such as Michigan.]
Inspirational thought of the week:
“The staircases change!”
“Let’s go this way …”
“Yeah, before the staircase moves again …”
— “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”
Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located in the fertilizer shed you could barely see through the camellia blooms behind the “College GameDay” set at Augusta National, we have a hard enough time keeping up when the world is normal. Like, where’s my wallet? What did I do with my keys? Why is this guy in a suit on my front porch telling me that I haven’t mailed in an electric bill since 2009? So imagine the increased level of such issues this year, when we aren’t ever entirely sure what day it is because every page of the calendar seems to be written in dry-erase marker.
Even when we do know what day it is, the anchor events of those days — including college football games — might suddenly vanish from the calendar to no longer be the day’s big event but rather the headliner for another day weeks from now. Maybe. It’s like Whac-A-Mole, but the moles are wearing football helmets, and I’m trying to whack them not with a rubber mallet but with an empty rum bottle … in my sweatpants … with a beard and a haircut like that of Josh Sills. Because I also forgot where I put my razor, and my next-door neighbor is a Michigan grad, and he rounded up all the khakis in the neighborhood and burned them.
With apologies to Captain Morgan, Pope Gregory XIII, Charley Steiner in that “SportsCenter” ad and Steve Harvey, here’s this week’s Bottom 10.
1. ULM (pronounced “uhlm”) 0-8
The Warhawks started the season 0-8, and now they are stuck in another losing streak: 0-2 the past two weeks in trying to play. Last Saturday’s game against Arkansas State was moved to Dec. 5, and this Saturday’s game against Louisiana Tech was canceled. The Warhawks’ next scheduled contest is Thanksgiving weekend, a visit from the 7-1 and No. 24-ranked Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. Might we suggest not showing up for that one? Just say, “Oh, our bad, we got Louisiana confused with Louisiana Tech and thought the game was canceled. No, we can’t make it to the stadium. We’re eating. Yes, we know it’s right next door to the football team cafeteria, but we just ate a bunch of turkey, and the tryptophan has already kicked in. Tell Billy Napier we said good luck at South Carolina.”
2. Kansas Nayhawks (0-7)
KU followed its Nov. 7 nail-biting, 62-9 loss to Oklahoma with a 61-10 loss to the Fightin’ Byes of Open Date U. This weekend brings a visit from Texas. The Horns lead the all-time series 16-3, and two of Kansas’ wins came in 1901 and 1938. We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here, but if the ULM Warhawks and the Kansas Jayhawks continue along this path, might we suggest a Bottom 10 Hawk Bowl? It could be set in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, with honorary captains Andre Dawson and A.J. Hawk, grand marshal Dan Hawkins leading the parade driving a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk and Hawk Harrelson doing play-by-play with color analyst A.J. Hawk. Winners get the Cy-Hawk Trophy, which we will have “borrowed” from the trophy case of the Iowa Hawkeyes because they didn’t play that game this year anyway.
3. Yew-tah State (0-4)
Fired its coach, lost to Fresno State and dismissed its starting quarterback from the team. It was the darkest eight-day span seen in the state of Utah since the infamous Dale Murphy vs. Donnie Osmond feud of 1986.
4. Akron-monious (0-3)
The defending Bottom 10 champions once again forced us to make our impatient editors wait until late Tuesday night, as we watched their early week MACtion showcase, the Wagon Wheel rivalry game against State of Kent. The Zips lost, which by my understanding of the Wagon Wheel rules meant they had to make the 13-mile trip back to Akron aboard a wagon that was missing one of its wheels.
5. The State of Michigan
You can read that phrase any way you’d like because this week’s Coveted Fifth Spot is about the state of Michigan, but it’s also the state of the State of Michigan, and that includes both Michigan and Michigan State. The Wolverines are 1-3 after being turned into roadkill by a bus from Wisconsin. The Spartans are 1-3 after having a 14-0 picket fence run on them by Indiana, and their lone win is over Michigan. Perhaps they can work out a deal with 0-2 Eastern Michigan to all three play the remainder of their games at EMU — because the mood across the state is as gray as the turf at Rynearson Stadium.
6. UMess (0-2)
We have received multiple complaints from Bottom 10 readers that UMass doesn’t deserve this high of a low ranking because the Minutemen have only three games scheduled for this fall. To those readers, we have three points we need to make:
1. You’re wrong about the schedule because Massachusetts has added a game at FA(not I)U to be played this Saturday.
2. The sample might be small, but don’t underestimate the importance of the eye test, and after watching UMass’ first two games, we had to use one of those industrial accident eyewash stations.
3. We appreciate your reading this and all, but don’t you have something better to do with your time than send Bottom 10 hate mail?
7. unLv (0-4)
The Fightin’ Tarks fell on the road at San Jose State. In related news, I also once fell on the road at San Jose State after I was a little overserved at The Old Wagon Saloon. I think I saw Akron ride by on its way home from Kent State.
8. US(not C)F (1-7)
The Bulls traveled to Houston and lost 56-21, and they are now preparing for a visit from Navy. We tried to find evidence of their preparation for Navy’s triple-option offense, but USF hired Raymond James Stadium co-habitant Antonio Brown to destroy all the security cameras.
9. Van-duh-built (0-6)
The Commode Doors lost 38-35 to Kentucky, evening out their season with three blowout losses and three close losses. Their two biggest losses were by the same score: 41-7 to LSU, the biggest bummer of a defending national champion perhaps ever, and South Carolina, which just fired its head coach. Winning this weekend will be a tall Trask, er, task, with a visit from Florida. One can’t help but think that the hot seat talk in Nashville would be more intense if all the logs for that fire weren’t being hauled east to Knoxville.
10. Pin State (0-4)
The Littany Nions lost to the team that was in this very spot one week ago, No-braska, one week after losing to Maryland, which the week before that beat Minnesota, whose only win this season is over Illinois, whose only win this season is over Rutgers, whose only win this season is over Michigan State, whose only win this season is over Michigan, whose only win this season is over Minnesota, which just lost 35-7 to Iowa, whose next game is, of course, against Penn State.
Waiting list: Sir, accused Orange (1-7), Texas State Armadillos (1-9), Whew Mexico (0-4), Tempered Owls (1-5), EC-Yew (1-6), Bail-or (1-5), In-A-Rut-gers (1-3), Ill-ugh-noise (1-3), Northern Ill-ugh-noise (0-2), Minnesota Rue The Boat (1-3), No-braska (1-2), FI(not A)U (0-4), EMU Emus (0-2), Minute Rice (1-1), New Mexico Nobos (0-3), Charlotte 2-and-3-ers, Florida State Semi-No’s (2-6), COVID-19
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