The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
And somebody said “Hey man did you see that? His body hit the street with such a beautiful thud.”
I wonder what the dude was sayin’ or was he just lost in the flood?
Hey man, did you see that? Those poor cats are sure messed up.
I wonder what they were gettin’ into, or were they just lost in the flood?
— Bruce Springsteen
When I was a teenager, I got way into Springsteen — like, “Darkness on the Edge of Town” and “Nebraska” Springsteen — and as a result began to take a way-too-serious, fatalistic look at the world around me. It was certainly too heavy-eyed for a suburban kid who spent his autumn weekends wearing sideline passes every Saturday and lived within driving distance of at least six great barbecue joints.
I went to my pastor and asked him about our place in the universe, wondering aloud if we truly have any control over our own destinies. He looked at me and said: “Sam,” he never got my name right, always calling me by my brother’s name, “our lives are like that of Noah and his ark. When the world flooded, he had no idea where his vessel was headed. He trusted that the waters would carry him to where he was supposed to be.”
Pastor What’s His Name was right. And his words apply to college football as well. You hire the coach you think is the right guy, he recruits the players he thinks are the right guys, they schedule the games they think will lead them to the promised land, and they all show up on Saturday for kickoff and hope they go in the right direction.
With apologies to Ragamuffin Gunner and Steve Harvey, here’s this week’s Bottom 10.
1. Charlotte 0-and-7ers (0-7)
Looking deep into our crystal ball — which is, to be honest, just a clear-rubber bouncy ball we found on the floor of a Chuck E. Cheese’s — we can already see the perfect, world-ending scenario that very well might play out. Charlotte becomes the 0-and-11ers but then wins the season finale over Thanksgiving weekend when it hosts FA(Not I)U. That would mean that the Bottom 10 champs would have beaten FAU, which beat MTSU, which beat Syracuse, which just beat Clemson … which beat Bama in January. Boom.
2. B-Why?-U (1-6)
All due respect to Tennessee, Nebraska, whatever brand-name program you want to name, no team has been a bigger blue bummer than BYU. You may not be aware of this, but the BYU fan base is one of college football’s most passionate. Ask any sportswriter who has dared criticize the Cougs. But this year’s team is so bad that fan base has poured that same passion into its #Bottom10Lobbying efforts. It’s the same sort of passion that went into putting together BYU’s 2017 schedule, a cross-country campaign designed to grab the attention of the College Football Playoff selection committee and perhaps even a Power 5 conference. Instead, it suddenly looks custom-made to win a Bottom 10 title. What in the world do I speak of? Read ahead.
3. UMess (0-6)
On Nov. 18, the Minutemen will travel to Provo to face fellow independent BYU.
4. San No-se State (1-7)
On Oct. 28, the Spartans will travel to Provo to face former WAC rival and almost-but-missed-it-by-that-much Mountain West rival BYU.
5. State of Washington
No, not Washington State, but the State of Washington, which, OK, now that we look at it, yes, actually does include Washington State. The would-be playoff participant Huskies fell at Arizona State the day after the Cougars lost at Cal and the day before the Cougars lost their athletic director to Nebraska. To clarify, we are referring to the Washington State Cougars, not the BYU Cougars, though the Washington State Cougars are coached by Mike Leach, who did indeed attend BYU.
6. EC-Yew (1-6)
Before our second-ranked team hosts our third- and fourth-ranked teams, it will travel nearly 2,300 miles to face our sixth-ranked team. Yeah, that’s right. On Saturday, East Carolina hosts BYU. I have waded in the waters of Utah’s Salt Lake and I have ridden an inner tube along the Tar River. Neither were very deep. This weekend we shall find out which one is rock bottom.
7. UTEP (0-7)
The Miners’ schedule has done the opposite of their old WAC pals at BYU. Prior to the season, their calendar looked like it might be the perfect Bottom 10 rubber-gloved gauntlet, beginning with their Week 2 shellacking by Rice, still the Owls’ only win. Then something happened that was even more impossible to predict than Mike Price becoming UTEP head coach again. The other would-be Bottom 10ers on UTEP’s schedule — UAB, North Texas and even the R.O.C.K. in the U-T-S-A — went and won football games! I know, right?
8. Baylor (0-6)
The Bears do not have a schedule designed for Bottom 10 glory. They’re earning it the old-fashioned way. Besides, when you have a trip to Kansas on the books for Nov. 4, what’s the point in scheduling any other weak games? I mean, can you imagine if the Jayhawks had gone and booked, I dunno, Southeast Missouri State and a couple of MAC teams before they started their Big 12 slate? Hahaha, wait, what? Oh, they did do that? And they went 1-2?
9. Georgia Southern Not State (0-5)
Speaking of aggressive Bottom 10 scheduling, on Saturday the Georgia Southern Not State Eagles Not Panthers head up the coast to face UMess. If there was ever a time for a referee to accidentally leave his microphone on it, will be for the coin toss conversation between the dudes from Amherst, Massachusetts, and Statesboro, Georgia: “Hey, you freakin’ guys cahling heads or tails, bro?” followed by “We got taaayeeeelsss.”
10. Myrtle Beach U. Chanticleers (1-5)
Finally, in what might be the most unfortunately fortuitous Bottom 10 scheduling of all, Coastal Carolina, which opened the season with a win over UMess (the Chanticleers’ only win) will close the year hosting Georgia Southern Not State during conference championship weekend. Here at Bottom 10 HQ we are already lobbying for the loser of that contest to move on for a plus-one faceoff with BYU.
Waiting list: Texas State Armadillos (1-6), Ore-gone State (1-6), Boiling Green (1-6), No-vada (1-6), Kansas Nayhawks (1-5), In A Rut-gers (2-4), Minute Rice (1-5), Miss-eww (1-5), UNC Tear Heels (1-6), UNC Tear Heels’ Lawyers (1-0).