Bottom 10 after Week 9: Sooners stuck in the middle


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Inspirational thought of the week:

All of my life I’ve tried so hard
Doing my best with what I had

Now that I’ve really got a chance
(Throw me tomorrow, oh, oh-oh)
Everything’s falling into place
(Throw me tomorrow, oh, oh-oh)
Seeing my past to let it go
(Throw me tomorrow, oh, oh-oh)

Only for you I don’t regret
That I was Thursday’s child

— “Thursday’s Child,” David Bowie

Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located in the bushes outside the Michigan practice facility where Pete Thamel and Adam Rittenberg hide with their binoculars looking for Wolverines staffers headed to future opponents’ games, also with binoculars, we try not to be like Loki and mess with the main timeline the universe typically runs on. But sometimes taking a turn down a wormhole becomes our duty.

Like this week, which blurs the line between the end of one college football week with a capital “W” and the next, seeing as how Week 9 ended in the wee hours of Sunday morning, but the start of Week 10 had too big of a Bottom 10 gravitational pull to be avoided. No, not the pair of #MACtion games that were played on Halloween night, but rather the trick of treats that kicked off Wednesday, specifically the Pillow Fight of the Week of the Year: Episode 2: Electric Boogaloo, between the then-top/bottom second-ranked Akron Zips and the then-top/bottom third-ranked Kent State Golden Flashes.

There was no way we in good consciousness could have filed these rankings for a Wednesday reveal with that game having not yet been played. Also, we didn’t have as many kids come to the house as we had planned for, so I spent Tuesday night watching those first two games while eating 32 Fun Size Snickers and snorting a half-dozen Pixie Stix straws, so my hands were shaking so badly I couldn’t have typed anything even if I had wanted to.

With apologies to Milton Hershey, the Great Pumpkin, Ziggy Stardust and Steve Harvey, here — finally — is the Week 9 … err, Week 10 … Bottom 10.

1. Sam Houston We Have Problem (0-8)

Not even a kontest between Akron and Kent kould preklude the Bearkats from kontinuing to korner the market when it komes to keeping kontrol of this krest of the Bottom 10 roll kall. Koming up next? Kennesaw State.

2. State of Kent (1-8)

What. A. Game. The Zips ran in the winning touchdown with 26 seconds remaining for a 31-27 victory. They call the Akron-Kent State rivalry the Wagon Wheel because that’s what the teams play for, a giant blue-and-gold wagon wheel. On the 100th anniversary of their first meeting, Akron’s win cut Kent State’s Wagon Wheel series lead to 27-25-1. But that only counts the games that have had the Wagon Wheel as a trophy. Akron leads the all-time series 36-28-2, as the Wagon Wheel didn’t show up until 1946, when the idea was introduced by Raymond Manchester, Kent State’s Dean of Men. The original trophy never caught on, the Spare Tire, introduced by Maymond Ranchester, from Akron’s Den of Mean.

3. Akronmonious (2-7)

This just in to Bottom 10 JortsCenter: Late Wednesday night, Akron ended up broken down on the side of the road. Sources say the Zips were attempting to drive across town and continue their celebration at Chuck E. Cheese but failed to make it off campus. Amid all the excitement after their PFOW victory, someone decided it would be a cool idea to replace one of the tires on the team bus with the Wagon Wheel.

4. EC-Yew (1-7)

The Pirates followed up their Pillow Fight of Week 8 loss to Charlotte by losing 41-27 to R.O.C.K. in the UTSA, just days after Roadrunners coach Jeff Traylor suffered a hand injury when a player put a rat trap inside his speaking lectern. A likely story. The reality is he was probably bitten by an actual rat, one painted purple and gold and wearing an eyepatch with a tiny parrot on its shoulder, because as anyone who saw “Titanic” knows, the rats are the first to start scrambling to escape a sinking ship. Like the Pirate vessel currently sinking in Greenville, North Carolina.

5. BOO!-mer (7-1)

Being in the Coveted Fifth Spot is never any fun, especially for a guy like Oklahoma coach Brent Venables, who even during wins stomps up and down the sideline with a grimace like his underwear is three sizes too small. But, hey, look on the bright side, Sooners. Kansas was just about to begin tearing up Memorial Stadium as part of its multimillion-dollar renovation plans. You just let them get a head start with the goalposts.

6. Southern Missed (1-7)

The Golden Eagles saw their upset bid at Appalachian State thwarted. Now they host ULM, who, ulm, is on the Bottom 10 Waiting List, ulm, with a record of 2 and, ulm, 7.

7. UCan’t (1-7)

It feels mean to have UConn in these rankings seeing as how its one win came just three weeks ago, an upset at Rice, and its past three losses have all been by single digits, including last week’s 21-14 loss at Boston College. But now the Huskies travel to 17th-ranked Tennessee and undefeated James Madison in consecutive weeks, which — in the words of the father of the Huskies’ head coach — sucks and stinks and won’t do diddly poo to help them leave the ranks of the one-win teams.

8. Temple of Doom (2-6)

The Owls are still smarting over their last game, a 55-0 loss to SMU. We already have their next-to-season-finale game circled as a potentially huge PFOW, when they travel to the home of the Birmingham Bowl to face Bottom 10 Wait Listers You A Bee. That’s their biggest game left because they opened the season with a skin-of-their-beak 24-21 win over Akron and don’t have an American Athletic Conference of American Athletics Conference game scheduled against either ECU or …

9. Charlotte 2-and-6’ers (2-6)

… these guys. That’s a shame when it comes to the Bottom 10, but it’s a good thing when it comes to Charlotte head coach Biff Poggi, who doesn’t need to be on a sideline in Philadelphia in late November with the sleeves ripped off his shirt.

10. Van-duh-bilt Commode Doors (2-7)

The race to the bottom of the S-E-C! has become one of those southern cookout games where a bunch of overserved people try to chase down and pick up a zigzagging greased hog. Like that scene, this one is surprisingly crowded (Vandy, South Carolina, Arkansas) and yet as sloppy and sad as it is, we can’t look away. Speaking of stuff that’s slick, Clark Lea and his head host Auburn this week before a barbecue sauce-slathered SEC East showdown between the Dores and Gamecocks. Between the 2-and-whatever records and the hot sauce they use in Nashville and the mustard sauce they use in South Carolina, well, let’s just say that “Commode Doors” mention isn’t just a joke.

Waiting List: UMess, Huh-why-yuh, Baller State, ULM (pronounced “uhlm”), You A Bee?, The Pitt and the Pendulum, Rod Tidwell’s Alma Mater, Stanfird, the Bearcats with a “c,” all Big Ten schools in Indiana, Michigan State Little Brothers, Tyler from Spartanburg, reacting to Tyler from Spartanburg.

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