Inspirational thought of the week:
Monday morning on the floor
Keep calling out for more and more
Stand up and get up, are you sure?
Best friend kicks you out the door
Upside down you lost the wheel
Raise your neck and bellow it out
Bad candy has got you now
Bad candy has got you now
— “Bad Candy,” Twisted Wheel
Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located across the hallway from the mail room where David Pollack sends out his weekly handwritten complaints to referees to politely dispute every targeting call ever made, we are rifling through the bottom of the pillowcase we used on Halloween, sifting through that always sad selection of sweets that is left over as November arrives and trick-or-treating begins to grow smaller in our rearview mirrors.
No, it’s not a collection of Charlie Brown rocks, but there is a pile of those brown and orange wax paper-covered blobs that might as well be rocks. There’s the telltale dust of tasteless Necco Wafers that escaped from their wrappers to be pulverized into the cloth of the bag. There are Mary Janes, whatever those are. There’s candy corn with the skid mark of fake chocolate in the middle.
And look … there’s a sticker of the UMass logo, loose with lint and a toenail clipping stuck to the back of it. There’s an old No. 2 pencil that was stolen from a classroom at Akron. Then … wait … what’s this? An envelope? With the University of Connecticut seal in the corner? What’s inside? Is that … University of Maryland letterhead? It is! It has a $100 bill stapled to it. And what’s this note that’s scribbled on the stationery?
“Dear Kid. Here’s some of my bonus money from that time my team kicked a field goal against Liberty, triggering my ‘Field Goal In Every Game Even If It’s A Loss’ bonus. Now, take it and get the hell off my lawn. Boo. Sincerely, Randy Edsall.”
With apologies to Willy Wonka, West Virginia safety Hershey McLaurin and Steve Harvey, here’s the post-Week 9 Bottom 10 rankings.
1. UMess (1-7)
The Minutemen served as the latest rung in the ladder Whew Mexico State has stepped on during their climb from being ranked at the top/bottom of these standings up and into the outside world. Think that scene in “The Dark Knight Rises” when Bruce Wayne climbs out of that giant prison hole, but if you could actually understand what anyone was saying. Come to think of it, the desert he found himself in kind of looked like Las Cruces. Now they play The Artist Formerly Known As UCant, which is now in the business of putting teams in the Bottom 10 in their place. In related news, ESPN.com editor Steve Richards was on site as our Bottom 10 bureau reporter, but sources tell me he was escorted off the premises after repeatedly heckling the Other Aggies for “abandoning us!”
@ESPNMcGee #Bottom10 correspondent at this week’s Pillow Fight of the Century pic.twitter.com/Hzvgopqti1
— Steve Richards (@SteveRi79887107) October 29, 2022
2. Akronmonious (1-8)
Speaking of teams that used to be in these rankings all the time but now are actually good — wait, don’t be confused, that wasn’t about Akron. It 100 percent deserves to be there. But it also is currently located in the midst of a schedule section packed with former Bottom 10 friends who have inexplicably left us behind. Akron just lost in overtime to My Hammy of Ohio, which is now only one game below .500. Now Akron faces the former Bottom 10 champion Eastern Michigan University Emus and the former contender Buffalo Bulls Not Bills, who have been to a combined seven bowl games since 2016. Then Akron will zip over to Northern Ill-ugh-noise for Thanksgiving, when we might all be thankful for a potential Pillow Fight of the End of the Year.
3. Colora-duh (1-7)
Speaking of Pillow Fights of the Week, the Buffs were rebuffed by then-Bottom 10 Wait Listers Arizona Skate. Both teams showed up for the game without a full-time head coach. It was like that time we had a class field trip to the zoo in third grade and the teacher forgot to show up. My pal Jody Blanton drove the bus over 30 mailboxes and 19 shrubs, but we got there.
4. No-vada (2-7)
The Oof Pack lost their seventh straight game. It’s the worst streak in Reno involving the word straight since a banker from Los Angeles tried to play a Broadway straight by using a queen of hearts that he’d snuck onto the Circus Circus casino floor inside his Members Only jacket sleeve and was last seen riding on a bass boat at Lake Tahoe alongside a hotel sales associate named Vinny Drywall.
5. “I’m a man I’m (losing by) forty (eight)!” (6-2)
Ah, the traditions of autumn. Leaves falling. Pumpkin spice everywhere. Political ads ruining everyone’s good mood. Oklahoma State losing a game that knocked them out of the Top 10 and into the Coveted Fifth Spot.
6. US(notC)F (1-6)
In Jeff Scott’s defense, it can’t be easy trying to coach your own team when your phone is constantly being blown up by Dabo Swinney asking, “Hey, bud, can you refresh my memory about those plays we used to run back in 2017?”
7. Temple of Doom (2-7)
The Temple Bowels have, er, passed a lot of teams this week thanks to back-to-back losses to a pair of Bottom 10 flirts in Living On Tulsa Time and Navy. Now, they host USF in the Pillow Fight of the Week. The Owls’ feathers are molting so badly that according to the magically and disturbingly accurate ESPN FPI computers, they have only a 40% chance of prevailing at home against a team with one win that is ranked one spot ahead/below them in these rankings. Then again, maybe as they were doing research for this game, the ESPN Stats & Info staffers ordered up some Philly cheesesteaks and got Cheez Whiz all over their calculators.
8. North by Northworstern (1-7)
Speaking of crunching numbers, there a lot of really smart human calculators at Northwestern, home to one of Earth’s most respected mathematics and statistics departments. Perhaps they can explain how a team surrenders 33 points to Iowa, which has spent all fall avoiding end zones as if they were full of killer bees.
9. Huh-why-yuh (2-7)
The Rainbow Warriors will finish the season facing a quartet of fellow Mountain West members in Fresno State, Utah State, UNLV and San Jose State. The bad news? According to FPI, over the month they will average around a 22% chance of winning any one of those games. The good news? If they go 0-4 and make a late run at the Bottom 10 title, they will still spend their offseason in Hawai’i.
10. #gobc(c) (2-6)
Boston College and UConn are located only 80 miles apart, yet last weekend was just the 15th meeting since their first matchup back on Nov. 7, 1908. It was also the Huskies’ first-ever win over the Eagles. That’s what happens when you score only three points. Unless you’re Miami and Virginia and you only score three points, but you just keep doing that over and over again. Reminder: BC beat Louisville, who just crushed Wake Forest, who beat Florida State, who beat LSU, who beat Ole Miss, who beat Miami, who beat Virginia Tech, who beat Boston College who … aw hell, I give up. #goacc indeed.
Waiting List: Charlotte 2-and-7ers, Virginia Tech No-kies, Lose-iana Tech, Arkan-saw State, Northern Ill-ugh-noise, Central not Western or Eastern Michigan, Whew Mexico, ULM (pronounced “Uhlm”), political ads during great games, saying “Let’s ride!”