The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 8
By Gaylon Kent
The Writer's Shack
October 20, 2015
Even with four (4) winless teams competing for three (3) medal stand spots, attention of Bottom Ten fans everywhere turned toward the Cheyney University, where the Wolves retained possession of the Continental Cup - issued to the team with the longest all-division losing streak in NATO - with their 39th consecutive loss, the second time Cheyney has lost 39 straight.
In the race for the ESPNCup, there was movement on the Bottom Ten medal stand as last week's runner-up Wyoming actually won, dropping them completely out of the survey and enabling Kansas to move up to the runner-up spot and North Texas to make their first medal stand appearance since 2009.
This week's mess:
1. New Mexico State (0-6; lost to Georgia Southern 56-26)
Mitigating Factors: Aggies purring along, extending Nation's Longest Losing Streak (NLLS) to 16 games…Defense allows 507 yards rushing, enabling Aggies to up season average a whopping 38.5 yards per game to 312.3 yards per game…Aggies rank Next-To-Dead-Last in Rushing Defense (312.3 ypg)…Aggies have minefield of remaining schedule in quest for first B-10 title, with remaining opponents a combined 4-24.
Total Team Effort: Despite getting so many chances, Aggies only rank 103rd in Net Punting (34.9 ypk).
Next Loss: Troy
2. Kansas (0-6; lost to Texas Tech 30-20)
Mitigating Factors: Only trailing 3-0 after first quarter, Kansas struts B-10 stuff getting outscored 17-0 in second period…Current nine (9) game skid good for second best in nation and team best since 2012's eleven game losing streak…Versatile Jayhawks rank 120th or worse in categories as diverse as Scoring Offense, Total Defense not to mention Net Punting.
FunFact: With upcoming opponents winning at .663 clip and with Jayhawks currently winning at a .000 clip, Kansas could have first winless season since iconic 1954 squad ran the table at 0-10.
Next Loss: at Oklahoma State
3. North Texas (0-6; lost to Western Kentucky 55-28)
Mitigating Factors: B-10 fan(s) everywhere getting all misty-eyed over former B-10 staple's triumphant return to B-10 medal stand…Mean Green defense already in late season form, easily overcoming offense that rushes for 203 yards and only turns ball over twice…Probably most balanced team in survey, Mean Green not only rank Dead Last in Scoring Defense (50.4 ppg), but rank 123rd in Scoring Offense (17.0000 ppg)
The Defense Rests: After only allowing 69 points in first two (2) games, Mean Green defense stiffens, giving up 62, 49, 66 and 55 points the last four (4) games.
Next Loss: at Marshal
4. Central Florida (0-7; lost to Temple 30-16)
Mitigating Factors: Knights disproving old adage that B-10 titles are won with defense, with offense ranking Dead Last Total Offense and Rushing Offense, and Next-To-Dead-Last in Scoring Offense…
Third quarter field goal allows Knights to blow lead for fifth straight week…Steady as she goes offense produces 67 yards rushing, 67 yards passing, giving Knights week's best 1-to-1 Rushing Yards to Passing Yards ratio.
Let's Do It Again: Knights looking for first winless campaign since 2004.
Next Loss: Houston
5. Eastern Michigan (1-6; lost to Toledo 63-20)
Mitigating Factors: Eagles recover from slow start - leading 6-0 after first quarter - to get outscored 56-0 in second and third quarters to put game on ice, with defense giving up touchdowns on eight (8) straight possessions…Eagles rank Dead Last in Rushing Defense (342.9 ypg)…Win over Wyoming not only cost Eagles shot at B-10 title, but since it came in Week 2, might even cost them Tostitos Plaque - issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win - even if they lose out.
FunFact: Eastern Michigan has lost at least five (5) games in a row every season this century except for 2011, 2007 and 2004.
Next Loss: at Northern Illinois
6. Louisiana-Famous Dead Person (3-8; UL-Monroe: lost to Appalachian State 59-14; UL-Lafayette: DNP)
Mitigating Factors: Hilarious joint entry - long a B-10 staple with, among others, Trilateral Commission and Defense Department - back in survey based on UL-M's fourth straight loss and a lousy week of practice for idle UL-L…UL-M constructing fine B-10 run in own right, with blowout losses to two (2) SEC teams with only win coming against lower level team…
FunFact: Though future opponents have combined .211 winning percentage, Louisiana-Famous Dead Person could be worst combined entry since New Mexicans (New Mexico, New Mexico State) finished at #7 in 2010.
Next Losses: UL-M: at Idaho; UL-L: Arkansas St (10/20)
7. Miami, Ohio (1-6; lost to Northern Illinois 45-12)
Mitigating Factors: RedHawks take control early, sprinting out to 21-0 first quarter deficit and never looking back…With only win coming in opener, RedHawks firmly in driver's seat for at least a share of Tostitos Plaque - issued to team(s) with longest losing streak(s) in a season that actually includes a win…RedHawks, the 2013 B-10 champions, making push for B-10 Team of the Decade honors, having lost 32 of 35.
FunFact: With 15 points in the last two (2) games, RedHawks have shot to top of Scoring Offense chart, ranking Dead Last (14.6 ppg).
Next Loss: at Western Michigan
8. Cheyney (0-7; lost to Lock Haven 56-20)
Mitigating Factors: Wolves really efforting in quest for consecutive Continental Cups - issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in NAFTA sphere of influence - with 39th consecutive loss…With another 39-game losing streak from 1994-98, B-10 pollsters "pretty sure" Wolves only team "basically ever" to have two (2) 39-game losing streaks… All-time Division II record of 52 consecutive losses (Lock Haven, 2008-12) now starting to appear in crosshairs.
Broad Historical Perspective: B-10 pollsters also "fairly certain" Cheyney first college football team - or any football team, really - ever to fall 400 games under .500 (92-487-5).
Next Loss: Shippensburg
9. Sun Belt Conference
Mitigating Factors: Despite strong seasons by both Mountain West and Mid-American conferences, Sun Belt easy pick for B-10 Conference of the Week honors…Sun Belt making mockery of race for B-10 Conference of the Year honors - imagine that - as only two (2) of eleven (11) teams have winning records and seven (7) Sun Belt teams have two (2) or fewer (fewer) wins…Five (5) non-conference wins and 27 non-conference losses both nation's best marks, barely edging out Mountain West Conference.
The Tradition Continues: Despite lousy non-conference mark, Sun Belt comes back strong for .500 mark in conference play.
10. Purdue (1-6; lost to Wisconsin 24-7)
Mitigating Factors: Boilermakers back in survey for first time since 2013…Purdue another BMOC whose only win came when picking on lower level team…Purdue has lost 12 out of last 13 and 18 of last 20 and haven't beaten a Big Ten team that finished season with winning record since smacking around Illinois 21-14 in 2011.
It's Been A While Since We've Been Able To Use This Line: Ranks eleventh and twelfth in conference that only admits to having ten (10) teams in both Scoring Offense and Scoring Defense.
Next Loss: Nebraska (Oct. 31)
This Week's Clash of the Titans: Troy at New Mexico State
Sun Belt Conference Thriller of the Week: UL-Monroe at Idaho
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