The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 9
By Gaylon Kent
The Writer's Shack
October 28, 2015
We've said this before: the second decade of the 21st century might well be looked back on as the Golden Age of the Bottom Ten. Considering the Doube Aughts produced two (2) 20-game losing streaks by Duke, that is saying an awful lot.
2015, however, might be the deepest field ever. Now, Bottom Ten pollsters have been saying that for the past few years, but with 13 teams with zero (0) or one (1) win and twelve (12) juggernauts that have lost at least five (5) consecutive (consecutive) games, they might have a point.
This week's mess:
1. New Mexico State (0-7; lost to Troy 52-7)
Mitigating Factors: Blowout loss, nation's best 17th straight defeat more than enough to ensure Aggies remain team to beat, literally, in race for B-10 title…With game already in hand at halftime trailing 45-7, Aggies call off the dogs in second half, only getting outscored 7-0…Defense showing the way to B-10 glory, ranking 120th or worse in four (4) stat categories, including Dead Last in Scoring Defense (49.0 ppg)
Three Man Weave: Team so bad athletic website homepage already leading with basketball player profiles, chick equestrian team updates.
Next Loss: Idaho
2. Kansas (0-7; lost to Oklahoma State 58-10)
Mitigating Factors: Rock, chock Jayhawk loss as Kansas retains medal stand spot with routine, conference road massacre...Total team effort as offense produces nine (9) punts, two interceptions and a safety, while defense allows 33 first downs…Current ten (10)-game skid best since 2012 squad lost last eleven (11) games after winning opener.
We'll Leave The Light On For You: B-10 marketing department pleased to announce Jayhawks first-ever recipient of Motel 6 Award - issued to team with nation's longest road losing streak...Currently at 33 games, Jayhawks have not won on road this decade, with last road win coming at UTEP in 2009.
Next Loss: Oklahoma
3. North Texas (0-7; lost to Marshall 30-13)
Mitigating Factors: Mean Green show determination to retain spot on B-10 medal stand, taking drama out of this one early with 24-0 second quarter deficit…North Texas, as usual during their B-10 runs, a statistical juggernaut, ranking 100th or worse in 16 official NCAA stat categories, including 120th or worse in eight (8)… Mean Green fan(s) counting on team's B-10 pedigree to maintain spot on B-10 medal stand, as remaining opponents have only a .333 winning percentage in 2015.
Behind The 8 Ball: Current eight (8)-game skid best since 2008 squad started season 0-8.
Next Loss: UT-San Antonio
4. Central Florida (0-8; lost to Houston 59-10)
Mitigating Factors: Knights fan(s) crying foul as nation's only 0-8 team left on outside of B-10 medal stand looking in…Offense takes some of pressure off defense early, allowing fumble to be returned for touchdown on third play of game….Offense still sputtering on all cylinders, ranking Dead Last in Total Offense (257.6 ypg) and Rushing Offense (58.3 ypg) and Next-To-Next-To-Dead Last in Scoring Offense (15.0 ppg)
Light At The End Of The Tunnel: Knights just three (3) losses away from second 0-11 season ever (2006).
Next Loss: at Cincinnati
5. Eastern Michigan (1-7; lost to Northern Illinois 49-21)
Mitigating Factors: Trailing 35-0 at half, Eagles unable to preserve shutout - and impress B-10 pollsters - outscoring Northern Illinois seventh string 21-14 in second half…Eagles another team with tough road to B-10 glory, as remaining opponents in always-tough MAC have combined .259 winning percentage…Link on football homepage goes to Recruiting Questionnaire page with first question asking "What percentage of future Taco Bell earnings will you donate to keep EMU losing tradition alive?"
Speaking Of Tradition: 2009 B-10 runners-up keeping tradition alive in second decade of 21st century, having lost 39 of last 46.
Next Loss: Western Michigan (Oct 29)
6. Louisiana-Famous Dead Person (3-11; UL-Lafayette: lost to Arkansas State 37-27; UL-Monroe: lost to Idaho 27-13)
Mitigating Factors: Hilarious joint entry, thrown in for laughs last week, shows B-10 mettle with two losses in always-tough Sun Belt Conference…UL-M shows running game key to B-10 glory, ranking 123rd in Rushing Offense and 120th in Rushing Defense…Showdown this week for Billy Cannon Certificate - symbolic of Louisiana B-10 supremacy - and automatic spot in B-10 regionals…Due to depth of 2015 B-10 field, loser of this game might find it tough to break into survey with own entry.
OTOH: Both teams have New Mexico State remaining on schedule, so strong showings could propel Louisiana-Famous Dead Person to first ever B-10 medal stand finish.
Next Losses: UL-Lafayette: UL-Monroe; UL-Monroe: at UL-Lafayette
7. Miami, Ohio (1-7; lost to Western Michigan 35-13)
Mitigating Factors: Somehow leading 10-7 after first quarter, Miami takes advantage of rare opportunity to practice blowing leads, getting outscored 28-3 the rest of the way…Nobody is scores fewer points than the RedHawks, who rank Dead Last in Scoring Offense (14.4 ppg)…Though anything can happen in zany MAC, RedHawks can claim no worse than a share of Tostitos Plaque - issued to team with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win - by losing out.
FunFact: With only win in 2015 coming against lower level team, RedHawks have not beaten major division team that finished season with winning record since beating Ohio in 2012.
Next Loss: Buffalo (Oct. 29)
8. Cheyney (0-8; lost to Shippensburg 70-7)
Mitigating Factors: 40th straight loss ensures Division II Wolves keep paws on Continental Cup - issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in NATO…Wolves fan(s) beaming after beloved team finally notches first 40-game losing skid, erasing ghosts of 1994-98 skid that was snapped after 39 games…Only blemish on shutout was second quarter touchdown pass…Wolves losing games by an average score of 53-8.5 in 2015, significant improvement over 2014's 43.5-8.63 margin.
FunFact: B-10 pollsters "pretty sure" Wolves first team to have two (2) 63-point losses in same season they lose 40th consecutive game since Tijuana Tech in 1973.
Next Loss: West Chester
9. Mid-American Conference
Mitigating Factors: Though non-conference mark not as bad as Sun Belt's - nobody's that bad - MAC takes B-10 Conference of the Week honors based on having three teams who have lost at least five (5) consecutive games…Seven of 13 MAC teams have losing records, including three (3) teams with only one win.
FunFact: MAC also 0-7 in 2015 against teams ranked in AP Top 25.
10. SMU (1-6; lost to South Florida 38-14)
Mitigating Factors: Four (4) turnovers - including one on a kickoff return - help solidify fifth straight loss…Defense chips in, too, giving up six (6) scores in red zone in six (6) opportunities…Mustangs could make some noise in B-10 stretch drive, as remaining opponents have .667 winning percentage in 2015.
Quality Loss Department: Mustangs get nod for final B-10 spot over UMess by virtue of strength of schedule points as only win came against North Texas.
Next Loss: Tulsa
This Week's Clash of the Titans: UT-San Antonio at North Texas
Sun Belt Conference Thriller of the Week: UL-Monroe at UL-Lafayette
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