The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 10
By Gaylon Kent
The Writer's Shack
November 3, 2015
Sometimes the upheaval is total.
It was in the Bottom Ten this week, as two-thirds of the medal stand - #1 New Mexico State and #3 North Texas - both shot their ESPNCup hopes in the foot with morale-depleting wins.
Thank God for the stability of Kansas. And Central Florida. And Miami, Ohio. And Eastern Michigan and SMU, all of whom kept their dreams of Bottom Ten glory alive with losses.
And Division II Cheyney took another step towards an unprecedented third - and second consecutive -Continental Cup - issued to team with the longest all-division losing streak in NAFTA sphere of influence - with their 41st straight loss.
This week's imbroglio:
1. Kansas (0-8; lost to Oklahoma 62-7)
Mitigating Factors: School mainly known for basketball teams make biggest football splash yet, with first ever B-10 #1 ranking…Offense explodes for 35 rushing yards, while "defense" cruises, giving up 710 yards and zero (0) punts…Jayhawks showing type of consistency that leads straight to B-10 glory, ranking 120th in Rushing Defense and 119th in Rushing Offense…For good measure, Jayhawks also rank Dead Last in Total Defense.
Carry On, Wayward Son: Road to B-10 glory never easy, but Jayhawks could be on easy street to B-10 title as remaining opponents have won 51 percent of games.
Next Loss: at Texas
2. Central Florida (0-9; lost to Cincinnati 52-7)
Mitigating Factors: Big week for Knights rolling onto B-10 medal stand for first time…Current ten (10)- game skid second best in nation…UCF never in this one, trailing 35-0 before third stringers can even get limbered up…Knights improving each week, now ranking Dead Last in three (3) offensive stat categories: Scoring Offense, Rushing Offense and Total Offense.
Numbers Racket: UCF losing by an average score of 35.4-to-14.1 in 2015.
Next Loss: at Tulsa
3. Miami, Ohio (1-8, lost to Buffalo 29-24)
Mitigating Factors: MAC bellwether's eighth straight loss puts them back in natural habitat, the B-10 medal stand…Current skid third best in nation…Tied 17-17 at half, RedHawks come out strong in second half, opening with missed field goal, punt and fumble…22 straight road losses second best in nation.
Let's Talk B-10 Hardware: RedHawks can do no worse than tie for Tostitos Plaque - issued to team with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win - by losing out.
Next Loss: Eastern Michigan
4. Eastern Michigan (1-8; lost to Western Michigan 58-28)
Mitigating Factors: Total team effort for Eastern Michigan, with four (4) turnovers leading to 24 Western Michigan points…1-8 record impressive, of course, but offensive scoring over 27 points a game could keep Eagles from B-10 glory…Thank goodness defense couldn't stop B-10 pollsters on power sweep, ranking Dead Last in Rushing Defense…Showdown at Miami, Ohio this week for automatic MAC berth in B-10 regionals.
FunFact: Recruiting questionnaire on football homepage clicked slightly more than Who Wants To Be A Vandal link on Idaho football homepage.
Next Loss: at Miami, Ohio
5. SMU (1-7; lost to Tulsa 40-31)
Mitigating Factors: SMU hanging tough in competitive 2015 B-10 race, impressing B-10 pollsters after pulling out relatively close conference home loss...Facing prospect of actually leading at halftime, Mustang defense rises to occasion, giving up 23-yard touchdown run for 23-21 halftime deficit…Mustangs have lost six (6) straight and 20 of last 22…Schedule a plus, as Mustangs have easy road, as last four opponents are winning games at a 71 percent clip.
FunFact: Mustangs need help, but neither medal stand berth nor Tostitos Plaque - issued to team with longest losing streak in season that actually includes a win - completely out of the question if they lose out.
Next Loss: Temple (11/6)
6. Cheyney (0-9; lost to West Chester 40-21)
Mitigating Factors: D-II Wolves lose 41st straight to retain Continental Cup - issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in ISIS sphere of influence...Offensive line getting smiley faces on playbook after allowing no runner to gain more than 90 feet on ground, while allowing three (3) quarterback sacks…With game against winless Millersville this week, Wolves cannot be caught looking ahead to season finale to lock up another winless season.
Piling It On: Wolves have also lost 51 straight conference games and 26 straight at home.
Next Loss: at Millersville
7. Louisiana-Famous Dead Person (4-11; UL-Monroe: lost to UL-Lafayette 30-24; UL-Lafayette: defeated UL-Monroe 30-24)
Mitigating Factors: Entry so bad even UL-L beating UL-M not enough to break up entry…B-10 pollsters impressed with UL-M blowing 24-9 lead, not impressed with UL-L falling behind 24-9 in first place…UL-M takes Billy Cannon Certificate - symbolic of Cajun collegiate football lousiness - with loss.
FunFact: Four (4) out five (5) dentists surveyed think Louisiana-Famous Dead Person is funniest B-10 combined entry ever, easily outdistancing Tri-Lateral Commission (Duke, Vanderbilt, Rice) and College of Cardinals (Notre Dame, Anna Maria).
Next Losses: UL-M: at Troy; UL-L: at Georgia State
8. Sun Belt Conference
Mitigating Factors: Sun Belt Conference back in survey, shooing aside MAC to earn B-10 weekly Conference of the Week honors…Eight (8) of eleven (11) conference (conference) teams have losing records…Eight (8) of eleven (11) conference (conference) teams have no more than three wins…Two-thirds of Sun Belt teams giving up over 200 yards a game on ground, while 72 percent giving more than 30 points a game.
FunFact: Despite strong B-10 presence, Sun Belt continues to court success with strong .500 mark in Sun Belt Conference play.
9. Idaho (3-5; lost to New Mexico State 55-48 OT)
Mitigating Factors: While B-10 pollsters "pretty sure" no three (3)-win team has ever taken title, Vandals make big pitch for B-10 medal stand consideration after snapping New Mexico's 17-game losing skid…With one win coming against lower level team and two others agains major division teams with a combined 3-13 record, Vandals strength of schedule points could influence final B-10 standings if they lose out…Or not, as B-10 pollsters still not entirely sure how strength of schedule affects a survey ranking bad football teams.
Old Habits Die Hard: "Want To Be A Vandal" link on football homepage still least clicked on link in Internet history.
Next Loss: at South Alabama
10. New Mexico State (1-7; defeated Idaho 55-48 OT)
Mitigating Factors: Aggie fan(s) in despair a quest for first ever B-10 title takes big hit, as nation's-best 17-game losing streak snapped…B-10 fans everywhere scratching their heads after New Mexico State blows deficits of 20-0, 30-7 and 40-21 before tying game in final minute and winning in OT…Despite win, Aggies have still lost 44 of last 49, meaning they are likely to remain Worst Team Never To Win B-10 Title
When All The Laughter Died In Victory: Mid-season win ensures Aggies not even in contention for Tostitos Plaque - issued to team with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win.
Next Loss: at Texas State
This Week's Clash of the Titans: Eastern Michigan at Miami, Ohio
MAC Game of the Week: See above
Division II Instant Classic: Cheyney at Millersville
Sun Belt Conference Thriller of the Week: UL-Monroe at Troy
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