The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 11
By Gaylon Kent
The Writer's Shack
November 10, 2015
Like two (2) great heavyweights, the final winless teams in the Bottom Ten continue to slug it out for the ESPNCup, symbolic of Bottom Ten supremacy, with both Kansas and Central Florida turning in decisive losses.
Should one of them fall and win a game, there are no shortage of one-win teams, not to mention most of the Sun Belt Conference, standing by, waiting to ascend the Bottom Ten medal stand.
And this week's survey is marked by the return of both UMass - or UMess, as B-10 staffers lovingly refer to them - and Army…The Cadets march back into the survey, making their (annual) case for the Sgt Bilko Trophy - symbolic of service academy lousiness - with a resounding loss to Air Force.
This week's fiasco:
1. Kansas (0-9 lost to Texas 59-20)
Mitigating Factors: Defense really shining in quest for first B-10 title, having given up 58 or more points four (4) times in 2015 and ranking Dead Last in Total Defense (583.3 ypg) and Scoring Defense (48.4 ppg)…Jayhawks so bad that if season ended today they would set new NCAA record for Total Defense and darn near set the Scoring Defense mark…Jayhawks so bad, athletic website leading with pic of four (4) chick soccer players before big match - or whatever soccer games are called - with Texas Tech this week.
People Of The South Wind Losing Streak: Jayhawks have lost nation's-best 12 straight overall and 34 straight on the road.
Next Loss: at TCU
2. Central Florida (0-10; lost to Tulsa 45-30)
Mitigating Factors: Trailing 24-3 at the half, Knights show curious mid-game interest scoring 17 unanswered points in third quarter before securing loss with two (2) fourth quarter turnovers, including clutch interception returned for touchdown...UCF players issued B-10 library cards after announcement football team has 90 percent graduation rate…Despite ability to comprehend complex offensive concepts, Knights brainiacs still unable to run the ball, ranking Dead Last in Rushing Offense (78.7 ypg)
Geogroahy Lesson: With graduation rate announcement, staff anticipating no problems getting players to find East Carolina on team maps.
Next Loss: East Carolina (11/19)
3. Eastern Michigan (1-9; lost to Miami, Ohio 28-13)
Mitigating Factors: Eagles back on B-10 medal stand following crucial must-lose game against fellow MAC powerhouse…With ten (10) first downs, eight (8) penalties and three (3) fair catches, B-10 staffers working exciting new ratio to put it all in perspective…Though EMU ranks Dead Last in Rushing Defense, offense getting kudos for putting up six (6) three (3)-play drives, five (5) of them for negative (-) yardage. FunFact: Eagles fan(s) basking in glow of second eight-game in-season losing streak since 2013.
Next Loss: UMess
4. SMU (1-8; lost to Temple 60-40)
Mitigating Factors: Heroic defense has given up 100 points the last two games, overcoming stubborn offense that is has scored 71 points the last two weeks…Defense putting in extra sessions in film room trying stay ahead of offense that is putting up 35 points and over 400 yards of offense every week…Fortunately, defense up to challenge, giving 45.4 points per game, and 525 yards.
FunFact: B-10 fan(s) everywhere, well in a most places, getting misty eyed and rending garments as former B-10 juggernaut Temple passes torch to new generation of losers.
Next Loss: at Navy
5. Cheyney (0-10; lost to Millersburg 26-6)
Mitigating Factors: D-II Wolves show everyone who's boss, snapping Millersburg puny 10-game losing streak, retaining Continental Cup - issued to team with longest all-division losing streak in NATO - with 42nd consecutive loss…Defense, of all things, produces only blemish on shutout, somehow returning Millersburg fumble for touchdown in second quarter…All-time Division II losing streak of 46 games (Minnesota-Morris, 1998-2003) now squarely in the crosshairs…Wolves can earn second straight - and third ever - Continental Cup with loss this week.
Putting The Special In Special Teams: Wolves have punted for over 1.3 miles in 2015 have made zero (0) field goals…While NCAA record books does not list record for Fewest Field Goals Made, Season, B-10 pollsters "pretty sure" zero (0) in a season would "basically" be a record. .
Next Loss: at Slippery Rock
6. Louisiana-Famous Dead Person (5-12; UL-Monroe: lost to Troy 51-14; UL-Lafayette: defeated Georgia State 23-21)
Mitigating Factors: Trailing 27-14 after one, UL-M settles in, getting outscored 24-0 the rest of the way, guided by six (6) turnovers…UL-M showing the balance that leads directly to B-10 glory, with Warhawks ranking 122nd in Rushing Offense, 117th in Scoring Defense and Dead Last in Net Punting…With 4-4 record, UL-L too good for B-10 consideration, but kept on iconic, combined entry to provide moral support for UL-M's quest for B-10 medal stand.
Keep Your Eye On The Prize: UL-M, which has 13 regular season games this year and a seven (7)-game losing streak, can do no worse than tie for Tostitos Plaque - issued to team with the longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win - by losing out.
Next Losses: UL-M: Arkansas State; UL-L: at South Alabama (11/12)
7. Sun Belt Conference
Mitigating Factors: 5-27 non-conference mark, only three (3) of eleven (11) conference teams with winning records, make Sun Belt easy pick for B-10 Conference of the Week honors…Four (4) conference teams have two (2) or fewer wins while only three (3) have winning records…Conference defensive coordinators polishing resumes for offseason Walmart employment, as 73 percent of conference teams give up at least 400 yards a game.
You Gotta Love That: Pesky Sun Belt refuses to quit, mustering solid .500 mark in conference play.
8. UMess (1-8; lost to Akron 17-13)
Mitigating Factors: After showing cursory, early interest with 7-0 lead, offense returns to form late, sealing loss with two (2) fourth quarter interception…Last winning season as major division program came in 1905…Looking to return to those glory years, athletic director has calls into Tufts, Wesleyan Worcester Tech for future games… UMess can make big pitch for B-10 medal stand consideration with loss to Eastern Michigan this week.
Welcome Back: Minutemen have lost 39 of 45 since returning to major division football in 2012.
Next Loss: at Eastern Michigan
9. Army of the Potomac (2-7; lost to 20-3)
Mitigating Factors: Army takes command in race for Sgt Bilko Trophy - symbolic of service academy lousiness - with spirited loss to future airdales…Cadets start strong, punting on first seven (7) possessions…Black Knights of Confusion hindered by Army Secretary ruling requiring Cadets - to better prepare for future battles against ISIS - to play entire game on defense while wearing combat boots and while jotting every Air Force offensive formation in triplicate with a government pen that usually doesn't write.
Let's Talk B-10 Hardware: With exception of 2007 when it was won by Notre Dame, Army has at least shared in every Sgt Bilko Trophy - symbolic of service academy lousiness - since War of 1812.
Next Loss: Tulane
10. Hawaii (1-7; lost to UNLV 41-21)
Mitigating Factors: Warriors show depth of 2015 B-10 field, having lost seven (7) straight and still unable to crack survey until this week…Warriors a statistical juggernaut, ranking 120th or worse in eight (8) official NCAA stat categories, including Dead Last in crucial Time of Possession category (22:58)…Finale on 11/28 vs UL-Monroe could be for B-10 medal stand.
Numbers Racket: Remaining opponents have 4-20 record, so Warriors can rack big strength of schedule points by losing out.
Next Loss: at Fresno State
This Week's Clash of the Titans: UMess at Eastern Michigan
This One Isn't Going To Be Any Good, Either: Kansas at TCU
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