The Bottom Ten/NCAA Week 13
By Gaylon Kent
The Writer's Shack
November 25, 2015
Calls for a Bottom Ten playoff are escalating after both Kansas and Central Florida moved to 0-11 with impressive blowout losses, meaning both are just one (1) loss away from running the table in 2015…Unfortunately for Central Florida there is only one (1) number one (1) spot, so the Eagles or Knights or whatever they're called will need a Kansas win to have any shot at their first ESPNCup.
Should either or both stumble, the sheer number of one (1)-win teams threatens to make mockery of the race for the Bottom Ten medal stand - never particularly easy to do.
This week's mess:
1. Kansas (0-11; lost to West Virginia 49-0)
Mitigating Factors: Jayhawks one loss away from first B-10 title after preening for B-10 pollsters with first shutout loss of 2015...Kansas takes charge early, with first quarter fumble, interception leading to immediate 14-0 deficit…B-10 pollsters "pretty sure" Jayhawks can become first team "more or less ever" to win Triple Crown of Defense, currently ranking Dead Last in Scoring Defense, Total Defense and First Down Defense categories.
FunFact: Kansas has lost eleven (11) straight in a season for first time since vaunted 2012 squad claimed Continental Cup - issued to team with the longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win - by losing out after winning opener.
Next Loss: Kansas State
2. Central Florida (0-11; lost to East Carolina 44-7)
Mitigating Factors: Early 7-0 lead means UCF sets seasonal best mark by not trailing until midway through first quarter and gives Knights rare, valuable practice in blowing leads…Offense shows B-10 medal stand worthiness, producing eight (8) drives of three plays…Knights in dangers of becoming first team since Eastern Michigan in 2009 to go winless and finish in runner-up spot.
Forward March: Despite rushing for 101 yards, Knights still ranking Dead Last in Rushing Offense (80.7 ypg) and Total Offense (274.4 ypg).
Next Loss: South Florida (11/26)
3. Louisiana-Famous Dead Person (5-16; UL-Monroe: lost to Texas State 16-3; UL-Lafayette: lost to New Mexico State 37-34)
Mitigating Factors: With Eastern Michigan idle, hilarious combined entry allowed to take B-10 medal stand berth for test drive…UL-FDP showing faith B-10 pollsters had in them earlier with losses to Sun Belt powers who had only six (6) wins between them…UL-M has lost nine (9) straight, their first nine (9)-game skid since 2003-04…UL-L has lost two (2) straight since September-October this year…
Who Broke The Slide Rule?: With Texas State having lost to UL-L earlier in season, and UL-L having win in hand vs UL-M, B-10 pollsters have a really big headache and have given up trying to figure out who gets strength of schedule points and who does not.
Next Losses: UL-M: at Hawaii; UL-L: at Appalachian State
4. Wyoming (1-10; DNP)
Mitigating Factors: Teams usually not ranked week after not playing, but ranking Cowboys thiis week allows B-10 pollsters to trot out seldom-used "ranked due to lousy week of practice" line and to correct oversight of not ranking Cowboys the past couple of week…Offense not even bothering anymore, bravely throwing in the towel, putting up ten (10) points in last two (2) games.
FunFact: Rare for a 1-10 team, Cowboys do not rank 120th or worse in any major stat category, though they do rank Dead Last in alphabetical listing of major college teams.
Next Loss: UNLV
5. Hawaii (2-10; lost to San Jose State 42-23)
Mitigating Factors: Defense rounding into form, having not given up less than 40 points in a game since before Halloween…Though B-10 pollsters "pretty sure" two-win B-10 champions are rare, Rainbow Warriors still have shot at B-10 glory with loss to UL-Monroe this week …Will need help, but with current nine (9)-game skid Hawaii still has outside shot at Tostitos Plaque - issued to team with longest losing streak in a season that actually includes a win.
FunFact: Rainbow Warriors showing that failure to run, stop the run key to B-10 success, ranking 119th in Rushing Offense and 120th in Rushing Defense.
Next Loss: UL-Monroe
6. Army (2-9; lost to Rutgers 31-21)
Mitigating Factors: Black Knights of Confusion tune up for defense of their Sgt Bilko Trophy - symbolic of service academy lousiness - vs Navy with spirited loss…Army hindered by pregame Chief of Staff ruling requiring offensive linemen to come to attention immediately after the snap and stay at that position until play is over..B-10 Historical Committee in attendance for this one, as Rutgers and Army first met in 1891…Army lost that one, too, 27-6.
FunFact: Thinking game was being played under experimental First-Quarter-Doesn't-Count-Rule, Cadets spot Rutgers 14-0 lead before outscoring them 21-17 in quarters two (2) through four (4), inclusive.
Next Loss: vs Navy (at Philadelphia, 12/12)
7. Atlantic Coast Conference
Mitigating Factors: Though not expected to contend for B-10 Conference of the Year honors, ACC issued coveted B-10 weekly Conference of the Week award due being only conference with four (4) teams that have lost at least four (4) straight games…Conference turned in routine 18-18 mark against major division non-conference opponents.
Yawn: Hum-drum ACC not only has .500 major division non-conference mark, but also is a pedestrian .500 record in conference play, too.
8. Syracuse (3-8; lost to North Carolina State 42-29)
Mitigating Factors: Orangemen coming on strong after disastrous 3-0 almost derailed any hope of a B-10 finish…Athletic administrators so frustrated over strong start, they fired head coach to set strong tone for 2016…Current eight (8)-game skid best since 2005-06's ten (10)-game skid.
Calling Off The Dogs: Game not as close as score indicated, as Orangemen trailed 42-16 in fourth quarter before getting a couple of late touchdowns against some Confederate Studies majors sent in late to experience what it feels like to beat the North.
Next Loss: Boston College
9. Oregon State (2-9; lost to Washington 52-7)
Mitigating Factors: Beavers slowly gnawing their way to B-10 glory, going from nine (9) wins in 2012, to seven (7) wins to five (5) wins in 2014…Beavers offense team's guiding light, scoring seven (7) points or fewer in four (4) games in 2015 (2015), including one (1) shutout…Beavers showing type of consistency that leads straight to B-10 glory, ranking 114th in both First Downs Offense and First Downs Defense.
Light At The End Of The Tunnel: Current eight (8)-game skid best since school record 15-game skid in 1995-96.
Next Loss: Oregon (11/27)
10. Duke (6-5; lost to Virginia 42-34)
Mitigating Factors: B-10 Team of the Decade for Double Aughts back in survey, thanks to obscure - is there any other kind? - B-10 bylaw requiring former Teams of the Decade to be ranked any time they those four straight games in a season that follows three consecutive bowl games, all losses…Still has not won bowl game since naming the score, 7-6, vs Arkansas in 1961 Cotton Bowl/
Strong Finishing Kick: With loss this week, Bleu Devils can finish a season with a losing streak of at least five (5) games for seventh time since 2005.
Next Loss: at Wake Forest
This Week's Clash of the Titans: UL-Monroe at Hawaii
Shootout At The OK Corral: UNLV at Wyoming
Lousy Directional MAC Rivalry Game of the Week: Eastern Michigan at Central Michigan (11/27)
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