The Bottom 10 rises as the Big 12 falls


Inspirational thought of the week:

Remember how I’d walk in,
What excitement there would be?
Never less than 20 people,
I had lots of friends, you see.

I gave the party, I was the host.
Everyone loved me, I was the most.

But nothing lasts forever,
And the deepest well runs dry.
Just ’cause I’ve stopped rolling sevens
Doesn’t mean I have to cry.

I’ll take that nightcap,
One more won’t show.
And incidentally … maybe you know …
Where, oh, where, oh, where did everyone go?

— “Where Did Everyone Go?” by Nat King Cole

Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located inside a video teleconference screen that has just been accidentally wiped down with Lectric Shave because we mistook it for hand sanitizer, we have admittedly struggled with how to properly measure, compute and compile these rankings during, as every single TV commercial reminds us during every single station break, “these uncertain times.”

I mean, y’all, we’re talking about a talent pool that is missing MACtion, home to the defending Bottom 10 champions Akron, not to mention runner-up UMess, every team with New Mexico in the title, the entire Mountain West West Division and … gulp … Randy Edsall!

But to be clear, when we say we have struggled with how to manage this season’s Bottom 10, we don’t mean that we have had a Big Ten-level struggle about how to manage this season. I’ve seen turtles handle their business more smoothly than … wait … hang on … our pager is going off … it’s our attorneys. They’re telling me that in the five seconds since you read that last sentence, we’ve already been sued by six Chicago law firms and the entire state of Nebraska.

Anyway, for the foreseeable future, we have decided that this year’s Bottom 10 will be the Bottom 5. Why? Because nearly half of the college football world is up on blocks marked “TBD.” That and we’re lazy.

With apologies to Thanos and Steve Harvey, here’s this week’s Bottom 5.

1. Texas State Armadillos (0-2)

To be fair, our friends in San Marcos are much improved. In Week 1 — or maybe it was Week 0 or even Week T-Minus-1 — they could have beaten tight-end-less SMU in the season opener. This past Saturday, they could have beaten Battle of I-35 rival R.O.C.K. in the UTSA after rallying late to force OT. But woulda-coulda-shoulda failed to become actually dida, and the Armadillos lost both games to become this season’s first 0-2 FBS team.

2. ULM (pronounced “uhlm”) 0-1

The boys from Monroe, Louisiana, traveled to West Point, where they were run over by the tanks of Army like it was the Battle of Arracourt. But that isn’t the real story here. This is about what is yet to come. Over the next six weeks, the Caleb Evan-less Warhawks will face off against three legit Bottom 5 contenders. That rubber gauntlet begins this weekend, with the first Pillow Fight of the Week of the Year, a 1-versus-2 matchup with Texas State, and ends with an Oct. 22 trip to South Alabama. Ulm, that’s a crazy schedule.

3. UTEPID (1-1)

Right in the middle of ULM’s Homer-esque autumn quest is a Sept. 26 visit from Paydirt Pete and the Miners, who are still smarting from their 2019 Bottom 10 runner-up finish. By the way, when we say “Homer-esque autumn quest,” we don’t mean the author of The Odyssey and The Iliad; we mean Homer Simpson that time he decided to attend Krusty’s Clown College.

4. FSU Semi-no’s (0-1)

It isn’t just the unexpected loss to Georgia Tech (again) or the bummer season-opening loss at home (again) or what seems to be a disconnect between a would-be star player and the head coach (again) or being stuck in a rebuild while having to look up at Clemson, the ACC conference darling (again). No, it’s all of the above. Again.

5. The Big 12

OK, it wasn’t the entire Big 12 that earned the Coveted Fifth Spot, but it felt like it. This spot, now barely dangling off the just-sliced cliff of the Bottom 5, is owned by the Big 12’s Little 3. Kansas State was chomped by the Arkansas State Red Wolves, Iowa State got boiled by the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns, and Kansas was totally Chaucered by the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. Awesome mascots aside, it was the biggest weekend for a Sun Belt since the first time a Boca Raton real estate agent convinced a vacationing Manhattan couple to invest in a can’t-lose timeshare.

The waiting list: South Alabama Redundancies (1-1), In The Navy (0-1), Syr-excuse (0-1), Southern Missed (0-1), COVID-19

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