The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
Well, once I was a slave at the sawmill
Talk about a poor boy, talk about a poor boy
Never saw a dollar bill
Well, my work was so hard at the sawmill
Think about a poor boy, think about a poor boy
When you go to write your will
Well, seen my teardrops falling down
My wife left this sawmill town
She said, sawmill life had many sins
'Cause the gravy was too thin
-- "Sawmill," Mel Tillis
On Saturday night, during a rare in-season college football weekend off, I took my wife out for her birthday. We went to a nice restaurant and stayed at a nice hotel. Because I'm romantic like that.
We sat at a very nice bar with a very nice TV and very strong Wi-Fi, and on my phone I tracked a very nice second-half rally by San Jose State, as the Spartans came from down 28-0 to Colorado State to take the lead. Because, as I said, I'm romantic like that.
Soon, other romantic gentlemen had surrounded me, finding themselves inexplicably sucked into the Pillow Fight of the Week. That's when one of them said something I haven't been able to shake since: "So, are there other sportswriters out there whose only job is to cover these Bottom 10 teams?"
I answered yes.
"Wow," he said. "How do they do that? Coming up with something new to write every week even when they already know how the game is going to end?"
I told him they do it very well.
"Well, you know what?" he said. "Then I'm pulling for San Jose State to pull this off. Just so that the guy who covers them will have something good to write about."
Then we watched on the ESPN App as the Spartans watched their 30-28 lead turn into a 42-30 loss.
"Man, I wish we could buy the people in that press box a drink," the new SJSU fan said. "I guess we'll just have to drink theirs for them."
With apologies to Sisyphus and Steve Harvey, here's the Bottom 10 for Week 6.
1. UTEPID (0-6)
UTEP was also in the hunt late, tied with the North Texas Mean Green and staring at a chance to snap the nation's longest losing streak. The Minors didn't do it. The streak is now up to 18. The man who has covered the team for the entirety of that slump is Bret Bloomquist of the El Paso Times.
Papa John's has a promotion where you can get $6 a big enough order if UTEP scores on a pick-6. Guessing they don't pay that one very often.— Bretbloomquist (@Bretbloomquist) October 7, 2018
2. San No-Se State (0-5)
The Spartans Not Trojans have suffered back-to-back heartbreakers, a 5OT loss to Hawai'i and the failed comeback against Coloraduh State. Former Stanford linebacker Kevin Richardson is an SJSU radio analyst and has learned how to deal with the pain.
Sometimes you just let the photo speak... pic.twitter.com/ebFwTfsnUA— Kevin Richardson (@krichardson46) October 7, 2018
3. U-Can't (1-5)
The student-athletes of Randy Edsall Charm School U. fell to Memphis 55-14, adding to their FBS-worst 53.7 points per game surrendered. As always, Neill Ostrout of the Manchester Journal Inquirer was there to capture Edsall's latest in-depth analysis of his team.
Randy Edsall: "We're not big enough, we're not fast enough, we're not strong enough."— Neill Ostrout (@NeillOstrout) October 7, 2018
4. Minute Rice (1-5)
While the rest of us count down to Rice and UTEP's inevitable showdown on Nov. 3, Matthew Bartlett of The Roost knows that the Owls will take a compliment from wherever they can get it. Even if it's from ... their next opponent?
5. Oklahoma State Cowboys (4-2)
Barely three weeks ago, the Cowboys were 3-0, ranked 15th and making noise about crashing the Big 12 and perhaps CFP parties. Now they've dropped two of their past three, those losses coming to Big 12 bottom-floor resident Texas Tech and then-Bottom 10 Waiting List tenant Iowa State. I'm certainly not going to post any tweets from any OSU beat writers in this slot ... because I don't want Mike Gundy to take away their credentials.
6. Texas State Armadillos (1-4)
The Bobcats trudged through a bizarre weekend that started with the AD issuing the dreaded "show of support" email to alumni and ended with a 42-27 loss to Louisiana. In between, there were signs in the stands to fire that AD and a banner flown around the stadium that overdescribed the excitement level of one of the media members who covers the team. Said media member described the pain of that job in full detail.
7. In a Rut-gers (1-5)
If you follow my man Steve Politi, who keeps an eye on Rutgers for the Star-Ledger, you'd totally understand if he blacked out during games.
A live look at the "blackout" for Rutgers-Illinois. pic.twitter.com/KLf61vkrex— Steve Politi (@StevePoliti) October 6, 2018
8. Oregone State (1-4)
Like San Jose State, the Beavers held a 30-28 third-quarter lead, largely due to a playbook dump of reverses and trickeration (though they did end up with a fourth-and-54 at one point). But like SJSU, OSU couldn't close the deal, losing to the Washington State Leach Pirates. However, guys like Steve Gress of the Corvallis Gazette-Times have learned to take what they can get when they get it.
Hey, an OSU first down.— Steve Gress (@stevegress19) October 7, 2018
Hey, the Beavers force a three-and-out.— Steve Gress (@stevegress19) October 7, 2018
Is Chris Petersen coaching the Beavers?— Steve Gress (@stevegress19) October 7, 2018
9. No-braska (0-5)
How's the mood in Lincoln these days? Sportscaster Kevin Sjuts summed it up by combining recent podium comments from head football coach Scott Frost and Huskers volleyball coach John Cook.
10. UCLA Boo-ins (0-5)
Meanwhile, at the Rose Bowl, Thuc Nhi Nguyen of the Los Angeles Daily News has instituted a sort of digital group therapy for UCLA fans ... and writers.
The responses included a lot of shrugs, head tilts and pursed lips, all saying that the 31-24 loss to No. 10 Washington wasn't nearly as bad as they'd feared. Hopefully, going forward, the same will be true of these Bottom 10 beat writer gigs.
Waiting List: UNC Achilles' Heels (1-3), Lou-ugh-ville (2-4), Ar-kan't-saw (1-5), Central Michigan Chippy-was (1-5), Boiling Green State (1-5), State of Kent (1-5), Western Kentucky Hillstoppers (1-4), Liberty Fightin' Falwells (2-3), Living on Tulsa Time (1-4), Old Duh-minions (1-5), the team that lost to Old Duh-minions (3-2), political tweets invading our Saturday afternoon timelines.