The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
I wish I was a little bit taller
I wish I was a baller
I wish I had a girl who looked, I would call her
I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat
And a six four Impala.
--"I Wish" Skee-Lo
On Saturday, as the games of the college football world collectively kicked off, I elected to stay bunkered down in Charlotte, North Carolina, at Bottom 10 HQ South, located in the phone booth where Tom Luginbill changes into Superman.
In the middle of it all, my phone rang. It was a friend who was on his way to see the Charlotte 49ers host a home game against Eastern Michigan. "C'mon, dude, you write about these teams in that Bottom 10 thing all the time. You even claimed you tried to get College GameDay to do their show at this game. You gotta go."
I didn't. I didn't go because I was afraid someone would throw something at me. I didn't go because I never want someone to think I'm thumbing my nose at these teams. I'm not. It's all in good fun. I didn't go because ... well ... I'd just ordered a pizza and some wings, and they were already on the way to my house.
But man, now I wish I had gone. I wish I had gone so that I could have maybe told the fans of those two teams how I really feel, and had done that in person. I wish I had gone so that I could explain that, yes, it is all in good fun. I wish I had gone because ... well ... this play happened, and I actually could have seen it in person.
With apologies to Neil O'Donoghue and Steve Harvey, here's this week's Bottom 10.
1. Rice (0-3)
The Owls suffered the rare two defeats at once during their trip to Baylor. First, the football team lost to the Bears 38-10. Second, the Rice Marching Owl Band -- aka, the MOB -- got into trouble for forming a giant "IX," as in Title IX, and had to issue a public apology. Meanwhile, Temple lost to Penn State and FA(not I)U got housed by Kansas State. That's the worst day for a group of owls since my daughter leaned over to me halfway through the premiere of "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole" to say she was bored and wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese's. This weekend, Rice hosts North Texas Forty in Pillow Fight of the Week of the Year III (PFOWY3).
2. FI(not A)U (0-3)
Meanwhile, the FI(not A)U Golden Panthers (not Owls) lost PFOWY2 to UMass, whereupon angry fans of the Minutemen filled my inbox in a minute flat with demands that they now be removed from these rankings. Did I make like the Redcoats at the Old North Bridge and retreat? Stay tuned.
3. Virginiugh (0-3)
After embarrassing losses to Richmond and Oregon, the Hoos rebounded with a moral victory, losing 13-10 at UConn. As UVa founder Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "Sometimes, in the face of troublesome times, it can be best for man to take pause and appraise his moral victories. Oh, what a bunch of #^&@. You think we beat the British with a bunch of moral victories?!" Wait, actually I think it was my middle school football coach, Mr. Jefferson, who said that second part.
4. I-ow!-a State (0-3)
Week 1: Iowa State lost to Northern Iowa. Week 3: Iowa lost to North Dakota State. Week 4: Iowa state legislature passes bill barring the state's two biggest schools from scheduling anyone with "North" in their name. Week 5: Iowa police bar Northwestern from crossing the state line to play Iowa. Week 6: Iowa State linebacker Reggan Northrup is considering a new surname.
5. Buster Sooner (1-2)
It's time to circle the wagons in Norman. Unfortunately, they just have the one wagon, so they'll have to ride it around in circles. Like little Sheriff Bart's family during the Indian attack, or Baker Mayfield running around waiting on someone to get open downfield.
6. Charlotte 1-and-2ers (1-2)
There aren't a lot of hard and fast rules when it comes to the Bottom 10, but there are a few. You are guaranteed instant inclusion if you do any of the following: 1. Lose to Eastern Michigan. 2. Commit three consecutive personal fouls to set up an opponent's kickoff at your own 20-yard line. 3. Have more than one person approach me at church on Sunday morning to say, "Dude, we have to be in the Bottom 10 this week," and one of those people is a university staff member. The Niners pulled a hat trick. And that hat looks like Cam Newton's barbershop boater.
7. Warshington State (1-2)
No, defeating Idaho doesn't get you off the list.
8. UMess (1-2)
No, defeating FI(not A)U doesn't get you off the list. (Only 67 days until UMass visits Hawaii.)
9. State of Kent (1-2)
No, defeating Monmouth doesn't get you off the list.
10. Buffalo Bills, er, Bulls (0-2)
MAC teams are beginning to arrive to the Bottom 10 like a fun-size bag of Skittles spilled beneath a car seat. Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, My Hammy of Ohio and Just Plain Ohio all lost to varying degrees of disappointment. But in the end the Bulls seized the spot via their three-game losing streak to Albany, Nevada and Fightin' Byes of Open Date U.
Waiting list: My-hammy of Ohio (0-3), NIU (0-3), Georgia State Not Southern (0-3), Arkansas State (0-3), Kentughky (1-2), Huh-why-yuh (1-3), North Texas Forty (1-2), Kansas Nayhawks (1-2), USC (1-2), dropping the ball before crossing the goal line, tossing the ball to the official behind the goal line ... on a kickoff.