The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
Now Daddy didn't like trouble, but if it came along
Everyone that knew him knew which side that he'd be on
He never was a hero, or this county's shinin' light
But you could always find him standing up
For what he thought was right
He'd say, you've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything
You've got to be your own man not a puppet on a string
Never compromise what's right and uphold your family name
You've got to stand for something or you'll fall for anything
"You've Got to Stand for Something" -- Aaron Tippin
Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located behind the kiln where Booger McFarland cooks up his hot takes, we're locking arms, marching in lockstep and sending a message. Hey, Top 10, you've been warned -- us here in the Bottom 10, we ain't taking any more of your mess.
Over the weekend, I was in South Florida for the final race of Dale Earnhardt Jr., longtime supporter of the oft-Bottom-10-occupant UNC Tar Heels. On Saturday, my racetrack duties were over, and I turned on the radio and Wahoo! Virginia, which finished eighth in the 2016 Bottom 10, was leading third-ranked Miami by two touchdowns! My rental car instinctively veered itself toward Hard Rock Stadium. I arrived in the second quarter and bought a cheap ticket in the parking lot. The Cavs didn't win, but they nearly scared the Canes out of their Turnover Chain.
That night, I drove up to Boca Raton for the Shula Bowl, to watch former frequent Bottom 10 residents FA(not I)U and FI(not A)U, both headed for bowl games. "Hey, you!" an FAU student holding a "Lane Wants Bama" sign shouted. "We don't suck anymore!" He was right.
And in the middle of it all, a rather large gentleman in a Larry Csonka jersey breathlessly approached me in the Hard Rock concourse, eager to show me a clip on his phone.
Mayfield snubbed during pregame handshake
Heisman front-runner Baker Mayfield attempts to shake hands before Saturday's Big 12 matchup, but is left hanging.
That's right, our old friends the Nayhawks. They say "nay" to bowing down to the Top 10.
With apologies to Ace Ventura and Steve Harvey, here's this week's Bottom 10.
1. UTEPid (0-11)
This weekend brings its season finale and a final chance to save the W side of the W-L record. That game is a trip to UAB, which at the start of the season seemed like a great weekend to pick up a win. But the Blazers, who played zero games the previous two seasons, are 7-4 and, according to the mysteriously accurate ESPN Matchup Predictor, have a 90.8 percent probability of beating UTEP. In related news, UTEP has a 9.2 percent probability of beating UAB.
2. San No-se State (1-11)
Speaking of statistics, one of our trusty Bottom 10 bureau reporters, @That_Dude_51, informs us the Spartans are winning the "turnovers lost" battle with 40, which leads the nation by a dozen with one game remaining. We are entirely too lazy to check his work, but if he's right, then someone in San Jose needs to come up with the Spartans' equivalent of the Turnover Chain. Like, one of those chains you buy from a guy in a mall kiosk who swears it's real gold, but it ends up leaving a green ring around your neck.
3. Kansas Nayhawks (1-10)
Kansas head coach David Beaty isn't merely on board with our new "We ain't taking it!" stance, he has written our mission statement. When asked about his captains dissing Baker Mayfield, he said: "I'm proud of our guys for getting to a point ... we're not going to take it anymore. You're going to stick your feet in the ground, and you're going to defend your grass. ... But I certainly don't think it was anything more than the fact that this is a football game, and we're going to defend our grass." Or Pro Turf, or whatever, they're going to defend it, OK?! #DefendOurGrass
4. Minute Rice (1-10)
Rice and gravy ... Thanksgiving ... hmmmmm ...
5. #Grumors (4-7)
I once went to a wedding at which a fight broke out during the reception between the groom and his best man because one went to Bama and the other went to Tennessee. I used to think that was the most stereotypical SEC thing I would see in my lifetime. Then, on Saturday, the most popular riverside rib joint in Knoxville had to issue a public apology for tweeting a photo it had originally claimed was proof that Peyton Manning and Jon Gruden were eating lunch at their place prior to the LSU-Tennessee game. Surprise! They were wrong. The SEC. It just means more ... insanity.
6. Charlotte 1-and-10ers (1-10)
The "1" in 1-and-10ers is Charlotte's improbable win over UAB last month. Hey ... wait a minute ... UTEP! Hey, UTEP! Call Charlotte! It knows how to beat UAB! Why am I shouting?! To try to wake Mike Price up from his nap!
7. Ore-gone State (1-10)
This weekend, the Beavers travel to Oregon for their biennial reminder that while Nike founder Phil Knight does indeed donate money to Oregon State, he donates LOTS OF MONEY to Oregon.
8. Baylor (1-10)
Forget all the chatter about a Power 5 conference possibly getting two teams into the College Football Playoff. A Power 5 conference is about to get two teams into the final Bottom 10!
9. Georgia Southern Not State (1-9)
Much like the SEC is shaking its head over losing what was going to be a conference title game between a pair of undefeated opponents, we are also bummed. Some of the shine has been lost from this weekend's Bottom 10 Mega Bowl between Georgia Southern Not State, which earned its first win of the year by waxing South Alabama, and Coastal Carolina, which traveled to Idaho and won a 13-7 shootout. Still, the right performance in this game could mean one of these teams makes a big move late in these standings. And by the right performance, we mean the wrong performance.
10. Big Ball-er State (2-9)
In years past, #MACtion has made late pushes to fill the final Bottom 10 standings. This year, it is serving up turkeys early, as all three of the league's 2-9 teams are in action on Tuesday. Ball State hosts My Hammy of Ohio in the Redbird Classic, State of Kent travels to Akron for the Wagon Wheel series, and Boiling Green visits Eastern Michigan in the "Hey I Guess We Need To Come Up With A Name For This Game" Showdown.
Waiting list: No-vada (2-9), Living on Tulsa Time (2-9), Illi-noise (2-9), State of Kent (2-9), Boiling Green (2-9), Texas State Armadillos (2-9), Ha-Why?-yuh (3-8), BY-Yew (3-9), grabbing one's nether regions on live TV (0-1).