The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
Down in Who-ville
Liked Christmas a lot
But the Grinch,
Who lived just North of Who-ville,
The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be that his head wasn't screwed on quite right.
It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was too sizes too small."
-- "How The Grinch Stole Christmas!" Dr. Seuss
The Bottom 10 can certainly relate to the residents of Who-ville. In fact, for many of the worst college football teams of the 2009 season, it felt like the Grinch arrived in late August.
Quoting the venerable Dr. Seuss, "no one quite knows the reason" why Bottom 10 teams were so bad this season. Maybe it's because their heads weren't "screwed on quite right" or perhaps their "shoes were too tight."
But the final weekend of the 2009 regular season revealed a sliver of hope for the Bottom 10 teams: it wasn't because their hearts were "two sizes too small."
Ball State, which finished 2-10 and had been a Bottom 10 staple all season, avoided carrying a dubious ranking into the offseason by upsetting Western Michigan 22-17 on the road in its Nov. 24 finale. Western Kentucky and Eastern Michigan, both winless, put up good fights in their season finales, while Memphis and Maryland put forth valiant efforts in their last game, too.
A no-show in its regular-season finale against Washington meant Cal earned the coveted No. 5 spot.
With apologizes to Steve Harvey and Snoop Dogg -- the latest orator to tackle the "Grinch" in a recent appearance on "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" -- here's the final Bottom 10 of the 2009 season:
ESPN.com's Bottom 10
Waiting list: North Texas (2-10), Virginia (3-9), Colorado (3-9), Illinois (3-9), Tulane (3-9), Ball State (2-10), Colorado State (3-9), Akron (3-9), Vanderbilt (2-10), Texas' clock management, Florida International (3-9).
Mark Schlabach covers college football and men's college basketball for ESPN.com. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.