[Editor's note: It all comes down to this. What final weekend scheduling strategy will win the Bottom 10 title? Head-to-head matchups between ranked teams or blowout losses to good teams?]
Inspirational thought of the week:
It was learned in a game
That was played by us all
Who held the top of the hill
From the rest was called the king
And I can't believe it all was good for humankind
We would run with all of our might
Push the king off to take the hill
And to learn who was king
And who makes the better serf
-- "King of the Hill," Minutemen
Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located in a suddenly empty U-Haul lot in South Bend, Indiana, we, like Brian Kelly -- and Lincoln Riley and Sonny Dykes and, hell, take your pick -- filled an orange truck all the way up to Grandma's Attic and changed locations this week. No, not permanently, but rather for one night only on the outskirts of Grapevine, Texas, to determine this year's final rankings. We can't afford the swanky Gaylord Texan digs that the fancy schmancy College Football Playoff folks use, so we once again set up shop in a conference room at the nearby DFW Hacienda Courts.
All due respect to the coaching carousel and the CFP, but the real work is now underway. The final 2021 #Bottom10 Selection Committee meeting has begun. pic.twitter.com/yWgwP22qNq— Ryan McGee (@ESPNMcGee) November 30, 2021
The 2021 Bottom 10 selection committee roster was made up of me, Captain Morgan, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, as well as former head coaches Dan Mullen, Ed Orgeron, Jerry Glanville, Charlie Weis, Bob Stoops and Ed "Straight Arrow" Gennero. However, at the 11th hour we were forced to make a pair of last-minute changes to that roster. First, we realized that we couldn't afford Captain Morgan and had to settle for Calico Jack. Then, Stoops left to coach the Oklahoma Sooners in whatever bowl game they end up playing in. In fact, all the former coaches became essentially useless as they were staring at their phones all night expecting to be swept up into the coaching carousel that was suddenly rotating faster than the wrecked space station in "Gravity."
Well, everyone except for Weis. He was, as always, napping on a futon stuffed with buyout cash. At least he was trying to nap. Mullen and Orgeron kept waking him up to ask where they could get one of those mattresses to store their newfound scratch.
Once we got everyone to buckle down, the selection process began and now I, like CFP selection chairman Gary Barta, am stepping out to face the media so that I may defend the indefensible.
With apologies to Thomas Bradshaw, Paul Revere and Steve Harvey, here are the final 2021 Bottom 10 rankings.
1. UMess (1-11)
Ralph W. Emerson, The Dial ... Chairman McGee, Massachusetts defeated Connecticut on Oct. 9, yet your committee has UMass in this spot. Conn, er, can you explain that?
While we certainly understand why some people might take issue with us seemingly ignoring head-to-head results, we would remind them that head-to-head contact is also targeting. We would also remind them that after the UConn win, UMass lost six straight, including a pair of losses to FCS schools and last week's Pillow Fight of the Year: Part Deux, a 44-27 defeat at the hands of New Mexico State, who was ranked second in the Bottom 10 at the time. It reminds me of a famous quote: "Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail." UMass just failed. And apologies, Mr. Emerson, but I can't remember who it was that originally said that.
2. FI(not A)U (1-11)
Trent Crimm, The Independent ... Mr. McGee, your committee moved Florida International up, or more accurately, down one spot ahead or more accurately, behind Connecticut despite the fact they have identical records. Do you care to explain yourself?
Trent, this was a straight-up comparison of wins. UConn's lone victory came just six weeks ago against Yale, a team that finished fourth in the FCS Ivy League. But FIU's lone win was way back in Week 1 against Long Island University, and we can find little evidence that there is an actual Long Island University or that they have a football team. And don't lecture me on explaining one's self. We're all still waiting on you to explain ratting out a source.
3. U-Can't (1-11)
Randy Edsall, editor-in-chief, randyedsallisawesome.net ... Would you like to take this moment to apologize for all the nasty things you said and wrote about me this year?
That depends. Do you have an "apologies received" bonus clause in your contract?
4. By The Time I Get To Arizona (1-11)
Johnny Ringo, The Tombstone Epitaph ... Chairman McGee, Arizona's only win this year was over Cal, who beat Stanford, who beat Oregon, who beat Ohio State, who just beat Michigan and will likely be in the College Football Playoff ...
Wait, your information is wrong. Ohio State just lost to Michigan.
(Checks notes) Sorry. New question. Is Doc Holliday my huckleberry?
Yes, but you're no daisy. You're no daisy at all.
5. R.O.C.K. in the UTSA (11-1)
Ayo Adeyi scores 42-yard rushing touchdown vs. UTSA
Mel Blanc, the Chicago Sunday Tribunk ... UT San Antonio was once a staple of these rankings but was undefeated until inexplicably losing to the North Texas Lean Green 45-23. Was that game bad enough to legitimately land the Roadrunners in this Coveted Fifth Spot, or did the committee put them here out of a desire for some sort of Bottom 10 nostalgia?
Hey, it's always great to see old friends, even if it's at a funeral. But make no mistake about it, UTSA earned this spot the old-fashioned way: by making plenty of mistakes about it. That was the most embarrassing loss for a Roadrunner since the lone time that Wile E. Coyote caught his longtime nemesis. Then again, Wile E. had shrunk himself down to the point where he couldn't do anything with the giant roadrunner once he did catch him, which feels like a preview of this weekend's Conference USA title game against another former Bottom 10 regular, the Western Kentucky Hillstoppers, listed as an early one-point underdog to the sure-to-be-angry meep meeps.
6. Indiana? Who, sirs? (2-10)
John Cougar, the Seymour Tribune ... Speaking of Western Kentucky, they were one of Indiana's two wins this season. The other was against Idaho and now the Hoosiers have fired their offensive coordinator and head coach Tom Allen has taken a pay cut.
Sorry, John, that was just a bunch of facts. Did you have a question?
Yes. You have been using that R.O.C.K. in the UTSA joke for years now. Have you been paying royalties to my record label for that usage?
Next question ...
7. US(not C)F (2-10)
Jack "Cowboy" Kelly of the New York World ... Here in Orlando people are confused as to why South Florida is included in these rankings even though they just barely lost the War on I-4 to Central Florida in a wild finish. Also, we are still confused as to why South Florida calls itself South Florida because they are actually in Tampa which, like myself and Central Florida, is located here in central Florida.
Well, Cowboy, the committee agreed that it was imperative that the American Athletic Conference of American Athletics be represented in these rankings and the race for that slot came down to a pair of 2-10 AACAA teams, USF and Tulane, and USF beat Tulane head-to-head just two weekends ago. As to the geography question ... wait ... Cowboy Kelly of the New York World, you are based in Orlando? Are you the kid from "Newsies"?
Yes ... available now on Disney Plus! **click**
8. Whew Mexico State (2-10)
Walter White of the Albuquerque Journal ... It was obviously beneficial for the Aggies to have defeated Massachusetts in what you termed the Pillow Fight of the Year: Endgame, but did New Mexico State's hiring of Jerry Kill as its new coach play a factor in the committee's decision to move the team all the way up from second to eighth?
As we watched the game, which was difficult to hear because Jerry Glanville had "Detroit Rock City" stuck in his head and kept singing it aloud, we were already very much married to the idea of a potential big move. Once NMSU hired Jerry, it simply became the perfect game of kiss, marry, kill.
9. Akronmonious (2-10)
Chrissie Hynde from the Akron Pretender ... After showing signs of life in early November, the Zips lost their last two games by a combined score of 87-14, and now so many bigger jobs becoming available would seem to be snatching up the best potential head coaching candidates for Akron. What would you say to the people of Akron to lift their spirits?
Hey, at least this week, you can know for certain that for once you aren't the most despondent team in the state of Ohio.
10. Arkansaw State (2-10)
Jim Jones of the We're Jonesboro Not Jonestown Gazette ... Mr. McGee, Vanderbilt had held down this spot for the last several weeks. What was the determining factor in moving them out and Arkansas State in at the very end of the season?
This was a push by any measure, so we really did some digging to find the best tiebreaker scenarios between Vandy and the Red Wolves. When a fellow committee member reminded me, a Tennessee graduate, that Butch Jones' Vols teams posted a 2-3 record against Vanderbilt, I reflexively demanded that his current team be placed in this spot.
Do you recall which committee member pointed that out to you?
Yes, it was definitely Calico Jack.
Waiting list: Vanderbilt Commode Doors, Southern Missed, Tulame, unLv, Kansas Nayhawks, Minute Rice, Temple Bowels, Whew Mexico, Irish goodbyes, COVID-19.