Inspirational thought of the week:
I'll be more together
Stretched by fewer thoughts that leave me
Chasing after my dreams, disown me, loaded with danger
So maybe I'll win ...
Saved by zero
Maybe I'll win ...
Saved by zero
-- "Saved by Zero," The Fixx
Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located behind the Pixar character rental office where they loaned out that red Anger face from "Inside Out" that Nick Saban borrowed for the Alabama-Tennessee game, we are wondering what the heck happened to our numerical BFF. You know, our old pal zero? Cero? Nula? Zewo?
When the final buzzer blared over the last late-night games on Saturday night/Sunday morning and the cigar smoke from Knoxville had finally cleared, we realized that ... wait ... could it be true?! We're not even into November yet and there are now no zero-win teams remaining? Nil. Nada. Zilch. It's the truth, thanks to Colorado's overtime win over Cal.
It's weird, right? I mean, sure, we're used to seeing plenty of 0's on scoreboards when the clock reads 00:00. We're accustomed to knowing that zero of our teams will receive bowl berths. We're plenty familiar with the feeling of knowing the answer when someone asks, "Hey, how many votes did your teams receive in the preseason media polls?" or "How many Bottom 10 teams are playing in prime time on ABC this weekend?" Scratch. Goose egg. Diddly squat.
But then, just as we have given up hope when it comes to ever seeing another zero sum in front of the hyphen and all those losses, a hero rises. A new No. 1 Bottom 10 team. And though it may no longer have a "0-" at the front of its record, its very name steps in to fill the sudden volumeless void.
With apologies to George Plimpton, Damian Lillard and Steve Harvey, here's the post-Week 7 Bottom 10 rankings.
1. Akronmonious (1-5)
And there was one, as in one remaining #MACtion team with one win. Just three weeks ago, most of the conference fit that description. And then the Zips played Not Eastern Or Western But Central Michigan in the Pillow Fight of the Week Episode VI: The MACtion Menace. And then they were tied with 2:01 to go, with the ball and driving. And then this happened.
2. UMess (1-6)
The Minutemen got Buffaloed by the Bulls Not Bills 34-7 and now face the Fightin' Byes of Open Date U., who have been installed as a six-touchdown favorite.
3. North by Northworstern (1-5)
Speaking of off weeks, the Mildcats spent theirs licking their post-Wisconsin wounds while Wisconsin spent its weekend making Northwestern's 42-7 loss to the coachless Badgers even Northworstern as they lost to then-2-4 Bottom 10 Wait Listers Michigan State in double overtime. Now NU travels east for the kind of classic regional rivalry that is quickly becoming the trademark of the Big Ten, a visit to Maryland.
4. Nevada Oof Pack (2-5)
Wait, where did these guys come from? They weren't even on the Waiting List two weeks ago, but now they jump/fall all the way to No. 4. How? A Week 6 loss to then-No. 1 Colorado State, followed by a Week 7 defeat at the hands of then-No. 2 Hawai'i. It's the worst week for Nevadans since the government triggered a bunch of atomic bombs outside of Las Vegas and sold it as a tourist attraction. This time the mushroom cloud is coming from Reno.
5. Kansas Nayhawks (5-2)
As my dad told us when Santa brought us a huge new Death Star toy and we immediately blew it up with firecrackers, "You can't have nice things!" The latest example: Kansas, which went 5-0, was ranked 19th in that other poll and hosted College GameDay ... then went and lost two in a row. If we're being honest, perhaps the Nayhawks are back here simply because we missed them. An itch we couldn't scratch. A spot of rash that can only be smoothed by slathering of the ointment that is the Coveted Fifth Spot.
6. FI(not A)U (2-4)
The second-worst team named Panthers (behind the NFLers from Carolina) have run a Bottom 10 gauntlet -- and by gauntlet we mean a rubber kitchen glove -- with a win over Whew Mexico State but a 21-point loss to UCan't. We don't really know who they are, but will when they travel north to the home of those other Panthers for the Pillow Fight of the Week against ...
7. Charlotte 1-and-6ers (1-6)
Remember way back to Week 4 when Charlotte beat Georgia State Not Southern? Since then, the 1-and-6ers haven't won again, but Georgia State beat Georgia Southern, which beat Nebraska and just beat No. 25 James Madison, which beat Appalachian State, which beat then-No. 6 Texas A&M, which beat then-No. 10 Arkansas, which just beat BYU, which beat Stanford, which was on the Bottom 10 Waiting List last week but is there no longer because it just beat Notre Dame, which lost to Cal, which just lost to Colorado, which was the top/bottom-ranked Bottom 10 team. This is like that movie "Inception," but if Leo DiCaprio had spent the entire movie slipping on banana peels.
8. US(notC)F (1-6)
The Bulls have mostly hovered around this list all season because if one watches them closely enough, they know that this team has been competitive in a lot of games against much more talented teams. But when you get into the second half of October and you are one of only seven FBS teams with one win, then you become like Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction," screaming from the pirate ship at Raymond James Stadium, "I won't be IGNORED, DAN!" Dan being me, wondering where my rabbit went.
9. Colora-duh State (1-5)
The Rams made a statement in Week 6 when they defeated No-vada for their first win of the season. Then they made a follow-up statement by losing to Utah State, which had its third-string quarterback under center. The Rams game this weekend against Hawai'i was going to be a candidate for Pillow Fight of the Week of the Year of the Century, but then the Rainbow Warriors beat Nevada too. Why do you hate us, Nevada?
10. Whew Mexico (2-5)
Speaking of teams which keep tossing our worst-laid plans in the shredder, Whew Mexico State was looking at an epic Bottom 10 autumn with a Halloween visit to UMess and a pre-Turkey Day wobble to 2-4 Mizz-lose. But then it went and won the Battle of I-25 against Whew Mexico, now renamed the Battle of I-2-and-5.
Waiting List: Colora-duh, Whew Mexico State, ULM (pronounced "Uhlm"), Temple of Doom, Living on Tulsa Time, Huh-why-yuh, Arkan-saw State, Mizz-lose, Western not Eastern or Central Michigan, Lose-iana Tech, pretty much every team in Virginia, throwing the most awesome post-win souvenir into a river.