The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
Time has come, to start my search for tomorrow.
On and on, there's just no end to the sorrow...
Carry me through the hard part.
Help me find a new start.
Carry me through the hard part.
-- "Carry Me Through" Grand Funk Railroad
There's a phenomenon that happens with the Bottom 10 around this time of year. We're a month into the season. Most teams have played four games. Most teams have won at least one of them.
These aren't those teams.
So, what happens is that the teams that haven't won, or at least haven't won much, begin to circle the wagons. No, not the big stagecoach wagons, the little red ones, like you used to pull your dog around the cul-de-sac.
Anyway, they begin to circle. A sense of community begins to form. A feeling of "we're all in this together," even among rivals. There's no way those teams that keep winning could understand! There's no way those teams with their big-shot, fancy, prime-time TV slots and their big, fat, long SportsCenter highlights could possibly fathom that sense of "on and on, there's just no end to the sorrow"!
It's a community that extends beyond the playing field and extends into cyberspace, all the way into my email inbox, where some Georgia State fans scream at me for continually being included, some Georgia State fans scream at me for not ranking them higher, and Georgia Southern fans just keep laughing at them both. And it's in that inbox where longtime reader Michael Murray reached out with a virtual hug for those clinging to their little red wagons. "Look up 'Carry Me Through' by Grand Funk," he wrote. "Sure smells like despair from here."
Yes, Grand Funk. The American Band. They feel the pain of the Bottom 10. And their name sounds like the smell that comes from it. That's some kind of wonderful.
With apologies to Don Brewer and Steve Harvey, here's this week's Bottom 10.
1. Kansas (0-3)
The Nayhawks suffered their record 31st straight road loss, falling to Rutgers in Pillow Fight of the Week of the Year II. It was a game that made "Fantastic Four " look like "The Shawshank Redemption." At one point there was a goal-line play where two officials called offsetting penalties while another signaled touchdown. Then KU intercepted a Rutgers pass in the end zone and followed that up with consecutive plays of a self-recovered fumble and an interception. Then the Jayhawks had a would-be touchdown called back for a substitution infraction when Big Jay accidentally wandered onto the field as he was doing the nae nae. OK, I made the last one up. But be honest, you totally believed it happened, didn't you?
2. New Mexico State (0-3)
The Other Aggies failed to cover the spread against the Open Date University Fightin' Byes. This weekend brings the Rio Grande Rivalry, also known as the Battle of I-25 because that's the highway NMSU will use as it travels to Albuquerque to face archenemy New Mexico. They've been playing since 1894, a full 18 years before New Mexico became a state. After the game, tradition states that Pistol Pete and Lobo Louie meet at the 50-yard line and the loser has to keep a live armadillo inside his mascot head until next year's game.
3. Why,oming? (0-4)
The Cowboys served as New Mexico's warm-up act before the Battle of I-25. This weekend Wyoming travels to Appalachian State for the Battle of I-80 East to I-29 South to I-70 East to I-64 East to I-57 South to I-24 East to I-40 East to I-81 North.
4. UMass (0-3)
Best coach's news conference of the weekend? After a trip to South Bend, Indiana, that resulted in a 62-27 loss but a check for a million bucks, head Mass man Mark Whipple said, flatly, "Their varsity was better than our varsity. Their JV was better than our JV ... We'll take the money and run." Thankfully, that's not what the actual Minutemen said at Lexington and Concord.
5. UT(s) (1-3) (2-2)
The University of Texas and the University of Tennessee like to feud about who should rightfully own the abbreviation "UT". In the span of one 10-minute Saturday afternoon horror show, all the Horns and Vols proved they were worthy of was jointly nailing down the Highly Coveted No. 5 Spot. Besides, the residents of Utah would like to point out that they are the ones who have the legal right to use "UT" whenever and wherever they want. And their flagship school's win-loss record remains Un-Touched.
6. UC (not S)F (0-4)
Last week they lost to Furman. This week they lost to the Head Ball Coach. Thankfully, Clemson and The Citadel aren't on the schedule, or they might have to pay taxes in the state of South Carolina.
7. I-duh-ho (1-3)
The Vandals finished off their annual Chairman's Preferred Frequent Flier Mile Distribution Classic, hosting Wofford and Georgia Southern in back-to-back weeks. This week they travel to Arkansas State for Pillow Fight of the Week of the Year III (PFOWY3).
8. R.O.C.K. in the UTSA (0-4)
I avoided placing the Roadrunners in the Bottom 10 for nearly a month because their first three losses were to Arizona, Kansas State and Oklahoma State. But their loss to Colorado State drops them to 0-4, and 0-4 after the first month is the Bottom 10 equivalent to hitting all the edges while playing Operation. Speaking of which, who put together this schedule, Christian Grey?
9. The Boys From Oopsilanti (1-3)
It'd been a source of considerable stress for me over the first three weeks of the season wrestling with Bottom 10 duty and my American duty as Army kept losing. One more loss and the Black Nots, er, Knights, would have had to fall in line and I would have risked having my house invaded by an armored cavalry regiment. So Eastern Michigan did the right thing and took a missile for me.
10. Arkansas (1-3)
This is the world we're living in now, a world where Georgia State falls out of the Bottom 10 and Arkansas stays in. I'm pretty sure that's in the Book of Revelation. Speaking of which, Georgia State hosts Liberty this weekend. By the way, if you want to start pronouncing it like it is spelled -- Ar-Kansas -- that's totally cool right now.
Waiting list: FA(not I)U (1-3), Rutgers (2-2), North Texas Forty (0-3), Georgia State Not Southern (1-2), Tejas State (1-2), Van-duh-bilt (1-3), UNLV (1-3), Fres-No State (1-3), Arizona's state pride.