The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
Whoa I was so surprised and shocked, and I wondered, too
If by chance you heard it for yourself
I never told a soul just how I've been feeling over you
But they said it really loud, they said it on the air
On the radio
Whoa, oh, oh
On the radio
-- "On the Radio" - Donna Summer
In the college football universe, there's a resignation that always sets in as Halloween approaches, and I'm not just talking about coaches' resignations, though that's setting in too.
No, I'm talking about the hard heartbreak of autumn. The football hopes and dreams that permeated August training camp are now like the since-dumped summer lover for whom Donna Summer pines in "On the Radio," splashed and dashed upon the rocks of reality like a Long Island Iced Tea at Studio 54.
Nowhere is this despair more apparent than, well, on the radio. On Saturday night, as my rental car crept through the streets of Tuscaloosa two hours after Tennessee-Alabama (they've been playing football there since 1897 but still seem to be totally shocked that people dare to arrive and depart in automobiles), I scanned my radio, jumping from game to game.
Within mere seconds at each stop on the dial, the tone of that team's season was obvious. Whether cranked-to-11 enthusiasm or muted cries for help from within the abyss, each school's always-proud play-by-play booth told the story of each season in an instant.
Enter Barry McKnight. I tuned into the Voice of the Trojans just as Bottom 10 occupant Troy scored in the first quarter to lead New Mexico State 14-0. Then Troy scored again. And again. And again. A field goal made it 45-7 at the half, the team's long-elusive second win of the season now inevitable, and as he hit a commercial break, McKnight couldn't help but let out a chuckle of relief.
He said it really loud. He said it on the air. On the radio. Whoa, oh, oh.
With apologies to LaDonna Adrian Gaines and Steve Harvey, here's this week's Bottom 10.
1. UC(not S)F (0-8)
To recap the month of October at UCF: Head coach/athletic director George O'Leary stepped down as athletic director, the Knights lost a totally made-up rivalry game to UConn, they lost to two of the nation's 10 remaining undefeated teams, became the first team in the nation to hit seven losses, the first team in the nation to hit eight losses, and the head coach/athletic director who was now just the head coach retired as head coach. Good times.
2. New Mexico State (0-7)
I didn't go looking for the New Mexico State radio call. I didn't need a taste of that tone to know how things are going in Las Cruces.
3. Kansas (0-7)
My Bottom 10 video host Josh Parcell actually had ESPN Stats & Info run the FPI numbers to calculate the winning/losing chances for our top bottom four teams through the remainder of their schedules. You can see the actual numbers for Kansas in the video at the top of this story, but before you hit "play" you might want to remove small children from the room. Or anyone from Kansas.
4. North Texas Forty (0-7)
On Sunday night I sat in my hotel room and watched Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly's post-loss press conference. I wanted so badly for him to suddenly wake up, look directly at the camera and shout, "Screw this! I'm taking the North Texas job! Go Mean Green!" and then grab up the microphone, spike it and storm off.
5. The Ewww (4-3)
Who should be The U's next coach? The answer here is so obvious. Former Miami Sharks head coach Tony D'Amato. #winthatinch
6. Louisiana Monroe (1-6)
During one glorious Bottom 10 crossing-the-streams moment, Troy-NMSU, FAU-UTEP and ULM-Idaho were all in action at the same time. I was afraid I would vanish into a Bottom 10 cosmic wormhole. Actually, that's when I was sitting in that Tuscaloosa traffic, so if the wormhole would have taken me anywhere other than the Jack Warner Parkway, I would have been totally cool with that. This weekend ULL plays ULM, a rivalry so awesome it's separated by only one spot in the alphabet.
7. The Boys From Oopsilanti (1-7)
On Thursday night Eastern Michigan hosts Western Michigan, which three weeks ago beat Central Michigan, which four weeks from now will host Eastern Michigan. Southern Michigan needs to step up its game. Actually, first it would need to exist.
8. My Hammy Of Ohio (1-7)
Speaking of Eastern Michigan and wormholes, we have a stretch of games coming up that might very well open up a black hole in the American heartland. On Nov. 7 the Redhawks host Eastern Michigan, and two weeks later they close out the season with a trip to ...
9. UMess (1-6)
But the weekend before the Minutemen host My Hammy, they travel to Oopsilanti to face Eastern Michigan. All due respect to the Big 12's much-anticipated November calendar, if there's a schedule that's actually going to produce One True Champion, it ain't theirs, it's ours.
10. FA(not I)U (1-6)
You know the year isn't going great when the people who cover you, in this case @FAUOwlAccess, tweet out a link to their postgame report that reads, "Here's our game story from the FAU loss to UTEP. This one is really tough to explain." And people say there's no longer honesty in journalism.