Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
Get to the heart, baby, the heart of the city
Don't be sentimental
This is where the future lies
Beneath the burning sulfur skies
-- "Downtown (Akron)" by the Pretenders
Here at Bottom 10 headquarters, located in the abandoned conference room where the Pac-12 used to hold its College Football Playoff planning meetings, we are counting our blessings. Why? Because our cups runneth over. Our horns, they are aplenty. Our bellies and eyeballs, they are stuffed. The button popped off the front of our khakis weeks ago, yet there is still so much to consume.
September was a Bottom 10 smorgasbord. A monthlong bottomless sundae that was ultimately topped with a big fat cherry in the form of the Pillow Fight of the Week of the Year of the Century, when top/bottom-ranked UMass traded blows with second-ranked Akron, then opened up a big lead, then watched the Zips zip back into the game, and eventually held on to win 37-29.
We couldn't believe it. They couldn't believe it. Even the mystical and all-knowing ESPN Win Probability meter couldn't believe it. Moments after the Minutemen's victory had gone final, the algorithm still couldn't bring itself to put UMass' chances at a full 100%.
It's over! The Pillow Fight of the Week of the Year of the Century. #Bottom10 No.1 UMass edges No.2 Akron! (Note: Even after winning, UMass win probability is still less than 100%.) pic.twitter.com/Flncaxodwj— Ryan McGee (@ESPNMcGee) September 28, 2019
But there is no time to gloat. No time to celebrate. No time to fall back in one's chair in relief because you've shot down one Star Destroyer. Ask Admiral Ackbar about that. There are still more enemies to face. More Death Stars to target. This 2019 schedule is packed with more pillow-fight matchups than a middle school slumber party.
Akron was only the beginning. Ask the Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, a Firestone High School alum, about that. Don't be sentimental. ... This is where the future lies. ... D-d-d-d-downtown Akron! With apologies to Alan Freed, Thurman Munson and James Harrison, here's this week's Bottom 10.
1. Akron-monious (0-5)
We called Vegas to reach out to our Bottom 10 Chalk expert to see what the desert experts are saying about Akron's chances of picking up a win or two before the season is over, but Uncle Ray didn't pick up. The guy who answered his phone would identify himself only as "Arm Bar" and said something about Ray and Akron and a parlay and being forced to hand-feed Siegfried & Roy's tigers at the Mirage.
2. U-Can't (1-3)
Yes, the Huskies lost. Again. But head coach Randy Edsall was still a winner. According to USA Today, Edsall received a $2,000 bonus after the 56-21 loss to UC(not S)F in the Game Formerly Known as the Civil ConFLiCT because UConn's red zone scoring defense was better than UCF's (UCF was 4-of-5 on red zone trips, UConn went 3-for-3). That brought Edsall's September in-game bonus total to at least $38,000. Sources have told the Bottom 10 that Edsall has already spent that money in nearby Salem, Massachusetts, for what his tax returns earmark as "instructional classes."
3. Whew, Mexico State (0-5)
We love to debate college football schedules and the varying practices of different schools and conferences. But there is no debate as to the greatest scheduling move in the 150-year history of the sport. It's the in-season home-and-home series between New Mexico State and Liberty. The first half of this two-act drama happens this weekend in Las Cruces. The revenge match happens, fittingly, on Thanksgiving weekend, because there's nothing to be more thankful for. Especially if Hugh Freeze decides to wheel his bed back into the press box.
4. UMess (1-4)
The Minutemen will be in Pillow Fight of the Week of the Year 2: Electric Boogaloo this Saturday when they travel to face the Fightin' Butches of FI(not A)U, who are 1-3 after a Week 4 loss to Bye Week University. Talk about lack of respect. The ESPN Win Probability Index puts UMass' chances at 4.6%. That seems harsh. Then again, it might be punishing them because I made fun of the Win Probability computer in the intro.
5. Hokie Hokie Hokie Bye (2-2)
Speaking of angry artificial intelligence, for the game against Duke, Virginia Tech engineering students brought out a robot to do the traditional post-score pushups. But after a final score of Duke 45, VT 10, a beating so bad it landed the Hokies in the Coveted No. 5 Spot, that android still had plenty of battery power left. So, after the game, they put it to work cleaning Lane Stadium. Around midnight, it was seen leaving the grandstands covered in popcorn butter and tobacco juice and muttering something about, "This is how the Terminator started."
Virginia Tech has robot do pushups on scoring plays
Virginia Tech shows off its pushup robot during its loss vs. Duke.
6. Minute Rice (0-5)
During the month of October, all Bottom 10 eyes -- which is to say me and my dog during the three hours per day when she isn't asleep -- will be focused on Conference USA, abbreviation C-USA, pronounced Coo-Suh. Specifically the Coo-Suh West Division, where much-improved but still winless Rice will face Bottom 10 alum but now bowl team UAB on Saturday, but after a bye week will travel to ...
7. R.O.C.K. in the UTSA (1-3)
... which will be coming off a gigantic trip to UTEPID, this year's preseason Bottom 10 top/bottom-ranked team. The Miners opened the year with an Early Wynn, er, early win, and jumped out of these rankings, but looking back that was probably too early. UTSA goes to UTEP and then hosts UAB and Rice. Meanwhile, UTEP hosts UTSA and then travels to Bottom 10 Waiting List member FI(not A)U, which is also currently 1-3, one week after it hosts UMess.
8. Boiling Green (1-3)
MEANWHILE IN #MACTION LAND ... Boiling Green has a check-cashing ceremony at Notre Dame this weekend to cover its medical bills after losing to State of Kent 62-20. We're already looking at the possibility of hosting Bottom 10 GameDay at Boiling Green on Nov. 2, when Akron-monious comes to town. And by hosting Bottom 10 Gameday, we mean Periscoping from the back of my rental car in the parking lot of Perry Stadium.
9. South Alabama Redundancies (1-4)
MEANWHILE IN THE FUN BELT ... the fight will be on to see who can snatch up the conference's spot in these rankings when South Alabama travels to Georgia Southern in the annual Battle For Best Use Of Unnecessary Location Inclusion In Name trophy. Saying that Alabama and Georgia are in the South is like saying that Marty Smith is from America.
10. In A Rut-Gers (1-3)
Full disclosure: When Saturday's games were done, we originally had the Rambling Wreck of Georgia Tech in this spot. But then Rutgers fired head coach Chris Ash. A quick look at the Bottom 10 bylaws, found in an old Trapper Keeper, clearly states that if a team fires its head coach in September, then that team is required to be ranked in the Bottom 10. OK, it wasn't that clearly stated. The paper had SpaghettiOs sauce stains all over it.
Waiting List: FI(not A)U (1-3), Rambling Tech (1-3), South (Not Central) Florida (1-3), Pur-don't (1-3), North by Northwestern (1-3), UTEPID (1-3), Stuck in the MTSU (1-3), OD-Yew (1-3), Baller State (1-3), Northern Ill-uh-nois (1-3), Colora-duh State (1-4), EC-Yew (1-2), Ore-gone State (1-3), UNLV Tumblin' Tarks (1-3), Rocky Slop (1-3). Van-duh-bilt (1-3), Georgia Southern Not State (1-3), whining about being made fun of on the Jumbotron while on the road at another school's stadium, transferring and then not transferring.