Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
Mine eyes have seen the glory
Of the coming of the Lord.
He is trampling out the vintage
Where the grapes of wrath are stored.
He hath loosed the fateful lightning
Of His terrible swift sword.
His truth is marching on.
-- "Battle Hymn of the Republic" by Julia Ward Howe
Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located in the mini storage unit where Ivan Maisel keeps all of his mint condition Bobby Dodd biographies, we spend most of the season hunkered down like hairy Dawgs here at, well, Bottom 10 Headquarters.
But occasionally our bosses give us a furlough to go out into the world and watch a team get laidlough, er, I mean laid low. That's what I did on Saturday. I spent a lovely day between the hedges watching South Carolina at Georgia, the most shocking fall of an Athens since the Persians invaded Greece. Only these Persians didn't enter Athens in a Trojan Horse. They rode in on the back of an angry Palmetto State rooster.
Hang on ... I have a call on the other line ... please hold ...
OK, that was my old college World Civ professor. He says that last metaphor was so historically inaccurate that he is retroactively failing me in a class in which I thought I already had an A.
In other words, I now know exactly how Georgia feels.
With apologies to Larry Munson and Steve Harvey, here's this week's Bottom 10.
1. Akron-monious (0-6)
Akron was zipped at home by rival State of Kent. Now it embarks on a crucial month of #MACtion in which it will face the Buffalo Bulls Not Bills, Northern Ill-uh-noise and Boiling Green. But no matter how that three-game gauntlet goes, at least Akron knows that it still isn't the hottest football mess in Ohio. Right, Browns?
2. UMess (1-6)
The Minutemen have yet to recover from the tea party that followed their emotional Week 5 win over Akron. In the two games since, they've lost by a combined score of 110-21. This weekend, they face Open Date University before hosting the Pillow Fight of the Week of the Year of the Century, Episode 2: The Rise of Edsall.
3. U-Can't (1-5)
Speaking of New England's favorite Sith Lord, Randy Edsall and his team will spend their pre-UMass weekend hosting Houston. I can hear now the pregame conversation between the head coach and opposing Cougars QB D'Eriq King, who was reported to be transferring out of UH but instead stayed and took a redshirt to return as the starter next season. "Don't sweat any of this," the coach would say, "I transferred out of being UConn's coach the night after the biggest bowl game in school history and made a bunch of people mad ... but I'm back, and look at me now!" Then King rips off his redshirt and immediately starts warming up.
4. Whew, Mexico State (0-7)
The Other Aggies will spend their Week 7 matchup with Bye Week State anxiously waiting in the wings for UMass vs. UConn to sort itself out. Once one of those teams picks up a win and moves out of the way, NMSU will close out an independent schedule of Georgia Southern, Ole Miss, Incarnate Word, UTEP and Liberty that is custom-made for Bottom 10 movement. By the way, Bottom 10 movement is also a metric, abbreviated as BM, that we continue to try to push on our friends at ESPN Stats & Information.
5. Ugh-uh (5-1)
As I departed Athens on Saturday night and stopped for fuel among the nearby outlet malls of Commerce, Georgia, an older gentleman dressed in a well-worn Herschel Walker jersey approached from his truck with bourbon breath, wobbly knees and two fists full of boiled peanuts and Old Trapper beef jerky. "Hey, ESPN guy!" he garbled. "We gonna be in that damned ol' Converted Fifth Sport, ain't we?" Then, spotting the orange "T" of my alma mater in the back window of my pickup, he declared that he was going to run over me "like Herschel did to Bill Bates!" But instead, he threw his arms around me and cried. I'm pretty sure it was Ray Goff.
6. In A Rut-Gers (1-5)
The Scarlet Knights lost at Indiana 35-0, bringing their points per game average to 7.3. On Nov. 6, the college football world will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first CFB game played, in which Rutgers defeated Princeton 6-4. Rutgers has three games to drop 1.3 points off that average and pay the ultimate six-point tribute to the men of that first contest.
7. Minute Rice (0-6)
Here at Bottom 10 HQ, we continue to receive complaints about Rice being ranked this high despite its being one of only three winless FBS teams while the other two -- Akron and New Mexico State -- are in the top bottom four. We know those complaints aren't coming from Rice fans because they haven't even noticed that we never bothered to put in the score of their loss to UAB two weekends ago. We suspect the rancor is coming from fans of Rice's next opponent, R.O.C.K. in the UTSA, because instead of being delivered by passenger pigeon or owl, most of the hate mail has arrived tied to the necks of roadrunners.
You know serious midseason #Bottom10 complacency has set in when the score of your team's last loss two weekends ago was never correctly plugged in by us at https://t.co/hKTXS4DD0x and you're just like, sigh, whatever dude, don't bother complaining, let's go get a drink... #Rice pic.twitter.com/LYIasEjm1h— Ryan McGee (@ESPNMcGee) October 14, 2019
8. Vanderbilt Commode Doors (1-5)
Both Vandy and UNLV entered last week's game having spent the majority of the 2019 season on the Bottom 10 Waiting List. According to the magical and mysteriously accurate ESPN FPI machine, the Dores entered the contest with a 92.2% chance to win. But the 15½-point favorites lost at home by 24. The defeat to UNLV came one week after a fall to Ole Miss 31-6, marking the worst back-to-back losses suffered at the hands of Rebels since the Battles of Scarif and Yavin.
9. UTEPID (1-4)
Speaking of Star Wars, remember during the Battle of Endor when Lando Calrissian looked out the window, spotted the parked armada of the Empire and asked, "I wonder what those Star Destroyers are waiting for?" They were patiently waiting for the right time to join the fight. The same could be said of UTEP. The Minors have been quietly biding their BM time until the final two weeks of the season, when they face New Mexico State and Rice. Plus, Sun Bowl Stadium kind of looks like Jabba the Hutt's palace sitting up on that desert mountain, doesn't it?
10. Toledo Bottle Rockets (4-2)
By now you all know how the Coveted Fifth Spot works (though judging from my Twitter timeline, many Georgia fans still don't). Well, for one week only, we're also including the Coveted 10th Spot. Why? Because this loss by Toledo was so awful that it deserves special recognition. This team was a 26.5-point favorite at home in the Battle of I-75, a game that rival Boiling Green hadn't won in nine years. But the Rockets lost 20-7, the biggest upset of the season. What's more, Saturday morning was full of reports of a man plunking down $1,000 at Caesars Sportsbook on Toledo to win. At -4000, his max payout would have been $25. Instead, he lost the whole grand. In related news, the Bottom 10 has obtained surveillance footage of a man dressed in a midnight-blue-and-gold Toledo Rockets hoodie trying to break into magician Criss Angel's Las Vegas dressing room to put himself into a straitjacket.
Waiting list: Rambling Tech (1-5), South Alabama Redundancies (1-5), North by Northwestern (1-4), OD-Yew (1-5), UCLA Boo-ins (1-5), UNLV Tumblin' Tarks (2-4), Aren't-kansas (2-4), the ACC Coastal spaghetti pile, pregame fights, Boise's blue turf + light orange uniforms + late night lights = a game that looked like an old faded Miami Dolphins bumper sticker