The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
I feel like an old railroad man
Ridin' out on the Bluemont line
Hummin' along Old Dominion blues
Not much to see and not much left to lose
And I know I can walk along the tracks
It may take a little longer
But I'll know how to find my way back
-- "Railroad Man," Eels
I think we will all remember where we were when we heard the news. Me? I was standing in the tunnel at Ohio Stadium. My phone buzzed in my pocket. The text was from an old college friend: "Um ... has an actual Bottom 10 team ever defeated an actual top 15 team? Because it's about to happen."
The answer was, of course, no. The answer has always been no and was always going to be no. It's a permanent thing, like the firmament of the earth, the firmament of Alabama's No. 1 ranking and the firmament of Marty Smith's hair.
Then it happened. Old Dominion, the 7th-ranked team in the Bottom 10 defeated Virginia Tech, the No. 13 team in the AP Top 25 poll. Then Nebraska was run over. And Oklahoma State was stomped. And Oklahoma went to OT with Army. And ... a second text hit my phone from the same old college pal. It was a quote from one of our favorite films back in the day, Kevin Costner, playing Jim Garrison in "JFK."
"Y'all gotta start thinking on a different level. ... Now we're through the looking glass here, people. White is black, and black is white."
Has there ever been a year like this one, in which so many traditional powerhouse programs can make legitimate cases to rank alongside UTEP, New Mexico State and, yes, Old Dominion? The answer is, of course, no. So, in honor of that, we are indeed going through the looking glass, we are indeed thinking on a different level, and we are indeed -- for one week only -- posting an all-Power 5 Bottom 10. At least we think it's for one week only. These teams might demand otherwise.
With apologies to Oliver Stone and Steve Harvey, here's the all-Power 5 Bottom 10.
1. No-braska (0-3)
Its 56-10 loss to Michigan was the worst beatdown in Nebraska history since July 27, 1804, when, according to the journal of Lewis & Clark, the explorers were run out of their campsite near future Omaha by "a thick and troublesome" cloud of mosquitoes. 'Twas the 19th century ancestor of Cornhusker postgame call-in shows.
2. UCLA Boo-ins (0-3)
UCLA didn't play in Week 3, yet still failed to cover the spread, losing 21-3 to the Fightin' Byes of Open Date U.
3. Ar-kan't-saw (1-3)
Hey, who was that genius who spent all spring telling everyone that the Hogs made college football's best sneaky offseason coaching hire?! LOL! What an idiot!!
ESPN's Ryan McGee: "My favorite hire of the offseason was Arkansas getting Chad Morris." pic.twitter.com/qUAingJnRA— Bo Mattingly (@SportsTalkwBo) January 4, 2018
4. In a Rut-gers (1-3)
In the midst of all these Power 5 interlopers, it's good to see a familiar face. The past two weeks, Rutgers has been punched in that face by a pair of former Bottom 10 regulars, the Artist Formerly Known as the Kansas Nayhawks (2-2) and the Buffalo Bulls Not Bills (4-0). Rutgers isn't a former regular. It's still just a regular regular. Because you can't spell regular without R and U.
5. #GoACC Coastal
It would have been easy to simply plug Virginia Tech into the Coveted Fifth Spot all by itself. But VT is located in the ACC Coastal, the spaghetti pile of Power 5 divisions that includes the No-kies (2-1), the UNC Achilles Heels (1-2) and the Georgia Tech Not State Or Southern Shambling Wreck (1-3). Someone's gonna have to win this division ... and the reward will be to stand on the railroad tracks in front of Clemson. That's no fun. Right, Wreck?
6. Good Ol' Rocky Slop (2-2)
You might say Jeremy Pruitt should be worried about guys leaving the team midgame or losing to Florida by 26 points. But he's not worried. He's too busy enjoying his delicious water.
Pruitt on the reports of LB Quarte Sapp leaving the team at halftime of tonight's game: "I told him to leave.." pic.twitter.com/dwPTN0zGtA— 104-5 The Zone (@1045TheZone) September 23, 2018
7. Pur-don't (1-3)
With three teams ranked, the Big Ten is the Sun Belt of the Power 5 Bottom 10. The B1G Belt. And guess who visits Nebraska this weekend?!
8. Ore-gone State (1-3)
Oregon State lost to Arizona by 20-something points, while Oregon blew a 20-something-point lead to Stanford and the collective blood pressure of the average Beaver State college football fan increased by 20-something points.
9. Flori-duh State (2-2)
The Semi-nos aren't in the ACC Coastal, they just act like it. If you're scoring at home (and we are), FSU lost to Virginia Tech, who lost to Old Dominion, who lost to Charlotte. Remember way back when the Louisville-Florida State game was primetime appointment television? Like, the last couple of years? This year, it will be streaming live on MySpace.
10. UTEPID (0-4)
Sorry, but we can't have a game between the top (bottom) ranked teams and not have the loser of that game appear in these rankings, no matter how high (low) concept they may be. The Minors lost to Whew Mexico State in Pillow Fight of the Century of the Year. We would suggest that they could play one of our Power 5 Bottom 10 teams in a bad postseason bowl game, but they've already played Tennessee and lost, and that's punishment enough.
Waiting List: Whew Mexico State (1-4), Texas State Armadillos (1-3), R-O-C-K in the UTSA (1-3), Central Michigan Chippy-was (1-3), U-Can't (1-3), Western Kentucky Hillstoppers (1-3), Minute Rice (1-3), San No-Se State (0-3), Coloraduh State (1-4), half of all #MACtion.