Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
"We enter here ... then we upload the virus. We then set off some sort of explosion, which will disable it and that will disorient the smaller ships below. And that could buy at least some time to uh ... to take 'em ... take 'em ... out ... take 'em down ... do your ... do your stuff."
-- Jeff Goldblum, "Independence Day"
Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located in the ice chest where Kirk Herbstreit stores his stone-cold late-Saturday night Twitter responses, we love it when guys like David Levinson, the divorced cable network engineer who still lives with his dad, figures out a way to persevere against the longest odds and largest opponents.
No, I've never suited up for any college football team, let alone one of our Bottom 10 residents. But when a Bottom 10 team walks out for the pregame warm-up and looks across the field at one of those uppity Top 25 teams, it must feel a little like Levinson and the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, flying one tiny ship into the belly of an alien mothership that has just dispersed giant flying saucers around the world that shoot giant blue death rays that level entire cities.
But on Saturday, a slew of familiar friends were victorious. Rambling Tech, Ore-gone State, Van-duh-bilt and Ill-uh-noise all won in upsets, the latter two over ranked opponents. BYU knocked off ranked Boise State, Pur-don't scared Iowa and the Mad Hatters of Kansas nearly knocked the Horns down. (Will we be fined for writing that?)
The question now, as we enter perhaps one of the greatest weekends in Bottom 10 history, is what do you do with that momentum? How do you follow up the epic ways of what you just did? Do you do your stuff and take 'em down and take 'em out and earn another big win to ensure no more 2019 Bottom 10 appearances? Or do you do like Goldblum and make "Independence Day: Resurgence"?
I ain't heard no fat lady.
With apologies to President Thomas J. Whitmore and Steve Harvey, here's this week's Bottom 10.
1. Akron-monious (0-7)
Akron fell to the Buffalo Bulls Not Bills, who earned their first road win of the season. This Saturday, the Zips will travel to Northern Ill-uh-noise for a contest that on any other weekend would have been the shoo-in for Pillow Fight of the Week, but instead it will settle for being the undercard to ...
2. U-Can't (1-5)
... Pillow Fight of the Week of the Year of the Century, Episode II: The Rise of Edsall. This game is so big that Randy Edsall has even taken time off from his stint as Emperor Palpatine's stand-in during postproduction of the new Star Wars film to make sure he's there to coach at UMass. Last weekend, the 24-17 loss to Houston looked like a valiant effort, until one remembers that the Cougars are tanking harder than Nemo and Dory.
3. UMess (1-6)
Sources are telling the Bottom 10 Eyewitness News desk that ahead of Saturday's ginormous visit from UConn, located only a 50-mile bus ride away, the Massachusetts State Police will have Interstate 91 and the Mass Pike covered with hundreds of radar guns, speed traps and roadblocks while instituting a "one freakin' MPH ovah da freakin' speed limit an' ya goin' in frahnt of da freakin' judge!" policy. They are calling it Operation Business As Usual.
4. Minute Rice (0-7)
Rice fell in a heartbreaker to in-state and in-conference rival UTSA. The Owls are led by a quarterback named Wiley Green. UTSA's mascot? The Roadrunners. If Saturday morning cartoons taught us anything, it's that no Wiley will ever beat a Roadrunner. Yes, the loss was tough, but he should be glad no one dropped an anvil on his head and pushed him off a cliff into a canyon.
5. Wisconsin Bad-gers (5-1)
On the one hand, there's no way that the sixth-ranked team in the nation with a running back that might go down as one of the all-time greats could have foreseen losing to a 2-4 Illinois team whose only victories this season had come against Akron and UConn, our top two Bottom 10 teams. On the other hand, we finally have confirmed what, looking back, seems so obvious now: Lovie Smith has grown the beard of a wizard. Then again, that beard might be from the Book of Revelation and Illinois over Wisconsin might have just broken the Seventh Seal.
6. Whew, Mexico State (0-7)
The Other Aggies are coming off a two-touchdown loss to Open Date State and will travel 1,700 miles to face Georgia Southern, which has won two games in a row, against South Alabama and Coastal Carolina. The win at Coastal was a three-overtime affair that included an impromptu "Mo Bamba" dance-off between the third and fourth quarters, leading to every player on both teams being penalized and three ejections. They needed me there. I always dance awesome when I'm at Myrtle Beach. Or so the DJ at the Magic Attic always told me.
7. In A Rut-Gers (1-6)
The Scarred-let Knights were thumped 42-7 at home against traditional Big Ten rival Minnesota. The night before, the conference's other one-win team, North By Northwestern, lost to Ohio State 52-3. As a result, the Motion Picture Association of America has taken the unprecedented step of giving the Nov. 16 OSU-Rutgers game an NC-17 rating for excessive and gratuitous violence.
8. UTEPID (1-5)
On Tuesday night, I received a weird postcard that read, "THEY CAN HAVE THEIR FAKE PILLOW FIGHTS NOW. WE HAVE NEW MEXICO STATE AND RICE IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS." It was postmarked El Paso, and it was written not with a pen but in giant rips and scratches, so it had to be sent by either Jason Vorhees or Paydirt Pete.
9. Old Dumb-inion (1-6)
The Bottom 10 Selection Committee (me, my dog, Captain Morgan and my imaginary friend Robert) really wrestled with this spot in the rankings, going back and forth between ODU and South Alabama. So, in the middle of the night, we called ESPN Stats & Information and asked them to give us one good reason not to have Old Dominion in this spot. The audibly irritated FPI devotee barked back "Stone smart!" and hung up. Proud of our stone smart decision, we left ODU in this spot. This morning, we realized he actually was referring to Stone Smartt, the team's slick option QB, as a good reason to keep them off of this list, but we were too lazy to change it. Besides, now you know about one of the greatest names in college football, and we are sure you now feel stone smart about that.
10. Aren't-kansas (2-5)
One week ago, we were in a similar what-to-do dilemma with a pair of SEC schools. We ultimately went with Vandy after its crushing loss to UNLV, but we immediately were pelted with notes from throughout the Land of Opportunity reminding us that the Razorbacks had just lost to a Kentucky team that was playing a wide receiver at QB, two weeks after losing to San No-se State, and that the Hogs haven't won an SEC game since 2017. And they have yet to play Alabama and LSU. Still, we were on the fence. Then came the fake punt attempt against Auburn, when #WPS shot a free throw toss that landed squarely into the hands of a defender and squarely into our Bottom 10 hearts.
Illinois comes back and upsets sixth-ranked Wisconsin
Illinois uses a couple of fourth-quarter Wisconsin turnovers to overcome a nine-point deficit and win 24-23.
Waiting List: South Alabama Redundancies (1-6), North by Northwestern (1-5), (Not) New Mexico (State But Close) (2-5) , Colora-duh State (2-5), Northern Ill-uh-noise (2-5), UNLV (2-5), the Vanderbilt team that lost to UNLV (2-5), tweeting nasty stuff at college kids about football plays, going off-book at the goal line in Tuscaloosa.