Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
"I haven't met anybody who's invulnerable to a well-planted elbow in the groin."
-- Wolverine, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine"
Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located in a dark corner somewhere in the vastness of Jesse Palmer's pocket square storage facility, we spend a lot of time watching superhero movies. When those movies are finished, we then spend even more time discussing what it would be like to be one of those superheroes. So much time that we currently owe $782.52 to Redbox for an "Iron Man 3" DVD that we rented six years ago.
Among those we love to talk about is Wolverine. The greatest of all X-Men has so much history. He's ageless. He has seen so much. He hangs out with a genius professor. He has so much talent, strength and speed. He appears invulnerable. But sadly, he is not. Wolverine is a tortured man living in a nonstop loop of a nightmare, constantly injured and reinjured over and over, healing himself just in time to be injured and reinjured again. To make matters worse, those big hurts always come via the same small recurring handful of nemeses. In the end, Wolverine's hopes and dreams die after battling an enemy modeled on what he was in his younger days, someone he once would have easily pushed around, and he is left to perish in a camp somewhere near the Canadian border.
The Wolverine wasn't wearing khakis that fateful day in the forest, but the Wolverine at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday was. And the end result for both didn't feel much different.
Congratulations to Jim Harbaugh and Michigan. Things are looking up. The 21-point loss today to Wisconsin was a slight improvement over the 23-point loss to Ohio State in the last Big Ten outing. Might be time to extend Harbaugh's contract.— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) September 21, 2019
With apologies to James Howlett and Steve Harvey, here's this week's Bottom 10.
1. UMess (0-4)
In Week 3, the Minutemen lost to Charlotte 52-17. In Week 4, they lost to Coastal Carolina 62-28. Meanwhile, Charlotte lost at Clemson 52-10. That means that as Coastal Carolina was landing back home in Myrtle Beach from Massachusetts on Saturday night, said beach was covered up in celebrating Clemson fans. Ah, the Circle of Life.
2. Akron-monious (0-4)
We shouldn't have expected much from UMass last week because it was no doubt already looking ahead to this week, when the Zips will travel to Amherst for 2019's first Pillow Fight of the Week of the Year of the Century (PFOWYOC). After Akron lost to Troy 35-7, ESPN's mystical and magical FPI computer dropped its chances of winning at UMass from 60.9% to 58.9%. We reached out to our Bottom 10 Chalk correspondent in Vegas to see what effects that mathematical slip had on the sure-to-be-bustling Minutemen vs. Zips sportsbook traffic, but Uncle Ray didn't answer his flip phone because he'd dropped it into the bread pudding on the buffet at the Circus Circus.
3. U-Can't (1-2)
The Huskies: Eastern Division have settled into their role as the 2019 college football "We're the guys to get you back on track" frustration releasers. After being embarrassed by Ohio State, Indiana thumped UConn 38-3. Now the Huskies will face UC(not S)F, which just suffered its first loss in nearly three years. The following week they get US(not C)F, which just ended an eight-game losing streak and is fighting to salvage its pride and its season. According to sources, in October UConn will be forced to face the Cleveland Browns, New York Knicks, Miami Marlins and the filmmakers responsible for the "Game of Thrones" finale.
4. Whew, Mexico State (0-4)
Speaking of rebounds, New Mexico State nearly pulled one off in the Rio Grande Rivalry, but lost to Just New Mexico 55-52. After facing Fresno State at home, NMSU hosts the front end of its in-season home-and-home with Liberty University Medical Supplies, when Hugh Freeze is expected to coach from a Walmart scooter equipped with 4x4 monster truck tires so as to best navigate the areas around Las Cruces.
5. Michi-gone (2-1)
How gross was Michigan's 35-14 loss at Wisconsin? It was so bad that the block M managed to hold on to the Coveted Fifth Spot, even during a weekend when Utah laid yet another egg at the L.A. Coliseum, Washington State blew a 32-point lead to then-7th-ranked Bottom 10 team UCLA, and the SEC suffered another slew of embarrassing losses (one of those teams is coming up later in these rankings). But in the end, those other defeats still had a little bit of "Oh no! I can't believe that!" to them. At this point in the Harbaugh era, a clunky offensive performance and a loss in a huge B1G game elicits more of an "Oh yeah. I can totally believe that."
Michigan under Jim Harbaugh:— Kyle Rowland (@KyleRowland) September 21, 2019
~0-4 against Ohio State
~1-9 vs. top-10 opponents
~0-7 as an underdog
~1-6 on the road against ranked opponents
~Five losses by at least 21 points, including three of their last five games
6. R.O.C.K. in the UTSA (1-3)
One week ago, we lumped four mid-major Texas schools together into one star-shaped glob for these rankings. Some of you in the Republic expressed a bit of anger over that. But one week ago, we also told you that those four teams would wind up settling this among themselves. Phase One of that plan: North Texas romped UTSA 45-3. In October, the Roadrunners will continue to sort it all out by beep-beeping their way into matchups with both UTEPID and Rice. Speaking of Rice ...
7. Minute Rice (0-4)
The Owls will be nesting right in the middle of that Texas tussle all season long, traveling to UTSA and UTEP and hosting North Texas. Meanwhile, they will all hope that Texas State, which kicked a field goal in triple OT to defeat Georgia State Not Southern, will falter down the stretch despite not playing any of the other Texas schools. Just think of it all as a Texas-sized Battle Royale, only with the mat covered with a barrel of crude and the turnbuckles lathered with a crate of barbecue sauce.
8. FI(not A)U (1-3)
Butch's Boys are 1-3 entering an off weekend following a loss at Louisiana Tech. The good news? Up next will be a visit from No. 1-top/bottom ranked UMass. The bad news? The FPI computer says FIU has only a 42.9% chance of winning this Saturday against the Fightin' Byes of Open Date U.
9. Boiling Green (1-3)
Last week we here at Bottom HQ also caught a flask of flak from people in #MACtion #NAtion, saying that State of Kent didn't deserve to be in these rankings. Then Kent indeed flew out of the phone booth and punched out Bowling Green 62-20, so BGSU seized this slot. After a week off, the Falcons will fly into Notre Dame for a check-cashing ceremony and two weeks later will face Central Michigan ... this assuming that recently reenrolled Antonio Brown hasn't hijacked the team bus by then.
10. Whoa Pig Sooie (2-2)
Tennessee and Vandy got rooted under by Arkansas for this SEC-reserved spot on the chart after the Razorbacks' loss to San Jose State, the No. 6 team in the final 2018 Bottom 10 rankings. So, the Spartans of the Mountain West West just defeated Arkansas of the SEC West, a few weeks after Wyoming of the Mountain West East opened the season by defeating Missouri of the SEC East. Missouri and Arkansas play on Nov. 29. The winner of that game will play the following weekend in the Mountain West championship.
Waiting List: South (Not Central) Florida (1-2), South Alabama Redundancies (1-3), In-A-Rut-Gers (1-2), UTEPID (1-2), Baller State (1-3), My Hammy of Ohio (1-3), Colora-duh State (1-3), EC-Yew (1-2), Ore-gone State (1-2), UNLV Tumblin' Tarks (1-2), Rocky Slop (1-3). Van-duh-bilt (0-3), whining about noon kickoffs when you never have them, whining about another team using cool stadium lights in the fourth quarter like you invented cool stadium lights, whining in general.