Bottom 10 Inspirational thought of the week:
I'm going to take you to
My special place
It's a place that you
Like no one else I know
I don't go there with anyone, but
You're a special case
For my special place
My special place
A secret place
-- "A Secret Place," Joni Mitchell
This week, as tradition and the Bottom 10 bylaws demand, the Bottom 10 Selection Committee spent Thanksgiving retreated into a secret location in order to meet, greet, eat and repeat as we carved a season of college football turkeys into the digestible bites that make up the 2019 final rankings.
Overwritten opening sentences aside, these meetings can be a bit testy. The 2019 Bottom 10 Selection Committee membership:
Watson Brown, first NCAA coach to lose 200 games
Charlie Weis, former Notre Dame and Kansas head coach, longtime buyout collector
Jerry Glanville, run-and-shoot offense pioneer, former NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoor Truck Series driver
Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
After several hours of trying to watch games on Watson Brown's Blackberry, Charlie Weis finally grew too frustrated and had a 120-inch 8K TV sent in by drone, but the drone flew away because he tried to pay with giant Richie Rich-ish sacks of cash, the ones with dollar signs printed on the side. Then, just as UTEP and Rice kicked off Saturday's most crucial game, Secretary Albright started wheeling and dealing to try to get one of her alma maters -- Wellesley, Johns Hopkins and Columbia -- under consideration, despite the fact that two of the three don't play football. Then Glanville made it worse by trying to blind her in the middle of her rant by reflecting light into her glasses off his giant belt buckle.
And all of that prompted me, Dad and the dog to start drinking Captain Morgan's stash. Now it is up to me, as chair of this committee, to explain the rationale of why whomever ended up wherever to be remembered forever as the worst teams of 2019.
With apologies to Rob Mullens and Steve Harvey, here is this week's Bottom 10.
1. Akron-monious (0-12)
The Zips had their Bottom 10 hay in the barn a full week early, as the only winless FBS team dropped its season finale versus Ohio one week ago. Thus, the committee felt very confident in its decision to go on and write their name into the top bottom spot in Sharpie. Then Secretary Albright pointed out that Akron has the same number of wins over AP Top 25 opponents this season as Alabama, Clemson and Utah. After several minutes of stunned silence, Jerry Glanville went, "DUNH DUNH DUNNNNNNH!"
2. UMess (1-11)
The committee agreed that the Minutemen might actually be the worst team in the nation. Over the final half of the season, they went 0-7 while limiting their opponents to 56.5 points and 583 yards of offense per game. Those seven games included contests with Bottom 10 stalwart UConn and Bottom 10 flirts FI(notA)U, North by Northwestern and Army. BUT, the game they played before those seven was a head-to-head win over Akron. So, Akron loses, even if the committee believes that if these two teams played today, Akron would win. The committee also believes that if we could go back in time and replay the Sept. 28 contest, Akron would win that too. But we can't. Even though the port-a-john we were sitting in looked like Doctor Who's time travel thingy.
3. UTEPID (1-11)
Over the past several seasons, the Bottom 10 Selection Committee has watched the UTEP-Rice game together. In the past, that game was the de facto Bottom 10 championship, and it has provided us with some memorable meeting moments. Who can forget 2017, when we had to rush former committee member Dan Hawkins to the ER because he tried to cook a pot of Rice with a UTEP pickax? Good times.
4. Old The Minions (1-11)
The Monarchs close out our would-be Bottom 10 Playoff Four, and this matchup feels like a no-brainer: UTEP finished last in Conference USA West, and ODU finished last in C-USA East, both with 1-11 records. This game should be played this Saturday during halftime of the C-USA championship game at FAU, like when you go to an NFL game and they bring out the local Pop Warner teams to play a 10-minute exhibition.
5. Old Missed (4-8)
Everybody sing along with me now! How much is that doggie in the end zone? The one with the waggly leg. How much is that doggie in the end zone? I do hope that doggie's for sale ... By the way, Patti Page, the answer is: 15 yards, a big egg-shaped trophy and a buyout of $17 million.
6. U-Can't (2-10)
The committee's discussion of Connecticut was very frustrating. Every time anyone mentioned head coach Randy Edsall and his bonus-heavy contract, Charlie Weis would reflexively leap to his feet, clap and shout, "My man!"
7. In a Rut-gers (2-10)
Rutgers closed out its season-long celebration of the 150th anniversary of college football by scoring the same number of points in its last game as it did in its first. On Nov. 9, 1869, Rutgers defeated Princeton 6-4. On Nov. 30, 2019, Rutgers lost to Penn State 27-6. The next day, Rutgers announced the rehiring of Greg Schiano, one week after it had failed to hire him on the first try. When the news broke, Weis exclaimed, "So, he's going to get paid, but also has to coach the team? What a sucker."
8. Whew, Mexico State (2-10)
The Other Aggies won two of their last three games, which put the committee into a bit of a conundrum. Their biggest rival, New Mexico, also finished 2-10, lost its last nine straight and cut head coach Bob Davie. But the last of those two wins was against New Mexico State, and State's two wins were over UTEP and Incarnate Word. So, State got the edge -- or more accurately, lost the edge, and got this spot. When we realized Davie was receiving an $800,000 buyout, we again looked to Weis, a fellow former Notre Dame head coach, but he was taking a nap on a mattress stuffed with hundos.
9. Aren't-kansas (2-10)
The Hogs lost the SEC Head Coach Disappearance Bowl three weeks after their coach was let go. The following day, Missouri did the same. We looked to Charlie Weis for some perspective, but he told us that we had already used Charlie Weis jokes way too many times in these rankings, and he was right.
10. U-S-A! U-S-A! (2-10)
Speaking of the Natural State, the South Alabama Redundancies closed out the year with an upset victory over Arkansas State, so the committee felt a little guilty about leaving the Jags in these rankings. (We also felt a little guilty for not realizing until now that Arkansas is called the Natural State.) However, when we looked in the Trapper Keeper that contains the Bottom 10 bylaws, we discovered that we are legally bound to include at least one Fun Belt team in the final Bottom 10. That, and once Coach Glanville realized that the school's abbreviation is USA, he blocked the door and kept screaming, "These colors don't run!" until we relented.
Waiting List: Minute Rice (3-9), NC State Ish (4-8), Kansas Mad Hatters (3-9), Maryland Terrible-pins (3-9), (Not) New Mexico (State But Close) (2-10), the Vanderbilt team that lost to UNLV (3-9), Boiling Green (3-9), substitution infraction blame deflection, phony CFP disrespect speeches, congealed canned cranberry sauce.