Inspirational thought of the week:
Met my old lover in the grocery store
The snow was falling Christmas Eve
I stood behind her in the frozen foods
And I touched her on the sleeve
We went to have ourselves a drink or two
But couldn't find an open bar
We bought a six-pack at the liquor store
And we drank it in her car
We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
We tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how
-- "Same Old Lang Syne," Dan Fogelberg
Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located behind the fire pit where Ryan Day holds his weekly ritualistic burnings of Lou Holtz-autographed merch he found on eBay, there are few experiences we relish more than those moments when we unexpectedly run into something or someone that reminds us of days gone by.
Like when that smell rolls up the stairs on Thanksgiving morning from your grandma's kitchen and instantly takes you back to your childhood. Or when unexpectedly seeing an old friend at the airport takes you back to high school. Or when your ex-girlfriend from college slides into your DMs at 3 a.m. to tell you that she should have married you instead of that chiropractor she met at the Kappa Alpha mixer and dumped you for.
Or, like me on Tuesday morning, staring at a massive statue of Ralphie the Buffalo and stepping through the gates of Colorado's Folsom Field, the current cultural epicenter of college football, precisely one year after I had ranked the Buffs No. 1 in the Bottom 10, a championship the Buffs would clinch by season's end.
Shoutout to a year ago when I had this team as the runaway No. 1 team in the #Bottom10. Now it's the emotional epicenter of college football. Life comes at you fast. Like a 2000-pound buffalo at 25 mph fast. #GoBuffs pic.twitter.com/Q8Oe6V04WI— Ryan McGee (@ESPNMcGee) September 26, 2023
My long meditative moment staring into the bronze eyeballs of that perpetually sprinting beast was cathartic. It was healing. It was hopeful. Proof that no matter how bad life might feel, there is always a way out. It felt timeless. And then it was over. A truck horn blasted. "Get out of the way, you idiot! We gotta get ready for the USC game!"
With apologies to Darien Hagan, Coach Prime, Fred Folsom and Steve Harvey, here's the Post-Week 4 Bottom 10.
1. No-vada (0-4)
The Wolf Pack nearly upset the Artist Formerly Known as the Kansas Nayhawks two weeks ago. Then they should have beaten the Texas State Armadillos this past weekend, leading 17-0 at the half before surrendering 35 unanswered points and losing 35-24. Now they travel to No. 25 Fresno State, which colleague Kyle Bonagura recently projected to play Alabama in the Peach Bowl. I'm all for that if only for the living legends pregame handshake-turned-impromptu arm wrestling match between former Bulldogs and Tide head coaches Pat Hill and Gene Stallings.
2. Buffalo Bulls Not Bills (0-4)
Our investigative news team here at Bottom 10 JortsCenter has learned that the Buffalo Bulls Not Bills are trying to leverage the confusion about their name to sneakily schedule a game against the Denver Broncos, because obviously anyone can score against those guys.
3. U-Can't (0-4)
The Fightin' Moras don't want much mora this season after catching suddenly awesome Duke one week ahead of the Blue Devils hosting "College GameDay" and getting thumped in the Man Wouldn't This Be A Mora Awesome Game If It Was Hoops Classic.
4. Sam Houston State We Have Problem (0-3)
Sam Houston, former governor and president -- yes, president -- of Texas was so beloved (at least for a while) that the businessmen who founded a city with big cash-in hopes in 1837 named it Houston, and in 1927 a college was opened in the city and named the University of Houston. Years earlier, in 1879, a college was founded in Huntsville, Texas, and was named Sam Houston State. So when Sam Houston State met the University of Houston on Saturday, it feels like the loser (Sam Houston State by a 38-7 score) should have had to lose its name for a year. Nor should it be allowed to listen to Whitney Houston, fish with Jimmy Houston or talk football with Houston Nutt.
5. Notre Dame Fightin' Abacuses (4-1)
OK, three points to make here. One, there is no excuse for having 10 men on the field in the most pressure-packed defensive stand of the season, especially after that same mistake had already been made in a much less important game earlier in the month. Two, last week I wrote about the history of big games in which Notre Dame wore green jerseys and many Irish fans sent evil curses my way for glossing over what they believe is a green-shirt curse ... and now I kind of believe them. And three ... wait ... sorry, we don't have three points. We accidentally miscounted and came up one short. Get it? Too soon?
6. UMess (1-4)
UMess rallied from 14 points down to Whew Mexico to force overtime via a last-minute 65-yard touchdown pass ... but lost in soul-crushing fashion for the second consecutive weekend. So, to recap, Messachusetts defeated Whew Mexico State in Week 1, but Whew Mexico State beat Whew Mexico in the Battle of I-25, but Whew Mexico beat UMess the week after that. This is like "Inception" but only Leo DiCaprio was covered in desert dust and Sam Adams. Now the Minutemen host Arkansaw State, which was going to be the Pillow Fight of the Year of the Century: Episode III, but ...
7. Southern Missed (1-3)
Just two weeks ago, the Fightin' Butches of Arkansaw State were at the top/bottom of these rankings and looked like a lock to be in this pie fight all season. But a new challenger is rising from the Sun Belt after surrendering only the Red Wolves' fifth conference win in three-plus seasons. Maybe alum Brett Favre can find some money from the charity jug at a local gas station and buy the team something to make them feel better.
8. UTEPid (1-3)
The Minors lost by 17 at home to UNLV. Despite mustering 28 points, they still rank 121st in scoring offense, along with 113th in penalty yards (they drew eight flags for 74 yards) and 113th in turnover margin (they lost three fumbles). Is that bad? That feels bad.
9. The MCU (1-3)
The #MACtion Cinematic Universe continues to make like a forgotten bag of Skittles under your kid's car seat in the summertime, all melted together and impossible to separate. A sticky six of the league's dozen teams now stand at 1-3. The good news? Conference play has started, so some of this is going to sort itself out. The bad news? No matter what happens, we'll still have to figure out a way to get this stain out of the fabric on the back seat.
10. The State of Virginia (0-4/1-3)
Yeah, yeah, I know it's Commonwealth. But there's also a common wealth of pain to go around Marty Smith's homeland, where UVA snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against NC State via a series of late-game penalties and Virginia Tech has dropped three straight to Pur-don't, In-a-Rut-gers and We Are Marshall. We're all still waiting on the Sandman to enter, but he appears to be taking a nap under an oak tree at Monticello.
Waiting List: Pretty much all of the American Athletic Conference of America except for Memphis and Tulane, Muddled Tennessee, Pur-don't, EC-Yew, Charlotte 1-and-3ers, Bailer, FA(not I)U, Rod Tidwell's alma mater, Stanfird, Whew Mexico, Denver Broncos.