Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
Pore Jud is daid
Pore Jud Fry is daid
All gather ’round his cawfin now and cry
He had a heart of gold
And he wasn’t very old-
Oh why did such a feller have to die?
Pore Jud is daid
Pore Jud Fry is daid
He’s lookin’ oh so peaceful and serene …
He’s lookin’ oh so purty and so nice
He looks like he’s asleep
It’s a shame that he won’t keep
But it’s summer and we’re running out of ice
Pore Jud is daid
– “Pore Jud is Daid” from “Oklahoma!”
Here at Bottom 10 headquarters, we love a good musical, like “Oklahoma!” We also love a good scary movie, like the Stephen King masterpieces “Christine” and “Maximum Overdrive,” during which automobiles and machines of all kinds become possessed and turn against the humans who drive them. And we really like it when those two forms of entertainment are melded together, and right in time for Halloween.
I’m talking about the Sooner Schooner.
It was two weekends ago that the venerable old covered wagon went off the pregame script and barrel-rolled over the Memorial Stadium turf like it was an extra in “The Fast and the Furious.” Shortly thereafter, the University of Oklahoma announced that college football’s most famous caisson was out for the season. The following weekend, the Schooner-less Sooners blew into Kansas State like a buckboard that forgot how to buck and spent the first three quarters stiff as a board.
When my daughter was little, we’d left Walt Disney World and taken a back road to the hotel, past a Disney-owned industrial park. Some fellow cast members were off-loading Cinderella’s carriage from a flatbed tow truck. The rear axle was broken. My wife and I immediately looked into the back seat to see whether our little girl, wearing her blue Cinderella dress, had seen it. She had. We were mortified. She was not. She said, “They’re just bringing it to the Fairy Godmother so she can fix it. I bet that’s her office.”
I wonder if it’s too late to haul the Schooner to the Orlando suburbs for a magic wand repair job.
With apologies to Scott Gibson, the RUF/NEK queen and Steve Harvey, here’s this week’s Bottom 10.
1. Akron-monious (0-8)
The Rubber Kings started a crucial Bottom 10 #MACtion run by facing then-2-5 Northern Ill-uh-noise, which is now 3-5 Northern Illinois after Zipping its way to a 49-0 win. Now Akron walks into another Pillow Fight of the Week when it travels to Bottom 10 Waiting List member Boiling Green. The following week brings a visit from Eastern Not Western Michigan, in what is likely to be a showdown between the bottom teams in each MAC division.
2. UMess (1-7)
The Minutemen have done so much impossible stuff this season that we are considering starting a petition to have them renamed the Massachusetts Ethan Hunts. Not only have they played in four Pillow Fights of the Week in eight games, two of those have been Pillow Fights of the Week of the Year of Century (PFOTWOTYOTC). They won the first, over Akron back in Week 5, but lost PFOTWOTYOTC Episode II to UCan’t and did it in shocking fashion, 56-35. It was the most disappointing loss suffered by Minutemen on their home turf since Bunker Hill. Now they stick with their Revolutionary War theme by hosting Liberty, which just did something even more impossible than all of the impossible stuff that UMass has done. It lost at Rutgers.
3. Minute Rice (0-8)
The Owls might want to bottle up any fear they feel during Halloween and use it to condition themselves for the remainder of the 2019 season. According to ESPN Stats & Info’s spookily accurate FPI machine, Rice has a 24%, 14% and 24% chance to win its next three games, against Marshall, MTSU and North Texas. Then comes the Owls’ traditional Bottom 10 Bowl season finale against UTEP. Right now, they’re favored at 66%. Rice favored on the road? Now that’s scary.
4. Whew, Mexico State (0-8)
The Other Aggies traveled 3,400 miles round-trip to Georgia Southern and suffered a 41-7 loss. After facing Open Date U., they will travel 2,400 miles round-trip to Ole Miss to play a game in which they currently have a 3.2% win probability. It reminds me of that time I pedaled my Schwinn all the way across town in heavy automobile traffic to ask out Tammy Jo Hoogenakker and she told me no and to stop being so creepy. I made that trip twice, too.
5. Boo-mer Schooner (7-1)
Oklahoma’s loss at Kansas State was so unexpected, it set off a chain of equally bizarre events, including an all-night Twitter feud between Sooners wide receiver Jadon Haselwood and Georgia fans, still (Kirby) smarting over a tweet of Haselwood’s following their shocking loss to South Carolina, and a satirical SB Nation story stating that the Wildcats were forced to issue a formal apology for hurting the Big 12’s CFP chances … that was, of course, misunderstood by some readers as being real. In related news, this is Oklahoma’s first appearance in the Coveted Fifth Spot in a while, and there’s no doubt that, like many UGA fans after the South Carolina game, they won’t understand this, either.
6. UTEPID (1-6)
The Miners have also racked up enough frequent flyer miles to fill the Sun Bowl, but they aren’t going to waste them on seat upgrades or extra in-flight snacks. They are going to wait until the final two weeks of the season and cash them in on not just one, but back-to-back PFOTWOFTYOFTCs against New Mexico State and Rice. Their only win of the season was Week 1 against Houston Baptist, 36-34, the same HBU that is currently ranked last in the FCS Southland Conference. So, a pair of season-ending losses would slingshot UTEP toward the top of the Bottom 10 like Ricky Bobby around Cal Naughton Jr. at Talladega.
7. Old The Minions (1-6)
Cue the banana song!
8. UCan’t (2-6)
Connecticut’s win over UMass earned head coach Randy Edsall a total of 10 bonus payments (scored first, led at halftime, offensive points per possession, etc.), matching his season high of $28,000 in extra cash, also earned for the team’s first win, Week 1 over Wagner. I don’t know what he’ll spend it on, but I know it won’t be headphones or Fortnite. In the days leading up to the UMass game, he went on a rant claiming that those items, along with social media and phones, have made today’s generation of players soft and not as mentally tough as their forefathers. After the news conference, he received a $5,000 “get off my lawn” bonus.
9. South Alabama Redundancies (1-7)
The Jaguars lost to Appalachian State as the Mountaineers continue to make what they hope is a run to a New Year’s Six invitation as the Gang of Five conferences’ Cotton Bowl participant. A little advice to App State: When you send out your CFP marketing and lobbying materials, list the University of South Alabama as USA on your schedule. Because those other schools might have wins over USF and BYU, but it’ll look like y’all beat America.
10. Aren’t-kansas (2-6)
The bad news? Razorbacks fans had to endure a week of listening to “With Tua Tagovailoa out, good thing Bama basically has a bye week this weekend.” The good news? No one on special teams threw a hot potato dying quail fake punt pass into the hands of a Bama defender.
Waiting List: In A Rut-gers (2-6), North by Northwestern (1-6), Pur-don’t (2-6), (Not) New Mexico (State But Close) (2-6), Northern Ill-uh-noise (3-5), UNLV (2-6), the Vanderbilt team that lost to UNLV (2-5), Living on Tulsa Time (2-6), Texas State Armadillos (2-5).