The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered
But you can't stay here with every single hope you had shattered
I'm not expecting to grow flowers in a desert
But I can live and breathe
And see the sun in wintertime
In a B1G country, dreams stay with you
Like a lover's voice fires the mountainside
-- "In a B1G Country" B1G Country
I have a southern accent. I grew up in the South. I learned football standing on the sidelines of ACC stadiums and I co-host a TV show on the SEC Network. But I don't hate the Big Ten. I never have. I never will. The greatest thrill of my job in recent years has come as I have finally visited the press boxes of legendary midwestern stadiums that I'd never seen before. Places such as Wisconsin, Nebraska and Purdue.
I had always dreamed of covering those teams and their games. I just never imagined that it would come via my involvement in the Bottom 10. Yet, here I am. Spending my Saturdays reading tweets such as this one -- about yes, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Purdue.
Big Ten West went 2-5, losing to:— Ant Wright (@ItsAntWright) September 16, 2018
I was discussing this issue, and this potential Bottom 10 open, with a neighbor who is a Nebraska graduate. He said to me, "Instead of fighting the perception that you hate the Big Ten, maybe you should try leaning into it." Then he paused, sighed and added, "Then again, maybe the freaking Huskers should try leaning into the defensive line of freaking Troy."
With apologies to Tom Osborne and Steve Harvey, here's the Bottom 10 after Week 3.
1. Whew Mexico State (0-4)
New Mexico State Not New Mexico is now the nation's only four-loss team after losing to New Mexico Not New Mexico State in the Rio Grande Rivalry Not The Battle of I-25. Now the Aggies will take I-10 Not I-25 south for the Pillow Fight of the Century of the Season against ...
2. UTEPID (0-3)
These guys. The Minors were skunked by perpetual Coveted Fifth Spot nominee Tennessee, 24-0, but that's understandable. Their minds were already on the future. With New Mexico State this week, UTSA the next and late season matchups with Rice and Western Kentucky (both 0-3), this could be the most treacherous Bottom 10 gauntlet since that time I found myself on a plane full of ADs returning home from a Conference USA West corporate picnic. I don't know who kept pelting me with pretzels from economy class, but it hurt my feelings.
3. San No-se State (0-3)
The Spartans hung tough on the road against Oregon, successfully fueling their anger at me for accidentally calling them Trojans. Prior to the game, SJSU players could be heard shouting "For Sparta!" like the guys in that "300" movie. There was also one guy who yelled "For Troy!" but I'm pretty sure that's because his name was Troy.
4. Central Michigan Chippy-was (0-3)
Central Michigan celebrated surrendering Kansas' first road win in 11 years by suffering its second road loss in three weeks. #efficiency
5. Flori-duh State (1-2)
Hey Big Ten West, at least you aren't Willie Taggart, who is less popular in Tallahassee than a Steve Spurrier impersonator wearing a turnover chain from The U.
6. Old Dumbinion (0-3)
The Monarchs lost Pillow Fight of the Week: Episode III to Charlotte in a game that was moved up two days because of Hurricane Florence. I live in Charlotte and had intended to attend, but it didn't happen, also because of Florence. Yes, I know the hurricane didn't get to Charlotte until Friday. I'm talking about my Aunt Florence, who moved into our attic to wait out the storm. I haven't checked on her since the weekend, but I can smell Ben-Gay and a pumpkin spice Yankee Candle, so I know she's still up there.
7. R-O-C-K in the UTSA (0-3)
While UTEP hosts New Mexico State in the Pillow Fight of the Century of the Year this week, next week the Miners will travel to UTSA for what might be Pillow Fight of the Century of the Actual Century. It all depends on the outcome of UTSA's game this weekend with ...
8. Texas State Armadillos (1-2)
These guys. But if Texas State loses to UTSA and New Mexico State loses to UTEP then we'll still get a Pillow Fight of the Century of the Actual Century. We'll just have to wait until Texas State hosts New Mexico State on Oct. 27. Just in time for Halloween. By the way, do you know who Texas State lost to in its season opener?
9. In a Rut-gers (1-2)
These guys, who haven't won since. It's one thing to get stomped at Ohio State. It's another thing entirely to receive an equally awful thrashing at ... Kansas. Rutgers opened the game in Lawrence with a dropped pass, two carries for zero yards, a 2-yard pass, a dropped interception and a pick-six. A Scarlet Knight hasn't looked this anguished since Thanos beat up her boyfriend and snapped his fingers.
10. My Hammy of Ohio (0-3)
The MAC was once the platform upon which the entire Bottom 10 was built. Now it is poised to reclaim that dominance from the teams of the west. Seven of the league's 12 teams currently have losing records. If the Redhawks are going to make a move, the time is now. The next four weeks will bring throwdowns with 1-2 Boiling Green, 1-2 Western Not Eastern Or Central Michigan and State of Kent, which is ... well, 1-2.
Waiting List: U-Can't (1-2), Western Kentucky Hillstoppers (0-3), Minute Rice (1-2), U-Mess (1-3), UNC Achilles Heels (0-2), SMU Mustanks (0-3), Ore-gone State (1-2), Pur-don't (0-3), Arkansaw (1-2), people who complain about schedule changes due to natural disasters.