Inspirational thought of the week:
Oh, hold him, darling
Please hold him tight
And brush the tear from your eye
You weep because you had a dream last night
You dreamed that he said goodbye
Hush hush, sweet Charlotte
Charlotte, don't you cry
Hush hush, sweet Charlotte
He'll love you till he dies
-- "Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte," Patti Page
Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located behind the rich mahogany bookcase where Gene Wojciechowski keeps leather-bound volumes of his "College GameDay" feature scripts, we spend our autumn weekends on the road watching games, but spend most of our weekdays bunkered in at the Bottom 10 basement home office.
For those who don't know, that's in Charlotte, aka also the home of the Charlotte 49ers, aka the only FBS team located 10 miles from my house. That living situation can get a little awkward. Like having to still share an apartment with the newly former significant other that you caught making out with your best friend, Tommy, at your birthday party, because neither one of you can afford to move out. No matter how hard you might try to avoid each other, there's no way to dodge those accidental and overtly uncomfortable encounters in the kitchen, standing in silence at the island waiting on the coffee maker to finish, but both of your skulls echoing with the words that you screamed at that party, "YOU ARE THE WORST! LIKE, RANKED NO. 1 AMONG THE 10 WORST THINGS IN OUR WORLD!"
That's what it is like for me at the grocery store, the gas station, even at church whenever the Niners are ranked in the Bottom 10. And they have been a lot. On Monday, after Charlotte fired head coach Will Healy, everyone knew what had to be done. Especially the guy in line behind me at Starbucks with his 2019 Bahamas Bowl Runner-Up sweatshirt on, angrily staring at me over the top of his grande pumpkin spice latte. We might as well have been exes in an apartment kitchen.
"I already know you're gonna have us No. 1," he grumbled. Then he set down his red pepper egg white bite, raised a fist and slowly cranked up a middle finger. "Well, guess what? So are you."
With apologies to Peter Quill, Will Healy and Steve Harvey, here are the post-Week 8 Bottom 10 rankings.
Coach-less Charlotte travels to Houston to face Rice, an opponent that used to be a Bottom 10 mainstay and a near-instant W for any visitor, but these Owls are 4-3 and it has been a Texas-sized minute since they were in these rankings. On the bright side, whenever a team from the hometown of Bojangles goes to a place named Rice, you know what that means? Dirty Rice for all!
The Zips lost the Wagon Wheel to State of Kent for the fourth straight year. The good news for Kent is it now has a full set of wheels. The bad news for the Zips is that their wagon was left up on blocks in the parking lot and they had to walk the 10 miles back to Akron.
The Oof Pack continues to fall through these rankings like my credit rating whenever I visit the state of Nevada. They've now lost six straight, including back-to-back losses to then-top/bottom two Bottom 10 opponents. Reno casinos don't have windows so that patrons lose track of time, and it indeed seems like an eternity since Nevada opened the season with a win over New Mexico State. Speaking of the Other Aggies ...
Not so long ago we had circled in permanent marker this weekend's matchup between the Minutemen and New Mexico State as a potential Pillow Fight of the Year of the Century Mega Bowl, but then NMSU went and won two out of three. How dare they! But, in a plot twist-a-roo, UMass might still have a PFOTYOTCMB on the schedule. No, it isn't the games against UCan't or Arkansaw State. It's the Nov. 19 tilt against another set of Aggies. These guys ...
As a kid, I saved money for months from doing chores around the house, washing cars around the neighborhood, even scrounging up bottles from around town to get the deposit change. Why? To buy a special spy X-ray camera that I saw advertised in the back of a comic book. My dad warned me not to believe it, that maybe my time and dollars were better spent elsewhere, saying, "It'll just be another cheap piece of plastic like all of the other stuff you bought, like the sneakers that were going to make you run faster and the rubber bands that were going to make your muscles look like Superman's." But, undeterred, I kept going back to that ad, the one that promised that this would be different, finally a foolproof pathway to unimaginable superpowers. When the spy X-ray camera arrived, it was indeed just another piece of plastic. Also, Texas A&M.
This month the Mildcats have lost to Wisconsin, a team that forgot to bring a head coach; Maryland, a team that has forgotten what conference it's supposed to be in, and now faces Iowa, a team that has forgotten that its stadium has end zones.
This weekend the Bulls kick off in Houston at noon ET, two hours before Charlotte plays at Rice, which is only 5 miles away. If they lose to the Cougars, they should drive over to Rice Stadium, buy a bunch of tickets and watch, but keep their uniforms on. That way if Charlotte loses too, USF could just run out onto the field to the "West Side Story" rumble song and challenge the Niners to the first-ever Impromptu Pillow Fight of the Week.
Two weeks ago, the Warriors climbed out of the No. 2 Bottom 10 spot by beating Nevada. But they followed that up by losing to Colorado State, who three weeks ago climbed out of the No. 1 Bottom 10 spot by beating Nevada. Remember, Nevada started the season with a win over New Mexico State and knocked it into the No. 1 top/bottom spot, but then NMSU climbed out of that spot by beating ... Hawai'i. Have you seen the new "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" trailer? Janet van Dyne, aka Michelle Pfeiffer, explains, "It's a secret universe located beneath ours." You thought she was talking about the Quantum realm? No, she's describing the Mountain West.
The absence of Colorado State from these rankings makes room for the Rams' hated neighbors to the south, who followed up their emotional, shocking first win of the season at Cal with an emotional, shocking 33-point loss at Oregon State. Now the Buffs welcome Bottom 10 Wait Listers Arizona Skate for a game that is also shocking in that it kicks off at 7:30 p.m. ET. It feels more apropos to give this a #Pac12AfterDark time slot so that it can air alongside 1-900 chatline ads and Jim Bakker's infomercials selling doomsday barrels of pancake batter.
The Fightin' Terry Bowdens have quietly piecemealed an impressive Bottom 10 résumé, a run that began with a 17-point Week 5 loss to then-one-win Arkansaw State and most recently a 24-point shelling from the tanks of then-two-win Army. The next two weeks bring in-conference matchups with a pair of fellow #FunBelt members with one conference win, the Texas State Armadillos and Georgia State Not Southern. Then the WarHocks to close the year with tough outings against Troy, which leads the Sun Belt West division, and Southern Miss, which is currently second in the division and first in the nation in unwanted headlines created by guys who played quarterback at their school in the late 1980s.
Waiting list: Georgia State Not Southern, FI(not A)U, Whew Mexico, Whew Mexico State, Temple of Doom, Living on Tulsa Time, Arizona Skate, Virginia Tech Nokies, Arkan-saw State, Northern Ill-ugh-noise, Central not Western or Eastern Michigan, Lose-iana Tech, political ads interrupting football games.