Bottom 10 after Week 7: USC suffers from missed connections

ByRyan McGee ESPN logo
Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Inspirational thought of the week:

Now you start with the number eight and as you go along

Jump eight numbers and practice this song

Counting by eights (bee-doop, b-b-b-bee-doop)

Counting by eights

Whoa that is high, this sure is fun

Counting by eights

-- "Counting by Eights," Scratch Garden

Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located somewhere in the Seattle crowd still echoing Desmond Howard's "Big Penix energy!" chants, we would like to be the first to officially welcome you to Week 8. The octagon, the octennial, octad, octet, octopus's garden of the 2023 college football season. That magical time of year when a slew of teams will achieve bowl eligibility every weekend and, more importantly in our world, bowl ineligibility.

What we're saying is that Week 8 is like the trees that surround us all this time of year. Some with leaves that are still green, while others have begun their transition into varying shades of autumnal hues, not unlike the uniform colors of your favorite college football teams.

But those trees ... yeah, that ain't our arbor. No, our timbers are the ones that can only be found either hidden in the back of the nursery or barely hanging on alongside some dicey exit off the New Jersey Turnpike. The tepid timbers that spurt out one leaf each spring that immediately turns black from carbon monoxide poisoning. With one shaky, featherless Cardinal, stuck up there on a twiggy limb with no way to get down, screaming, "It's Week 8?! Really? Has Ball State won a second game yet?!"

With apologies to Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Davey O'Brien, David Carr and Steve Harvey, here's the pre-Week 8 Bottom 10.

1. No-vada (0-6)

There are years when we enter Week 8 with significant debate about which teams should be atop the bottom of these standings. Like that time we had a Bottom 10 selection committee meeting and Charlie Weis got so angry during a discussion that he hurled a bag of garbage at Jerry Glanville and then realized it was actually a bag of cash he'd just received from Notre Dame and Kansas. But this year, it's a two-horse race seeing as how there are only two winless teams remaining among the ranks of FBS football. The Woof Pack just lost to former Bottom 10 stalwart-turned-Mountain West contender UNLV. And who are the other oh-fers?

2. Sam Houston We Have A Problem (0-6)

The Bearkats, who kouldn't kome out on top in a kontest with kohort Konference-USA newkomer kolleague New Mexiko State.

3. State of Kent (1-6)

Likewise, there has been much deliberation, disputation, argumentation and all sorts of other 'ations about which member of the MAC Nation should be in this ranking location. Then the State of Kent made a state-ment on the very first play of its game with the EMU Emus.

4. Akronmonious (1-6)

In case you were wondering, and we most definitely were, Akron hosts Kent on Nov. 1, the night after Halloween. It's the college football equivalent of having to settle for all the penny candy wrapped in wax paper and boxes of raisins left in the bottom of your trick-or-treat bag after you've eaten all the good stuff.

5. Trojan Man! (6-1)

After its spokesperson lost 48-20 at Notre Dame while throwing three interceptions, that national hamburger chain with all the commercials featuring USC's quarterback has a new special for this week only (they hope). After you order your food, they throw it at you from the drive-in window but miss your car by six feet and it gets run over by a passing truck.

6. UMess (1-7)

The good news? The Minuetmen received $1.6 million to travel to Unhappy Valley and act as Penn State's warmup act before the Nittany Lions face Ohio State. The bad news? After losing 63-0, UMass will spend most of that money on Band-Aids and ibuprofen.

7. Charlotte 1-and-5'ers (1-5)

The Niners lost 14-0 to Navy, both touchdowns coming on plays of 60-plus yards in the second half. Now they take on another seafaring American Athletic Conference of American Athletics opponent in ...

8. EC-Yew (1-5)

... the Pirates, who seemingly haven't had a scoring play of 60-plus yards since back in the days when Charlotte head coach Biff Poggi still wore clothing with sleeves.

9. Baller State (1-6)

This spot came down to either the Cardinals and Southern Missed. But the Golden Eagles had a game scheduled for Tuesday night against the South Alabama Redundancies, just as we were voting on this week's standings and honestly, we were too lazy to wait for the result. Also, Brett Favre's lawyers said if we put USM in here for another week, they would sue us and use any winnings on volleyball gear.

10. Rod Tidwell's Alma Mater (1-6)

With all these Pac-12 teams winning big games and producing Heisman candidates and posting gigantic television ratings, it's good to see Arizona State producing a weekly slate of unexpected and disappointingly close losses. Hey, someone had to uphold Pac-12 traditions, right?

Waiting List: U-Can't, Yew-VA, You A Bee?, all Big Ten schools in Indiana, Michigan State Little Brothers, Whew Mexico, blowing a Prime 29-0 lead.