Commentary

"Caddyshack" invades Bottom 10

Originally Published: September 29, 2010
By Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com

WEEK: Preseason | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13

The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:


"License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations.
Man, free to kill gophers at will.
To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint.
And a varmint will never quit -- ever.
They're like the Viet Cong -- Varmint Cong.
So you have to fall back on superior firepower and superior intelligence.
And that's all she wrote"

-- Carl Spackler in "Caddyshack"

Three decades ago, Bill Murray introduced Spackler to the world in "Caddyshack."

Spackler, the assistant greenskeeper at Bushwood Country Club, was charged with ridding the plush golf course of unwanted gophers.

But the gophers evaded Spackler throughout the film, even surviving plastic explosives in the finale.

If only the Minnesota Gophers were so resilient.

For the second time in three games, Minnesota was embarrassed at home Saturday, falling 34-23 to Northern Illinois at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. On Sept. 11, the Gophers lost to FCS foe South Dakota 41-38.

In "Caddyshack," Spackler dreamed of winning the Masters while whacking flowers.

"Cinderella story. Outta no where. A former greenskeeper about to become the Masters champion."

The Bottom 10 celebrated a few Cinderella stories last week, too. Four teams -- Colorado State, Marshall, North Texas and UNLV -- leave our dubious list after winning for the first time.

Another Bottom 10 team can duplicate that feat Saturday, when Eastern Michigan hosts Ohio in the Pillow Fight of the Week.

With apologies to "Caddyshack" and Steve Harvey, here's this week's Bottom 10:

ESPN.com's Bottom 10
  RANK TEAM '10 RECORD COMMENT
1. Eastern Michigan 0-4 "Ty Webb:" The Eagles only wish their opponents were more like Webb, who never kept score while playing on the course. The Eagles are coming off a 73-20 loss at No. 2 Ohio State, their 16th straight defeat.
2. Western Kentucky 0-4 "Carl Spackler:" Spackler was undone by his concoction of Kentucky Bluegrass, Featherbed Bent and Northern California Sinsemilla. The Hilltoppers, who lost their 24th game in a row last week, have been undone by bad offense, defense and special teams.
3. New Mexico 0-4 "Al Czervik:" The obnoxious real estate tycoon was a really bad sailor. After being outscored 225-41 in four losses, the Lobos have to wonder if they have the right captain directing their ship.
4. New Mexico State 0-3 "The Bishop:" Spackler famously told the bishop, "I don't think the heavy stuff will come down for a while." It's about to come down a whole lot heavier on the Aggies, who host No. 3 Boise State on Saturday.
5. Minnesota 1-3 "Sandy McFiddish:" The Scottish greenskeeper, who instructed Spackler to kill every gopher on the course, might have delivered Northern Illinois' pregame speech. "Not golfers, you great fool! Gophers! The little, brown, furry rodents!"
6. San Jose State 1-3 "Dr. Beeper:" Next week, the Spartans might feel like Dr. Beeper, the Bushwood County Club champion. After losing at Utah 56-3 last week, San Jose State hosts FCS foe UC Davis on Saturday.
7. Akron 0-4 "Judge Smails:" Smails asked caddie Danny Noonan if he stood for goodness or badness. We know the Zips are really bad. As the judge told Noonan, "There's a lot of, well, badness in the world today."
8. F_U 1-5 "Lou Loomis:" FIU coach Mario Cristobal and FAU coach Howard Schnellenberger might want to borrow a line from Loomis, the caddie foreman. "If you guys want to get fired, if you guys want to be replaced by golf carts, just keep it up!"
9. Ball State 1-3 "Spaulding Smails:" The Cardinals sure look like a one-hit wonder now, just like the actor who played Spaulding, the judge's boorish grandson. The role was the only film credit for actor John Barmon Jr., and Ball State has lost 13 of its last 16 games after its dream season in 2008.
10. Ohio 1-3 "Danny Noonan:" The Bobcats had to feel like Noonan before attempting an unsuccessful two-point conversion on the final play of last week's 24-23 loss at Marshall. Almost everyone in the stadium might have screamed, "Noonan! Miss it, Noonan! NNNNooooonan!"

Waiting list: Arkansas State (1-3), Bowling Green (1-3), Pittsburgh's offense, Colorado State (1-3), Duke (1-3), Arizona State's turnovers, Marshall (1-3), UAB's field goals, Memphis (1-3), North Texas (1-3), Rice (1-3), Georgia's arrests, Tulane (1-2), UNLV (1-3), Utah State (1-3), Washington State (1-3), Mark Schlabach's upset special (again).

Mark Schlabach covers college football for ESPN.com.

Mark Schlabach | email

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