Commentary

Gators are 'free fallin' into Bottom 10

Originally Published: October 20, 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:


""My sister got lucky, married a yuppie,
Took him for all he was worth,
Now she's a swinger, dating a singer,
I can't decide which is worse.

But not me, baby,
I got you to save me.

Aw, yer so bad,
Best thing I've ever had,
In a world gone mad, yer so bad."


-- "Yer So Bad," Tom Petty

Tom Petty learned about heartache long before he became famous.

Petty grew up in Gainesville, Fla., during the 1950s and 1960s when the Gators were just another mediocre football team. He attended Gainesville High School and later worked on the grounds crew at the University of Florida. In fact, a lime tree he planted on campus is still affectionately known as the "Tom Petty Tree."

The Gators didn't win their first SEC championship until 1991, long after Petty left town as the front man of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

After dominating college football for much of the past decade, the Gators are breaking their fans' hearts once again. Florida lost to Mississippi State 10-7 on homecoming last week, its third consecutive defeat and second straight in the Swamp.

Of course, the Bottom 10 knows heartbreak all too well. Western Kentucky blew a 24-7 lead in the fourth quarter of a 35-30 loss to Louisiana-Monroe last week, the Hilltoppers' 26th consecutive defeat.

At least Eastern Michigan ended its 18-game losing streak, beating Ball State 41-38 in overtime on Alex Gillett's 12-yard touchdown pass to Ben Thayer on the final play of the game. That victory earned the Eagles a one-week reprieve from the Bottom 10.

Akron, one of only three winless teams left in the country, hopes to leave the Bottom 10 by beating Western Michigan at home in this week's Pillow Fight of the Week.

With apologies to Steve Harvey and Tom Petty, here's this week's Bottom 10:

ESPN.com's Bottom 10
  RANK TEAM '10 RECORD COMMENT
1. New Mexico 0-6 "You Got Lucky:" For the first time this season, the hapless Lobos didn't wake up Sunday as losers (they were off after losing to New Mexico State 16-14 in the Pillow Fight of the Decade on Oct. 9).
2. Western Kentucky 0-6 "You Don't Know How It Feels:" The Hilltoppers blew a 24-7 lead in the fourth quarter of a 35-30 loss to Louisiana-Monroe last week, their 26th defeat in a row.
3. Akron 0-7 "Out in the Cold:" After losing 38-10 at Ohio last week, the Zips became the first FBS team to be eliminated from bowl consideration.
4. New Mexico State 1-5 "Too Good To Be True:" The Aggies couldn't build on their victory over the Lobos two weeks ago, losing 33-10 at Fresno State on Saturday.
5. Florida 4-3 "Free Fallin':" How's life without Tim Tebow? The Gators have dropped three consecutive regular-season games for the first time since 1988 and lost two in a row at the Swamp for the first time since 2003.
6. San Jose State 1-6 "Runnin' Down a Dream:" Apparently, the Spartans can only run in their dreams. They had 80 yards of offense (minus-12 rushing) and six first downs in a 48-0 loss to Boise State.
7. Memphis 1-6 "Yer So Bad:" The Tigers lost to Southern Mississippi 41-19 last week and have dropped their past three games by a combined score of 145-26.
8. UNLV 1-6 "Let Me Up (I've Had Enough):" Rebels quarterback Omar Clayton was sacked six times in last week's 43-10 loss to Colorado State, which ended a 10-game losing streak against Mountain West Conference foes.
9. Washington State 1-6 "Into the Great Wide Open:" Opponents have been wide-open all season against the Cougars, who rank 120th in total defense (493.8 yards per game), 119th in rushing defense (236 yards) and 118th in scoring defense (40.1 points).
10. Minnesota 1-6 "Don't Come Around Here No More:" After compiling a 15-30 record, the Gophers fired coach Tim Brewster on Sunday, one day after his team lost 28-17 at Purdue.

Waiting list: Duke (1-5), replay officials at Auburn, Kansas (2-4), obituaries for South Carolina's "chicken curse" (it's alive and well), Virginia (2-4), North Texas (1-6), Kentucky receiver Randall Cobb's tweeting, Marshall (1-5), Nebraska's dropped touchdowns, Tulane (2-4), Rice (2-5), Ohio State's special teams, Kent State (2-4), Eastern Michigan (1-6), the SEC Least, Wyoming (2-5), Colorado State (2-5), BYU (2-5), Tennessee (2-4), incestuous replay booths in the Mountain West, Florida Atlantic (1-4).


Mark Schlabach covers college football for ESPN.com.

Mark Schlabach | email

College Football and Basketball