Commentary

Talkin' bout a revolution

Originally Published: October 19, 2011
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:


Poor people are gonna rise up
And get their share
Poor people are gonna rise up
And take what's theirs

Don't you know you better run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run
Oh I said you better run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run

Cause finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution
Yes, finally the tables are starting to turn
Talking about a revolution, oh no
Talking about a revolution

-- Tracy Chapman, "Talkin' Bout a Revolution"

The Bottom 10 is talkin' bout a revolution.

While protesters occupy Wall Street and lost college football fans occupy Herbstreit, Bottom 10 stalwarts are somehow starting to occupy the win column.

Once-woebegone programs like Ball State, Eastern Michigan, New Mexico State, Western Kentucky and even all-time favorite U-La-La are starting to pile up victories.

• Ball State, which went 6-18 the past two seasons combined, is 4-3 after upsetting Ohio 23-20 on the road last week. The Cardinals are tied for the national lead in red-zone offense, going a perfect 23-for-23 inside opponents' 20-yard line.

• Eastern Michigan, which was a woeful 0-12 in coach Ron English's first season in 2009, is 4-3 after winning 35-28 at Central Michigan last week. The Eagles are one victory away from matching their victory total from the past three seasons combined.

• New Mexico State is 3-3 after winning its past two games, 42-28 at New Mexico and 31-24 over Idaho. The Aggies haven't won more than four games in a season since 2004.

• San Jose State, which went 1-12 in coach Mike MacIntyre's first season in 2010, is 3-4 after winning three of its past four. The Spartans defeated Hawaii 28-27 last week, overcoming six turnovers in the second half.

• Louisiana-Lafayette is 6-1 and bowl-eligible after beating North Texas 30-10 last week. The Ragin' Cajuns' only defeat was a 61-34 loss at No. 4 Oklahoma State in their Sept. 3 opener. U-La-La has never played in a bowl game.

• Western Kentucky, which has the country's longest home losing streak at 18 games in a row, is playing pretty well on the road. The Hilltoppers have won consecutive games at Middle Tennessee and Florida Atlantic to improve to 2-4.

If only Georgia Tech could have occupied the end zone a little more in last week's 24-21 loss at Virginia.

The No. 22 Yellow Jackets, which were off to their best start since 1966 and seemed on their way to an Oct. 29 undefeated showdown against No. 7 Clemson in Atlanta, could muster only 296 yards of offense against Virginia. Tech's defense has to shoulder some blame as well after it couldn't get the ball away from the Cavaliers in the final six minutes of the game. That disappointing performance earned the Yellow Jackets the not-so-coveted No. 5 spot in this week's Bottom 10.

With apologies to Steve Harvey, Kirk Herbstreit, Lost GameDay Fans and Tracy Chapman, here's this week's Bottom 10:

ESPN.com's Bottom 10
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1. New Mexico 0-6 "Fannie and Freddie wouldn't even guarantee Locksley's contract": The Lobos went 2-26 in two-plus seasons under former coach Mike Locksley, who was fired on Sept. 26. New Mexico is 0-2 without him.
2. Florida Atlantic 0-6 "You know things are messed up when the Hilltoppers start winning": The Owls had 121 yards of offense (96 passing and 25 rushing) in last week's 20-0 loss to Western Kentucky, the Hilltoppers' first-ever shutout of an FBS opponent. Maybe FAU can score against Middle Tennessee in the Pillow Fight of the Week.
3. UAB 0-6 "Due to recent budget cuts, the light at the end of the tunnel is out": Maybe Birmingham officials should have condemned the lower bowl of Legion Field too. UAB coach Neil Callaway, operating on a shoestring budget, is under fire for his 15-39 record in four-plus seasons.
4. Memphis 1-6 "The Big East won't even call": The Tigers lost to East Carolina 35-17 last week, dropping their record to 4-27 since the start of the 2009 season.
5. Georgia Tech 6-1 "Even we're out of options": Know one place the Yellow Jackets won't be occupying? Charlottesville. Georgia Tech has dropped nine of its past 10 games at Virginia. The Cavaliers must have some kind of Yellow Jacket repellent.
6. Kent State 1-6 "Please occupy our stadium": The not-so-Golden Flashes have averaged only 12,994 fans at three home games, the second-worst average attendance among FBS teams.
7. Akron 1-5 "Tear down that Wall (Street)": Opponents have been tearing through the Zips' wall of blockers all season. Akron is allowing 3.8 sacks per game, tied for second-most among FBS teams.
8. UNLV 1-5 "Even Vegas is hurting": The Rebels will have another week to stew over last week's 41-14 loss at Wyoming, their third defeat in a row.
9. Indiana 1-6 "We're why the Big Ten still calls itself the Big Ten": The Hoosiers might be worse than Minnesota. Indiana hired former Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson to revolutionize its offense, but IU's opponents are the only ones occupying the end zone this season.
10. Ole Miss 2-4 "Don't blame the Nutt. Blame the banker": Ole Miss athletic director Pete Boone, a former banker, is catching as much flak as coach Houston Nutt for the Rebels' atrocious start. Ole Miss gave up 615 yards of offense in last week's 52-7 loss to Alabama.

Waiting list: Arizona (1-5), Boston College (1-5), Colorado (1-6), Florida's punt returners, Georgia's special teams, Grown men behaving badly at Vanderbilt, Hawaii's turnovers, Idaho (1-6), Kansas (2-4), Kentucky (2-4), Middle Tennessee (1-4), Minnesota (1-5), Ohio State's passing game, Oregon State (1-5), Steve Spurrier's street cred in Vegas, Tulane (2-5).

Mark Schlabach covers college football for ESPN.com.

Mark Schlabach | email

College Football and Basketball