Arizona State meets Ferris Bueller

Originally Published: November 16, 2011
By Mark Schlabach |

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

The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:

"In 1930, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, in an effort to alleviate the effects of the …
Anyone? Anyone?
The Great Depression. Passed the …
Anyone? Anyone?
The tariff bill? The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act, which, anyone?
Raised or lowered?
Raised tariffs, in an effort to collect more revenue for the federal government. Did it work?
Anyone? Anyone know the effects?
It did not work, and the United States sank deeper into the Great Depression. Today we have a similar debate over this. Anyone know what this is?
Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before?
The Laffer Curve. Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the revenue curve, you will get exactly the same amount of revenue as at this point. This is very controversial.
Does anyone know what Vice President Bush called this in 1980?
Something-d-o-o economics. 'Voodoo' economics."

-- Ben Stein, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

The Bottom 10 has always believed in something called the Laugher Curve.

It explains how New Mexico can get its first win of the season. Or how Boise State can be knocked out of the national championship race by a missed field goal -- in consecutive seasons.

The Bottom 10 also loved "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and filmmaker John Hughes' other iconic hits of the 1980s. Hughes' films brought us "Brat Pack" stars, Matthew Broderick, Macaulay Culkin and some righteous soundtracks.

In Hughes' films like "Weird Science" and "Sixteen Candles," losers and underdogs always found a way to win.

Hughes, who died of a heart attack in 2009, must still be writing scripts from above. How else can the Bottom 10 explain the lowly Lobos beating UNLV 21-14 on Saturday night for their first victory of the season? New Mexico recovered a fumble in the final two minutes and then won the game on Demarcus Rogers' 1-yard run with 1:15 to go.

The Lobos' victory leaves Florida Atlantic as the only remaining winless FBS team.

The Laugher Curve must also explain why Arizona State keeps getting the same results over and over again. With a chance to take control of the Pac-12 South, the Sun Devils lost at Washington State 37-27 on Saturday. Even Hughes, an Arizona State dropout who left school to become a professional joke writer, couldn't have written this script. The Sun Devils allowed Cougars freshman Connor Halliday to throw for 494 yards with four touchdowns at snowy, wet Martin Stadium in Pullman, Wash.

That performance earned the Sun Devils the not-so-coveted No. 5 spot in this week's Bottom 10.

With apologies to Steve Harvey, Ben Stein and John Hughes, here's this week's Bottom 10, along with some of Hughes' memorable movies:'s Bottom 10
1. Florida Atlantic 0-9 "Sixteen Candles": Owls coach Howard Schnellenberger will celebrate his next birthday with 78 candles. Hopefully for him, he'll get to celebrate another victory before he retires at season's end.
2. Akron 1-9 "Home Alone": A crowd of 19,889 watched the Zips lose for the 20th time in 22 games last week, falling to Kent State 35-3 at home. There might be even a smaller crowd in Saturday's road game at Buffalo, this week's Pillow Fight of the Week.
3. UNLV 2-7 "European Vacation": The Rebels must have followed Clark Griswold's advice: When in Rome do what the Romans do. Or when in New Mexico do what the Lobos do -- lose.
4. Tulane 2-9 "The Great Outdoors": Thank goodness the Green Wave's final two games will be played on the road. Tulane is 0-5 against FBS teams inside the Louisiana Superdome this season, including last week's 73-17 loss to Houston.
5. Arizona State 6-4 "Ferris Bueller's Day Off": The Sun Devils' defense celebrated the 25th anniversary of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" by -- how else? -- taking a day off against Washington State. The Sun Devils allowed 590 yards of offense, including 503 passing.
6. Indiana 1-9 "Pretty In Pink": Are the Hoosiers wearing crimson or pink in coach Kevin Wilson's first season? The Hoosiers had last week off and will try to end a seven-game losing streak -- and get their first Big Ten win -- in Saturday's contest at No. 15 Michigan State.
7. Memphis 2-8 "Mr. Mom": If Memphis really cared about fielding a competitive football team, Tigers coach Larry Porter's job might be in danger. The Tigers lost to UAB 41-35 last week, dropping Porter's record to 3-19 in two seasons.
8. Ole Miss 2-8 "The Breakfast Club": Outgoing Rebels coach Houston Nutt might feel kind of like Principal Richard Vernon, who spent his Saturdays supervising a group of underachieving youth in detention. The Rebels have quit on Nutt, losing 27-7 to Louisiana Tech last week.
9. Maryland 2-8 "Weird Science": Considering how bad coach Randy Edsall's first season at Maryland has gone, the Terrapins' fashion statement of the week might be wearing underwear on their heads in Saturday's game at Wake Forest.
10. Kansas 2-8 "National Lampoon's Vacation": The Griswolds would have found the world's largest ball of twine in Cawker City, Kan. The country's worst defense is located in Lawrence.

Waiting list: Arizona (2-8), Army (3-7), Buffalo (2-8), Central Michigan (3-8), Colorado State (3-6), Duke (3-7), Fresno State (3-7), Georgia Tech's puncher's chance, Idaho (2-8), Louisville's sore thumbs, Middle Tennessee (2-7), Minnesota (2-8), Oregon State (2-8), Rice (3-7), Ron Zook's exit, San Jose State (3-7), Texas A&M in the second half, Texas Tech in all four quarters, Troy (2-7).

Mark Schlabach covers college football for

Mark Schlabach | email

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