All aboard the Bottom 10 express

Originally Published: September 12, 2012
By Conor Nevins | ESPN.com

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

The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:


Alabama, Arkansas, I do love my Ma and Pa
Not the way that I do love you

Well holy moley me oh my
You're the apple of my eye
Girl, I've never loved one like you

Man, oh man, you're my best friend
I scream it to the nothingness
There ain't nothing that I need

Well, hot and heavy, pumpkin pie
Chocolate candy, Jesus Christ
There ain't nothing please me more than you

Oh home, let me come home
Home is whenever I'm with you

Oh home, let me come home
Home is whenever I'm with you

La la la take me home
Baby, I'm coming home

-- "Home," Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

When the Bottom 10 train left the station, it departed for destinations unknown, content to let the capricious college football winds set its course for the coming season.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros know the feeling. Last year, they boarded a train along with the bands Mumford & Sons and Old Crow Medicine Show, knifing across the American Southwest before arriving in New Orleans, playing concerts along the way.

The Bottom 10 feels a certain kinship with that gypsy band of traveling troubadours, whose journey was chronicled in the documentary, "Big Easy Express," released this summer.

So imagine our surprise when the Bottom 10 Express reversed course so soon after its departure and returned to where it started only two weeks ago: the University of Arkansas.

What's that they say about all roads leading home? This season, home is where the Hog is.

It's impossible not to sympathize with the Razorbacks' plight. Their season might have been lost in April after Bobby Petrino's ill-fated Harley-Davidson ride.

They emerged from the drama relatively unscathed, only to see their season fall off the tracks again after Saturday's loss to Louisiana-Monroe in Little Rock. Have the Warhawks, possessors of exactly zero winning seasons as an FBS member, sent Arkansas' season completely off the tracks? We'll find out soon enough. For now, it's enough to earn the Razorbacks the coveted No. 5 spot in this week's Bottom 10 … again.

Some Arkansas fans are putting on a brave face, and are turning up their noses (literally) at any talk of their season heading into a tailspin. But it's hard for the Bottom 10 to feel overly optimistic about the Razorbacks' prospects, especially with Alabama coming to town Saturday.

It's doubtful the Crimson Tide will be among those feeling sorry for the Razorbacks, and a loss will make make it all but impossible for the Hog Express to reach its preferred destinations of Atlanta or Miami.

The Pillowfight of the Week is Middle Tennessee at Memphis.

With apologies to Steve Harvey, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes, here is this week's Bottom 10.

ESPN.com's Bottom 10
  RANK TEAM 2012 RECORD COMMENT
1. UMass 0-2 The going hasn't been easy coming out of the gate, but you have to crawl before you walk, right? UMass put its first points on the board in a 45-6 loss to Indiana. The Minutemen visit Michigan on Saturday. UMass has 323 yards of total offense through two games; Denard Robinson turned in 426 against Air Force. ("Everybody want safety. Everybody want comfort. Everybody want certain. Everybody but me.")
2. Idaho 0-2 The Vandals would be forgiven for covering their eyes while watching tape of LSU's utter domination of Washington. They can only hope the Tigers sleepwalk through Saturday's game. Idaho heads to Baton Rouge having mustered just 6 rushing yards in a 21-13 loss to Bowling Green. ("She runs through the Valley of Death and of sleeping.")
3. UNLV 0-2 UNLV head coach Bobby Hauck admitted the Rebels are "hard to love," and it's hard to argue with him after a 17-14 loss to FCS opponent Northern Arizona. Anything is possible in Las Vegas, but the odds seem pretty stacked against the Rebels improving upon their two-win threshold under Hauck, especially after dropping both of what may be their most winnable games. ("Some say, I am to blame. Brother, brother. Some days, I feel the same.")
4. Colorado 0-2 There's been much bemoaning the pay-for-pain schemes perpetrated on FCS programs. Sacramento State took Colorado's money and a win (and maybe some of the Buffaloes' pride). Jon Embree offered a mea culpa for the 30-28 loss and insists he's still bullish on the Buffs; CU fans may not be so forgiving. ("But I don't want to pray to my maker. I just wanna be what I see.")
5. Arkansas 1-1 It's out of the frying pan and into the fire for the Razorbacks. Did the Hogs' lofty hopes for 2012 go up in flames after losing to Louisiana-Monroe? Fate has seemingly conspired against Arkansas. It was a season that held such promise, only to be derailed by bad behavior and bad fortune. ("This train is bound for glory, this train…")
6. Memphis 0-2 Thanks to a couple of special-teams touchdowns, Memphis held a fourth-quarter lead over Arkansas State before succumbing in a 33-28 loss. Considering the Red Wolves finished with 20 more first downs and outgained Memphis by 326 yards, it's a shock the Tigers were in it at all. Middle Tennessee visits Saturday, and Memphis will want to avoid a second loss to an in-state school. ("Healing, I need healing, a good feeling, I can shine.")
7. Pitt 0-2 The Panthers might have handed the riverboat trophy to Cincinnati before the game; it certainly would have saved Tino Sunseri a boatload of trouble. Pitt's QB was sacked six times in a 34-10 loss. The ACC gets a firsthand look at its future member when the Panthers host Virginia Tech. ("While I was feeling such a mess, I thought you'd leave me behind. While I was being such a wreck, I thought you'd treat me unkind.")
8. Akron 0-2 It's been almost a full calendar year since Akron won, but they're knocking on the door. They hung tough in Miami with FIU through four quarters before falling in overtime. Can the Zips liberate themselves from that losing feeling Saturday when Morgan State visits? ("Well, we once were the jesters, in your kingdom by the sea. And now we're out to be the masters, to set our spirits free.")
9. Houston 0-2 David Piland did his best Case Keenum impression, even breaking Keenum's record for pass attempts in a game (77!) -- but 580 passing yards weren't enough to push the Cougars past Louisiana Tech. If Houston fans needed reminding that last year's 13-win dream season is over, an 0-2 start is a harsh snap back to reality. ("Well, I been sleeping for 40 days, and I know I'm sleeping, cause this dream's too amazing.")
10. Kansas 1-1 A sea change in Kansas' fortunes will have to wait, at least for now, under new coach Charlie Weis. Rice had never beaten a Big 12 opponent in 20 tries. It turns out it was playing the wrong Big 12 schools. Silly Owls! No. 21 proved to be the charm as a last-second field goal sent the Owls past the Jayhawks 25-24. ("Some say the river won't flow. They say it's gonna stay run dry.")

Waiting list: Utah's little-brother comeuppance; Missouri special-teams trickery; Cy Hawk scorelines; Wisconsin's offense.

Conor Nevins is a college football editor for ESPN.com.