Sorry state of affairs on the Plains

Originally Published: October 10, 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:


Love, I don't like to see so much pain
So much wasted and this moment keeps slipping away
I get so tired of working so hard for our survival
I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive

And all my instincts, they return
And the grand facade, so soon will burn
Without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside

-- Peter Gabriel, "In Your Eyes"

Auburn coach Gene Chizik swallowed his pride and apologized Saturday.

"The Auburn fans and the Auburn family, they did not deserve this today, and I apologize to anybody who came to the game to watch it," said Chizik.

There was plenty to be sorry for. Hosting an Arkansas team that had lost by a combined 110-10 through its first two league games, Auburn looked disheveled and disorganized on offense in a 24-7 loss to the woebegone Razorbacks, dropping the Tigers to 1-4 overall, 0-3 in SEC play, and earning them our coveted No. 5 spot.

Short of an apology (and better on-field results), what can be done to repair the relationship between Chizik and Tigers fans? The Bottom 10 suggests Chizik channel his inner Lloyd Dobler from "Say Anything," ditch his leather jacket for a trenchcoat, and stand at the 50-yard line of Jordan-Hare Stadium with a boom box over his head, blasting Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes."

John Cusack and Gabriel recreated the iconic scene from the 1989 movie at the latter's concert in Los Angeles on Saturday night, evoking memories of the kind of whimsical romance that made the movie such a cult classic.

If only Auburn fans could return to those nostalgic days of the 2010-11 season, when they saw Chizik hoist the BCS crystal trophy. The Tigers have an opportunity for redemption -- and a first league win -- at fellow SEC-winless Ole Miss on Saturday. The Bottom 10 is going to call it a special SEC edition of the Pillow Fight of the Week.

Southern Miss is another team yearning for the not-so-distant past. At this time last season, the Golden Eagles were in the midst of building a 12-win season. This season, they're one of four remaining winless FBS teams, joining Tulane, Eastern Michigan and UMass. The Minutemen replace Idaho at No. 1; the Vandals were joined by UAB, Memphis and Army in picking up their first wins of the season last week.

With apologies to Steve Harvey and Peter Gabriel, here is this week's Bottom 10:

ESPN.com's Bottom 10
RANK TEAM 2012 RECORD COMMENT
1. UMass 0-6 "Sledgehammer": UMass would like nothing more than to kick the habit and shed its losing skin. The pounding will cease will for one week at least; the Minutemen are off Week 7.
2. Tulane 0-5 "A Wonderful Day In A One-Way World": It's been one-way traffic in the wrong direction for the Green Wave, who lost their 15th straight Saturday. A sliver of a silver lining could be found in the news that starting QB Ryan Griffin will return from injury to start against SMU on Saturday.
3. Southern Miss 0-5 "No Self Control": Beating Boise State was a lot to ask considering how far Southern Miss' fortunes have fallen this season, but the Golden Eagles didn't do themselves any favors with five turnovers and two missed field goals.
4. Eastern Michigan 0-5 "Home Sweet Home": The start of Eastern Michigan's three-game homestand was anything but sweet, as Kent State spoiled the Eagles' homecoming with a 41-14 win.
5. Auburn 1-4 "In Your Eyes": That heat you see in Auburn fans' eyes is white-hot and shows no signs of abating. It will take some ingenuity and creativity to turn the Tigers' season around.
6. New Mexico State 1-5 "Digging in the Dirt": The Aggies' only win came in their season opener against FCS opponent Sacramento State. They're digging themselves a deeper Bottom 10 hole after not taking advantage of Saturday's Pillow Fight opportunity against Idaho.
7. Kansas 1-4 "Mercy Street": Bill Snyder is not one to show mercy to Kansas, and the Jayhawks' latest drubbing, a 56-16 loss, in the Sunflower Showdown was the latest example of in-state inequity. The road isn't getting easier anytime soon: Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Texas are up next.
8. Akron 1-5 "Wallflower": The Zips turned shy in the second half against Bowling Green, getting outscored 24-0 for their 16th loss in their last 18 games.
9. FIU 1-5 "I Have The Touch": It looked as though Mario Cristobal had the golden touch for the Golden Panthers. Not so much this season. FIU will have to do without the warm embrace of FAU this week; the Owls were off Week 6.
10. Rice 1-5 "The Drop": The Owls' season started with some promise, including their first-ever Big 12 win, against Kansas. It's been downhill from there with four straight losses, including Saturday's 14-10 loss to Memphis.

Waiting list: Buffalo (1-4); Boston College (1-4); Colorado State (1-5); Hawaii (1-4); Illinois (2-4); Kentucky (1-5); South Florida (2-4); UNLV (1-5); UTEP (1-5); Wyoming (1-4).

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