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K-State can't stick the landing

The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:


"I really didn't deserve to win a gold medal if I fall on my butt."


-- U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney

It doesn't matter whether you're aiming for Olympic gold, the BCS crystal trophy or Bottom 10 perfection: You have to stick the landing if you want to be No. 1.

It's a lesson McKayla Maroney and Kansas State learned the hard way. The former had to settle for a silver medal at the London Olympic Games this past summer after failing to land her dismount on the vault. The expression on her face said it all.

Kansas State fell flat on its face against Baylor on Saturday night. The pressure of being No. 1 in the BCS standings for the first time in its history proved too much to bear for the Wildcats, who were trampled by the Bears 52-24, their national championship hopes scattered and strewn across Floyd Casey Stadium under a stampede of ecstatic Baylor fans.

EMAW will spend this week in the coveted No. 5 spot, but the Wildcats will have to pick themselves up off the mat quickly. A Big 12 title and a BCS bowl, like an Olympic silver medal, aren't the worst consolation prizes, though they likely won't get to follow Maroney's lead and get invited to the White House.

The moment wasn't too big for Southern Miss.

The Golden Eagles have been the Bottom 10's undisputed No. 1 for several weeks running as the only remaining winless team in FBS, but there are a host of challengers waiting for them to loosen their grip on the top spot.

Trailing 34-33 with 3:27 remaining, Southern Miss head coach Ellis Johnson opted to go for two instead of kicking the extra point. The Golden Eagles came up short, preserving the loss and maintaining their hold on No. 1.

That's what the Bottom 10 calls sticking the landing.

This week's Pillow Fight of the Week features a special Thanksgiving edition courtesy of the SEC, which has given so much to the Bottom this season.

Either Kentucky or Tennessee will give thanks for its first league win Saturday, as the Wildcats visit the Volunteers. Talk about two teams fallen on hard times.

It's the Bottom 10 theme this week and a reminder that even if these teams don't have much in the way of wins to be thankful for, they still have each other.

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

Waiting list: Army (2-9); Boston College (2-9); Florida Atlantic (3-8); Florida grounding its cheerleading squad; Illinois (2-9); South Alabama (2-9); Tulane (2-9); UAB (3-8); UNLV (2-10).

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