Buckeyes come 'Undone'
The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:
I sink and I die
If you want to destroy my sweater
Hold this thread as I walk away (as I walk away)
Watch me unravel I'll soon be naked
Lying on the floor, lying on the floor
I've come undone
"Undone -- The Sweater Song," Weezer
It took more than a loose thread to undo former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, who resigned in shame this summer, after he admitted covering up allegations of NCAA rules violations by his players.
For the first time in a decade, the Buckeyes will open a college football season without Tressel stalking the sideline in a sweater vest. Interim coach Luke Fickell coaches his first game Saturday when the No. 18 Buckeyes host Akron at the Horseshoe.
Ohio State wasn't alone in its shame this summer. From Georgia Tech to Miami to North Carolina, the offseason was filled with bad headlines and bad behavior. The Tar Heels fired coach Butch Davis in late July, more than a year after allegations of improper agent contact and a cheating scandal surfaced in Chapel Hill, N.C.
But those scandals almost seem like back-page news now, after Nevin Shapiro, the mastermind of a $930 million ponzi scheme, told Yahoo! Sports that he showered Miami players with thousands of dollars in improper benefits for nearly a decade. The Hurricanes even named their football locker room for Shapiro after he made a $150,000 donation to the athletic department with stolen money.
With apologies to Weezer and Steve Harvey, here's the opening Bottom 10 of the 2011 college football season:
|ESPN.com's Bottom 10|
|1.||New Mexico||0-0||"Say It Ain't So": We still can't believe the Lobos brought back coach Mike Locksley for a third season, which begins with Saturday's home game against Colorado State, this week's Pillow Fight of the Week.|
|2.||Memphis||0-0||"Photograph": The Tigers, who allowed 39.8 points per game in 2010, might want to take a snap shot of the Liberty Bowl scoreboard before Saturday's opener against No. 20 Mississippi State.|
|3.||San Jose State||0-0||"El Scorcho": The Spartans have lost 25 of their last 26 games against FBS foes, and we're guessing they'll get scorched at No. 7 Stanford in Saturday's opener.|
|4.||Akron||0-0||"This Is Such a Pity": Ohio State will be looking to take out its frustrations on someone after what was a very long, hot summer. Up first: The Zips, who open the season in the 'Shoe.|
|T5.||Miami, Ohio State||0-2||"I'm Your Daddy": The Buckeyes found their (sugar) daddy in tattoo parlor owner Edward Rife, who traded free body art and other benefits for the players' coveted gold pants and other memorabilia. The Hurricanes' (sugar) daddy was Nevin Shapiro, a 5-foot-5 booster, who showered them with cash, yacht rides and trips to strip clubs.|
|7.||Buffalo||0-0||"Buddy Holly": Do the Bulls have any chance of upsetting Pittsburgh on the road in Saturday's opener? As Holly once sang, "That'll be the day."|
|8.||Eastern Michigan||0-0||"The Good Life": How's this for the good life? The Eagles, who have won 10 games the past five seasons combined, open the season against FCS foes Howard and Alabama State.|
|9.||Western Kentucky||0-0||"Why Bother?" The Hilltoppers, who haven't beaten a team from a BCS conference since 1975, open the season at Kentucky on Thursday night.|
|10.||New Mexico State||0-0||"Pork and Beans": We're thinking it's an appropriate victory meal for the winning team from the Oct. 1 showdown between the Aggies and Lobos.|
Waiting list: Baton Rouge bar fights, West Virginia football politics, coach-in-waiting, Vanderbilt (2-10), Washington State (2-10), Wyoming (3-9), UNLV (2-11), Oregon's Speed Racer, Willie Lyles' recruiting services, 7-on-7 football, Central Michigan (3-9), Bowling Green (2-10), UNC's timing, Minnesota (3-9), Five strikes in South Carolina, Duke (3-9), Danny Sheridan, Wake Forest (3-9), Kansas (3-9).
Mark Schlabach covers college football for ESPN.com.