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Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Teams in need of a transformation

By Mark Schlabach
ESPN.com

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

The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:


It won't be like this for long
One day soon we'll look back laughin'
At the week we brought her home
This phase is gonna fly by
So baby just hold on
It won't be like this for long

-- "It Won't Be Like This For Long," Darius Rucker

The everlasting hope for any Bottom 10 team is to transform from a perennial loser into a winner.

And if Darius Rucker can go from front man of Hootie and the Blowfish to Burger King pitchman to country music's hottest new star, there has to be hope for the woebegone teams that have occupied the Bottom 10 for most of the 2009 college football season.

On Wednesday night, Rucker can become only the second African-American singer to win best male vocalist at the Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tenn. Charley Pride, the best-selling African-American performer in country music history, won the award in 1971 and '72.

As a dedicated South Carolina football fan, Rucker certainly knows something about waiting, too.

If Rucker's twangy lyrics don't quench the Bottom 10's musical thirst, it certainly can draw inspiration from Temple. The Owls were such a Bottom 10 staple, we once billed them rent. From 1985 to 2007, Temple won more than four games in a season only once. In fact, the Owls went 4-42 from 2003 to '07, losing 20 games in a row at one point.

It doesn't get much worse than that, folks.

But look at Temple now. After losing their first two games of the season to FCS foe Villanova and Penn State, the Owls have won seven games in a row. They're in first place in the MAC East with a 5-0 record against league foes going into Friday night's game at Akron. Temple even received seven votes in the Associated Press Top 25 poll and eight votes in the coaches' poll this week.

Talk about a transformation.

Washington State definitely could use some inspiration as it prepares for Saturday's home game against UCLA in the Pillow Fight of The Week. The Bruins and Cougars have combined to win one Pac-10 game in 12 tries.

With apologies to Steve Harvey and the man formerly known as Hootie, here's this week's Bottom 10:

Waiting list: Arkansas State (2-6), Colorado State (3-7), Florida International (2-7), Hawaii (3-6), Louisville (3-6), Maryland (2-7), Memphis (2-7), North Texas (2-7), Syracuse (3-6), Utah State (2-7), Vanderbilt (2-8).

Mark Schlabach covers college football and men's college basketball for ESPN.com. You can contact him at schlabachma@yahoo.com.