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Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Bottom 10 teams don't pass smell test

By Mark Schlabach
ESPN.com

WEEK: Preseason | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13

The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:


"Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell
Ooooh that smell
The smell of death surrounds you."

-- "That Smell," Lynyrd Skynyrd

Leonard Skinner was the kind of coach who would probably turn around the fortunes of some Bottom 10 teams.

The flat-topped and no-nonsense basketball coach and P.E. teacher from Jacksonville, Fla., was a strict disciplinarian and Army veteran.

At Robert E. Lee High School in the late 1960s, Skinner often sent male students to the principal's office because their hair was too long. One of those students was Gary Rossington, a guitarist in a rock band. Rossington's band was eventually named Lynyrd Skynyrd as a tribute to his former P.E. teacher.

Skinner passed away at the age of 77 in Jacksonville on Monday. He and his former students eventually patched things up, and Skinner even introduced Lynyrd Skynyrd at a concert in their hometown.

Skinner would recognize the smell of the Bottom 10 teams because, well, they stink. One member has a 23-game losing streak. One has a 14-game drought, and yet another has lost 12 games in a row.

It's a crying shame Skinner won't be in Las Vegas for Saturday night's Pillow Fight of the Week, in which woeful New Mexico plays at UNLV. Skinner might have been able to transform the Lobos and Rebels into something other than their current sorry states.

With apologies to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Steve Harvey, here's this week's Bottom 10:

ESPN.com's Bottom 10
  RANK TEAM '10 RECORD COMMENT
1. Western Kentucky 0-3 "Ain't No Good Life": The Hilltoppers have lost 23 games in a row after falling at home to Indiana 38-21 on Saturday. Saturday's game at South Florida looks like 24 in a row.
2. Eastern Michigan 0-3 "Freebird": No. 2 Ohio State is looking at a free win with the Eagles coming to town on Saturday. EMU lost its 15th consecutive game last week, 52-14 to Central Michigan.
3. New Mexico 0-3 "Saturday Night Special": There's nothing special about the Lobos' trip to UNLV on Saturday, this week's Pillow Fight of the Week. New Mexico was outscored 180-31 in its three losses.
4. New Mexico State 0-2 "What's Your Name?": The Aggies played so poorly in their 42-10 loss at UTEP last week that some fans confused them with their instate rivals, who are even worse.
5. Cal 2-1 "Gimme Three Steps": The Bears let Nevada's offense take a lot of steps in a 52-31 loss to the Wolf Pack on Friday night, allowing 316 rushing yards and 497 yards of offense.
6. Akron 0-3 "Sweet Home Alabama": New Zips coach Rob Ianello started his coaching career at Alabama. He probably wishes he was still in Tuscaloosa after Akron fell to 0-3 following a 47-10 loss at Kentucky.
7. North Texas 0-3 "Gimme Back My Bullets": The not-so-Mean Green are 0-3 after a 24-0 loss at Army and will play the rest of the season without their top two quarterbacks and centers.
8. Colorado State 0-3 "Cross Road": After a promising start under coach Steve Fairchild in 2008, the Rams have lost 12 games in a row and were outscored 106-19 in three defeats this season.
9. UNLV 0-3 "Comin' Home": After losing consecutive games at Utah and Idaho, the Rebels return to Las Vegas for the Pillow Fight of the Week on Saturday. There might not be many fans at home.
10. Marshall 0-3 "I Never Dreamed": Less than two weeks ago, the Thundering Herd had a 15-point lead over rival West Virginia late in the fourth quarter. Now, they're 0-3 after losing 44-28 at Bowling Green.

Waiting list: Ole Miss (1-2), North Carolina (0-2), mascot fights, Minnesota (1-2), Tulsa (1-2), missed PATs, Rice (1-2), Memphis (1-2), Ohio (1-2), Kent State (1-2), blown pass coverage, Ball State (1-2), Washington State (1-2), Twitter threats, Louisiana-Monroe (0-2), Florida International (0-2), Utah State (1-2), San Jose State (1-2) and Mark Schlabach's upset picks.

Mark Schlabach covers college football for ESPN.com.