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Inspirational thought of the week:

“I know where I’d go.”
“Where?”
“I’d go to Akron. I’d go there with a pretty woman. A strange woman. A quiet woman. I wouldn’t even want to know her name. Where I would be just ‘Mr. Smith’ and I would send out for cold beer. Then I would tell her things. Things that I’ve never told to anyone. Things that are locked deep in here. And as I talk to her, I would want her to hold out a soft hand and say, ‘Poor thing. Poor, poor thing.'”
“How long would you want this to go on, doctor?”
“Two weeks.”
“Two weeks? Wouldn’t that get a little monotonous? Just Akron, cold beer and ‘poor thing’ for two weeks?”
“No, it would be wonderful.”

— Cecil Kellaway and Jimmy Stewart as Dr. Chumley and Elwood P. Dowd in “Harvey”

Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located in the room of file cabinets where Deion Sanders stores all the Power 5 job offers that he wants us to know about but doesn’t plan to take, we have been thrown off of our collective axis. Our schedule is uglier and more broken down than a Pontiac Aztek. Our calendar has been erased more times than someone trying to use an Etch A Sketch in a centrifuge. What we’re saying is that our normal end-of-regular-season routine has been ruined. Instead of the usual meeting of our Bottom 10 Selection Committee at the DFW Hacienda Courts, our annual assemblage of college football minds such as Jerry Glanville, Charlie Weis and Ed “Straight Arrow” Gennero, we told them all to stay home.

Why? The season isn’t over yet. No, none of our teams suddenly received an invite to a conference championship game. The problem is that a mountain of snow two weekends ago kept one of our contenders from playing its final game and now we have to wait to see what happens.

Dammit, Akron.

So, instead of holding our normal fake CFP committee vote, we have gone full old school and are instead employing a fake old-school BCS approach. Yes, we are doing math. But as opposed to relying on the sorcerously accurate ESPN FPI — the Football Power Index — we have conjured up the Bottom 10 FPI — the Faux Pas Index.

It’s simple really. And by simple, we mean totally convoluted. Teams receive one point for each win, minus one point for each loss, minus one point for each loss of their longest losing streak of the year, plus a minus-10 bonus if that streak is currently active. We also subtract the number of points they have surrendered from the number of points they have scored, subtract or add points based on turnover margin and throw in a 50-point reduction if they have fired their head coach this season, aka the Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus. Divide that by the number of games played — let’s call that the Akron Principle — and there’s your Bottom 10 FPI score.

So get off your ath, let’s do some math. Math, math, math, math, math.

With apologies to Dewey Finn, Euclid, former Michigan State Spartan Addie Gaddis and Steve Harvey, here’s the final (sort of) 2022 Bottom 10 rankings.

1. Colora-duh (1-11)

Wins: +1
Losses: -11
Longest losing streak: -6 (current -10)
185 points for, 534 points against: -349
Turnover margin: -12 (tied with Akron for fourth worst in FBS)
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: -50
Total: -437
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 Faux Pas Index: -36.42

While the Buffs wait to be rebuffed by Deion, they can at least spend that time celebrating a championship. We knew that 2022 had been a total mess, but once we pushed it through the numerical cheese grater of the Bottom 10 FPI formula, Colorado became the college football equivalent of Jared Leto’s “Morbius.” We were already plenty sure it was going to be bad. We just never could have imagined it would be that awful.

play

1:36

Keyshawn Johnson breaks down why Deion Sanders would be a good fit as the head coach at Colorado.

2. UMess (1-11)

Wins: +1
Losses: -11
Longest losing streak: -9 (current -10)
150 points for, 373 points against: -223
Turnover margin: -3
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Score: -255
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -21.25

The Minutemen finished the year by losing back-to-back Pillow Fights of the Week against Arkansaw State and Texas A&M, and then suffering the worst late November loss to Army since Allied forces crossed the Siegfried Line.

3. US(notC)F (1-11)

Wins: +1
Losses: -11
Longest losing streak: -10 (current -10)
336 points for, 494 points against: -158
Turnover margin: -4
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: -50
Total: -242
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -20.17

The Bulls ended the season riding college football’s second-longest active losing streak, a run that included L’s suffered at the hands of a TU and UT, fellow Bottom 10 resident Temple and reigning Myrtle Beach Bowl champs Tulsa, which just fired its head coach.

4. North by Northworstern (1-11)

Wins: +1
Losses: -11
Longest losing streak: -11 (current -10)
165 points for, 340 points against: -175
Turnover margin: -19 (worst in FBS)
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Total: -225
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -18.75

In case you were wondering who in the world could have lost more consecutive times than USF’s 10 in a row, allow us to show you around lovely Evanston, Illinois.

5. Give me Liberty or give me death …

at the hands of the Other Aggies! The Flames land in the Coveted Fifth Spot after flaming out at the end of an otherwise heavenly 8-4 season with a stunning 49-14 loss to natural geographic rival New Mexico State, a game that the other FPI said that Liberty had a 95.7% chance of winning. I imagine it was hard for Hugh Freeze to keep both eyes on the playbook while he was also on the sideline scrolling through WarDamnEagleHousesForSale.com.

6. Huh-why-yuh (3-10)

Wins: +3
Losses: -10
Longest losing streak: -4
257 points for, 451 points against: -194
Turnover margin: -8
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Total: -213
Games played: 13
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -16.38

Akron may have played too few games, but the Warriors have played too many as they have the only Bottom 10 FPI that was divisible by an unlucky 13. In fairness, Timmy Chang’s team improved dramatically as a season that started with it ranked first/worst early and often continued to plow ahead. In fact, Mauna Loa was so irritated over the season ending that it erupted for the first time in nearly 40 years.

7. Charlotte 3-and-9ers (3-9)

Wins: +3
Losses: -9
Longest losing streak: -4
294 points for, 473 points against: -180
Turnover margin: -8
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: -50
Total: -248
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -20.67

Speaking of eruptions, I am already bracing myself for my next visit to my local supermarket here in my home of Charlotte, where the kid who rings me up always has me on blast whenever I have his Niners in these rankings. I already know what he’s going to say first. “But we ended the season with a win over Louisiana Tech and they are also 3-9, so why aren’t they in the Bottom 10 instead of us?!” I will inform him that when we ran the 3-and-9ers vs. Lose-ee-anna Tech in the computer, it wasn’t even close. Charlotte, thanks to a much larger points for/against margin, turnover margin and fired coach bonus, nearly doubled Louisiana Tech’s FPI of minus-10.67. I also already know what he’ll say next. “Dude, what is with your groceries? You eat like an 8-year-old.”

8. Akronmonious (2-9)

Wins: +2
Losses: -9
Longest losing streak: -9
239 points for, 379 points against: -140
Turnover margin: -11
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Total: -167
Games played: 11
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -15.18

In case you were wondering, yes, the Zips just won their second game of the year and did so against another fellow #MACtion Bottom 10 contender in Northern Ill-ugh-noise. But as you know from watching the CFP rankings announcement shows each week, this is all about “body of work” and Akron’s anatomy is Thor in “Avengers: Endgame.” NIU’s Bottom 10 FPI is minus-6.08, barely more than a third of the Zips, who are 15.18 below zip. Speaking of in case you were wondering and speaking of numbers that start with 15, Akron has a 15.4% chance of winning its do-over at Buffalo on Friday night. But that’s according to the ESPN FPI, and now that we have seen how easy it is to come up with an FPI formula, we’re not sure we trust it anymore.

9. Whew Mexico No-bos (2-10)

Wins: +2
Losses: -10
Longest losing streak: -9 (current -10)
157 points for, 312 points against: -155
Turnover margin: +4
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Total: -178
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -14.83

The No-bos ended the year by providing former top/bottom team Colora-duh State with the win they needed to boost themselves over the wall and out of the Bottom 10 prison yard. So why aren’t they ranked higher/lower than they are? Look at that turnover margin. Whew Mexico ranks 38th in all of FBS, tied with the likes of Cincinnati and Washington State. Come on, guys, are you trying to win this thing, or aren’t you?

10. No-vada (2-10)

Wins: +2
Losses: -10
Longest losing streak: -10 (current -10)
226 points for, 371 points against: -145
Turnover margin: +2
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Total: -171
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -14.25

The race to secure this final spot was tighter than a pair of Underoos washed in too-hot water, but the Oof Pack edged out the rest of the, er, pack via the nation’s other second-longest losing streak. The difference between Whew Mexico and its Mountain West mates in Reno is thinner than the gravy on the $3 meatloaf in downtown Reno. They shared seven common opponents and while New Mexico lost to all seven, Nevada did beat Liberty destroyers Whew Mexico State back in Week 1. The Pack ended the season with a loss to unLv, who reacted by … immediately firing its coach?

Waiting list: Temple of Doom, Arkansaw State, Colora-duh State, Lose-ee-anna Tech, Old Duh-minions, Northern Ill-ugh-noise, Stampford, Virginia Tech No-kies, In A Rut-gers, #goBCc, Arizona Skate, the end of the regular season … boo.

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Sources: MAC votes to accept UMass as member

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Sources: MAC votes to accept UMass as member

The University of Massachusetts is set to join the MAC in all applicable sports for the 2025-26 school year, sources told ESPN on Monday.

UMass is an independent in football but plays in the Atlantic-10 in basketball and the vast majority of the school’s other sports. UMass’ hockey program will remain in the Hockey East as the MAC does not have a hockey league.

The MAC presidents voted to invite UMass on Monday, as the school had already formally applied to the league. The timing of an announcement is not known, but UMass is set to accept and finalize the details of the arrangement in the near future. Once a school formally applies in conference realignment, there’s usually an understanding that they will be accepted and enter that league.

UMass had also been engaged with Conference USA, per sources. Ultimately, the MAC made more geographic sense, and it also houses more of the sports that UMass offers. UMass athletic director Ryan Bamford made clear in recent comments that joining a league was a priority for UMass.

The move of UMass to the MAC will leave Notre Dame and Connecticut as the lone independents in college football, with Army set to join the American Athletic Conference in the upcoming season.

In basketball, the news is a jolt to the Atlantic 10 Conference, where UMass has had a home since 1976. UMass’ Final Four appearance in 1996 is the only Final Four appearance in Atlantic 10 history. (Three other A-10 teams — VCU, Loyola Chicago and George Mason — have had Final Four appearances, but these all came prior to joining the league.)

UMass will request to stay in the Atlantic 10 as an affiliate member for men’s and women’s lacrosse only, according to a source.

UMass has some familiarity in the MAC for football, having played four seasons in the league from 2012 to 2015. UMass eventually declined full membership in the MAC, which was part of the contract, and led to the school’s departure.

The move brings the MAC up to 13 teams and will open speculation as to whether the league will add a 14th member for balance. There had been discussions about Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky back in 2021, per sources, and those schools would again top any speculative lists.

UMass will play its final season as a football independent this year, and its schedule includes five current MAC members. The Athletic first reported the MAC’s vote on UMass.

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Dodgers trade Margot to Twins, add Hernández

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Dodgers trade Margot to Twins, add Hernández

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday traded outfielder Manuel Margot to the Minnesota Twins and agreed to terms with super utility man Kiké Hernández on a one-year, $4 million contract.

After shopping Margot, 29, in recent days, the Dodgers struck a deal to send the Twins the outfielder and shortstop prospect Rayne Doncon for shortstop prospect Noah Miller. The Dodgers also will send cash to help cover the $12 million owed Margot — $10 million this year and a $2 million buyout on a $12 million club option, a source told ESPN.

Hernández, who emerged during a six-year stint with the Dodgers and returned to Los Angeles in a trade last July, had considered a number of other teams before the trade paved the way for another stretch with the Dodgers.

He’s expected to garner most of his playing time against left-handed pitchers, with Los Angeles’ primary shortstop, Gavin Lux, and center fielder, James Outman, both left-handed hitters.

Now 32, Hernández underwent double hernia surgery in the offseason but is expected to be ready around opening day. Hernández hit .262/.308/.423 in 54 games with the Dodgers last year, more in line with his career numbers than his .222/.279/.320 line with the Twins and .222/.291/.338 showing in an injury-pocked 2022 with Boston.

Margot, an eight-year veteran, had been traded to the Dodgers with right-hander Tyler Glasnow in December. He will help relieve Byron Buxton in center and joins a reigning American League Central champion lineup that is deep in bats. Margot hit .264/.310/.376 with four home runs in 336 plate appearances for Tampa Bay last season and is regarded as a slightly above-average defensive center fielder.

The swap of shortstop prospects sends Doncon, who signed with the Dodgers for a little under $500,000 in January 2021, to Minnesota while Miller, the 36th pick in the amateur draft that year, heads to Los Angeles.

Doncon, 20, hit .216/.283/.368 in Low-A last year and can also play second and third base. Miller, 21, slashed .223/.309/.340 in High-A and is considered a well-above-average defensive shortstop.

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Sources: Iowa State to promote Mouser to OC

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Sources: Iowa State to promote Mouser to OC

Iowa State is set to promote Taylor Mouser to offensive coordinator, part of several staff moves for the offense after Nate Scheelhaase left for the NFL, sources told ESPN on Monday.

Mouser has served as Iowa State’s tight ends coach since 2021 and added an assistant head coach title in 2023. He has been part of coach Matt Campbell’s staff in various roles, on and off the field, throughout Campbell’s tenure with the Cyclones.

Mouser will replace Scheelhaase, ISU’s offensive coordinator in 2023, who recently left to become the passing game specialist for the Los Angeles Rams.

Iowa State also is set to hire Tyler Roehl as running backs coach and assistant head coach, sources told ESPN. Roehl spent the past five seasons as North Dakota State‘s offensive coordinator and was the top internal candidate for NDSU’s head-coaching role. He recently left to become offensive coordinator at Tennessee State.

Jake Waters, who last week was promoted to running backs coach, instead is set to handle the quarterbacks, according to a source. Wide receivers coach Noah Pauley will serve as ISU’s pass game coordinator, and offensive line coach Ryan Clanton will be run game coordinator for the 2024 season.

Mouser served as a graduate assistant under Campbell at Toledo (2015) and Iowa State (2016) before becoming ISU’s assistant director of scouting.

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