The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:


Bettina Peterson: You look lost.

Chuck Noland: I do?

Bettina Peterson: Where're you headed?

Chuck Noland: Well, I was just about to figure that out.

Bettina Peterson: Well, that's 83 South. And this road here will hook you up with I-40 East. If you turn right, that'll take you to Amarillo, Flagstaff, California. And if you head back that direction, you'll find a whole lot of nothing all the way back to Canada.

Chuck Noland: I got it.

Bettina Peterson: All right, then. Good luck, cowboy.

-- "Cast Away," Tom Hanks and Lari White

Are you kidding me?

After the Bottom 10 spent two hours watching Tom Hanks converse with, of all things, a volleyball on a deserted island, the 2000 film ended with Hanks talking to a stranger at a crossroads in the middle of nowhere.

Talk about an unsatisfying ending.

Notre Dame knows about unsatisfying endings all too well. The Fighting Irish, who came into the 2011 season with aspirations of playing in a BCS bowl game, are 0-2 after suffering through the mother of abominable endings in their 35-31 loss at Michigan in Week 2.

After Notre Dame blew a 24-7 lead in the fourth quarter at the Big House, the Irish seemed to save themselves when quarterback Tommy Rees threw a 29-yard touchdown to Theo Riddick for a 31-28 lead with 30 seconds to play. But somehow, the Irish defense allowed the Wolverines to drive from their 20 to the Notre Dame 16 in only 28 seconds.

Michigan won the game on quarterback Denard Robinson's 16-yard touchdown pass to Roy Roundtree with two seconds to play.

It might have been the worst ending in the storied history of Notre Dame football, and easily earned the Fighting Irish the not-so-coveted No. 5 spot in this week's Bottom 10 (If you're new to the Bottom 10 party, No. 5 is reserved for the top BCS blunder of the week.).

With apologies to Steve Harvey and Tom Hanks, here's this week's Bottom 10 (and some of the most unsatisfying endings in the history of Hollywood):

The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:


It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A
It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A

You can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal
You can do whatever you feel

Young man, are you listening to me?
I said: Young man, what do you want to be?
I said: Young man, you can make real your dreams
But you got to know this one thing!

No man does it all by himself
I said, young man, put your pride on the shelf
And just go there, to the Y-M-C-A
I'm sure they can help you today

It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A
It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A

-- "YMCA," The Village People

Oregon State coach Mike Riley might be headed to the local YMCA for reinforcements this week.

The Beavers, who were depleted by injuries during preseason camp, were embarrassed by FCS foe Sacramento State 29-28 in overtime at home in last week's opener. (If you're new to the Bottom 10 party, No. 5 is reserved for the top BCS blunder of the week.) But give the Hornets a lot of credit for winning. Quarterback Jeff Fleming connected with Brandyn Reed on a touchdown pass and two-point conversion in overtime as Sacramento State beat an FBS foe for the first time in 11 tries.

The victory had to make Sacramento State alumnus David Hodo feel good. Hodo was an original member of the Village People as the construction worker. Before putting on his sunglasses and a hard hat, Hodo was a roller-skating fire-eater. In fact, he retired from that job after nearly burning his face off, which earned him the moniker "Scar."

Riley can only hope his team's season doesn't go up in flames after such a dreadful loss. But the Beavers weren't alone in their humiliation against an FCS foe. Duke lost to Richmond 23-21, its third straight loss to the Spiders. UTEP needed overtime to defeat Stony Brook 31-24, and Wyoming needed a touchdown pass with 22 seconds left to beat Weber State 35-32. Elsewhere, Iowa State narrowly defeated Northern Iowa 20-19; Washington escaped with a 30-27 win over Eastern Washington; and Kansas State barely beat Eastern Kentucky, 10-7.

With apologies to Steve Harvey and the Village People, here's this week's Bottom 10:

CLEMSON, S.C. -- A year ago, Connecticut pitcher Greg Nappo called Huskies coach Jim Penders on the second day of the amateur baseball draft.

Nappo, then a junior from Madison, Conn., had been selected in the 12th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Penders told Nappo he needed to turn pro.

"You've done everything we've asked you to do," Penders told him. "You need to take advantage of this opportunity. There's nothing left for you to accomplish."

Penders said he was stunned by Nappo's response.

"I haven't won a championship yet," Nappo said. "I want to come back and win a championship."

On Monday night, Nappo helped lead the Huskies to one of their biggest victories in more than three decades, a 14-1 victory over No. 1 seed Clemson in the winner-take-all game of the Clemson Region at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

Nappo allowed five hits and one run in 5 2/3 innings, and the No. 2 seed Huskies scored three runs in the first inning and never looked back.

"Before the game I told him, 'This is what you came back for -- to win a championship,'" Penders said. "I couldn't wait to put the ball in his hand."

The Huskies, who won their first Big East championship this season, advance to next week's super regional at defending national champion South Carolina, the No. 4 national seed. With two victories over the Gamecocks, UConn will return to the College World Series for the sixth time and first since 1979.

It took plenty of work for the Huskies to get to this moment.

After losing to Coastal Carolina 13-1 in their opening game of the regional, the Huskies won four games in a row, including a 7-6 victory over Clemson on Sunday night.

"I couldn't be more proud of my guys," Penders said. "They played their hearts out and just didn't want to go home. Their intensity was just awesome and they played with no fear. There was no way they were going to get beat tonight, and that's taking nothing away from Clemson."

The Huskies might be the most unlikely participant left in the NCAA baseball tournament. Connecticut has a rich baseball tradition, but nearly all of it came before aluminum bats and radar guns.

In a sport that has long been dominated by teams from warm climates like the Southeast, Southwest and West Coast, the Huskies are one of the country's hottest teams in the postseason.

Because of cold weather, the Huskies spent the first five weeks of the season on the road, playing three games in Florida, three in Texas, seven in California and three more in South Carolina. When they finally returned home to play Holy Cross on March 22, the game ended in a 2-2 tie after 16 innings because of darkness. The Huskies' home field, J.O. Christian Field, doesn't have lights.

"I've lived up there, played up there and coached up there," said Clemson coach Jack Leggett, a native of Bangor, Maine. "It's hard. [But] there are good players everywhere. It's not like there are only good players in the Southeast. There are good players up there and they're tough."

Penders, who played at Connecticut and worked as an assistant coach before being promoted to head coach eight seasons ago, built his roster around home-grown products. Half of the Huskies' 32 players are Connecticut natives, and Penders said five of Monday night's starters came to the school without scholarships.

"They came because they wanted to be part of something that was bigger than them," Penders said.

Two of the Huskies' best players are home-grown products.

Connecticut center fielder George Springer, a native of New Britain, Conn., was drafted with the No. 11 pick by the Houston Astros on Monday night, the highest a Huskie player has ever been selected. About an hour later, right-handed pitcher Matt Barnes, a native of Bethel, Conn., was taken with the No. 19 pick by the Boston Red Sox.

Before Monday night, former Cleveland Indians pitcher Charles Nagy, who was taken No. 17 overall in 1988, was the only other UConn player ever selected in the first round.

Thanks to Nappo and the rest of the Huskies, it was perhaps the most memorable night in the program's history.

"It means a lot to come down South and do it here," Penders said. "You don't have to leave our borders to get a good college experience and a good college baseball experience. Every kid from Connecticut wants to play basketball at Connecticut. That's becoming the case in football now, too. We're hoping we can follow their models."

CLEMSON, S.C. -- Clemson has played in an NCAA baseball regional in 17 of coach Jack Leggett's 18 seasons at the school, advancing to the College World Series six times under his watch.

Connecticut played in the NCAA tournament for the first time in 16 years last season, losing two of three games in a regional in its own state.

But on Monday night, the No. 2 seeded Huskies will have a chance to eliminate the No. 1 seeded Tigers and advance past the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1979, the last time UConn played in the College World Series.

With the Huskies facing elimination on Sunday, they defeated No. 3 seed Coastal Carolina 12-6 and then upset the Tigers 7-6 in the nightcap in front of a crowd of 4,877 fans at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.

The Huskies beat Clemson on third baseman Ryan Fuller's RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, which scored second baseman L.J. Mazzilli from second base. UConn erased a 4-1 deficit earlier in the game, and then lost a 6-4 lead in the top of the ninth.

"I think everybody in the dugout is just all in," Fuller said. "We're just going to put it all on the line. We definitely have momentum and there's no place we'd rather be than on the road to Omaha."

It looked like the Huskies' postseason road wouldn't make it past Clemson on Friday night, after they were blasted by Coastal Carolina 13-1 in their opening game. UConn ace Matt Barnes, who is projected as a potential top-10 pick in Monday's amateur draft, was shelled by the Chanticleers, allowing nine hits and seven runs in 4.1 innings.

But the Huskies, who won their first Big East regular-season championship this season, defeated Sacred Heart 13-3 in an elimination game on Saturday and then won twice more on Sunday.

"I couldn't be more proud of the way we fought and scratched and clawed," UConn coach Jim Penders said. "That's a memorable win not only for our team but our program."

Facing a winner-take-all game is familiar territory for Clemson, which faced the same scenario in the NCAA tournament in each of the last two seasons. The Tigers defeated Oklahoma State 6-5 in a final game at home in 2009 and Auburn 13-7 on the road last season.

"We've just got to be ready to play tomorrow," Leggett said. "We've been in this position the last couple of years, so we're used to it. It's something we'll be ready for."

The Huskies will be ready, too.

"You definitely throw everything out," Fuller said. "We're finally playing UConn baseball. We're putting everything on the line and having fun."

CLEMSON, S.C. -- After Saturday night's game against No. 1 Clemson in an NCAA baseball tournament regional at Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Coastal Carolina coach Gary Gilmore joked with Tigers coach Jack Leggett on the field.

"I told him I thought moving to his dugout, where he beat my butt so many times, might give me some luck," Gilmore said.

It didn't matter which dugout the No. 2 seed Chanticleers used on Saturday night, as the No. 1 seed Tigers rolled to a 12-7 victory in front of a crowd of 5,408 fans. In the process, the Tigers took control of the Clemson Regional and are now one victory away from advancing to an NCAA Super Regional for the sixth time in seven seasons.

"It definitely always feels better to be playing in the winners' bracket," Clemson third baseman John Hinson said.

The Chanticleers, who used ace Anthony Meo in Friday's 13-1 victory over No. 3 seed Connecticut, will have to beat the Huskies in an elimination game on Sunday and then beat the Tigers twice to advance to a Super Regional.

A day after Meo allowed one run in 6.1 innings for the Chanticleers, they used seven pitchers against Clemson, none of which were very effective.

"We couldn't have text-booked it any better [on Friday]," Gilmore said. "We were in remedial school today. We were terrible. If we pitch like that tomorrow, we'll be on the bus."

The Tigers chased Coastal Carolina starter Keith Hessler after only 1.2 innings, taking a 4-2 lead after two innings. Clemson blew the game open with a four-run eighth and had 14 hits, including three homers.

"I think everybody, from one through nine, was just swinging and swinging at pitches up in the zone," Tigers left fielder Jeff Schaus said. "When those guys made a mistake, we made them pay."

The Tigers came into the NCAA tournament as one of the country's hottest teams, winning 17 of their last 21 games and each of their last six ACC series.

Maybe it's not a coincidence the Tigers switched bats in late April; they're hitting .346 with 17 homers in 20 games since switching to the new models.

Now Clemson is matching its solid pitching with hot hitting.

"I think it's just getting into crunch time and having a full season of at-bats," said Tigers first baseman Richie Shaffer, who went 3-for-4 with four RBI. "Everybody is swinging the bats well and hitting is contagious."

So is good pitching.

Leggett said Justin Sarratt, a right-handed junior, would start against the winner's of Sunday's game between the Chanticleers and Huskies. Sarratt is 7-2 with a 2.40 ERA.

With one more victory, the Tigers will move a step closer to reaching the College World Series for the seventh time under Leggett.

The Chanticleers are hoping they'll be standing in the way.

"It's up to [the players]," Gilmore said. "We've done it and a large part of that group is here. A lot of it's not looking at how big the mountain is. It's taking one step and then another step. It's not something that can't be done."

The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:


Fez: I just wish that there was someplace in the world where prejudice didn't exist.

Kelso: Well, that's Canada. … Yup, good ol' Canada. They don't make generalizations about people because they're too busy playin' hockey or gettin' drunk or puttin' maple syrup on their ham."

"That '70s Show"

What's the only thing better than maple syrup on Canadian bacon?

A bronze pig.

That's what Minnesota won by upsetting No. 24 Iowa 27-24 on Saturday. The Gophers claimed the Floyd of Rosedale Trophy, a bronze pig, which they proudly carried through the stands of TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

In the span of six weeks, the Hawkeyes went from BCS national championship contender to a five-loss team. Iowa lost its last three games to claim the not-so-coveted No. 5 spot in the final Bottom 10 of the 2010 season.

Ashton Kutcher, who briefly attended Iowa before leaving school for a modeling and acting career, can't be happy about the Hawkeyes' nosedive. Earlier this season, Kutcher tweeted that he believed Iowa was a legitimate national championship contender. Instead, the Hawkeyes will spend the holidays playing in one of the Big Ten's lesser bowls.

Of course, the rest of the Bottom 10 won't be bowling in the postseason. But at least none of the Bottom 10 teams will carry a winless record into the offseason. Akron, which was No. 1 in the Bottom 10 rankings after entering its final game with a 0-11 record, defeated Buffalo 22-14 last week to earn a 10-month reprieve from the Bottom 10.

With apologies to Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore and Steve Harvey, here's this week's Bottom 10:

The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:


Ughh!
Hey yo, it's just another bombtrack … ughh!
Hey yo, it's just another bombtrack … yeah! It goes a-1, 2, 3 …

Yeah, it's just another bombtrack
And suckas be thinkin' that they can fake this
But I'm gonna drop it at a higher level
'Cause I'm inclined to stoop down
Hand out some beat-downs
Cold runna train on punk ho's that
Think they run the game

But I learned to burn that bridge and delete
Those who compete … at a level that's obsolete
Instead I warm my hands upon the flames of the flag
To recall the downfall
And the businesses that burned us all
See through the news and the views that twist reality.

"Bombtrack," Rage Against the Machine

Rage Against the Machine, the Los Angeles-based rap metal band, often ranted against corporate America and government oppression.

Rage Against the (Big 12) Machine takes out its anger on zebra-striped officials, freshman quarterbacks and camera-toting Internet reporters.

Once again, Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is apologizing for his boorish behavior, this time for his foul-mouthed berating of officials and public dress-down of freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez during last week's 9-6 loss at Texas A&M.

Pelini was admonished by Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman, who called Pelini's behavior "unfortunate."

Carl Pelini, the coach's brother and defensive coordinator, is accused of grabbing a reporter's camera and breaking it during a confrontation after the Texas A&M game.

On Monday, Pelini promised to watch his temper.

"I always believe it's OK to disagree with a call," Bo Pelini told reporters. "It's not OK to make it personal. At times during that game, probably in my quest to fight for the kids on our football team, I let it get personal. For that, once again, I'm sorry. I regret that."

The Bottom 10 teams' opponents don't have to worry about walking into a fight. The Bottom 10 teams are only good at beating themselves.

With apologies to Zack de la Rocha and Steve Harvey, here's this week's Bottom 10:

The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:


"I gotta feeling that tonight's gonna be a good night
That tonight's gonna be a good night
That tonight's gonna be a good, good night


A feeling that tonight's gonna be a good night
That tonight's gonna be a good night
That tonight's gonna be a good, good night."


"I Gotta Feeling," The Black Eyed Peas

There haven't been many good nights for the Bottom 10 this season, but there have been plenty of black eyes to go around.

And it certainly wasn't a good weekend for FBS teams that have names beginning with the letter "I."

Indiana gave up 83 points to Wisconsin. Idaho lost to Boise State by 38. Illinois lost to Minnesota, which had lost nine games in a row. Iowa State lost to Colorado, which hadn't won a Big 12 game this season. And Iowa lost to Northwestern on a last-minute touchdown pass.

There might not be an "I" in team, but there's plenty of "I" in the Bottom 10 this week.

Surprisingly, you won't find Bottom 10 staples Washington State or Western Kentucky on the list. We give credit when credit is due, and the Cougars and Hilltoppers earned their one-week reprieves. Western Kentucky defeated Arkansas State 36-35 in overtime, scoring the winning points on Derrius Brooks' two-point conversion run on the game's final play. It was the Hilltoppers' second victory in their past four games, after they lost 26 in a row.

The Cougars routed Oregon State 31-14 on the road, ending a 16-game losing streak against Pac-10 foes and beating an FBS opponent for the first time this season.

It was a good, good night, even in Pullman, Wash.

With apologies to will.i.am and Steve Harvey, here's this week's Bottom 10:

The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:


"I can't die.
I've experienced death countless times.
Sometimes, I see a bright light.
Sometimes, I see heaven or hell.
But eventually, no matter what, I wake up in my bed wearing my same old clothes.
The worst part? No one even remembers me dying."


-- Kenny, in "South Park"

Former Colorado coach Dan Hawkins probably felt like South Park's oft-whacked character on many Sunday mornings.

Hawkins' five-year tenure in Boulder opened with a 19-10 loss to FCS foe Montana State in the 2006 opener. It ended when he was fired on Tuesday, three days after the Buffaloes blew a 28-point lead in the fourth quarter of a 52-45 loss to Kansas, the biggest collapse in the 121-year history of the program. Hawkins had a 19-39 record at Colorado.

Sadly, "Hawk Love" never made its way onto "South Park," which was created by Colorado alumni Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

At least Hawkins ends his Colorado career in the Bottom 10, along with nine other comical teams. There will be plenty of humor in this week's Pillow Fight of the Week, which pits Wyoming against UNLV in Las Vegas.

With apologies to "South Park" and Steve Harvey, here's this week's Bottom 10:

The Bottom 10 inspirational thought of the week:


"Load up on guns and bring your friends
It's fun to lose and to pretend
She's over-bored and self-assured
Oh no, I know a dirty word

Hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello, how low?
Hello, hello, hello

With the lights out, it's less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us."


-- "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nirvana

Remember when Washington gave us its so-called "Seattle Sound," which spawned grunge acts like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains and later the Foo Fighters?

Two decades later, the Apple State is giving us really bad football.

Entering the final month of the 2010 season, Washington and Washington State are holding up the bottom of the Pac-10 standings. Last week, the Cougars and Huskies lost games against Arizona State and Stanford, respectively, by a combined score of 83-0.

Now the Cougars and Huskies share the not-so-coveted No. 5 spot in the Bottom 10. For Bottom 10 novices, the No. 5 spot goes to a team (or teams) that isn't necessarily one of the worst in the country, but embarrassed itself by performing well below its potential the previous week.

Washington State, which has become a mainstay in the Bottom 10, has embarrassed itself all season. The Cougars' only victory came against FCS foe Montana State 23-22 on Sept. 11 and they've lost 23 of their last 24 Pac-10 games.

Washington came into the season with high hopes after quarterback Jake Locker passed on the NFL draft and returned to school. But Locker has been hobbled by injuries, and the Huskies have lost three of their last four games. Locker will miss Saturday's game at No. 1 Oregon, and Washington will have to win three of its last four games to play in a bowl game.

With apologies to Eddie Vedder and Steve Harvey, here's this week's Bottom 10: