Bottom 10

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ESPN publishes the "Bottom 10" worst college football teams weekly during the regular season.

The Bottom 10 (officially,'s Bottom 10) is a week-by-week regular season "ranking" of the worst ten college football teams in the NCAA Division I FBS.[1][2][3] writer Ryan McGee currently writes the column each week and is the sole determiner of the teams that are listed.[4]

One of the running gags of the Bottom 10 is the "highly coveted Number 5 spot". This spot is typically reserved for "the top BCS blunder of the week" – a normally strong football team that found itself on the wrong end of an upset the prior week; an example would be the Bottom 10 of September 7, 2011, which featured Oregon State at the #5 ranking after its upset loss to Sacramento State, a Division I FCS program that had previously never beaten an FBS team in its history.[5] Occasionally, the Number 5 spot can be used for other aspects relating to the game, as occurred on two consecutive weeks in 2015. On October 13, "Monday" (that day) was Number 5 following three significant events: the firing of Steve Sarkisian as head coach at USC, the PED suspension of Florida starting quarterback Will Grier, and the unexpected retirement of South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier.[6] One week later, the Number 5 spot was handed to "Digital Tough Guys from Michigan", referring to a number of putative Michigan fans who sent insulting tweets and death threats to Wolverines punter Blake O'Neill after his mishandling of a snap led to the game-winning touchdown for Michigan State in their October 18 game.[6]

The Bottom 10 also features the 'Pillow Fight of the Week', which is usually a matchup between fellow Bottom 10 teams.

The Bottom 10 in popular culture[edit]

The Bottom 10 rankings are occasionally referenced by other sportswriters when writing editorials about teams that the writers consider to be poor performers.[1] One example of this can be found in the Stanford Review: "Stanford has consistently maintained the #2 spot on the ESPN "Bottom 10" rankings, only losing, or winning depending on your perspective, to equally hapless Duke."[7]

Original idea[edit]

The Chicago Tribune credits the idea to Los Angeles sportswriter Steve Harvey approximately 30 years before ESPN began using the term.[citation needed] ESPN now publishes the rankings "With apologies to Steve Harvey."[8] In 2008, Harvey resumed his "Bottom 10" columns for college and NFL football in the Los Angeles Times.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dayton, Kels (October 8, 2014). "UConn football takes rightful place in ESPN's Bottom Ten". (LIN Television Corporation). Retrieved November 18, 2015. 
  2. ^ NT Daily News[dead link] "NT among league's worst" by Michael Neglia, September 8, 2006
  3. ^ Luciano, Anna (September 13, 2010). "College Football Rankings: The Bottom Ten Teams In Week Two". Bleacher Report. Retrieved November 23, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Tulsa Golden Hurricane make ESPN's Bottom 10 again". Tulsa World. October 22, 2014. Retrieved November 18, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Looking to the local YMCA for reinforcements -- Bottom 10". Retrieved 3 November 2015. 
  6. ^ a b McGee, Ryan (October 13, 2015). "The Breaking News! deluge comes after the Bottom 10". Retrieved October 26, 2015. 
  7. ^ Stanford Review "Time for Harris to Go?", Stuart Baimel, December 1, 2006
  8. ^ Bottom 10 Rankings "Final Bottom 10 finds 2007's real McCoys", David Duffey, January 14, 2008
  9. ^ Steve Harvey, College Football - Bottom 10, Los Angeles Times, September 24, 2009

External links[edit]