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The Bottom Ten

When Fall Comes, You Can Count on Columbia

December 17, 1987|Steve Harvey

The Colleges (1983-87) Like the Top Ten, the Bottom Ten is dominated by dynasties.

Schools like Columbia, Rice, and Kansas State can always be counted on to lose at least eight games a year. And if you're a high school player who throws lots of interceptions, or bobbles passes, or falls down on pass defense, you naturally dream of displaying your artistry at one of these colleges.

Over the last five years, no one has lost like Columbia, which rolled to another 0-10 season in 1987. Only the Mount Palomar telescope has been able to detect its winning percentage (.021).

Alas, with the school's recent decision to ease entrance requirements, its distinction appears to be in danger. Perhaps Columbia is tired of hearing jokes such as: The players wouldn't dare take the field if there weren't so many premed majors on the team. Whatever, it may soon be defecting from the ranks of losers in the manner of Texas at El Touchdown Paso, Yes-There-Is-a-Virginia and Tulane's Green Tsunami. How the lowly have fallen.

The Rankings:

School 5-Yr Record Bowl 1. Columbia* 1-46-2, .021 None 2. Rice 11-43, .204 None 3. New Mex St. 11-43, .204 None 4. Kansas State 9-38-1, .213 None 5. Oregon State 12-42-1, .222 None 6. Northwestern 13-41-1, .241 None 7. Louisville 13-41-1, .241 None 8. UTEP** 16-41, .281 None 9. E. Michigan** 14-29-2,326 Calif. 10. Tulane** 18-37, .327 Independence

*Not affiliated with the Columbia School of Broadcasting.

**Bottom Ten detectors included for old time's sake.

BOWL WIMPS (5 or more disappointments): 1. South Carolina (0-6), 2. Wisconsin (1-5), 2. Kansas (1-5), 4. Texas Tech (3-13), 5. Cal (2-6), 6. TCU (4-9), 7. Colorado (4-8), 8. BYU (4-7), 9. LSU (10-15), 10. (surprise) Michigan (7-11).

BOWL ROUT: Florida (6-4) over UCLA (9-2) in the Aloha (Bruin Coach Terry Donahue: "Obviously we're dealing with a problem here, where we risk the danger of a ho-hum attitude about a bowl game against a team that will probably be pumped up because it's a new experience.")

The Pros

The Chargers hail from the burg that calls itself "America's Finest City." And, of course, theCowboys are "America's Team." So it's ironic that the two should be hailed as the creamed ofthe crop by the public service that's so often been termed un-American, the Bottom Ten.

The Chargers, shivering at home in weather they considered inhumane--55 degrees--lost their fourthin a row, 16-20, but fortunately suffered no injuries due to frostbite.

The Cowboys were also voted No. 1 by the NFL players' Bottom Ten selector-at-large, the Red skins' Dexter Manley. Scurrying in at No. 4 were the New York 'Ants, who suffered a 24-27 defeat by the Saskatchewan Cardinals, followed by the gummed-up Bears, who lost... well, you wouldn't believe it if we told you.

Meanwhile, Irwindale was held to 10 points against Kansas City, prompting President Reagan to assert that the Raiders are no longer the Evil Inland Empire.

The Rankings:

Team, Record Last Loss Next Loss 1. (Tie) S.D. (8-5) 16-20, Pitt Indianap. 1. Dallas (5-8) 20-24, Wash. L.A. Rams 3. Tam.-at-Bay (4-9) 10-20, Det. Sask. 4. N.Y. 'Ants (4-9) 24-27, Saskat. Lean Bay 5. Chicago (10-3) 0-41, San Fr'isco* Seattle

6. Irwindale (5-8); 7. Atlantis (3-10); 8. Cincinnati (4-9); 9. N.Y. Jets (6-7); 10. Buddy Ryan's defensive genius (Philadelphia Beagles are last in NFL in pass defense).

*Where's Doug Flutie when you need him?

CRUMMY GAME OF THE WEEK: Lean Bay (5-7-1) at N.Y. 'Ants (4-9).

QUOTEBOOK: San Francisco police officer Richard Galliani, on the wad of gum allegedly thrown by Chicago Coach Mike Ditka at a female fan after the Bears' loss: "The officer who was there told me it was a big wad of gum."

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