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To the top of the world with the Toilet Bowl

December 29, 2008

by Matt Kane

Get your plunger ready and prepare to jiggle with a handle, it’s Toilet Bowl time.

Each year, yours truly opts to forget about the Floridas and Oklahomas of the college football world, and, instead, gives credit where credit is not due — to the worst teams in college football.

The honor for the two worst teams, according to the CBSSports.com 120, which takes into consideration season records, strength of schedule and everything else, including whether or not the school band was suspended (take that, Bucky Badger) is a berth in the infamous Toilet Bowl.

Without further ado, I would like to extend my formal invitation to the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky and the Mean Green of North Texas.

These two teams just edged out No. 118 Southern Methodist (1-11), of Conference USA, and No. 117 Washington, yes Washington, of the PAC 10. I had no idea the Huskies were so bad. If it wasn’t for their major conference strength of schedule, they would have been a shoe-in as the only perfectly defeated team in the nation.

If I had a Fall off the Face of the Earth Bowl, the Washington Huskies would be in it. Actually, this bowl could be an intrastate rivalry, because, just up the poll a bit is Washington State (2-11) at No. 107. Ryan Leaf could flip the coin.

Getting back to the senile granddaddy of them all, the Toilet Bowl, I must admit I do know the running backs coach for Western Kentucky. But, in no way, did my professional friendship with Mr. Holt have anything to do with the Hilltoppers’ invitation. They earned it.

They earned the invitation by finishing with a 2-10 record, and by being ranked dead last on the web site’s poll of all 120 football schools.

Western Kentucky played as an independent this past season, which was its second in a two-year transition to Division 1-A. Next fall, the Hilltoppers will join the Sun Belt Conference.

It seems odd CBS would rank a two-win team No. 120. The Hilltoppers defeated Eastern Kentucky 37-13 Sept. 6, and Murray State 50-9 Sept. 20, and five of their losses were to major college football programs — Alabama (41-7), Virginia Tech (27-13), Kentucky (41-3), Ball State (24-7), and Indiana (31-13).

Looking at their schedule, the Hilltoppers might be a ringer for the Toilet Bowl.

The Hilltoppers are familiar with their Toilet Bowl opponent, the North Texas Mean Green.

North Texas’ only win of the season was a 51-40 win over Western Kentucky Nov. 1.

The Mean Green finished with a 0-7 Sun Belt record, and were 1-11 overall.

I’m not one to use the Toilet Bowl as a revenge game, but you can’t argue with the polls (if I were text messaging, I would have typed “LOL” after that last statement.).

As for a place to play the Toilet Bowl, Fargo always seems ideal, but I want to make the game memorable for the players and coaches, who may never return.

That’s why the Toilet Bowl is going to Alaska this bowl season, to the wonderful winter destination that is Barrow, the most northern part of the United States. Sitting 330 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the Arctic Ocean, Barrow seems to be the perfect town to play the Toilet Bowl.

The town of Barrow recently constructed a new football stadium for the start-up high school team. The goal posts are made from painted sprinkler pipes, the benches are tipped-over telephone poles, school buses double as locker rooms, and the only hooligan fan is the occasional polar bear who shows up.

It goes without saying, but, since the game is being played in Alaska during the winter, the Toilet Bowl will be a night game. (The sun doesn’t rise over Barrow for 67 straight mornings during the winter).