College Football Bottom 25 rankings: Impressive falls for Rutgers and Marshall
Anybody can rank the best teams in the country, but only we have what it takes to rank the worst
We have some changes this week, folks, as chaos reigned among the Bottom 25 over the weekend.
Not only did our No. 1 team pick up its first win of the season -- and on a Wednesday night, no less, because Wednesdays are for winners -- but our No. 2 team was victorious as well ... on a Sunday. So we learned two lessons this week. The first was that Bottom 25 teams clearly play better on days that aren't Saturday. That's clear now.
The second wasn't really a new lesson as much as it was a reminder of something we already knew: It's harder to go winless than it is to go undefeated.
After six weeks of college football, there are 11 undefeated football teams remaining on the FBS level. There are only two winless teams.
You tell me which title is harder to win: the national title or The Bottom 25? I think we know the answer, but before we find out who the new frontrunner is in this year's race, a quick reminder on how this all works.
1. My opinion has absolutely nothing to do with the rankings. They are based on a mathematical formula of my creation. Keep this in mind before you call me an idiot, which I know you will.
2. There is true equality to start. Math doesn't play favorites. Before the season begins, defending national champion Alabama is just as good as our defending Bottom 25 champion UCF. The only factor that matters in the rankings is how you've performed on the field in 2016.
3. Wins and losses mean more than anything. I have a lot of different statistics involved, and I factor in strength of schedule (remember, everybody begins the season with the same SOS), but at the end of the day whether you won or lost is going to mean more than anything else. Also, my formula doesn't have much respect for FCS teams.
4. I won't share the formula. I just don't want to. I'm not a mathematician. I know my formula isn't perfect. I don't think a perfect formula can exist, so I don't share it because I don't care what anybody thinks about it. So don't ask.
To the rankings!
25. Florida International Golden Panthers , 2-4 (Last week: 19): Conference USA has been very popular in the Bottom 25 this season, and the best way to demonstrate that would be by telling you that the Panthers are ranked No. 25 here, yet they're also tied for first place in their division with a 2-0 record in conference play.
Last week: 35-21 win at UTEP | Next week: at Charlotte
24. Idaho Vandals , 3-3 (17): Congratulations on making history as the first 3-3 team in Bottom 25 history, Idaho. The reason behind it is a combination of the teams you've beaten and the fact your losses have all come by an average of 39 points.
Last week: 34-31 win at UL-Monroe | Next week: vs. New Mexico St.
23. Kent State Golden Flashes , 2-4 (7): The Golden Flashes fall 16 spots in the rankings thanks to an impressive win over mighty Buffalo.
Last week: 44-20 win at Buffalo | Next week: at Miami (OH)
22. East Carolina Pirates , 2-4 (Not Ranked): Maybe instead of being upset with the band for its political protests, ECU fans should be angrier about the fact the Pirates are ranked in the Bottom 25 for the first time in school history.
Last week: 38-22 loss at USF | Next week: vs. Navy
21. SMU, 2-4 (NR): Southern Methodist Mustangs is certainly no stranger to the Bottom 25, as it won the Bottom 25 title in the 2014 season. You can come home again, Mustangs.
Last week: 43-40 at Tulsa | Next week: No game
20. Iowa State Cyclones , 1-5 (23): Iowa State's had a lead two weeks in a row against Big 12 opponents and has blown both of them. It's clear that Matt Campbell's getting things turned around, but will the improvement be enough to get out of these rankings?
Last week: 38-31 loss at Oklahoma State | Next week: at Texas
19. Northern Illinois Huskies , 1-5 (22): Northern Illinois picked up its first win of the season last week to start off 1-0 in the MAC, but Western Michigan made sure the Huskies knew there was a new sheriff in town.
Last week: 45-30 loss at Western Michigan | Next week: vs. Central Michigan
18. Massachusetts Minutemen , 1-5 (NR): The Minutemen make their way back to us after a week-long furlough. Somebody, somewhere will see what I did there, and that's enough for me.
Last week: 36-16 loss at Old Dominion | Next week: vs. Louisiana Tech
17. Syracuse Orange , 2-4 (21): Here's the problem if you're Syracuse: You're 2-4 and winless in conference play, and you still have to play Virginia Tech, Clemson and Florida State. I'm not sure how many wins are left on this schedule.
Last week: 28-9 loss at Wake Forest | Next week: vs. Virginia Tech
16. Texas State Bobcats , 2-3 (24): It was hard to get a read on Texas State considering which teams its wins and losses had come against, but after seeing the Bobcats lose to Georgia State by 20, I think we have a much better idea of what we're dealing with here.
Last week: 41-21 loss at Georgia St. | Next week: at UL-Monroe
15. Illinois Fighting Illini , 1-4 (14): You know how the easy joke is that Purdue is the worst team in the Big Ten? Well, don't look now, but Illinois has now lost three straight home games against Purdue. To drive this point home further, Purdue is 3-23 in Big Ten play under Darrell Hazell. Two of those wins are against the Illini in Champaign. What I'm saying is Purdue is not the worst team in the Big Ten.
Last week: 34-31 loss vs. Purdue | Next week: at Rutgers
14. Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks , 1-4 (9): The Warhawks lost to Idaho this weekend and actually fell five spots in the poll. Leading a charmed life.
Last week: 34-31 loss vs. Idaho | Next week: vs. Texas State
13. UTEP, 1-5 (15): It's climbing slowly, but surely, and I'm telling you this Miners team is a real Bottom 25 contender this season. It's yet to lose a one-score game, and it hasn't exactly been playing heavyweights.
Last week: 35-21 loss vs. FIU | Next week: No game
12. Arkansas State Red Wolves , 1-4 (1): The Red Wolves tumble all the way from No. 1 to No. 12 following a one-point win over Georgia Southern. That could be all it takes to cost them a title.
Last week: 27-26 win vs. Ga. Southern | Next week: vs. S. Alabama
11. Rutgers, 2-4 (20): Rutgers has played three Big Ten games this season. It has lost all three of them and been outscored 150-7 in the process. But hey, those cable boxes all count the same, right, Jim Delany?
Last week: 78-0 loss vs. Michigan | Next week: vs. Illinois
10. Charlotte, 2-4 (2): Charlotte tried to lose to Florida Atlantic Owls on Sunday, giving up a touchdown on the last play of the game, but the FAU receiver just couldn't keep his foot in bounds.
Last week: 28-23 win at FAU | Next week: vs. FIU
9. Florida Atlantic, 1-5 (13): FAU nearly won against Charlotte on Sunday, but it came through in the clutch when it made sure its last second touchdown pass wasn't caught in bounds.
Last week: 28-23 loss vs. Charlotte | Next week: at Marshall
8. Miami (OH), 0-6 (12): It speaks to how well Miami compares statistically to the rest of the teams in these rankings that it's one of two winless teams in the country, yet six teams with wins are still ahead of it in these rankings.
Last week: 35-13 loss at Akron | Next week: vs. Kent St.
7. Kansas Jayhawks , 1-4 (6): Every year Kansas nearly knocks off TCU. I don't know what it is about the Horned Frogs that Kansas does so well against them, but it has happened every season since the Frogs joined the Big 12.
Last week: 24-23 loss vs. TCU | Next week: at Baylor
6. Fresno State Bulldogs , 1-5 (5): The Bulldogs fall out of the Bottom Five even though they lost because they played a little too well in the process. A minor setback, but I believe they'll persevere.
Last week: 27-22 loss at Nevada | Next week: vs. San Diego St.
5. Buffalo, 1-4 (16): How did this team beat Army?
Last week: 44-20 loss vs. Kent St. | Next week: vs. Ball St.
4. San Jose State Spartans , 1-5 (8): Losing to a Hawaii team that's no stranger to the Bottom 25 by 17 points is how you make the jump to the Bottom Five.
Last week: 34-17 loss vs. Hawaii | Next week: vs. Nevada
3. Marshall, 1-4 (11): What is going on with Marshall? Losing to Louisville and Pitt is fine, but Akron and North Texas? Maybe the Herd can get things right this week when they take on Florida Atlantic in The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week.
Last week: 38-21 loss at N. Texas | Next week: vs. FAU
2. Bowling Green Falcons , 1-5 (3): You know, in a way, Dino Babers can take credit for two teams currently in the Bottom 25.
Last week: 30-24 loss at Ohio | Next week: at Toledo
1. Rice Owls , 0-5 (4): Welcome to the mountaintop, Rice. A feat which is made all the more impressive when considering that you didn't even play this weekend. That's how you take advantage of a bye week.
Last week: No game | Next week: vs. UTSA
No Longer Ranked: Georgia State, Oregon State, UTSA
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