A new college football season means one thing and one thing only: the return of The Bottom 25.
It was a long offseason, but your favorite set of rankings have returned. As is usually the case, we have some surprise entrants in the opening week of the season. Teams we may not get a chance to see here again, so we must enjoy it while we can.
For those of you new to the Bottom 25, the process is rather simple. It's just a ranking for the worst teams in the country. What's different about it compared to your standard top 25 poll is that my opinion plays no factor in the rankings. Instead, I use a mathematical formula of my own creation to rank every single FBS team in the country, and each season starts with a clean slate. That means defending national champion Alabama and defending 2017 Bottom 25 champion UTEP begin the season as equals with only their on-field performance separating them during the season.
As a result, early season rankings can be surprising due to the limited sample size and the fact wins and losses are weighted heavier than anything else in my formula. Which means that, if you lost this weekend, you have a legitimate shot at making the first Bottom 25 of the season.
Let's get to it.
Bottom 25 college football rankings
|25. UCLA||0-1||Chip Kelly is going with a youth movement at UCLA, and it showed in the opener against Cincinnati. You can question whether or not Kelly's offense is still innovative at the college level, or if others have caught up. Whatever the case is, no offense can work behind an offensive line performance that was as poor as the Bruins' against the Bearcats. I'm sure they'll figure it out against Oklahoma!|
|24. Florida State||0-1||I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this was not how Willie Taggart wanted his Florida State tenure to begin. Things were so bad at times on Monday night that some FSU fans were forgetting how Jimbo Fisher basically quit on the program last season. Next week's game against Samford should get the Noles out of the Bottom 25 at least.|
|23. Western Michigan||0-1||Western Michigan scored 42 points and outgained Syracuse by 60 yards in its opener, and the Broncos still found a way to lose by 13 points. A road game against Michigan is next.|
|22. Bowling Green||0-1||The Falcons went to Eugene and performed about as well as anybody could have reasonably expected. Unfortunately for Bowling Green, those expectations were pretty low.|
|21. Troy||0-1||I thought Boise State would beat Troy, and I thought it would cover the 10-point spread. I did not see a 36-point beatdown coming. I wouldn't worry if I'm a Troy fan, though. Boise State is quite good, and Troy will still be one of the best teams in the Sun Belt this season.|
|20. Tennessee||0-1||The SEC went 13-1 in the opening weekend, and guess who was the only team that lost? That's right, Tennessee. To be fair, the Vols played a tough opponent in West Virginia, but even with a new coaching staff in place, their performance looked familiar.|
|19. Louisville||0-1||The college football world should thank Louisville for doing them a favor and serving as Alabama's Season Opening Sacrificial Lamb. Nick Saban must appease the Crimson Gods with the blood of somebody, and this year it was just Louisville's turn.|
|18. Navy||0-1||Every week, Navy gets to play an opponent who had to spend the last week (or months) preparing for an offense they rarely face. This week, Navy got to see what that's like itself as Hawaii's run-and-shoot ran and shot all over the Mids. Navy has a huge game with Memphis this weekend.|
|17. UConn||0-1||There hasn't been much conflict in the Civil Conflict lately. It's been more of a Civil Disobedience kind of situation, where UConn just sits down and allows UCF to run around it.|
|16. Army||0-1||The first four games of Army's schedule suddenly look a lot more difficult. We knew Duke and Oklahoma would be hard, but now Liberty and Hawaii look like teams that will pose a more significant problem than we thought.|
|15. Texas Tech||0-1||It's always fun to spend the last weeks of the offseason telling people that Texas Tech's defense might be a pleasant surprise in 2018 and then watch it allow 546 yards and 47 points to Ole Miss. Of course, Ole Miss might do that to a few teams this season. Tech should rebound against Lamar.|
|14. Colorado State||0-2||If you're in a college football fantasy league, there's a simple formula for success this season: start any player going against Colorado State. The Rams defense has been obliterated in two games already, and it has both Arkansas and Florida coming up next.|
|13. Temple||0-1||It's never fun losing your opener against an FCS team, even when that team is a robust program like Villanova. It's less fun to lose to an FCS team in your opener when you have to share a city with them, though.|
|12. SMU||0-1||SMU lost to North Texas 46-23, but that final score doesn't tell the story. The Mustangs were down 36-0 after three quarters and did some cosmetic repair in the fourth. It was not a promising start to the Sonny Dykes Era.|
|11. Kansas||0-1||I wrote quite a bit about Kansas already this week, and you can read it here. I'll say that the saddest thing about the situation isn't that Kansas lost to FCS Nicholls State, it's that nobody was surprised by it.|
|10. East Carolina||0-1||You wait all offseason for your team to play a game and then weather delays it by a day. That sucks. It sucks even more when you have to wait an extra day only to then watch your team lose to an excellent North Carolina A&T squad.|
|9. Northern Illinois||0-1||It was just an ugly performance for the Huskies against Iowa. Things were close in the first half, but the second half was a whooping. Things won't get any easier against Utah.|
|8. San Jose State||0-1||As you've already seen, there were a few FBS teams that lost to FCS opponents this weekend, but San Jose State did it before it was cool. Congratulations, Spartans. You're trendsetters.|
|7. Oregon State||0-1||Honestly, I thought Oregon State looked better against Ohio State than it did at any point last season. It's just, you know, it gave up 77 points. It's tough to win when you allow your opponent to score 77 points.|
|6. Middle Tennessee||0-1||I don't think it's a bad sign that Middle Tennessee lost to Vandy, but the fact it lost by 28 when it was only a 3-point underdog might be a concern.|
|5. Texas State||0-1||Texas State is indeed no stranger to The Bottom 25, and it looked like a contender yet again during a 35-7 loss to Rutgers.|
|4. FAU||0-1||Saturday's game against Oklahoma was a stark reminder that there's a large gap between being the best team in Conference USA and being one of the best teams in the country. Don't eat the rat poison, Lane!|
|3. New Mexico State||0-2||The Aggies went bowling last season, but if they're going to do it again in 2018, they'll need to play a lot better than they did in their first two games against Wyoming and Minnesota.|
|2. UTEP||0-1||Our defending national champions started the season in style, losing to Northern Arizona 30-10. Now, losing by 20 to an FCS opponent might seem like a problem to you, but what if I told you the Miners were 7-point underdogs in the game? Does that make it better? This week the Miners are currently 23.5-point dogs against UNLV in our Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week.|
|1. Old Dominion||0-1||Liberty is making the transition to FBS this season, and considering Old Dominion just let it go for 595 yards and 52 points against it, the Monarchs better hope Liberty's the best damn transition team in history. If not, this season could get ugly.|