Welcome to the fifth season of The Bottom 25. For those of you making your maiden voyage through these rankings, it's a pretty simple concept. While so many college football fans and media outlets are concerned with figuring out who the best teams in the country are on a weekly basis, The Bottom 25 is here to single out the worst.
Bad teams need love, too.
So every week during the college football season, The Bottom 25 will be here to help you learn which team is worse than the next. As for how the rankings come about, it's a bit more complicated, but here's the quick and dirty explanation.
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 real equality to start. Math doesn't play favorites. Before the season begins, defending national champion Clemson is just as good as our defending Bottom 25 champion Texas State. The only factor that matters in the rankings is how you've performed on the field in 2017.
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.
Another thing to know is that there will be some crazy results in the early weeks. Since every team starts from the same point, the lack of sample size at the onset of the season leads to some surprising results. And now that you have all the information you need, it's time to get to the rankings.
|Louisiana- Monroe (0-1): The Warhawks have nothing to be ashamed of after a 37-29 loss to Memphis, but this early in the season that's enough to get you into these rankings. I'm sure a game against Florida State this week will clear things up.|
|Indiana (0-1): The Hoosiers played well for a half against Ohio State on Thursday night but that second half helped them land here.|
|Buffalo (0-1): I watched most of Buffalo's 17-7 loss to Minnesota, and I honestly couldn't tell if this team was good or bad while watching. Maybe that's a positive?|
|Texas (0-1): Why yes, I was somebody talking about how Texas could be a dark horse for the College Football Playoff over the summer. Why do you ask?|
|Troy (0-1): Troy was one of the best teams in the Sun Belt last season, and I expect that to be the case again this year. An 11-point loss to Boise State has them here now, but they won't be here long.|
|Nevada (0-1): The Wolf Pack played well in a 31-20 loss to Northwestern. Jay Norvell's team looked like it might have something to say about the Mountain West this season.|
|Georgia Southern (0-1): The Eagles had 78 total yards against Auburn on Saturday. Auburn, meanwhile, had two running backs with 136 rushing yards apiece. It's not a good thing when two players on the other team have nearly twice as many yards as you do as a team.|
|Tulsa (0-1): The good news for Tulsa is it won't have to play Oklahoma State every week.|
|Charlotte (0-1): The only thing drabber than the gray turf at Eastern Michigan was the 49ers during their 24-7 loss.|
|South Alabama (0-1): Ole Miss receiver A.J. Brown averaged 29.1 yards per reception against South Alabama. He caught eight passes. Imagine allowing a guy to get 30 yards a pop eight times. Maybe cover him.|
|Wyoming (0-1): I feel sorry for Josh Allen because he didn't ask for the scrutiny he's going to be under this season. It's not like he anointed himself as a first round QB.|
|Middle Tennessee (0-1): Last season the Blue Raiders have Vandy fits. This season not so much!|
|Baylor (0-1): A rough start to the Rhule Era, but you know what? Still better than what this program was dealing with last year.|
|UNLV (0-1): How fitting is it that the greatest upset in college football history -- as far as the point spread is concerned -- took place in Las Vegas?|
|Florida Atlantic (0-1): The Owls loss to Navy was an excellent reminder that for all the hype and attention this program will receive thanks to Lane Kiffin, there's still a lot of work that needs to be done.|
|Bowling Green (0-1): The Falcons had a 3-0 lead over Michigan State after the first quarter, and then the rest of the game happened.|
|Georgia State (0-1): The Panthers have nobody to blame but themselves for a 17-10 loss to Tennessee State. They averaged 1.7 yards per carry in the game and turned the ball over four times.|
|Utah State (0-1): For a while, it looked like Utah State was ready to play spoiler to Wisconsin's season, but then order was quickly restored in Madison.|
|UTEP (0-1): Somebody had to serve as the early season sacrifice to the Sooners before their game against Ohio State. It might as well have been UTEP.|
|Rice (0-1): Rice got crushed by Stanford while Houston was getting hit by Hurricane Harvey. At least the Owls got a trip to Australia out of it. Now they prepare to play UTEP in this week's Bottom 25 Game Of The Century Of The Week.|
|Kent State (0-1): The Golden Flashes got crushed by Clemson, and now they move on to play the same Howard team that just upset UNLV.|
|Akron (0-1): It's safe to say Penn State did not fear the dadgum roo much while routing Akron 52-0.|
|Temple (0-1): You aren't going to win a lot of games when you allow 422 rushing yards like the Owls did in their 49-16 loss to Notre Dame. Also, between Rice, FAU and Temple, every FBS team with an Owl as a mascot is ranked in The Bottom 25. It's a historic day for such a wise creature.|
|Florida International (0-1): It was midway through the second quarter of FIU's 61-17 loss to UCF when my editor Brandon, an FIU grad, asked me not to put the Panthers at No. 1 in The Bottom 25. You're welcome, buddy.|
|East Carolina (0-1): You never want to lose your season-opener against an FCS program, but it's going to happen. Losing to them by 20 points, however, that doesn't happen often, and when it does, you find yourself starting the season at No. 1 in The Bottom 25.|