Bottom 25 college football rankings: Noles, Gators are victims of circumstance

I make this point every year, but I want to drive it home again right now. It is harder to go winless as an FBS team than it is to go undefeated. The math speaks for itself. We are two full weeks into the college football season and there are 52 undefeated teams remaining. That's a full 40 percent of FBS teams. There are only 19 winless teams left.

And, this early in the season, with such a small sample size, if you're winless, you're going to be ranked in the Bottom 25. My formula just weighs wins and losses too heavily for you not to be.

That is unfortunate news for a couple of teams, as you'll see that both Florida and Florida State are ranked this week. I don't think either team is Bottom 25 worthy -- OK, maybe Florida's offense should be here -- but with both teams opening the season with a loss and then not playing this weekend due to Hurricane Irma, here they are.

Don't get too mad at me, Floridians. You've got plenty of other stuff to deal with right now anyway. My thoughts are with you. Anyway, here's a reminder on how all of this 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 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.

The Bottom 25
25
Texas State (1-1): Our defending Bottom 25 champions make their triumphant return to the rankings. It will be hard to repeat with a win under the belt already. (Last Week: Not ranked)
24
BYU (1-2): The BYU offense is offensive. Nobody should have to watch it. (NR)
23
Temple (1-1): The Owls fall 20 spots after a three-point stomping of rival Villanova. (3)
22
FIU (1-1): The Panthers tumble 20 spots as well, recovering from that UCF beatdown with a seven-point win over mighty Alcorn State. (2)
21
San Jose State (1-2): The Spartans have now played two FBS opponents, and they've been out-scored 98-22 in those two games. (NR)
20
Oregon State (1-2): The Beavers have put in an early claim on the worst team in the Pac-12. (NR)
19
Florida (0-1): As I alluded to in the intro, the Gators are being penalized by the math for only playing one game right now. (NR)
18
Florida State (0-1): Everything I said about Florida applies here, though I'm sure that won't stop Florida fans from bragging about their ranking compared to FSU's. Nor should it! (NR)
17
Rutgers (0-2): Remember when you thought that Rutgers looked competitive against Washington before losing to Eastern Michigan? (NR)
16
North Carolina (0-2): With a 0-2 start to the season, the path to a bowl game looks a lot murkier for the Tar Heels. (NR)
15
Western Michigan (0-2): I'm not too worried about the Broncos. USC and Michigan State to start the season wasn't going to be easy. (NR)
14
Arkansas State (0-1): The Red Wolves had the week off after Hurricane Irma caused Miami to cancel its trip to Jonesboro. (NR)
13
Buffalo (0-2): The Bulls looked like they were going to pull off an upset of Army, but couldn't hold on for 60 minutes. (23)
12
UMass (0-3): UMass has the honor of being the only 0-3 team in the country. The Minutemen also have the honor of playing No. 23 Temple in the Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week. (NR)
11
ULM (0-1): The Warhawks climb 14 spots despite having the week off. Good for them. (25)
10
FAU (0-2): The Owls looked better against Wisconsin than Navy, but the result was the same in the end. (11)
9
Nevada (0-2): The numbers don't particularly like Nevada right now, but it has been in both of its games to this point. (20)
8
Baylor (0-2): It's been a really rough start for Matt Rhule in Waco, and things won't get easier with a road trip to Duke this weekend. (13)
7
Georgia Southern (0-2): Where have you gone, Willie Fritz and Jeff Monken? Oh, to Tulane and Army. OK. Well, thanks for checking in. (19)
6
Charlotte (0-2): The 49ers have been outscored 79-14 by Eastern Michigan and Kansas State. (17)
5
UTEP (0-2): When the Miners were blown out by Oklahoma, it was easy to dismiss. After getting blown out by a Rice team that Stanford beat by 55 points, it's no longer easy to do. (7)
4
Bowling Green (0-2): Maybe South Dakota will prove to be an FCS powerhouse this season. Or maybe it won't. (10)
3
Georgia State (0-1): The Panthers had last week off, and they needed all that time to prepare for their road trip to Penn State. (9)
2
South Alabama (0-2): The Jaguars are here now, but they shouldn't feel bad about it. Getting Ole Miss and Oklahoma State to start the year is rough. (16)
1
East Carolina (0-2): Logically, my head is telling me that it's too early to start engraving East Carolina on the Bottom 25 trophy. My eyes, though, think it's a safe play. (1)

No longer ranked: Akron, Kent State, Rice, Utah State, UNLV, Middle Tennessee, Wyoming, Tulsa, Troy, Texas, Indiana

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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