Bottom 25 college football rankings: UConn, Louisville headline 2018 playoff field
Anybody can rank the 25 best teams, only the Bottom 25 ranks the worst every week
The 2018 regular season is over, and the Bottom 25 Playoff field is finally set. Four teams have proven to be slightly worse than their closest competitors this season, and believe me when I say slightly. While our No. 1 seed UConn -- the Huskies' score of -5.124 is the worst score of any team since I began rating teams in this system -- coasted to the finish line with its position never in doubt, the rest of the rankings were quite close. The difference between our No. 2 team Louisville and No. 8 team Oregon State is 0.710 points. The difference between Louisville and our No. 3 team UTEP is 0.003 points.
Next week, The Bottom 25 Playoff will take place. The first round matchups are No. 1 UConn vs. No. 4 Central Michigan and No. 2 Louisville vs. No. 3 UTEP. The losers of each game will move on to the Bottom 25 Championship.
Still, The Only Playoff That Matters won't commence until next week, but here's a look at the final Bottom 25 rankings for the 2018 season. What a glorious year it was.
|25. Ball State||4-8||The Cardinals escaped for a week after beating Western Michigan, but their loss to Miami (Ohio) brings them right back to us to finish the season. (Last Week: Not Ranked)|
|24. UMass||4-8||I do believe the Minutemen are the first Bottom 25 team to have a Biletnikoff Award finalist in the same season. Congrats, Andy Isabella! (24)|
|23. Western Kentucky||3-9||The word was that if Mike Sanford won the final two games of the season, he'd save his job. Well, the Hilltoppers won their last two games of the season, but Sanford got fired anyway. So winning two games wasn't enough to save his job or escape the Bottom 25. (15)|
|22. East Carolina||3-8||The Pirates do have a game remaining, and if they beat NC State, odds are they'll escape the Bottom 25 in my next update. Unfortunately for them, it'll be too late to avoid the official final Bottom 25! (25)|
|21. Tulsa||3-9||It's always nice to finish the season with a win, which is precisely what Tulsa did in a 27-24 win over SMU. (14)|
|20. Navy||3-9||Navy is in the same spot as East Carolina. It has a game left this season, and if it beats Army, it would likely drop out of the rankings if there were going to be new rankings. Still, I think beating Army would be enough to satisfy the Midshipmen. (23)|
|19. Texas State||3-9||After winning two in a row a month ago, the Bobcats finish on a three-game losing streak, scoring only 21 points in their final three games. (22)|
|18. Colorado State||3-9||The Rams finish their 2018 season on a five-game losing streak after falling to Air Force 27-19 on Thanksgiving. (19)|
|17. New Mexico||3-9||The Lobos started the season with a 3-2 record, and then followed it up with seven straight losses. (21)|
|16. North Carolina||2-9||I didn't see Mack Brown's introductory press conference, but I'm sure he mentioned that he's never been the coach of a team ranked in the Bottom 25. That has to be the reason North Carolina hired him because I have a hard time thinking of any other reason. (18)|
|15. South Alabama||3-9||The Jaguars finished their season with a 31-28 win over Coastal Carolina, and it cost them a spot in the Bottom 10. I hope it was worth it. (9)|
|14. UTSA||3-9||The Roadrunners hung tough with North Texas, but their 24-21 loss was a sixth straight defeat. (13)|
|13. Bowling Green||3-9||The Falcons couldn't make it three straight wins this weekend, falling to Buffalo 44-14. (17)|
|12. Arkansas||2-10||I think it's safe to say Chad Morris' first season at Arkansas was a disaster. The Hogs went 0-8 in the SEC, being outscored by an average of 22.6 points per game. (16)|
|11. Kent State||2-10||Kent State was not a good team this season, but it was a little better than its record suggests. Four of its 10 losses were one-score games, including two one-point losses. (12)|
|10. New Mexico State||3-9||New Mexico State split its home-and-home with Liberty, losing 28-21 last weekend. The loss ensured a Bottom 10 finish, as well as the state of New Mexico having both its FBS teams in the Bottom 25. (11)|
|9. Rice||2-11||Rice entered the final weekend of the season as a practical shoo-in to make the playoff. All it had to do was not beat Old Dominion. Well, Rice beat Old Dominion 27-13. (2)|
|8. Oregon State||2-10||Following a 55-15 loss to Oregon in The Civil War, the Beavers finish the 2018 season with a 1-8 record in the Pac-12 and were outscored by 210 points (23.3 PPG). (10)|
|7. San Jose State||1-11||The Spartans lost to Fresno State 31-13 but dropped a spot due to the Bulldogs boosting their SOS a bit. That's just how narrow the margins were this season. (6)|
|6. Rutgers||1-11||Like San Jose State, Rutgers lost this weekend and dropped a spot as well. The difference here is that it wasn't SOS that did the trick, but Rutgers playing a little too well in a 14-10 loss to Michigan State. Rutgers ends the season on an 11-game losing streak, but its last two games of the season provide some reason for optimism. (5)|
|5. Georgia State||2-10||The Panthers made a strong late push, losing their final two games of the season by a total of 49 points, but it wasn't enough to break into the playoff as they finish 0.221 points ahead of CMU. (8)|
|4. Central Michigan||1-11||A 51-13 loss to Toledo helped propel the Chippewas into this year's Bottom 25 Playoff, as they enter the tournament on an eight-game losing streak and without a coach, as John Bonamego wasaletgo. (7)|
|3. UTEP||1-11||Our defending champions will get the chance to reclaim their title in the Bottom 25 Playoff, but will do so in an unfamiliar underdog role this season. (4)|
|2. Louisville||2-10||The Cardinals become the first two-win team to reach the Bottom 25 Playoff in its long two-year history. I'm not sure if this will be a selling point used on prospective coaches. (3)|
|1. UConn||1-11||I mentioned UConn has the worst score in the history of my ratings, and that's what happens when you allow more points (6-5) and yards (7,409) in FBS history. This is a true juggernaut we're dealing with here; UConn is basically the Alabama of losing in 2018. (1)|
No Longer Ranked: UNLV (20)
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