Every week when I release the Bottom 25, I catch flak from fans, either in my inbox or more often in my Twitter mentions. It's part of the territory when it comes to ranking the worst teams in the country. The majority of the vitriol comes from those who are new to the Bottom 25 and don't know how it works. They believe these rankings are based on my opinion and not on a statistical formula that measures teams by how they've played in the current season to that point in time.
Since it happens so often, it's easy to ignore, but once in a while, the anger burns so hot that I can't help but pay attention to it. Last week was one of those weeks. Suffice to say that Nebraska fans were not pleased with discovering their Cornhuskers ranked at No. 19 in last week's Bottom 25, and they let me hear about it. A lot of them. Hell, some even wrote about it (I'm still not sure what I wrote about Nebraska that deserved a "sigh" in response, but at least they didn't call me any names).
Every time I checked Twitter, there was somebody with a Nebraska logo as their avatar, or "Big Red" in their handle calling me some variety of an idiot with plenty of colorful variations. Then Nebraska lost to Troy on Saturday, and I haven't heard much of anything since. Now, I'm a college football fan, and when I watch games, I'm not rooting for anybody as much as I'm rooting for the entertainment and a good story. But I won't lie to you. When Nebraska lost to Troy on Saturday, I didn't feel bad for it.
I hope it wins this week, just like I hope every team wins, but last week I was all right with its loss.
Anyway, let's get to this week's Bottom 25.
|25. Tulsa||1-2||Welcome to the party, Tulsa. After a win against Central Arkansas to open the season a couple of close losses to Texas and Arkansas State weren't enough to keep you from sliding into the Bottom 25. (Last week: Not ranked)|
|24. Rice||1-2||Rice took the week off and dropped a spot in the rankings. Southern Miss is up next. (23)|
|23. Arkansas||1-2||I don't think blowing an 18-point lead to Colorado State and following it up with a 27-point loss to North Texas at home was in the gameplan. More like Whooped Pig Owie at the moment. (NR)|
|22. Florida State||1-2||I alreadyand its problems this week, and you can read them here. TL;DR version is this: I'm not sure we should expect the Noles to dig themselves out of this mess quickly. (NR)|
|21. Colorado State||1-3||Sorry, Rams fans, I know you beat Arkansas, but the reason you're ranked ahead of it here is that third loss that the Hogs don't have yet. (NR)|
|20. Texas State||1-2||The Bobcats hung tough with South Alabama last week, and this week they have a big game on the road against No. 2 UTSA. (25)|
|19. Middle Tennessee||1-2||The Blue Raiders scheduled three nonconference games against SEC opponents this season, and things have not gone well in the first two as Vandy and Georgia have outscored them 84-14. (NR)|
|18. Bowling Green||1-2||A seven-point win against Eastern Kentucky will get you out of the bottom 10, but not the Bottom 25. A win against No. 5 Miami (OH) this week might, though. (7)|
|17. UMass||1-3||That 63-15 win over Duquesne on the first night of the season feels like a long time ago, doesn't it? (22)|
|16. UConn||1-2||The good news is UConn finally got a win. The bad news is it needed to score 56 points to get it as it allowed Rhode Island to rack up 49 points and 550 yards against it. This a week after Boise State put up 818 yards of offense on the Huskies. I'm beginning to think this defense might be bad. (6)|
|15. Georgia State||1-2||Georgia State makes an emphatic entrance into the Bottom 25 after getting mollywhopped by Memphis on Friday night. (NR)|
|14. Iowa State||0-2||The best way to look at this, Iowa State, is to recognize you're the highest-ranked winless team in these rankings. That bodes well for your chances of getting out of them with just one win. Akron is next, though, and you shouldn't take it for granted. Just ask Northwestern. (15)|
|13. Purdue||0-3||I don't know how much consolation it is at this time, but you're probably the best 0-3 team in the country, Purdue. Your three losses have come by a combined total of eight points. Looking at the schedule, though, there could be a few more close losses on the way. (20)|
|12. Western Kentucky||0-3||A week after losing at home to Maine the Hilltoppers had a 14-6 lead on Louisville after three quarters, but couldn't finish. (18)|
|11. Central Michigan||0-3||Central Michigan lost last week's Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week to Northern Illinois, but it wasn't enough to reach The Bottom 10. This week the Chips get the same Maine team that beat Western Kentucky. (16)|
|10. Nebraska||0-2||I understand why Nebraska fans were upset last week, but there's one fact that shouldn't be ignored about the current state of this program. Scott Frost brings hope, yes, but even so, Nebraska is now 4-12 in its last 16 games. That includes a record of 2-7 at home. A road trip to Michigan is up next. (19)|
|9. SMU||0-3||I suppose if there's any consolation for Chad Morris at Arkansas it's that his old team isn't doing any better, as both lost to North Texas. Of course, SMU lost by only 23 and not 27. And it's other losses are to TCU and Michigan, not a 1-3 Colorado State. Anyway, the Mustangs get Navy this week. (9)|
|8. UCLA||0-3||Arkansas, Florida State, Nebraska, and UCLA are currently in the Bottom 25. Arizona was last week and got out after beating Southern Utah. The lesson here is never to hire a new coach. They're bad for business. As for UCLA, it's off this week before it hits the road to take on Colorado. (21)|
|7. San Jose State||0-3||I realize the Spartans are No. 7, but they played a much better game against Oregon last week than I anticipated. Things may not be so bleak after all. (4)|
|6. North Carolina||0-2||The Tar Heels didn't play last week due to Hurricane Florence. This week they open ACC play against Pitt in Chapel Hill. (11)|
|5. Miami (OH)||0-3||After a close loss to Marshall to open the season the RedHawks have been outscored 47-3 the last two weeks. They'll hit the road to look for their first win of the season against No. 18 Bowling Green. (13)|
|4. Old Dominion||0-3||Hurricane Florence caused Old Dominion and Charlotte to move their game up a couple of days, and the Monarchs lost 28-25. Virginia Tech is up next. (5)|
|3. UTEP||0-3||Our defending champions hung tough with Tennessee on Saturday. The Miners trailed only 10-0 at halftime and limited the Vols to just 24 points. They played so well it cost them a spot in the rankings. (2)|
|2. UTSA||0-3||It'll be interesting to see how different the Roadrunners look going forward. They opened the season with three Power Five opponents and played about as well as could be reasonably expected. We'll see if things change this week against No. 20 Texas State. (3)|
|1. New Mexico State||0-4||Anybody who says there aren't any big games on the schedule this weekend isn't paying attention. We have a potential Bottom 25 Playoff matchup this week as the No. 1 New Mexico State Aggies head to El Paso to take on the No. 3 UTEP Miners in our Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week. They should move this game to JerryWorld. (1)|
No longer ranked: Kansas State (24), Northern Illinois (17), South Alabama (14), Temple (12), Arizona (10), Western Michigan (8)