College Football Bottom 25 rankings: Kansas opens up title race with win

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that Kansas seemed like an unstoppable juggernaut. A team that wasn't capable of ruining its position in The Bottom 25.

Last week, when eight of our Bottom 25 teams won games, there sat Kansas, as unflappable as ever.

Unfortunately, nobody told Texas.

While the majority of the focus on Kansas' win has been what it means for Charlie Strong and Texas going forward, there's another side to that coin. The side that saw Kansas potentially throw away a chance at a Bottom 25 title.

That means it could be straight two seasons that Kansas will come up just short, though this time it wouldn't be anybody's fault but the Jayhawks.

The good news is, while Kansas is no longer No. 1 -- we have a new No. 1 by the way -- it's not entirely out of the race. There are only two weekends left to the regular season, and everything is still up in the air.

So strap in, folks, it's going to be a bumpy ride to the finish.

Of course, as is tradition, before we get to this week's rankings, a quick reminder as to 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 true equality to start. Math doesn't play favorites. Before the season begins, defending national champion Alabama is just as good as our defending Bottom 25 champion Central Florida. The only factor that matters in the rankings is how you've performed on the field in 2016.

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.


25. Missouri, 3-8 (Last week: Not Ranked): How in the hell are you going to rack up 740 yards of offense in a single game, and lose by 26 points?

Last week: 63-37 loss at Tennessee | Next week: vs. Arkansas

24. New Mexico State, 3-7 (9): If New Mexico State were able to play teams involved in a bus crash on the way to the game every week, it might be pretty good.

Last week: 50-10 win vs. Texas State | Next week: vs. Appalachian State

23. Charlotte, 4-7 (NR): Charlotte fell out of the rankings last week even though it lost, but these things have a way of working out in the long run.

Last week: 38-31 loss vs Middle Tennessee | Next week: at UTSA

22. Syracuse, 4-7 (NR): Syracuse works its way back to us thanks to a three-game losing streak in which it has been outscored 134-34.

Last week: 45-14 loss vs. Florida State | Next week: at Pitt

21. Kent State, 3-8 (NR): Losing to the No. 5 team in The Bottom 25 by 35 points is a fantastic strategy to get ranked in it yourself.

Last week: 42-7 loss at Bowling Green | Next week: vs. Northern Illinois

20. Connecticut, 3-8 (24): I would have liked to see psychologists run a profile on the people who watched UConn-Boston College before and after the game. I bet the results would have been fascinating.

Last week: 30-0 loss at Boston College | Next week: vs. Tulane

19. Florida Atlantic, 3-8 (21): The Owls blew a 21-10 lead against Old Dominion on Saturday. For a moment there, I thought they'd fly away and out of the rankings.

Last week: 42-24 loss vs. Old Dominion | Next week: at Middle Tennessee

18. East Carolina, 3-8 (25): Saturday was a good reminder for East Carolina that Pirates shouldn't take on the Navy.

Last week: 66-31 loss vs. Navy | Next week: at Temple

17. Tulane, 3-8 (NR): Tulane's 3-2 start to the season kept them out of these rankings, but six-game losing streaks go a long way toward wiping out strong starts.

Last week: 31-0 loss vs. Temple | Next week: at UConn

16. Bowling Green, 3-8 (5): Bowling Green can go from Bottom 25 contender to completely out of the rankings if it wins its third straight this weekend.

Last week: 42-7 win vs. Kent State | Next week: vs. Buffalo

15. UL-Monroe, 4-7 (23): The Warhawks two game winning streak came to an end against the Mountaineers.

Last week: 42-17 loss at Appalachian State | Next week: vs. UL-Lafayette

14. Marshall, 3-8 (15): So one week Marshall is crushing Middle Tennessee, causing me to think it's figured things out, and the next week it's getting beat up by FIU.

Last week: 31-14 loss at FIU | Next week: vs. Western Kentucky

13. Rice, 3-8 (6): Rice can put its Bottom 25 title hopes in rice, cuz they're dead now that the Owls have won two straight.

Last week: 44-24 win vs. UTEP | Next week: at Stanford

12. Virginia, 2-9 (17): Virginia was killed by three turnovers against the Yellow Jackets on Saturday. Take care of the ball and they probably win that game.

Last week: 37-17 loss at Georgia Tech | Next week: at Virginia Tech

11. Illinois, 3-8 (19): Three weeks ago, Illinois beat Michigan State 31-27. In two games since, the Illini have managed three points.

Last week: 28-0 loss vs. Iowa | Next week: at Northwestern

10. Arizona, 2-9 (11): Just when Arizona thought the nightmare couldn't get any worse, it goes and loses to Oregon State by 25.

Last week: 42-17 loss at Oregon State | Next week: vs. Arizona State

9. UTEP, 3-8 (13): If you can lose to Rice by 20, you could have been a title contender. Damn that three-point win over UTSA.

Last week: 44-24 loss at Rice | Next week: vs. North Texas

8. San Jose State, 3-8 (10): I don't know if you watched the last few minutes of this game -- it ran rather late -- but I swear that the Spartans were throwing it in order to stay alive in The Bottom 25 title chase.

Last week: 41-38 loss vs. Air Force | Next week: at Fresno State

7. Purdue, 3-8 (12): At least Purdue got past the horrible second half trend by falling behind 35-10 before halftime against Wisconsin.

Last week: 49-20 loss vs. Wisconsin | Next week: at Indiana

6. Massachussetts, 2-9 (8): Pretty slick move by UMass. You knew before the season you probably weren't going to a bowl game, so schedule a trip to Hawaii as your final game of the regular season. That's just good thinking.

Last week: 51-9 loss at BYU | Next week: at Hawaii

5. Buffalo, 2-9 (7): It has to be weird to be playing in the game that College Gameday is on site for on Saturday morning yet never be mentioned on the show.

Last week: 38-0 loss at Western Michigan | Next week: at Bowling Green

4. Kansas, 2-9 (1): Kansas may have thrown away its title hopes on Saturday. I hope it was worth it.

Last week: 24-21 win vs. Texas | Next week: at Kansas State

3. Fresno State, 1-10 (4): Fresno came so close to beating Hawaii on Saturday, but even though it remains the only one-win team in the country, it can't get lower than No.3. Could that change with a loss to San Jose State in The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week?

Last week: 14-13 loss vs. Hawaii | Next week: vs. San Jose State

2. Rutgers, 2-9 (3): I wrote longform about the majesty that is the Rutgers offense earlier this week. You can read that here.

Last week: 39-0 loss vs. Penn State | Next week: at Maryland

1. Texas State, 2-8 (2): The Bobcats were literally in a bus crash on their way to New Mexico State on Saturday. Thankfully everyone was OK, and in the end, we may be able to say that bus crash was the moment when the Bobcats wrapped up a Bottom 25 title.

Last week: 50-10 loss at New Mexico State | Next week: vs. Troy

No Longer Ranked: Oregon State (14), FIU (16), Iowa State (18), Georgia State (20), Nevada (22)

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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