We begin this week's Bottom 25 with terrific news: enough teams have played now, so unlike last week, the teams in this week's rankings have all played at least one game. Maybe that doesn't mean a whole lot to you, but in my obsessive-compulsive brain, it's a wave of relief. I've been using the same guiding principles in my rankings for over a decade now, and having to use performances from previous seasons to rank teams in the current year hurt me in the very depths of my soul.
But no more! If you're in The Bottom 25 from now on, it's because you earned it on the gridiron. Of course, I should point out that just because every team in this week's rankings has played, it doesn't make the rankings any less weird. We still have teams with winning records ranked, and I can only guess what will happen in the coming weeks when the SEC starts and the Big Ten follows in a month.
Can an 0-1 team qualify for the Bottom 25 Playoffs? We just might find out this year.
Anyway, on to this week's rankings!
|25. Florida State||0-1||The Noles were almost able to slip out of the rankings this week after taking the weekend off. Alas, they remain well within 6 feet of our rankings, unlike coach Mike Norvell, who is currently not allowed to be within 6 feet of anything. Seriously, get better, Mike. (Last Week: 17)|
|24. Kansas||0-1||Much like Florida State, the Jayhawks took the weekend off and plummeted in the rankings because of the break. This week, they're currently scheduled to play at Baylor, but I've learned quickly that we can't take any games for granted in 2020. (16)|
|23. South Alabama||1-1||The Jaguars took last week off to lick their wounds after suffering a collapse against Tulane. This week, they're slated to kick the weekend's festivities off with a game against No. 10 UAB on Thursday night. (15)|
|22. UTSA||2-0||Congratulations, Roadrunners. You are, without a doubt, the first 2-0 team to ever appear in The Bottom 25. That's what happens when only 52 teams have played and your two wins are against another Bottom 25 team and Stephen F. Austin. This week, the Roadrunners play yet another Bottom 25 team in Middle Tennessee. Will they be the first 3-0 team in Bottom 25 history? Tune in to find out! (Not Ranked)|
|21. Arkansas State||1-1||The Red Wolves had the week off to keep celebrating the Kansas State win, and now must prepare for a Tulsa team that couldn't score but still nearly beat Oklahoma State anyway. (14)|
|20. Appalachian State||1-1||I refuse to believe the Appalachian State offense was as lackluster as it appeared during its 17-7 loss to Marshall on Saturday. That said, my hopes and dreams don't impact these rankings, so the Mountaineers join The Bottom 25 anyway. (NR)|
|19. Louisville||1-1||Remember when Louisville allowed Miami to score 75-yard touchdowns on consecutive plays? If that surprised you, then you weren't paying attention to the Louisville defense last season. The Cardinals will be one of the most fun teams to follow all season long with their explosive offense and an exploding defense. This week, they're on the road to face chaos incarnate, Pitt. (NR)|
|18. Tulane||1-1||The Wave are consistent in their inconsistency. In their opener, they came back from a 24-6 deficit to beat South Alabama 27-24. Then, against Navy, the Wave blew a 24-0 lead to lose 27-24. What will happen against Southern Miss this week? I don't know, but the final score will probably be 27-24. (NR)|
|17. Charlotte||0-1||Charlotte had to cancel its game against North Carolina due to a shortage of offensive linemen thanks to contact tracing. This week, we hope they'll be able to return to the field to play their scheduled game against Georgia State. (12)|
|16. Georgia Tech||1-1||Well, at least the Bees were able to feel good about themselves for a week before UCF blasted them 49-21. This week brings a date with a very beatable Syracuse team. (NR)|
|15. Texas Tech||1-0||The Red Raiders had the week off to prepare for Texas on Saturday. If Houston Baptist was able to put up 600 (six hun dred) yards of offense against the Tech defense, what do you think the Horns might be able to do to it? (10)|
|14. Georgia Southern||1-0||A week after being without 33 players for the opener against Campbell, Southern's game against FAU was canceled after the Owls had some players test positive. This week, the Eagles hope to get some of those 33 players back and get a game in against Louisiana. (8)|
|13. Texas State||1-2||The Bobcats started the season 0-2, but they didn't look like the same kind of Bobcats teams The Bottom 25 has been familiar with over the years. So I wasn't surprised to see them beat ULM by 21 on Saturday. I wouldn't be surprised to see them make some noise against Boston College this weekend, either. (7)|
|12. Navy||1-1||Navy saved its season on Saturday. After getting blasted 55-3 by BYU in the opener, the Mids found themselves down 24-0 to Tulane. A lot of teams would have seen plenty of reasons to pack it in and call it a season after such a disastrous start. Navy didn't. Now instead of an embarrassing 0-2 start, Navy's 1-1 and feeling good about itself heading into a massive game against Air Force on Oct. 3. (1)|
|11. North Texas||1-1||Listen, wins against Houston Baptist only carry so much weight (see: Texas Tech) around here. And that weight isn't enough to offset allowing 710 yards and 65 points to SMU. My god, somebody make a tackle out there, Mean Green! (NR)|
|10. UAB||1-1||The Blazers had the weekend off and will look to get back to their winning ways against No. 23 South Alabama on Thursday night. (6)|
|9. South Florida||1-1||I mean, at least the Bulls got some sun and exercise against Notre Dame on Saturday? I hope they spend some extra time on long snapping in practice this week before playing Florida Atlantic. (NR)|
|8. Southern Miss||0-2||The Eagles lost a heartbreaker on the final play of the game, but there's a silver lining. This team looked roughly a billion times better on the field and the sideline than it did during its loss to South Alabama. Also, new coach Scott Walden was so pumped during the game that even P.J. Fleck was impressed. (13)|
|7. Western Kentucky||0-2||The Hilltoppers are yet to be blown out by anybody, but they haven't looked great, either. This week they lost at home to Liberty 30-24, and now they've got a bye to prepare for a colossal showdown with Middle Tennessee on Oct. 3. (11)|
|6. Wake Forest||0-2||Well, Wake certainly looked a lot better against NC State than it did Clemson, but the Deacs were slow out of the gate. NC State put together two long TD drives to start the game, and Wake had to battle its way back the rest of the way and nearly pulled off the win. Life won't be easier this weekend with Notre Dame coming to town. (9)|
|5. Duke||0-2||Duke went from looking pretty feisty against Notre Dame to looking uninspired against Boston College. The defense hasn't been bad, but scoring 19 points in two games is a concern. This week, the Blue Devils have the advantage of getting a Virginia team yet to play a game this year. (19)|
|4. UTEP||2-1||The Miners have two wins in a season for the first time since 2016 when they finished 4-8! Sure, both have come against FCS teams, and they're still No. 4 in The Bottom 25 because of how badly Texas beat them, but who cares? The Miners have two wins! Could a third be on the way this weekend? (2)|
|3. Syracuse||0-2||Remember 2018 when Syracuse averaged 40.2 points and 464.8 yards per game? Yeah, well, that's no longer the case in 2020. Through two games, the Orange have 19 points and 373 yards total. This weekend, they'll hope to improve upon those numbers against No. 16 Georgia Tech in an ACC/Bottom 25 showdown. (4)|
|2. ULM||0-2||The Warhawks fell to Texas State 38-17, but they don't have any time to feel bad about themselves. Instead, they need to get themselves pumped up for a home game against No. 4 UTEP in The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week. (5)|
|1. Middle Tennessee||0-2||I received a text from my Cover 3 Podcast co-host Barton Simmons on Saturday that read, "Middle Tennessee's gotta be the worst team in the country, right?" I can confirm that it is! The Blue Raiders climb two spots to No. 1 in The Bottom 25 this week following a 47-14 loss to Troy. The Raiders have now been outscored 89-14 through two weeks, but this week they get a beatable team in No. 22 UTSA. (3)|