In the grand scheme of The Bottom 25, seeing the Indiana Hoosiers ranked doesn't come as a surprise. After all, the Indiana program is not one steeped in a rich tradition of football success. The Hoosiers played their first football game in 1887 and have won only 42.2% of them since. They've played in 13 bowl games and won three. They won conference titles in 1945 and 1967, and at no other time. Only three coaches in the program's history who managed to last longer than 50 games won more than half of them.
So, again, to see Indiana in The Bottom 25 doesn't come as a surprise, but it wasn't supposed to be this season. The Hoosiers went 8-5 in 2019 and followed it up with a 6-2 record in 2020. They finished last season ranked at No. 12 in the AP Top 25, the first time the program finished a season ranked since 1988. It began this season ranked No. 17, the first time it's began a season ranked since 1969.
They weren't ranked for long, however, losing to Iowa in Week 1 and dropping four of six since. Now, this isn't entirely Indiana's fault. All five of its losses have come to teams still ranked in the AP Top 25, but while that strength of schedule is impressive (the Hoosiers have the toughest SOS in the metrics I use for these rankings), it's not enough to keep them from joining The Bottom 25 this week.
Going from the AP Top 25 to The Bottom 25 is an impressive feat, and some would even say they're part of the more important rankings now.
|25. Louisiana Tech||2-5||Louisiana Tech joins us for the first time this season as the Bulldogs have begun to let go of the rope a bit. While they started the season only 2-3, their three losses came by a total of 10 points combined. Then they lost by 16 to UTEP and by 29 against UTSA on Saturday. They look to rebound at No. 16 Old Dominion this week. (Last Week: Not Ranked)|
|24. Indiana||2-5||So why have the Hoosiers fallen so far? I mean, besides playing an incredibly tough schedule? Well, last season, the Hoosiers had a points-off-turnover margin of 41 or 5.13 points per game. This season, the Hoosiers are at -21 overall and -3 points per game. That's more than a touchdown swing per game from one season to the next, and the Hoosiers don't have the talent level to survive such a drop. The good news is this week they play a team that isn't ranked for the first time in what feels like decades as they travel to Maryland. (NR)|
|23. South Florida||2-5||Is that momentum I sense in the South Florida program? A week after falling to Tulsa 32-31, the Bulls went out and beat Temple by 20. This week the Bulls look to end a nine-game road losing streak when they head to East Carolina. (18)|
|22. Colorado||2-5||The Buffs couldn't win consecutive Bottom 25 Games of the Century of the Week, falling to Cal 26-3. That was enough to knock the Bears out of the rankings entirely, but the Buffaloes move only three spots. They could fall further this week after going to Oregon Saturday. (25)|
|21. Texas State||2-5||Jake Spavital brought in a lot of transfers this season in hopes of turning things around, but it's not working out. The Bobcats are now 2-5 after losing to Georgia State 28-16, and this week they're on the road again against the Ragin' Cajuns. (24)|
|20. Rice||3-4||The Owls picked up a huge upset win over UAB last week, beating the Blazers 30-24 in Birmingham. Sadly, it's not enough to get them out of The Bottom 25, but who cares? That's a big win! This weekend brings another opportunity as they host No. 13 North Texas. (15)|
|19. New Mexico||3-5||Like Rice, the Lobos were able to pick up their third win of the season in upset fashion, knocking off Wyoming in a 14-3 thriller. Unlike Rice, the Lobos are off this weekend, but a big game against UNLV looms after the bye. (14)|
|18. Bowling Green||2-6||The 14-10 win over Minnesota in September looks stranger by the week. Since that game, the Falcons have lost four straight in the MAC while the Gophers have won three straight in the Big Ten. The Falcons try to get back on track this weekend at Buffalo on Saturday. (22)|
|17. Georgia Southern||2-5||The Eagles were off last week but return to action Saturday at home against Georgia State. (19)|
|16. Old Dominion||1-6||Old Dominion didn't play last week, but it did pick up a different kind of win, as reports indicate the Sun Belt will be throwing the Monarchs a lifesaver soon. (16)|
|15. Tulane||1-6||I hate to see my Wave struggle, but the rocky shores of the 2021 season continued with a 55-26 loss to SMU. Life gets no easier this weekend when Tulane welcomes Cincinnati to town. (20)|
|14. Navy||1-6||The Midshipmen put a bigger scare into Cincinnati than seemingly anyone else has been able to but came up short in a 27-20 loss. The Mids will return to action on Friday night against Tulsa. (11)|
|13. North Texas||1-6||Like a few other programs in Conference USA, North Texas fans are a lot more interested in where they'll be playing football in the future than they are current results. Still, the latest result was a 35-26 loss to Liberty, and the next result will be at No. 20 Rice in The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week! (12)|
|12. Vanderbilt||2-6||The Commodores have been outscored 170-26 in four SEC games following a 45-6 loss against Mississippi State. Hopefully they'll be able to get the offense on track against a Missouri defense that has struggled. (17)|
|11. FIU||1-6||The Panthers dropped their sixth straight, losing to Western Kentucky 34-19. This week they'll be looking to play spoiler on the road against a Marshall team still trying to win the East Division. (13)|
|10. Arkansas State||1-6||Arkansas State gave up a 99-yard touchdown run in its 28-27 loss to Louisiana. It's the second play of at least 90 yards the Red Wolves have allowed this season -- the most of any team in the country. Hell, the Red Wolves have allowed 13 plays of at least 60 yards, which is more than twice as many as any other team! Buffalo, Rice and Rutgers are next with six! This week it'll be South Alabama looking to bust out some big plays. (7)|
|9. Southern Miss||1-6||I'm happy to see Southern Miss is heading to the Sun Belt. It's a program that was lost in the shuffle during the last round of conference realignment, and I'm hopeful a move to the Sun Belt will get this program back to where it once was. Of course, where it is right now is The Bottom 10, and it'll be on the road against Middle Tennessee on Saturday. (8)|
|8. Ohio||1-7||OK, so the Bobcats are 1-3 in the MAC but have outscored MAC opponents 114-108. This tells me that at least one more conference win will come, but it won't be this weekend because the Bobcats are off until #MACtion returns next Tuesday. (9)|
|7. Akron||2-6||Akron was steamrolled 45-10 by Buffalo last week, and like Ohio, they're off this weekend but will return to action on Tuesday night against Ball State. (10)|
|6. New Mexico State||1-7||The Aggies lost to Hawaii 48-34 in the rematch. I know I sound like a broken record, but this offense gives me hope that the Aggies can win a game again this year. Of course, the problem is the Aggies defense has only held one team below 30 points this season, and that was during a 28-10 loss to San Diego State. They're off this weekend. (6)|
|5. Arizona||0-7||I mentioned points off turnover margin when discussing Indiana earlier, but no team has been worse in that department this season than the Wildcats. Arizona has a margin of -55 (-7.86 per game) on the season, which helps explain that 0-7 record, doesn't it? The Wildcats will try to hold onto the ball for once against USC this week. (5)|
|4. UNLV||0-7||San Jose State was one of the more beatable teams remaining on UNLV's schedule, but the Rebels fell 27-20. This week they'll return to action at Nevada on Friday night. (4)|
|3. Kansas||1-6||The Jayhawks nearly shocked the world! They had a 10-0 lead on Oklahoma at halftime and a 17-7 lead late in the third quarter. Unfortunately, games have four quarters, and the Jayhawks couldn't hold in a 35-23 loss. Still, the performance was enough to keep the streak of No. 1 teams failing to stay at No. 1 alive. Also, I am putting it on the record right here that Kansas will win another game this season. The Oklahoma performance was their best of the season, but there has been slight improvement all season long. Another win is coming. I can feel it. (1)|
|2. UConn||1-8||The Huskies couldn't hang for an entire game against Middle Tennessee as the Blue Raiders pulled away in the second half to win 44-13. The Huskies will now take the next two (2) weeks off before returning to action against Clemson on Nov. 13. (2)|
|1. UMass||1-6||The Walt Bell Revenge Game did not go as well as hoped, as the Minutemen were crushed by Florida State 59-3. The performance was enough to cause UMass to leapfrog both Kansas and UConn to take over the No. 1 spot in our rankings. Will the Minutemen be the first team to hold onto the spot two weeks in a row after playing Liberty this weekend? (3)|
No Longer Ranked: No. 23 ULM, No. 21 Cal