The contingent of Power Five teams in the Bottom 25 shrunk from four to one this week, as Indiana, Northwestern and West Virginia each managed to escape after winning their Week 2 games, leaving Virginia as the lone power conference representative. But the Cavaliers should soon have company from some ACC brethren in our weekly ranking of college futility.
It all depends on whether No. 3 Florida State will be willing to show any mercy when it plays at Boston College on Saturday. The Eagles narrowly avoided disaster in Week 2 with a 31-28 victory over FCS foe Holy Cross. Had BC dropped that game after losing against Northern Illinois in Week 1, you can bet that it would have made this week's Bottom 25.
Even still, beating Holy Cross likely just delayed the inevitable for BC as the Eagles prep for a visit from red-hot Florida State. Just look at what FSU did to Southern Miss on Saturday in a 66-13 drubbing of a respectable Sun Belt program. The Golden Eagles never stood a chance. Now, after taking a beating from FSU, they are in this week's Bottom 25 at No. 16.
Apparently, the Seminoles are not big fans of Eagles, and that casts an ominous pall over Boston College's Week 3 matchup. BC narrowly avoided this week's Bottom 25, but it'll take something miraculous as Doug Flutie's 1984 Hail Mary to keep BC out of the Bottom 25 next week.
Bottom 25 rankings
After years as the QB1 of the Bottom 25, Tom Fornelli has passed the baton to David Cobb this season. We're still using Fornelli's power rankings to determine the order -- with the No. 1 ranking belonging to the worst FBS team -- but the written jabs are from Cobb.
|25. San Jose State||1-2||SJSU crushed Cal Poly 59-3 to flush the taste of Week 0 and Week 1 losses to USC and Oregon State. But it will take more than a blowout victory over a bad FCS team to get the Spartans out of the Bottom 25 after they allowed a combined 98 against the Trojans and Beavers. (Last week: 17) |
|24. Miami (OH)||1-1||In a Bottom 25 Battle Royale, Miami (OH) beat UMass 41-28 to improve to 1-1. That win has the Redhawks on the cusp of escaping this ranking. But a road trip to Cincinnati this week likely means that these guys are destined for another week here. (7) |
|23. UNLV||1-1||On the one hand, UNLV did a reasonable job of holding Michigan's running game in check during a 35-7 loss to the Wolverines in Week 2. On the other hand, they made Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy look like a Heisman Trophy contender as he completed 22 of 25 passes for 278 yards and two touchdowns against the Rebels. (NR) |
|22. Sam Houston||0-2||Through two weeks as an FBS program, Sam Houston has mustered just three points and 16 total first downs while starting 0-2 with losses against BYU and Air Force. This program won the FCS national title in 2020. Was it really worth the jump? (NR) |
|21. South Florida||1-1||No, that is not a typo on the Week 3 schedule. Alabama really is playing at South Florida on Saturday, and the Crimson Tide will be perturbed after suffering a home loss to Texas. It should be a humbling experience for first-year coach Alex Golesh as the Bulls prepare to begin AAC play. (NR) |
|20. UTEP||1-2||Most of the time, there is no shame in losing 38-7 on the road against a Big Ten team for a program like UTEP that exists on the margins of the FBS. You go and collect your paycheck, get a taste of the big leagues and go home. But when the opponent is the 2023 Northwestern Wildcats, it's a bit more embarrassing. The Miners were only 1-point underdogs but managed to lose by 31. (NR) |
|19. South Alabama||1-1||The Jaguars improved to 1-1 with a 35-17 win over FCS foe Southeastern Louisiana in Week 2. But they are probably still seething over the five turnovers that cost them a chance to win at Tulane in Week 1. A redemption opportunity awaits Saturday at Oklahoma State as South Alabama looks to prove its 10-win season in 2022 was no fluke. (11) |
|18. Virginia||0-2||Virginia deserved a happier ending than what it got in a 36-35 home loss to James Madison. They were underdogs and without injured starting quarterback Tony Muskett. Freshman backup Anthony Colandrea played great, but UVa has no running game. (20) |
|17. Connecticut||0-2||After a horrendous run covering multiple years, Jim Mora finally restored the Huskies to respectability in his first season as coach. Are we sure they can maintain it? Year 2 is off to a brutal start after losses to NC State and a Week 2 defeat against a Georgia State team that was just 4-8 last season. (NR) |
|16. Southern Miss||1-1||Southern Miss ran into a buzzsaw at Florida State in Week 2, losing 66-13 against a Seminoles team that has been the most impressive in college football this season. A win over Tulane this week would likely make the Golden Eagles' Bottom 25 stay a short one. (NR) |
|15. Eastern Michigan||1-1||Eastern Michigan mustered just 152 total yards and nine first downs in a 25-6 loss at Minnesota in Week 2. The Eagles' passing game averaged a whopping 3.6 yards per attempt while the defense gave up nearly 300 yards on the ground. Metrics like that, no matter the opponent, are a surefire way to get yourself ranked in the Bottom 25 at this point in the season. (NR) |
|14. Navy||1-1||After getting thoroughly trounced by Notre Dame in Week 0, the Midshipmen did the same thing to FCS foe Wagner in Week 2, winning 24-0 while committing just four penalties and zero turnovers. A Thursday night game at Memphis should finally get us a realistic look at where Navy is in Year 1 under Brian Newberry. (2) |
|13. Western Michigan||1-1||When you make Syracuse look like an offensive juggernaut, it's time for self-reflection. The Orange scored 45 points in the first half(!!!) against the Broncos before finally showing mercy and allowing their MAC foe to leave town with some dignity. Now comes a trip to Iowa. If the Hawkeyes score 45 in the first half against WMU, it will be time to consider dissolving the program. (NR) |
|12. Colorado State||0-1||The stage is yours, Colorado State. After a strangely timed Week 2 bye, the Rams have licked their wounds from a 50-24 season-opening loss to Washington State and have a chance to shock the nation during a late-night showdown with No. 18 Colorado. But if the porous defense CSU played against the Cougars was any indication, this could be a long night for the Rams. (NR) |
|11. UMass||1-2||Miami (Ohio) quarterback Brett Gabbert completed just 12 of 22 passes in a 41-28 Week 2 victory over UMass. But those 12 passes accounted for 302 yards and two touchdowns. Among them was a 99-yard completion to Gage Larvadain, who made eight receptions for 274 yards and three touchdowns. Allowing one player to dominate so throughly is an impressive level of defensive failure. (21) |
|10. North Texas||0-2||Surrendering 683 yards to Cal in Week 1 was indicative of some potential defensive woes. But giving up 514 yards to lowly FIU in a 46-39 Week 2 loss was unforgivable. First-year head coach Eric Morris knows how to run an offense, but the North Texas defense is firmly in the running for worst in the nation. (14) |
|9. Central Michigan||1-1||It took a late field goal for Central Michigan to escape with a win over FCS foe New Hampshire in Week 2. The Chippewas gave up 538 yards, including 493 through the air, and were lucky to avoid an 0-2 start after falling 31-7 at Michigan State in Week 1 (12) |
|8. Middle Tennessee||0-2||The Blue Raiders nearly upset Missouri before falling 23-19. It was an encouraging sign of progress following a 56-7 loss at Alabama to begin the season but still a bitter pill to swallow. The game was their best chance to replicate last season's stunning win at Miami, but it slipped away. (6) |
|7. Buffalo||0-2||Buffalo played a competitive game at Wisconsin in Week 1 that suggested its tenure in the Bottom 25 would be short-lived. Then, the Bulls lost at home to Fordham in Week 2. Falling to an FCS team is a great way to guarantee your spot in the Bottom 25 for weeks to come. (13) |
|6. Boise State||0-2||Boise State gave up 568 yards to Washington in Week 1 and 530 against UCF in Week 2. If the Broncos are going to repeat as Mountain West champions, they must improve defensively. Third-year coach Andy Avalos comes from a defensive background, which makes the nature of his team's 0-2 start particularly troubling. (4) |
|5. East Carolina||0-2||There was no shame in losing at Michigan in Week 1. But there is shame in getting outscored 21-0 in the fourth quarter in a 31-13 home loss vs. Marshall, which is what the Pirates did Saturday. A whopping 11 penalties for 112 yards didn't help. (10) |
|4. Ball State||0-2||After losing 44-14 at Kentucky in Week 1, the Cardinals fell 45-3 at Georgia in Week 2. Thankfully, Ball State's tour through the SEC East is over and a home date with FCS foe Indiana State awaits. Maybe there's still a decent MAC team hiding in the wreckage of a predictable 0-2 start. (8) |
|3. Arkansas State||0-2||The Red Wolves have been outscored 110-3 in losses against Oklahoma and Memphis. It's Year 3 coach for Butch Jones, but this team is just as bad as the first two, which combined to go 5-19. The last four Arkansas State coaches each enjoyed winning records and parlayed their success into better jobs, which makes Jones' failure all the more glaring. (5) |
|2. Kent State||0-2||The Golden Flashes have been outscored 84-12 in road losses to UCF and Arkansas to begin the Kenni Burns era. But hey, there was some progress in Week 2 as Kent State held the Razorbacks to just 308 total yards in a 28-6 loss. That's a moral victory, and Kent State should celebrate it, because real victories will be scarce in 2023. (3) |
|1. Nevada||0-2||Nevada heard all the doubters saying it didn't really deserve to be No. 1 in the Bottom 25 just because it lost 66-14 to USC in Week 1. So the Wolf Pack came out in Week 2 and removed all doubt that they are the worst FBS team through two weeks by falling 33-6 at home against Idaho, an FCS foe. Nevada finished with just 266 yards and three turnovers. (1) |
No longer ranked: Northwestern, West Virginia, Old Dominion, FIU, Hawaii, Indiana, Coastal Carolina, Rice, New Mexico