One aspect of The Bottom 25 that's been difficult to adjust to this season has been the preponderance of winless teams. I've long maintained in this column, on radio and generally just on street corners yelling at passersby that it's more difficult to go winless than it is undefeated.
We see it every season. There are typically three or four teams entering the final month of the regular season without a loss, while that number dwindles a lot quicker on the other end of the spectrum. And the reason for that has always been simple: nonconference cupcake games. Everybody wants to schedule at least one team they can beat!
Well, with the pandemic affecting scheduling this year and causing so many teams to play conference-only schedules, we're left with an abundance of winless teams. Entering the final few weeks of the regular season, we've got 15 winless teams remaining. It's incredible. There will be multiple teams that don't win a game and don't qualify for The Bottom 25 Playoff.
But, on the other side of that coin, it just means there are a lot more teams to root for in the final weeks. It's important to remember that, although I have fun with them in this column, I'm genuinely rooting for every single one of these teams to win games. Especially this year, with all the crap teams have to go through just to play, not getting to experience a win is heartbreaking.
|25. Colorado State||1-2||The Rams had to cancel their second game in as many weeks and third of the season due to a COVID-19 outbreak. This week, they're tentatively scheduled to play San Diego State. (Last Week: Not Ranked)|
|24. Nebraska||1-4||Before the season, Nebraska fans wanted you to know that they saved Big Ten football. Now when you thank them for saving Big Ten football, they get mad at you. Life is crazy! Anyway, Nebraska is scheduled to face Purdue this week. (25)|
|23. South Carolina||2-7||Well, I guess firing Will Muschamp wasn't a quick fix. The Gamecocks have lost five straight and both games since dismissing Boom. They've one game left on the schedule to get a win as they face Kentucky on Saturday. (NR)|
|22. Penn State||1-5||The Nittany Lions are finally on the board with a win, but it wasn't enough to escape The Bottom 25. I appreciate that they could make me look less stupid than usual when I spent all week telling people they were a better team than Michigan despite what their records said. This week, the Lions get a suddenly-feisty Rutgers squad. (15)|
|21. Texas State||2-10||I know I mentioned it last week, but a sincere congrats to the Bobcats for getting in all 12 games. It takes a lot of work and a little luck for that to happen in 2020, and the Bobcats deserve to be rewarded for it. Their season is over, but even if they're only 2-10, they were a much better team than that record suggests. Good things are coming. (24)|
|20. Southern Miss||2-7||The Eagles game against UTEP was canceled last week. As of now, they're scheduled to make up their postponed game against FAU from earlier this season on Dec. 10. (22)|
|19. Florida State||2-6||I guess the Seminoles were scared of Virginia, too. FSU's season is now over unless it adds another game to the schedule, but frankly, I think everybody in Tallahassee is happy to move on at this point. (21)|
|18. Syracuse||1-9||For a while, it looked as if the Orange might pick up another win, but they fell short 36-29 against NC State. If they can pick up a second win this weekend, it'll have major ramifications because they're playing in South Bend against Notre Dame. (20)|
|17. Eastern Michigan||0-4||A brutal fourth quarter that saw the Eagles allow 25 points doomed them in a 31-23 loss to Central Michigan. This week, they head further west in the schedule to take on Western Michigan. (19)|
|16. Utah||0-2||Utah took a 21-0 lead on Washington Saturday only to lose 24-21. The Utes are a better team than their 0-2 record suggests, but they're quickly running out of chances to get a win. This week, they get an Oregon State team that just upset Oregon. (9)|
|15. South Florida||1-8||You knew the Bulls would give it everything they had against rival UCF, but it wasn't nearly enough as they lost 58-46. Barring a makeup of two postponed games, their season is over. (16)|
|14. Temple||1-6||Temple's game against Cincinnati was canceled, and as of now, no games are remaining on the schedule. As is so often the case these days, that's subject to change. Whether it should ... well, as is so often the case these days, I don't know! (17)|
|13. Utah State||1-4||The Aggies are on the board! Utah State picked up a 41-27 win over New Mexico and will look to make it two in a row on Thursday against Air Force. (3)|
|12. Cal||0-3||Listen, considering they're supposed to be schools for smart kids, you'd think they'd be smart enough to call it The Big Game instead of just Big Game. Anyway, around these parts, we called it The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week, and Cal lost it to Stanford 24-23. This week the Bears get an Oregon team coming off a loss to its rival as well. (7)|
|11. Northern Illinois||0-4||The Huskies played Western Michigan a lot closer than I expected, but still fell 30-27. This week, they get Toledo. (12)|
|10. New Mexico||0-5||The Lobos were impressive early in the season, even in losses, but they've started to fade in recent weeks. I can't help but believe it's a result of the abnormal conditions they're facing not being allowed to play at home. They've got two more shots to get a win, though, starting with Wyoming this weekend. (14)|
|9. Arizona||0-3||Whenever I've seen Arizona this season, it's continuously alternating between "hey, this team isn't so bad" to "oh my god this might be the worst thing I've ever seen." Last week, there was far too much of the latter in a 27-10 loss to UCLA. This week, the Wildcats get one of the surprise teams of the season in Colorado. (18)|
|8. Vanderbilt||0-8||While the Commies haven't been good this year, their offense had been somewhat serviceable, putting up 35 points on Kentucky and 17 against Florida. So, of course, when the entire world is watching them play Missouri because of Sarah Fuller, they get shut out. This week, they look to cross the 30-yard line once or twice against Georgia, and they'll be doing so without Derek Mason who was fired Sunday. (13)|
|7. FIU||0-5||FIU's game against Louisiana Tech was canceled, but the Panthers are used to it, so I'm sure they adjusted just fine. This week, they're hoping to get a game in against Charlotte. It was one of the many FIU games postponed earlier this season. (11)|
|6. ULM||0-9||The Warhawks played for the first time in a few weeks against the rival Ragin' Cajuns, and it showed! They lost 70-20. This week they're hoping to look better against Arkansas State. (10)|
|5. UNLV||0-5||The Rebels were trounced 45-14 by Wyoming, and things won't be any easier this week. They're scheduled to square off with Boise State on Friday night in Sin City. (6)|
|4. Kansas||0-8||Kansas moves back into Bottom 25 Playoff position following a 59-23 loss to TCU. If the Jayhawks are going to get a win, this week's game against Texas Tech might be their best shot. I say might because who the hell knows what Texas will look like two weeks from now. (5)|
|3. Akron||0-4||The Zips fell to Miami (Ohio) 38-7 but dropped to No. 3 in the rankings. That's hard to do. The team that passed them must have really over-performed. (2)|
|2. Bowling Green||0-4||And that team was Bowling Green, which lost to Ohio 52-10. That allows the Falcons to jump up to No. 2 and set up a Bottom 25 Playoff quarterfinal of sorts. That's right, this week it's No. 2 Bowling Green hitting the road to take on No. 3 Akron in The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week. So much on the line! (4)|
|1. UMass||0-4||The Minutemen finished their season with a 45-0 loss to Liberty. That means they were outscored 161-12 in their four games. (1)|
No Longer Ranked: Michigan State (23), Stanford (8)