Welcome to the wildest week in Bottom 25 history. I knew that the 2020 season would be a strange one given the circumstances, and this past weekend wreaked havoc on my ranking system. It turns out that when your strength of schedule metric is based on all the teams that have played in the current season, and then more teams are added at different intervals rather than all starting at the same time, it leads to some wild swings.
So here's what you're going to see this week: a lot of 0-1 SEC teams, and a lot of movement everywhere else. Hell, we had one team in the Bottom Five last week that fell out of the rankings entirely.
As wild as the swings are this week, the good news is that we're starting to see the records of teams ranked return to normal. There are only three .500 teams, and our other 22 combatants all have losing records.
In an abnormal time, we seek normalcy anywhere we can find it.
|25. Louisville||1-2||The Cardinals were a trendy pick in the ACC before the season began, but they're now 0-2 in conference play after losing to Pitt on Saturday. That was the first of what will be three straight games on the road. After a bye this week, the Cardinals will return to face No. 19 Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Then it's Notre Dame in South Bend, so they might want to win that Georgia Tech game. (Last Week: 19)|
|24. North Texas||1-1||The Mean Green didn't play this weekend as their game against Houston was postponed. They return to action this week against fellow Bottom 25 side Southern Miss. (11)|
|23. Texas State||1-3||I'm starting to think Texas State will be the "team that isn't nearly as bad as its record suggests" team I adopt in 2020. The Bobcats' three losses have come to SMU, UTSA and Boston College by 13 combined points. They're off this week. (13)|
|22. Georgia State||0-1||I considered tacking another loss to Georgia State's record this week after learning that the positive COVID-19 tests that led to its game against Charlotte being postponed were the result of "human error." This week the Panthers get East Carolina. (Not Ranked)|
|21. South Alabama||1-2||The Jaguars were beat soundly by UAB 42-10 last week and have now dropped two straight since opening the season with a win over Southern Miss. This week they get a Troy team that was just crushed by BYU. (23)|
|20. South Carolina||0-1||Considering all the optimism surrounding Tennessee before the season, and the pessimism in Columbia, a 31-27 loss to the Vols wasn't half bad. That said, moral victories don't do much for you in The Bottom 25. Odds are a date with Florida in Gainesville won't do much, either. (NR)|
|19. Georgia Tech||1-2||Georgia Tech's win over Florida State gets less impressive by the day, doesn't it? Since that game, the Yellow Jackets have dropped two straight to UCF and Syracuse, losing by 45 points combined. They are off this week before coming back home to take on No. 25 Louisville. (16)|
|18. Syracuse||1-2||Speaking of Syracuse, it beats Georgia Tech by 17 and is still ahead of it in The Bottom 25. Math can be fun sometimes, kids. Still, the Orange did drop 15 spots. They're off this week as well before returning home for another winnable game against No. 6 Duke. (3)|
|17. South Florida||1-1||The Bulls had to postpone their game with FAU due to contact tracing following a game against a Notre Dame team that had positive tests pop up last week. They did benefit from The Great Influx of SEC Teams, however, dropping eight spots anyway. This week they're on the road against Cincinnati. (9)|
|16. Arkansas||0-1||The good news is Arkansas made life pretty difficult for Georgia for a while there. The bad news is, despite that, Georgia still beat the Hogs 37-10. The worse news is that now Arkansas has to go on the road to face the Mississippi State team that just beat LSU. Time to hope for a letdown? (NR)|
|15. Navy||1-1||The Midshipmen had the week off and spent that extra time preparing for the first leg of the Commander-In-Chief Trophy against Air Force on Saturday. Yes, I took the under as soon as the total was posted Monday. (12)|
|14. LSU||0-1||The Bottom 25 is thrilled and honored to welcome the defending national champions to our humble poll! We don't expect you to stay long with No. 13 Vanderbilt on deck, but we appreciate you being kind enough to stop by. (NR)|
|13. Vanderbilt||0-1||On The Cover 3 Podcast ( subscribe !) this week, two of my co-hosts -- Barton Simmons and Danny Kanell -- had Vandy on their list of five most impressive season debuts over the weekend. I guess their expectations for Vandy are so low that a 17-12 loss to Texas A&M is seen as a step forward. (NR)|
|12. Missouri||0-1||I had the privilege of live-blogging Missouri's 38-19 loss to Alabama on Saturday night, and honestly, the Tigers looked better than I expected them to. Not good enough to make me think they're going to have a surprise season, but there's enough there to think they're going to surprise an opponent or two. Could this week's road trip to Tennessee be one of those times? (NR)|
|11. Western Kentucky||0-2||The Hilltoppers had last week off. This week they're on the road against Middle Tennessee in a battle of winless teams whose schools are very proud of their location within their state and want you to know all about it. (7)|
|10. Wake Forest||0-2||Wake's game against Notre Dame was postponed, and this week they have a shot at getting in the win column against the Fighting Camels of Campbell on Friday night. (6)|
|9. Kentucky||0-1||I was surprised to see Kentucky start this low because, for the most part, I thought the Wildcats were as good or better than Auburn on Saturday. Even while losing 29-13. The metrics in my rankings disagreed. This week they're home against OIe Miss and The Lane Train. (NR)|
|8. Charlotte||0-1||Charlotte has now seen its game against North Carolina canceled, and its game with Georgia State postponed. This week it faces an FAU team still waiting to get its first game in after several postponements as well. 2020, man. 2020. (17)|
|7. Ole Miss||0-1||New coach, new look offense, same old Rebels defense. Say this for the Rebels in 2020, I don't know how many games they're going to win, but most of their games will be fun to watch, including this week's game at No. 9 Kentucky in THE BOTTOM 25 GAME OF THE CENTURY OF THE WEEK. That's right! The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week is coming to the SEC! It just means more this week! (NR)|
|6. Duke||0-3||It turns out that turning the ball over seven times in a game is a bad idea. I don't have the numbers in front of me, but teams that turn the ball over seven times or more have never won a game before or have never won more than 1% of the games. The Blue Devils will try to do a better job of holding onto the ball against Virginia Tech this weekend.|
|5. Middle Tennessee||0-3||The Blue Raiders looked a lot better against UTSA this weekend in a 37-35 loss. It wasn't enough to get them a win, but it did get them out of the No. 1 spot in The Bottom 25. For now, anyway. (1)|
|4. Southern Miss||0-3||The Golden Eagles jumped out to a 14-0 lead on Tulane, and then it all fell apart. And I mean it really fell apart. The Green Wave outscored them 66-10 after that, and now the Eagles find themselves in Bottom 25 Playoff range. This week they're on the road against No. 24 North Texas. (8)|
|3. Florida State||0-2||I want to tell Florida State fans not to worry and that it can't get any worse than a 52-10 loss at Miami, but, I mean, do I really know that to be true? Should I say that to make them feel better and risk the trust we've built between one another over the years? I don't know, but Jacksonville State is this weekend, and god help us all if the Seminoles lose that one too. (25)|
|2. Kansas||0-2||Listen, it was a rough week in the Big 12, but as I said at the top of the column, in abnormal times, we seek normalcy anywhere we can find it. Kansas is at No. 2 in The Bottom 25, giving The Big 12 all the normalcy it needs right now. (24)|
|1. ULM||0-3||The Warhawks were spanked 31-6 by UTEP in last week's Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week, and they're rewarded with the No. 1 spot. Will they be able to hold onto it against Georgia Southern this weekend? (2)|