I'll give this to Nebraska fans: they're passionate. Like any fanbase, there's a certain portion of it that's unhinged. But whether they're thinking logically or illogically, they're doing so with feeling -- feelings they aren't afraid to let you know about.
This is why when the Cornhuskers were 0-2 and had had a game canceled through the first few weeks of the season, I received a lot of angry emails and messages from fans because they were ranked in The Bottom 25. I can't repeat all of the words I was called, but rest assured that the general feeling amongst a portion of Nebraska fans was that I'm not intelligent and that these rankings are evil and cruel.
Then, when Nebraska beat Penn State, I received a couple of "I told you so, stupid" types of messages because beating a winless Penn State team that outgained you by 203 yards in the game was proof Nebraska was actually good. Well, we came full circle on Saturday. It was during the midst of Nebraska's 41-23 loss to Illinois -- who was at No. 24 in last week's Bottom 25 -- at home when I began to receive messages from Nebraska fans asking me to put them in The Bottom 25 this week.
Honestly, I considered leaving the Cornhuskers out just to spite them for the angry messages earlier this season, but I couldn't. I will never alter the process that leads to these rankings (for newcomers, these aren't based on opinion, but a rating system). So, congratulations, Nebraska fans. You're back in.
|25. Nebraska||1-3||So maybe Luke McCaffery isn't the answer after all? The Huskers are back in action this weekend against an Iowa team that's beaten them five years in a row. (Last Week: Not Ranked)|
|24. Texas State||2-9||My Fightin' Spavs are back in the win column (!) as they ended a seven-game losing streak by beating Arkansas State 47-45. It wasn't enough to escape The Bottom 25, but it was a long time coming. Also, shoutout to Texas State for getting 11 games in this season. If this week's season-finale against Coastal Carolina gets played, the Bobcats will have gotten in a full 12-game regular season. That's remarkable in 2020. (20)|
|23. Michigan State||1-3||Talk about insult to injury. Michigan State's game against Maryland was canceled due to COVID concerns at Maryland, and the Spartans drop into The Bottom 25 afterward. This week, Sparty gets Northwestern in East Lansing. (NR)|
|22. Southern Miss||2-7||Like Texas State, as long as no more games are canceled (and that's a big if these days), the Golden Eagles will get 12 games in as well. Their next one is Friday against UAB. (22)|
|21. Florida State||2-6||I bet it never even crossed Dabo Swinney's mind that Florida State canceled the game so it could hold on to its place in The Bottom 25. It's not always about you, Dabo! Other programs have their own goals that have nothing to do with Clemson! Let Florida State protect its Bottom 25 status if it wants to! This week, the Noles get Virginia. (21)|
|20. Syracuse||1-8||Syracuse played Louisville over the weekend in a battle of two ACC programs having extremely disappointing seasons, and Syracuse lost that game 30-0. Checkmate! This week, the Orange have their last "winnable" game against NC State -- unless you think they can beat Notre Dame. I don't. (19)|
|19. Eastern Michigan||0-3||After two close losses to start the season, the Eagles fell at home to Toledo 45-28. It has the feel of a reset season in Ypsilanti. This week, it's a Directional Rivalry against Central Michigan, which is west of Eastern but east of Western. (23)|
|18. Arizona||0-2||Arizona lost to Washington 44-27, but that score is misleading. Washington held a 37-0 lead after three quarters before the Wildcats put up 27 in the final 15 minutes against Washington's reserves. The Wildcats look to get a win against UCLA this week. (NR)|
|17. Temple||1-6||I fully expected Temple to take a step back in 2020, but I didn't think it would be such a large one. The Owls were crushed by East Carolina 28-3 in last week's Bottom 25 Game of the Century. Now they've got one chance left to get another win, and it's against Cincinnati. I'm not optimistic! (16)|
|16. South Florida||1-7||The Bulls spent the weekend at home after their game against Navy was postponed. That gave them extra time to prepare for The War on I-4 against UCF on Friday. (14)|
|15. Penn State||0-5||*pokes Penn State with a stick*|
|14. New Mexico||0-4||After three impressive losses under challenging circumstances to begin the season, it turns out that an option offense is the thing that would break the Lobos. They fell to Air Force 28-0, though four missed field goals and two turnovers didn't help. This week, the Lobos get No. 3 Utah State. (15)|
|13. Vanderbilt||0-7||The Commies looked somewhat feisty in a 38-17 loss to Florida last week. Their game against Tennessee this week was postponed, so instead they'll play Missouri, a game that was postponed earlier this season. It's all a puzzle to which the SEC knows the answer. (12)|
|12. Northern Illinois||0-3||The Huskies were competitive enough in their 31-25 loss to Ball State that they dropped six spots in the rankings. This week, they get the first-place Broncos of Western Michigan. (6)|
|11. FIU||0-5||Every team the Panthers have played this season has scored at least 30 points against them except Jacksonville State. Jacksonville State scored only 19 points, which was still enough to beat the Panthers. This week, it's Louisiana Tech's turn to score at least 30 points. (11)|
|10. ULM||0-8||ULM isn't the worst team in the country! Accept it! Even in Bill Connelly's SP+ ratings over at ESPN, the Warhawks aren't the worst. I figured they'd start climbing back to The Bottom Four by now, but with only three games left on the schedule, they're running out of time to get there. The 'Hawks are hoping to get a game in against Louisiana this week. (10)|
|9. Utah||0-1||Sample size is a killer, Utes. Overall, your play wasn't great against USC in a 33-17 loss, but it's not really Bottom 10 bad. Still, imagine being a BYU fan right now. The College Football Playoff rankings come out on Tuesday night, and you're waiting to see where you'll be ranked. Meanwhile, Utah and Utah State are hanging out in The Bottom 10. Anyway, the Utes are scheduled to play Arizona State this week, but as always, that's subject to change. (NR)|
|8. Stanford||0-2||Stanford's game against Washington State was canceled. This week, it's The Big Game against No. 7 Cal. (9)|
|7. Cal||0-2||Listen, not everything about 2020 sucks. For instance, with both Cal and Stanford sitting at 0-2 right now, it means that The Big Game is no longer The Big Game. It's The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week! The Bottom 25 is on the field! (2)|
|6. UNLV||0-4||UNLV's game against Colorado State was canceled. This week, the Rebels are scheduled to face Wyoming on Friday afternoon. (8)|
|5. Kansas||0-7||I'm starting to feel like a broken record. Kansas' game against Texas was postponed, and they're now scheduled to return to action on Saturday against TCU. (7)|
|4. Bowling Green||0-3||Bowling Green is only one game away from becoming Bottom 25 Playoff eligible, and that's important because this Falcons team has the look of a Bottom 25 Playoff team. This week, the Falcons get Ohio. (3)|
|3. Utah State||0-4||Speaking of playoff contenders, Utah State had its game against Wyoming canceled. It's scheduled to face No. 14 New Mexico this week on The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week undercard. (5)|
|2. Akron||0-3||Akron scored 35 points against Kent State last week, and it still couldn't cover a 27-point spread. So, on the one hand, hey! You scored 35 points! That's a good sign about the offense! Unfortunately, you also allowed 69 points and have allowed at least 58 points in two of your first three games. This week, the Zips get Miami (OH). (4)|
|1. UMass||0-3||UMass has scored 12 points in three games. It lost to FAU 24-2 last weekend, and honestly, losing 24-2 feels worse than losing 41-0. Like, think about how it must feel to be the UMass offense right now. As a team, you've scored 12 points in three games, and your defense is responsible for 17% of them! The Minutemen are scheduled to play Liberty on Friday, which is huge. If the game is played, it will be UMass' fourth game, making it eligible for The Bottom 25 Playoff. (1)|
No Longer Ranked: Middle Tennessee (25), Illinois (24), East Carolina (18), Oregon State (17)