Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany will step down from his post on June 30, 2020. Delany announced his decision to retire in March, and he'll do so having accomplished quite a lot during his 30 years with the Big Ten.
He helped usher in a new era that saw the creation of the Big Ten Championship Game in football, as well as the Big Ten Network, which has been a financial boon for the conference. What Delany couldn't have known was that the Big Ten Network would lead to the crowning achievement of his career.
You see, while Delany helped bring Penn State into the Big Ten in 1993, the real conference alignment craze didn't begin until the Big Ten Network was born, and conferences realized how much more money they could earn adding schools. More schools meant more cable boxes with the BTN on it, and more cable boxes with BTN meant more money for the Big Ten.
Surely this is the future Jim Delany envisioned. If only Nebraska were here to join them, but, alas, the Cornhuskers have too many wins. Oh well, you can't have everything.
|25. UTSA||4-5||The Roadrunners picked up a 24-23 win over Old Dominion in a Bottom 25 battle, but it wasn't enough to get them out of The Bottom 25. A win against Southern Miss this week would. (Last Week: 18)|
|24. Middle Tennessee||3-6||The Blue Raiders had last week off. Hopefully, they used that free time wisely, as a matchup with No. 4 Rice awaits this week. (24)|
|23. Maryland||3-7||I haven't kept track of such things, but I'm going to assume that Maryland has become the first team to be in the top five of my rankings after two weeks and then in The Bottom 25 that same season. The Terps were once 2-0, but have gone 1-7 since, with the only win coming against Rutgers. Their six B1G losses have come by an average of 37.2 points. (Not Ranked)|
|22. Northern Illinois||3-6||The Huskies were off last week, but you'll get a chance to see them against Toledo on Wednesday night. #MACtion is not officially sponsored by The Bottom 25 yet, but The Bottom 25 is working on it. (23)|
|21. Kent State||3-6||The Golden Flashes have dropped three straight since starting the season 3-3. They did play well against Toledo in a 35-33 loss, so I wouldn't be shocked if we see another win at some point. (25)|
|20. West Virginia||3-6||Country roads, take me home to the place I belong. The Bottom 25 Mountaineers, take me home, country roads. (NR)|
|19. Syracuse||3-6||Syracuse had last week off as it prepares for a final stretch that includes road games against Duke and Louisville, as well as a home date with Wake Forest. They can get one of them, they might even get two, but it's hard to feel confident about it. (20)|
|18. East Carolina||3-7||The Pirates have firmly entered Fun Bad territory. I don't know if that's any consolation to the players, but you see the signs of a competent team beneath a thinning layer of Not Good. In the last two weeks, the Pirates have played Cincinnati and SMU and have only been outscored 105-94. (22)|
|17. Bowling Green||3-6||The Falcons had last week off. This week they play at Miami (Ohio) on Wednesday night in #MACtion presented by The Bottom 25. My lawyer said if I write it enough times, it becomes law. I should point out that by "my lawyer," I mean "this guy I saw talking to a tree the other day." (17)|
|16. Texas State||3-6||The Bobcats won The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of Last Week against South Alabama, and fall five spots in the rankings because of it. Can they pick up another win this week against Troy? Seriously, do you know? We should bet on it if you do. (11)|
|15. Georgia Tech||2-7||My working theory with Georgia Tech since the beginning of the season was that it was going to be bad, but it was going to improve as the year went along. That's what normally happens with teams transitioning from the option. That also appears to be what's happening. Might the Yellow Jackets pull off an upset down the stretch? The rest of their games are all at home. (16)|
|14. UNLV||2-7||The Rebels were off last week and get Hawaii in Vegas this weekend. The game is at 1 p.m local time, which is smart because it's only 11 a.m. in Honolulu. Body Clocks could be in effect. (15)|
|13. New Mexico||2-7||New Mexico's game against Air Force was postponed following the death of Nahje Flowers. This week the Lobos travel to Boise to take on the Broncos. (12)|
|12. Vanderbilt||2-7||After being shutout 56-0 by Florida, the Commodores have now scored seven points or fewer in four of their six SEC games. Amazingly, the only SEC game they scored more than 21 points in they lost (66-38 against LSU). (14)|
|11. Arkansas||2-8||Arkansas lost 45-19 to a Western Kentucky team quarterbacked by the guy who went 0-9 as a starter for Arkansas last week. It's the second straight season Arkansas has lost at home to a Conference USA team. Also, to add insult to injury, the Western Kentucky team Arkansas lost to opened its season with a loss to Central Arkansas. So now Central Arkansas has a transitive win over Arkansas. So, no, I don't think $10 million was too much to spend to send Chad Morris packing. (13)|
|10. Rutgers||2-7||Rutgers was off last week. This week it will play Ohio State, and it is currently a 51-point underdog. Maryland was a 42.5-point underdog to the Buckeyes last week. It did not cover. Again, congrats to Jim Delany on a terrific 30 years with the Big Ten. (9)|
|9. Northwestern||1-8||Northwestern is not Jim Delany's fault. It took a while, but after scoring 22 points against Purdue on Saturday, the Wildcats have finally hit 100 points on the season. The Wildcats have now lost seven straight, and their lone win came against No. 14 UNLV. (8)|
|8. South Alabama||1-8||This could be the first time in history that the loser of The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week fell in the rankings. I don't know, The Bottom 25's record-keeping isn't great. Somebody go back through every Bottom 25 over the years and find out. (7)|
|7. UConn||2-8||Since beating UMass a few weeks ago, the Huskies have been outscored 104-13. That's how they've been able to climb right back in the rankings. They're off this week, but the next time we see them, they'll be squaring off with No. 18 East Carolina. (10)|
|6. Old Dominion||1-9||The Monarchs lost their ninth consecutive game last week. Next week's game -- the Monarchs are off this week -- against No. 24 Middle Tennessee might be the most winnable game on the schedule, though I suppose pretending Charlotte is some kind of unbeatable juggernaut is a stretch. That's the beauty of Conference USA. Any given Saturday, somebody is more than capable of losing. (6)|
|5. UTEP||1-8||My editor Brandon Wise was very excited to tell me about UTEP taking a 21-7 lead on Charlotte in the second quarter. The Miners never scored again, while the 49ers went on to score 21 more to win 28-21. So blame Brandon. (5)|
|4. Rice||0-9||The Owls had the weekend off and will face No. 24 Middle Tennessee in a slobberknocker this Saturday. As is always the case with winless teams this late in the season, I will be rooting like hell for the Owls. (4)|
|3. New Mexico State||0-9||Life as an independent can be rough. The Aggies just played their third consecutive road game and got toasted by Ole Miss 41-3. This week they'll be hosting Incarnate Word, and while that's certainly a winnable game, I feel it's necessary to point out they're only 8.5-point favorites in the game. Still, like Rice, I'll be rooting for you, Aggies. (3)|
|2. UMass||1-9||The Minutemen have lost five straight since beating Akron. They've allowed an average of 59 points per game in those losses. This week they are 39-point underdogs to No. 9 Northwestern, a team that has scored 11.1 points per game this season. Something has to give in The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week! (2)|
|1. Akron||0-9||Akron had last week off, and this week, it plays Eastern Michigan on Tuesday night. That's right; if you waited until Wednesday to read this, it's already too late to watch! You idiot! Go Zips. (1)|
No Longer Ranked: Tulsa (19), ULM (21)
Week 11 Superlatives
As many of you know, I rank all 130 teams using a mathematical formula I created. That system is how I compile the Bottom 25, but for those of you interested in how the rest of the rankings look, you can see them all right here (it's updated weekly after The Bottom 25 is published). I will also be sharing some weekly superlatives from the rankings here in The Bottom 25.
Highest Climbers: It's a tie between Cal and Texas Tech this week, so they now have something in common besides the Dykes family. Cal moved up 20 spots from No. 78 to No. 58 after beating Washington State, while Texas Tech went from No. 95 to No. 75 after beating West Virginia.
Biggest Fallers: It's another tie! NC State dropped 16 spots from No. 83 to No. 99 after getting pasted by Clemson. Georgia Southern fared better overall, but that didn't stop it from falling from No. 77 to No. 93.
Most Average Team: Florida State beat Boston College over the weekend, putting an end to its losing streak and keeping Odell Haggins' record as an interim coach perfect. It also resulted in the Noles having a score that is 0.28 percent above average at No. 61 overall.
Most Fraudulent 1-loss team: This honor goes to 8-1 Boise State, which beat Wyoming over the weekend. The Broncos are ranked No. 23 this week, though the gap between them and No. 22 Louisiana Tech is almost nonexistent.
Most Fraudulent 2-loss team: The Most Fraudulent two-loss team this week was the most fraudulent one-loss team last week. San Diego State fell from No. 31 to No. 36 after losing to Nevada. The fact the Aztecs fell only five spots is pretty indicative of how high my ratings were on them in the first place. Not only are the Aztecs ranked below eight three-loss teams, but they're only three spots ahead of a four-loss Washington squad. That could be good news for the Fresno State team they'll play this week.
Best Team with a Losing Record: It's North Carolina. It's always North Carolina. I might as well name this The North Carolina of the Week and just give it to the Heels. Anyway, at 4-5 the Heels are ranked No. 65. They're ahead of six teams with a winning record.
Worst Team with a Winning Record: One of those teams behind North Carolina is Georgia Southern. As mentioned above, the Eagles were one of the biggest fallers this week, and as a result they're now the lowest-ranked team with a winning record. They're at No. 93 behind 22 teams with a losing record, including four six-loss teams.