It began a month ago. Arkansas had just lost at home to San Jose State 31-24. It was one thing to see an SEC team losing at home to a Mountain West team for the second straight season, but to see it happen against a Mountain West team that had gone 7-30 in the three previous seasons stirred something in the Arkansas fan base. When that week's Bottom 25 came out, Arkansas was not in it.
Then the Arkansas logos began to appear in my Twitter mentions. "Why aren't the Hogs ranked," they asked. "How can Arkansas not be one of the 25 worst teams in the country," they demanded to know. Arkansas fans were going hog wild wanting to know why their team wasn't bad enough to qualify. The answer at the time was simple. They were still 2-2, and at the time, San Jose State was 2-1. They simply weren't bad enough yet.
Well, SOOOOOOOOOOOIE. The Bottom 25 has called the Hogs. After losing to Auburn 51-10 on Saturday the Razorbacks have fallen to 2-5, and they've entered The Bottom 25 this week. So you can stop filling up my mentions asking me when it's going to happen, Arkansas fans. The time is now.
|25. ULM||3-4||The Warhawks have returned, and are one of two 3-4 teams to be ranked this week. They lost to Appalachian State 52-7 over the weekend, and this week they have a bye before starting November with Arkansas State. (Last Week: Not Ranked)|
|24. Kansas||2-5||The Big 12 finally has a Bottom 25 team this season, and it's the one that's been its Bottom 25 flagship school for years now. The Jayhawks got off to a 2-1 start this season, but have dropped four straight since. They nearly pulled off an upset of Texas on Saturday. Still, while the Jayhawks are here now, they played pretty well in back-to-back games against Oklahoma and Texas. They might not be here the rest of the season, as there's a winnable game against Texas Tech this week. (NR)|
|23. Tennessee||2-5||Can we stop acting like Jeremy Pruitt grabbed Jarrett Guarantano's facemask and was yanking it all over the place? He hooked it with one finger and pulled him back into eye contact, then let go. If the yelling at him is the problem, well, what is a coach supposed to do when the QB changes the play at the goal line and fumbles the ball -- and a chance of winning the game -- in the process? Hug him? (NR)|
|22. UTSA||3-4||The Roadrunners defeated Rice 31-27 in The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week, but that third win isn't enough to escape. They get this week off to prepare for Texas A&M. (13)|
|21. Colorado State||2-5||The Rams had last week off and will be on the road against Fresno State this weekend. (20)|
|20. Northern Illinois||2-5||The Huskies have picked the wrong MAC division to be 1-2 in. They couldn't carry the momentum of a win over Ohio into the Miami (OH) game, but Akron should present less of a challenge this week. (22)|
|19. Charlotte||2-5||I took the 49ers +9 as one of my Locks on last week's Cover 3 Podcast, and they failed me by losing to Western Kentucky 30-14. Next up it's North Texas. (21)|
|18. Middle Tennessee||2-5||When the Blue Raiders beat Marshall a few weeks ago I took it as a sign that C-USA play would be much better to them than the noncon. They've dropped two straight on the road now to FAU and North Texas since. I expect another loss this week to FIU, but I believe things will improve later in the season. (19)|
|17. Arkansas||2-5||An 0-8 record in SEC play is very much in play here. The Hogs hit the road to take on a Tua-less Alabama this week. (NR)|
|16. UNLV||2-5||After pulling off a huge upset of Vanderbilt last week, we probably shouldn't have been surprised to see UNLV get blown out by Fresno. It was the Rebels' fourth road game in five games overall. This week they're at home against San Diego State. (25)|
|15. Texas State||2-4||The Bobcats had the week off. They face Arkansas State on the road this week. (16)|
|14. Georgia Tech||2-5||The Yellow Jackets might be 2-5 overall, but they're 2-0 against teams in Florida after beating Miami 28-21 on Saturday. The Jackets were 18-point underdogs, but the upset was a bit lost in the shuffle since Illinois was beating Wisconsin at the same time. (9)|
|13. Vanderbilt||2-5||To summarize, Vanderbilt lost at home to UNLV by 24 points, and the next week they upset a ranked Missouri team. I love this sport. Still, with a bye this week, one has to wonder if there'd have been a coaching change this week had they lost. No wonder Derek Mason was so fired up afterward. (5)|
|12. New Mexico||2-5||The Lobos have lost four straight after falling to Wyoming 23-10. Looking at the rest of the schedule, it's hard to see more than one win, so this is a team that could be contending for a Bottom 25 Playoff spot. (14)|
|11. Northwestern||1-5||I guess the grass wasn't long enough. Northwestern got blown out by Ohio State 52-3 and is now 1-5 on the season. The losses are piling up quickly, but while that's bad for Northwestern, it's good for Pat Fitzgerald Monday press conferences. They're 75% more entertaining this year. (23)|
|10. Bowling Green||2-5||The Falcons couldn't put together a second-straight win and reenter The Bottom 10 after losing to Central Michigan. This week it's a road game at Western Michigan. (12)|
|9. Old Dominion||1-6||The Monarchs have dropped six straight after losing to UAB 38-14. Only one of those six losses came by fewer than 11 points. This week it's FAU. (11)|
|8. South Alabama||1-6||The Jaguars +17 were my Twitter Tip of the Day on Wednesday, and it was frustrating them mess up multiple scoring opportunities in a 24-point loss to Troy. This week they host Appalachian State and will more than likely lose. (10)|
|7. UTEP||1-5||The Miners lost again, but once again did so without being embarrassed. Outside of the 35-point loss to Texas Tech, their other four losses have been by an average of 14.75 points each. Considering this team has won two consecutive Bottom 25 titles, that's an improvement. (8)|
|6. UConn||1-6||It turns out the only thing the Huskies need to do to compete in a conference game is play a team that is deliberately tanking the season. (4)|
|5. Rice||0-7||After losing to UTSA 31-27, Rice's three conference losses have been by an average of 7.3 points. They're close, and they're going to get a win. I truly believe that. (6)|
|4. Rutgers||1-6||After losing to Minnesota 42-7, the Knights have been outscored 207-14 in five Big Ten games. On a totally unrelated note, remember that one time Temple was so bad at football the rest of the Big East voted it out of the league? Just thought of that for some unknown reason! As for Rutgers, perhaps the most winnable game remaining on the schedule comes this weekend against Liberty. (7)|
|3. New Mexico State||0-7||The Aggies had last week off and held steady in the rankings. This week they're on the road to face former Bottom 25 team, Georgia Southern. (3)|
|2. UMass||1-6||The Minutemen had last week off, and you know what they spent their time doing? Preparing to play No. 6 UConn in The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week! Let's go! (2)|
|1. Akron||0-7||The Zips put zip on the scoreboard for the first time this season, losing to Buffalo 21-0. This week it's a road game against No. 20 Northern Illinois to begin a stretch of major games in The Bottom 25 race. (1)|
No Longer Ranked: UCLA (15), Miami OH (17), Georgia Southern (18), Ohio (24)
Week 8 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.
Biggest Faller: I do not know what has happened to Toledo this season, but after losing to Bowling Green in a game they should have won, there was no gray area in their 52-14 loss to Ball State. As a result, the Rockets fell from No. 51 to the not-so-nice spot of No. 69.
Most Fraudulent 2-Loss Team: Liberty is at 5-2 this season, but its wins have come against Buffalo, Hampton, New Mexico, New Mexico State and Maine. As a result they're only ranked 58th overall.
Best Team With a Losing Record: The Tar Heels find themselves in this spot for the second time this season. At 3-4 they're ranked No. 65, just ahead of two other 3-4 teams in Illinois and Maryland, but ahead of six 4-3 teams.
Most Average Team: It's Liberty again! The Flames are 1.68% better than the average score of all 130 teams.