With the first set of College Football Playoff rankings being released this week, I thought it would make sense to take a look at the only playoff picture that matters. The playoffs for those smart enough to know the real champions are those who keep trying despite all the evidence in the world it's not worth it.
I'm talking about The Bottom 25 Playoff. The picture has become a lot clearer in recent weeks, as many of our Bottom 25 teams have faced one another. This has helped eliminate some of our contestants, and now, entering Week 11, the contenders have separated from the pretenders.
There are nine two-win teams left, and like the two-loss teams out there, they haven't been eliminated from the running, but the odds are stacked against them. With eight teams with one win or none, they'd need a lot of help to reach our Bottom Four, and considering it's November and those eight teams only have one win or none, it's hard to imagine them getting hot and going on a winning streak.
So, based on what I've seen, I would say that any team with no wins or one win is a serious contender. Of the two-win teams, if any have a shot of grabbing that fourth seed, I would put my money on Rutgers or UConn.
|25. Kent State||3-5||The Flashes return to us just in time to start #MACtion season. That's right; if you didn't read this on Tuesday when it was published, Kent State has already played Toledo this week. (Last week: 23)|
|24. Middle Tennessee||3-6||The Blue Raiders have been a confusing team. They've beaten both Marshall and FIU in conference play -- two of C-USA's better teams -- but have looked entirely overmatched in other games. (Not Ranked)|
|23. Northern Illinois||3-6||The 49-0 win over Akron two weeks ago was enough to get out of The Bottom 25, but following it up with a 48-10 loss to Central Michigan brings the Huskies right back. They get a bye this week before their #MACtion season begins. (NR)|
|22. East Carolina||3-6||The Pirates came so close to pulling off an upset of Cincinnati this week. They played so well that they dropped four spots even though they lost the game. This week they get another tough game with SMU. (18)|
|21. ULM||3-5||The Warhawks fell to Arkansas State 48-41 in a defensive slugfest. This week it's a Georgia State team that used to be a Bottom 25 staple but is now very much in the hunt for a Sun Belt East title. (22)|
|20. Syracuse||3-6||Syracuse won 10 games last season while playing in the Carrier Dome. This year it's just called The Dome, and Syracuse is 3-6. Coincidence? No, definitely not. #CarrierCurse (24)|
|19. Tulsa||2-7||The Hurricane fell to the Green Wave 38-26 on Saturday. Tulsa has perfected the art of losing, but not looking horrible while doing so. I have to wonder if that's more painful than just being blown out every week. (20)|
|18. UTSA||3-5||Nobody expected UTSA to do much against Texas A&M last week, and it didn't. Now the Roadrunners get a crack at No. 6 Old Dominion. (19)|
|17. Bowling Green||3-6||The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week was a blowout, as Bowling Green spanked Akron 35-6. The Falcons can now celebrate their third win of the season while on their bye. (8)|
|16. Georgia Tech||2-6||Georgia Tech forced three Pitt turnovers, but could only manage to score 10 points anyway. While the Bottom 25 Playoff is out of reach, looking at the remaining schedule, this is a team that could easily crack The Bottom 10 before the season is over. (16)|
|15. UNLV||2-7||The Rebels have dropped three straight since their surprising upset of Vanderbilt. Maybe a bye this week will help fix things. (17)|
|14. Vanderbilt||2-6||The Commodores couldn't keep the momentum from that win over Mizzou, losing to South Carolina 24-7. This week won't get any easier with a road game against Florida. (15)|
|13. Arkansas||2-7||Arkansas has lost 17-straight SEC games. That's bad enough, but it's the second 17-game conference losing streak Arkansas has suffered through since the 2012 season. If the Hogs don't beat Western Kentucky this week, Chad Morris might be out of a job. (14)|
|12. New Mexico||2-7||The Lobos had a winnable game against Nevada, but lost 21-10. With Air Force, Boise State and Utah State left on the schedule, that may have been their last chance. (11)|
|11. Texas State||2-6||The Bobcats didn't have a whole lot for the Ragin' Cajuns, falling 31-3. Let's see how they bounce back this week against No. 7 South Alabama. (13)|
|10. UConn||2-7||If you were worried that win over UMass would go to UConn's head and put them on a winning streak, fear no longer! Navy ran wild over the Huskies, winning 56-10. Now UConn gets to play a Cincinnati team that nearly lost to East Carolina. (12)|
|9. Rutgers||2-7||Rutgers lost to Illinois 38-10, but it was their best Big Ten performance of the season because the score was tied 10-10 at halftime. That's worth something, right? It's a bye this week before the Buckeyes come to town. Can't wait to see the spread there. (10)|
|8. Northwestern||1-7||Northwestern lost to Indiana 34-3, and the most startling thing I can say about it is that nobody was all that surprised. This week the Cats get Purdue in Evanston, but can't afford to look past the Boilermakers toward that showdown with No. 2 UMass on Nov. 16. (9)|
|7. South Alabama||1-7||The Jaguars had last week off to get extra time to prepare for No. 11 Texas State and The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week! Can the Jaguars get their first Sun Belt win of 2019? (7)|
|6. Old Dominion||1-8||The Monarchs made things a lot closer against FIU than most expected, but still fell up short. This week's game against No. 18 UTSA might be the best chance at a conference win. (6)|
|5. UTEP||1-8||After losing to North Texas 52-26, the Miners get Charlotte this week. The Miners also have games left against No. 3 New Mexico State and No. 4 Rice. Those might as well be Bottom 25 Playoff games. (5)|
|4. Rice||0-9||After losing to Marshall 20-7, Rice is now 0-5 in C-USA play, but those five losses have come by an average of only 9.8 points. That's why I still think a win is coming. Will it be next week at No. 24 Middle Tennessee? (4)|
|3. New Mexico St.||0-8||The Aggies had the week off, and now get Ole Miss this weekend. (3)|
|2. UMass||1-8||UMass was shackled by Liberty 63-21 over the weekend, and has a road trip to Army this week. Army is getting closer to The Bottom 25 itself, but the way UMass has played this season, I'd be surprised to see the Knights ranked here next week. (2)|
|1. Akron||0-9||On Sep. 28, 2019, Akron scored four touchdowns in a 37-29 loss to UMass in The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of That Week. It has lost four more games since. It has not scored a touchdown in any of them. That's right, in their last four games, the Zips have been outscored 131-9. Maybe they'll find the end zone during their bye this week. (1)|
No Longer Ranked: Charlotte (21), North Texas (25)
Week 10 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 Climber: This week it was Oregon State climbing 17 spots from No. 79 to No. 62 after beating Arizona 56-38. Not only have the Beavers escaped their usual place in The Bottom 25 this season, but they're currently in second place in the Pac-12 North.
Biggest Faller: It's a tie this week, as both Utah State and NC State dropped 21 spots in the rankings following losses to BYU and Wake Forest respectively. Utah State dropped from No. 60 to No. 81, while NC State went from No. 62 to No. 83.
Most Average Team: The most average team in the country is Liberty, with a score that it is 0.46% better than the average of all 130 teams. The fact that Liberty is ranked No. 61 despite barely being above average is a testament to how strong our Bottom 25 teams have been.
Most Fraudulent Team: Don't take this the wrong way, San Diego State, but even with a record of 7-1 you're only ranked at No. 31. The closest one-loss team to the Aztecs is Louisiana Tech at No. 25, and there are 11 two-loss teams ranked above them.
Best Team with a Losing Record: This has been a common occurrence for North Carolina this season, but with a record of 4-5 the Tar Heels find themselves at No. 69 overall. That's pretty nice in comparison to other losing teams, as the closet to the Heels is UCLA at No. 73. UNC is ranked higher than four teams with a winning record.
Worst Team with a Winning Record: It's still Nevada. The Wolf Pack were just outside The Bottom 25 last week but climbed to No. 93 this week after beating New Mexico.