I asked a simple question last week in The Bottom 25 about our No. 1 team, Vanderbilt. It was based on the fact that the Commies' game against Missouri had already been postponed and they weren't scheduled to resume competition until Halloween. So, I wondered: would our beloved Commies be able to hold onto the No. 1 spot that entire time, or would somebody come in and swoop it away?
Somebody has done just that, but I must admit that at the time of asking the question, I hadn't even considered the team that's done it as a possibility. In fact, it had escaped my mind entirely that the team was even playing.
That's one of the strange side effects of this COVID-19 season. Teams are starting at different times, and some are starting after they announced they wouldn't be playing at all. Like UMass did -- and now UMass has made history.
The Minutemen became the first team in Bottom 25 history to go from unranked during the regular season to the No. 1 spot the next week. Congratulations, UMass, you've only been back for a week and it's already all been worth it.
As for where everybody else stands, let's find out.
|25. UTEP||3-2||Believe me when I tell you that I'm generally annoyed by having teams with winning or even records in these rankings. It cheapens the entire experience. I'm confident that with the Big Ten and Mountain West starting this week and the Pac-12 to follow, this is the last we'll see of it. The Miners' game against Southern Miss was postponed due to COVID-19 cases with the Golden Eagles, and they're scheduled to resume this weekend at Charlotte. (21)|
|24. Navy||3-2||Imagine with me, if you will, a Navy team beaten by BYU 55-3 and crushed by Air Force 40-7 so far this season playing for an AAC championship. Because that's a distinct possibility! The Mids are 0-2 in nonconference play while losing by an average of 47.5 points per game, but they're 3-0 in-conference after beating East Carolina 27-23 on Saturday. They're currently in first place in the standings while ranked in The Bottom 25. What a season. (14)|
|23. UTSA||3-3||The Roadrunners enter our rankings for the first time this year. They got off to a 3-0 start to the season but have since dropped three straight to UAB, BYU and Army. Next up is a home game with Louisiana Tech. (Not Ranked)|
|22. Missouri||1-2||Mizzou's game against No. 2 Vanderbilt had to be postponed due to COVID-19. Of course, while the team didn't play, that didn't stop Eli Drinkwitz from picking up a new nickname on The Cover 3 Podcast. If you haven't heard, he's no longer Eli Drinkwitz -- he's The Alpha Nerd. The Alpha Nerd and the Tigers hope to resume this weekend against Kentucky. (22)|
|21. Georgia Tech||2-3||Yeah, getting beat 73-7 is a great way to introduce yourself to The Bottom 25, Bees. I'm not entirely sure what you did to Clemson to make it that mad, but maybe don't do that again. (NR)|
|20. North Texas||2-3||The Mean Green picked up a 52-35 win over Middle Tennessee in last week's Game of the Century of the Week, but while it got them out of The Bottom Five, it wasn't enough to get out of the rankings. Another win next weekend against No. 25 UTEP should accomplish that. (4)|
|19. Virginia||1-3||Listen, Virginia, I loved you last year when you were good, and I love you this year when you're not nearly as good. I mean, how can you not love a team with a 250-pound quarterback who wears No. 36? Lindell Stone is a damn icon. Whether he's enough to get you out of these rankings in the near future, I'm not so sure. Not when your next two games are against Miami and North Carolina. (NR)|
|18. Florida State||2-3||There was once a time when Florida State was the team ranked in the top five that would go on the road and suffer an upset loss to some ACC bottom-feeder. Now the Noles are that ACC bottom-feeder knocking off the top-five team after beating North Carolina on Saturday night. Huge win for Mike Norvell and the program in his first season, but not enough to escape The Bottom 25. Might the Noles beat No. 16 Louisville this weekend to make it three wins in their last four? (6)|
|17. Mississippi State||1-3||Mississippi State's 24-2 loss to Kentucky two weeks ago was the players' fault. I'm not sure who Mike Leach is blaming for this week's 28-14 loss to Texas A&M. Maybe the athletic trainers? The Bulldogs are off this week but return on Halloween to play Alabama. If they lose that game, it'll probably be the faculty's fault. (18)|
|16. Louisville||1-4||So, this season isn't going according to plan, is it? The Cardinals have now dropped four straight following a 12-7 loss to Notre Dame. Oddly enough, the defense that had been the major problem this season played quite well in the loss, but the offense couldn't get anything going. Still, maybe that's a sign things are getting turned around with the Cardinals? We might get an indication this week against No. 18 Florida State IN THE BOTTOM 25 GAME OF THE CENTURY OF THE WEEK. (15)|
|15. East Carolina||1-3||My Pirates didn't play all that poorly, considering they were without starting QB Holton Ahlers for their 27-23 loss to Navy on Saturday. Hopefully Ahlers will be able to play for ECU's next game against Tulsa on Oct. 30. (19)|
|14. Ole Miss||1-3||You know, it's one thing to be losing games when you're scoring 40 points or more. It's actually somewhat fun. When you're losing games because you threw, like, eleventy billion interceptions, it's not as fun. However, it is kind of funny to the rest of us. The Rebels resume this Saturday at home against Auburn. I'm expecting a win for the Rebels in this game simply because it's a result that might lead to the most chaos, and that seems like this whole program's vibe right now. (17)|
|13. Texas State||1-5||I can't lie, I'm a bit disappointed in the Bobcats. I liked their chances of beating South Alabama so much last week that I picked them to cover in The Six Pack. They did not win, nor did they cover the spread in a 30-20 loss. Now they've got a run of games coming against BYU, Louisiana, Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, Arkansas State and Coastal Carolina. That might have been their last, best chance at a win. (16)|
|12. Duke||1-5||The Blue Devils couldn't maintain the momentum of their road win against Syracuse this weekend. They lost to NC State in Raleigh 31-20 to fall to 1-5 on the season. They're off this weekend and will return on Halloween with a winnable game against Charlotte. (12)|
|11. Texas Tech||1-3||The Red Raiders had the weekend off but return to action this week against West Virginia. (11)|
|10. Southern Miss||1-3||COVID-19 issues have postponed each of Southern Miss' last two games, but they're hoping to be able to return this weekend against Liberty. Of course, given how Liberty is playing right now, maybe they should postpone this one to be safe. (9)|
|9. Syracuse||1-4||Speaking of Liberty, here's the team it just beat 38-21 on Saturday. Remember a couple of years ago when the Orange offense was one of the most entertaining units in the country, moving quickly and piling on the points? Yeah, that's not what the 2020 version is doing! I don't care what the number is -- I'd take the under on Syracuse's team total this weekend at Clemson. (10)|
|8. South Florida||1-4||I don't know if it's any consolation to fans, but I thought South Florida's 39-37 loss to Temple on Saturday was its best effort of the season. Maybe it's a sign that things are starting to take hold? We'll find out if the Bulls can keep heading in the right direction on Friday night against Tulsa. (5)|
|7. Middle Tennessee||1-5||The Blue Raiders couldn't make it two wins in a row against North Texas on Saturday but will be looking to pick up a win this weekend against a Rice team playing its first game of the season. I should point out that while I don't know who will win, teams playing their first game of the year against opponents that have already been playing are currently 18-6 against the spread this season. (7)|
|6. FIU||0-2||For those keeping track at home, the Panthers have lost two games and had three others postponed so far. Last week's game against Charlotte was called off due to COVID-19 issues on the Panthers roster. As of now, they're scheduled to resume action on Friday night against Jacksonville State. (13)|
|5. Western Kentucky||1-4||The Hilltoppers hung with UAB for a little bit on Saturday before the Blazers pulled away to win 37-14. They're now 1-4 with their lone win coming against No. 7 Middle Tennessee. This week presents a winnable game against Chattanooga. (8)|
|4. ULM||0-5||The Warhawks had a much-needed weekend off to try and get things in order. This week they return to action against a South Alabama team that just fell out of The Bottom 25. (3)|
|3. Kansas||0-4||Kansas' path to a win in 2020 just became a lot more difficult with the news that running back Pooka Williams is opting out for the rest of the season; he's a vital part of their offense. Now the Jayhawks have to figure out a way to go on the road and beat rival Kansas State without him. (2)|
|2. Vanderbilt||0-3||As I wrote in the intro, the Commodores' game against Missouri was postponed, and they have a scheduled bye this week. They won't return until Halloween. (1)|
|1. UMass||0-1||What a way to make an entrance! The Minutemen dove headfirst into the 2020 season midway through October and were pasted by Georgia Southern 41-0. Now they're at No. 1 and present a dilemma. Right now, there aren't any other games on the schedule! If they don't play again, so can I keep them at No. 1? Should The Bottom 25 have a minimum games played threshold? These are things I have to consider! They're eligible for now, but that could change. (NR)|
No Longer Ranked: No. 25 Kentucky, No. 24 Wake Forest, No. 23 Temple, No. 20 South Alabama