College football rankings: Welcome Stanford to the Bottom 25, prepare for the biggest game ever

There was once a time when Stanford would have been a semi-regular in The Bottom 25. It's easy to forget now, but the 1990s and 2000s weren't what anyone would call great decades for the Cardinal. Between 1990 and 2009, Stanford won five games or fewer in 13 of 20 seasons. Eight of those seasons featured no more than four wins. So while the only season Stanford would have competed for a Bottom 25 title would have been 2006 (it went 1-11), it still would have been here often enough.

But then Jim Harbaugh was hired, and the program's direction changed. The Cardinal had had good seasons in their history but hadn't had a sustained run since the days of Pop Warner and Tiny Thornhill in the 1920s and '30s when football coaches were required to have cartoon names. Harbaugh changed that. After going 9-15 his first two seasons, Stanford would go 20-6 in his final two years, finishing with an Orange Bowl win. That 12-1 season in 2010 would be the first of four consecutive seasons with at least 11 wins and begin a stretch of six 10 wins or more in seven years.

That run coincided with the birth of The Bottom 25. So, naturally, Stanford has been a program that has managed to remain unranked during the history of The Bottom 25. Until this week, that is. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, the average IQ of this feature is a little higher than usual this week. Now, while I do feel some pressure to use bigger -- or should I say more substantial -- words, I promise this will be the same feature you're used to.

No longer ranked: UCLA (7), Kent State (10), Buffalo (11), Fresno State (16), New Mexico (20), East Carolina (21)

Week 4 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: Iowa State climbed 40 spots this week, moving up from No. 82 to No. 42 after posting 72 points against Louisiana-Monroe.

Biggest Faller: Then there was Michigan, which fell from No. 21 to No. 56 following its 35-14 loss to Wisconsin on Saturday.

Most Fraudulent Undefeated Team: This award goes to the lowest-ranked undefeated team in my ratings. This week, it's still Minnesota, as the Gophers had a bye. They did manage to move up from No. 65 to No. 58 while not playing, though.

Most Average Team: This award goes to the team whose score is the closest to the average rating of all 130 teams. This week's winner is North Carolina, which is 0.19 percent better than the average score and ranked No. 67 this week.

Best 3-1 Team: There are two 2-1 teams (Maryland and Notre Dame) ranked above them, but that smaller sample size can skew things a bit. The best 3-1 team is Michigan State, which is ranked No. 22 after crushing Northwestern on Saturday.

Best 1-3 Team: Sure, they're 1-3 on the season, but maybe South Carolina can take some solace in being the best 1-3 they could be. The Gamecocks are ranked at No. 97, which leaves them nine spots clear of The Bottom 25 at the moment.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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