It was a remarkable weekend in The Bottom 25, as seven of our Bottom 25 teams won a game. Only two of them did so against fellow Bottom 25 teams. Any time nearly 30% of our Bottom 25 teams win, it's a good week, but some of those wins were better than others.
Going into last week, three winless teams were remaining in the country. Now there's only one. Both Rice and New Mexico State left the ranks of the winless, which is not only great news for them but great news for us as well.
The race for The Bottom 25 Playoff is more open now than it was just a week ago. Seven teams enter the final weeks of the season with no more than one win, and there are a couple of two-win teams that might sneak in too. There's also that final winless team remaining.
Akron is 0-10 with two chances left to win, and that means one thing: we are all Akron fans now.
|25. Tulsa||3-7||Poor, Tulsa. It was just sitting at home last week, minding its own business, not playing a game, and fell into The Bottom 25. This week brings a game against another new Bottom 25 member. (Last Week: Not Ranked)|
|24. ULM||4-6||The Warhawks lost 51-29 to Georgia Southern and fell into The Bottom 25. They are one of two 4-6 teams in the rankings this week. (NR)|
|23. Maryland||3-7||Maryland didn't play this week, and for that, we all thank them. This week the Terps host Nebraska in a game between two programs whose life in the Big Ten is not going as well as imagined. (23)|
|22. Houston||3-7||Houston lost to Memphis 45-27 and entered The Bottom 25 with authority, jumping in at No. 22. This week the Cougars will put the committee's faith in them to the test when they travel to play No. 25 Tulsa. (NR)|
|21. Kansas||3-7||As the weather gets colder, and the sky grayer, there's nothing quite as comforting as slipping under the warm blanket that is Kansas in The Bottom 25. Welcome back, you beautiful birds. (NR)|
|20. UTSA||4-6||The Roadrunners fell to Southern Miss 36-17. Their final two games are against FAU and Louisiana Tech, and those two are a combined 10-2 in C-USA. So the Roadrunners probably won't be leaving us. (25)|
|19. Middle Tennessee||3-7||I had been saying all year long that Rice was going to catch somebody at some point, and that some point was last week when the Owls caught Middle Tennessee. This week the Blue Raiders have another Bottom 25 matchup against No. 5 Old Dominion. (24)|
|18. East Carolina||3-7||The Pirates had last week off, giving them extra time to prepare for this week's clash against No. 6 UConn. (18)|
|17. Northwestern||2-8||Northwestern had scored 100 points total in its first nine games, and then scored 45 against UMass. Will that help it in any way when it faces Minnesota this week? (9)|
|16. UNLV||2-8||In one regard, holding Hawaii to only 21 points is something to be proud of. On the other hand, only managing seven points against a Hawaii team that had been allowing over 38 points per game in conference play beforehand is a concern. (14)|
|15. Texas State||3-7||The Bobcats got smacked by Troy 63-27, yet only climbed one spot int the rankings this week. Their final two games are on the road, starting this week against Appalachian State. (16)|
|14. Bowling Green||3-7||MACtion was not kind to the Falcons last week, as they fell to Miami (Ohio) 44-3. This week they'll host Ohio on Tuesday night. They might be playing right now as you read this! (17)|
|13. Georgia Tech||2-8||After beating Miami, and hanging tight with Pitt and Virginia, I had come under the impression that the Bees were figuring things out. A 45-0 loss to Virginia Tech suggests otherwise. This week the Bees get an NC State team that is just on the precipice of being a Bottom 25 team itself. (15)|
|12. Arkansas||2-8||Arkansas had the week off and will hit the road to take on LSU this week as a 44-point underdog. Good luck! (11)|
|11. New Mexico||2-8||The Lobos have lost seven straight after falling to Boise State 42-9. This week they'll face Air Force. (13)|
|10. Rice||1-9||I told you it would happen! Rice beat Middle Tennessee 31-28 to pick up its first win of the season, and you know what? I don't think it will be the last one. Will the second win be against North Texas on Saturday? (4)|
|9. Rutgers||2-8||Of course Rutgers' best offensive output of the season in a Big Ten game would come against Ohio State. I mean, we all saw it coming, so why bother acting surprised? This week the Knights host Michigan State, and wow, does that game look a lot more winnable now than it did a few weeks ago. (10)|
|8. Vanderbilt||2-8||The Commodores fell to Kentucky 38-14 last week, but have a very winnable matchup this week. At least, I would assume it is. Maybe East Tennessee State's a powerhouse. I don't know. We'll find out! (12)|
|7. South Alabama||1-9||The Jaguars lost to UL-Lafayette 37-27. It was their eighth straight loss, though the offense has begun showing signs of life in recent weeks. Will that help against Georgia State this week? (8)|
|6. UConn||2-8||UConn had last week off, just like this week's opponent, No. 18 East Carolina. (7)|
|5. Old Dominion||1-9||The Monarchs had last week off, and this week they'll hold court against No. 19 Middle Tennessee. (6)|
|4. UTEP||1-9||The Miners have now lost nine straight after losing to UAB 37-10 on Saturday. Also, with Rice's win, they've moved into Bottom 25 Playoff position. It looks like our two-time defending champions could get a shot at the three-peat after all. Unless they win another game, of course. (5)|
|3. New Mexico St.||1-9||The Aggies beat Incarnate Word 41-28 last week, but they cannot afford to have a victory hangover this week? Why? Well, because they're hosting No. 4 UTEP in The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week on Saturday! It's essentially a playoff game. (3)|
|2. UMass||1-10||UMass lost to Northwestern 45-6 on Saturday, and their regular season will come to an end this weekend at home against BYU. A loss in that game would clinch a Bottom 25 Playoff berth. Hell, to be completely honest, I'm not even sure a win would get UMass out of the playoff. (2)|
|1. Akron||0-10||Akron has two chances to get a win this year, and the first of them is on Wednesday night when they play at Miami (Ohio). If you're in the area, you better be on your way to the game to support your beloved Zips. (1)|
Week 12 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: Eastern Michigan shot up 21 spots in the rankings this week, from No. 100 to No. 79, after a 42-14 win over Akron. The Eagles have been one of the more volatile teams in my rankings all season long.
Biggest Faller: Plenty of teams took a plunge this week, but none further than Cal. The Golden Bears dropped from No. 58 to No. 73 after losing to USC 41-17.
Most Average Team: The most average team in the country is Boston College. The Eagles are 5-5 and come in at No. 61 in my rankings with a score that is 0.25% above average. Also, for those wondering how a team can have the most average score while finishing in the top half of teams, it's just a reflection of how bad the teams at the bottom are.
Best .500 Team: That would be Kentucky, which is 5-5 and ranks at No. 55 in my rankings. Its score is 11.02% above average, and the Wildcats are ranked ahead of 10 teams that have a winning record.
Worst .500 Team: On the other end of that 5-5 spectrum is FIU. The Panthers might be 5-5, but they're at No. 89 in my rankings with a score that is 51.63% below average. They're ranked behind 11 teams with a losing record, including a 4-7 Ole Miss team.