Wednesday, December 8, 2021

College football rankings: Indiana joins The Bottom 25, UMass leapfrogs into No. 1 spot

Anybody can rank the best teams, but only The Bottom 25 ranks the worst in college football each week

CBS Sports Graphic

In the grand scheme of The Bottom 25, seeing the Indiana Hoosiers ranked doesn’t come as a surprise. After all, the Indiana program is not one steeped in a rich tradition of football success. The Hoosiers played their first football game in 1887 and have won only 42.2% of them since. They’ve played in 13 bowl games and won three. They won conference titles in 1945 and 1967, and at no other time. Only three coaches in the program’s history who managed to last longer than 50 games won more than half of them.

So, again, to see Indiana in The Bottom 25 doesn’t come as a surprise, but it wasn’t supposed to be this season. The Hoosiers went 8-5 in 2019 and followed it up with a 6-2 record in 2020. They finished last season ranked at No. 12 in the AP Top 25, the first time the program finished a season ranked since 1988. It began this season ranked No. 17, the first time it’s began a season ranked since 1969.

They weren’t ranked for long, however, losing to Iowa in Week 1 and dropping four of six since. Now, this isn’t entirely Indiana’s fault. All five of its losses have come to teams still ranked in the AP Top 25, but while that strength of schedule is impressive (the Hoosiers have the toughest SOS in the metrics I use for these rankings), it’s not enough to keep them from joining The Bottom 25 this week.

Going from the AP Top 25 to The Bottom 25 is an impressive feat, and some would even say they’re part of the more important rankings now.

No Longer Ranked: No. 23 ULM, No. 21 Cal

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