College football rankings: Mississippi State drops into The Bottom 25 after Mike Leach’s offense sputters

25. Kentucky 1-2 The Wildcats became the first team in history to hold a Mike Leach-coached offense without a single point. Obviously, the defensive performance the Cats put on against Mississippi State increased their overall rating quite a bit, as did their first win. This week they look for another one at Tennessee. (Last Week: 4) 24. Wake Forest 1-2 The Demon Deacons had the weekend off and are set to play Virginia on Saturday. (23) 23. Temple 0-1 Speaking of one-game teams entering late, hey there, Temple. The Owls didn’t look half-bad considering the delayed start to their season in a 31-29 loss to Navy. Of course, considering how Navy has looked this year, I’m not sure how much stock we should put in it. Maybe this week’s game against No. 5 South Florida will provide more information? (Not Ranked) 22. Missouri 1-2 So how is it that Missouri beat LSU, but remains in The Bottom 25 while — SPOILER ALERT — LSU isn’t ranked? Mostly LSU’s performance against Vandy. Also, the win didn’t wipe out the first two losses. As for Mizzou’s game against Vanderbilt to boost its numbers, that’s become the first SEC game to be postponed. Missouri’s next scheduled game is now at Florida on Oct. 24. (5) 21. UTEP 3-2 This is bittersweet. I’m not thrilled to see UTEP back in The Bottom 25 with a winning record, but at the same time, I’m never unhappy to see our two-time champions coming home to say hello. This week the Miners get No. 9 Southern Miss. (NR) 20. South Alabama 1-2 South Alabama had to postpone its game last week against Troy. It is currently scheduled to return this weekend against No. 16 Texas State. (20) 19. East Carolina 1-2 My Beloved Pirates took care of Chip Patterson’s South Florida Bulls on Saturday to get their first win of the season. Can they pick up a second against Navy? (7) 18. Mississippi State 1-2 We’ve had the whole Mike Leach experience through three weeks. First, there’s the incredible upset that nobody saw coming, and that was followed by a Leach team losing to a team it should beat. Then, to top it off, we got Leach publicly blaming his players for the loss to Kentucky, saying he might need to purge the roster. This week they’ll try to purge their two-game losing streak against Texas A&M. (NR) 17. Ole Miss 1-2 I bet this section of The Bottom 25 won’t show up on any message boards in the state of Mississippi. I’m probably being doxxed as you read this. Anyway, the Rebels are really fun to watch. They’re also 1-2 and allowing 52 points per game. That’s a great way to reach The Bottom 25. This week they get Arkansas. (NR) 16. Texas State 1-4 The Bobcats fell to Troy 37-17. I know I’ve said I like this team and think it’s better than its record, but its record is 1-4, and the lone win came against a Louisiana-Monroe team you’ll be seeing here a bit later. This week it’s a road game against No. 20 South Alabama. (22) 15. Louisville 1-3 Speaking of people who might not be ready to face reality when it comes to teams they believe in, my Cover 3 co-host Barton Simmons is not giving up on his Louisville Cardinals. He might want to reconsider seeing how they’ve lost three straight and now have to go on the road to play Notre Dame. (25) 14. Navy 2-2 Navy picked up a win against Temple, but getting back to .500 wasn’t enough to get out of The Bottom 25. Hell, it barely moved them anywhere. That’s just how bad Navy has been in its two losses. (9) 13. FIU 0-2 The good news for FIU is that its two losses against Liberty and Middle Tennessee have come by five points combined. The bad news is they’re still losses, and the Panthers don’t have any wins to speak of. Maybe this week on the road against Charlotte? (NR) 12. Duke 1-4 Duke made me look stupid on Saturday. I took Syracuse as my Lock of the Week because there was no reason for an 0-4 Duke team to be favored on the road against anybody. Well, maybe there was. Duke beat the Orange 38-24 and will be on the road again this week against NC State. (8) 11. Texas Tech 1-3 The Red Raiders have dropped three straight since struggling with Houston Baptist in their season-opener. This week the loss was a 31-15 setback against Iowa State. They have the coming weekend off before returning against West Virginia on Oct. 24. (17) 10. Syracuse 1-3 I’m trying to convince myself not to take Syracuse as a Lock of the Week again this season no matter who it’s an underdog against at home, but it’s hard. I mean, Cuse is currently a 3.5-point dog at home to Liberty this week. No, Tom, don’t do it. Do not do it. I’m not going to do it. I might do it. I mean, Liberty is good, but should any ACC team be an underdog at home to it? Oh god, I’m going to do it again, aren’t I? (18) 9. Southern Miss 1-3 The Eagles had their game against FAU postponed due to positive tests at FAU. This week they’re facing No. 21 UTEP. (13) 8. Western Kentucky 1-3 The Hilltoppers weren’t able to keep the winning momentum going against Marshall, losing 38-14. Thinks aren’t likely to be any easier this weekend on the road against UAB. (16) 7. Middle Tennessee 1-4 The trend continued for the Blue Raiders. They lost big in their first two games, then lost close in the next two. Now they’ve won close, beating FIU 31-28. If form holds, they’ll squeak by No. 4 North Texas this weekend before blowing out Rice in a couple of weeks. (6) 6. Florida State 1-3 It’s strange to say it, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Florida State’s 42-26 loss to Notre Dame on Saturday night was the best it has looked all season. Unfortunately for the Noles, things aren’t going to get easier this week when they return home to face a North Carolina team that finds itself ranked in the AP top five for the first time since 1997. (12) 5. South Florida 1-3 I wrote last week about how it felt as if new South Florida coach Jeff Scott was taking a redshirt year with his team in 2020. Nothing about the Bulls’ 44-24 loss to East Carolina changed that feeling for me. This week the Bulls hit the road to face No. 23 Temple. (14) 4. North Texas 1-3 The Not-So-Mean Green fell to 1-3 with a 49-21 loss to Charlotte, and this team is now dealing with a six-game losing streak against FBS opponents. Could it put an end to it this weekend against No. 7 Middle Tennessee in THE BOTTOM 25 GAME OF THE CENTURY OF THE WEEK? (15) 3. ULM 0-5 I saw some tweets Saturday during ULM’s 40-7 loss to Liberty about how this has to be the worst team in the country. Well, not according to The Bottom 25, it’s not! It’s only the third-worst team in the country! Take that, haters. The Warhawks will be off this weekend before a big game against South Alabama in a couple of weeks. (3) 2. Kansas 0-3 Kansas was off last weekend, which was probably for the best with coach Les Miles dealing with COVID. The Jayhawks are back this weekend in a spotlight game against West Virginia. It’s the only Big 12 game going this weekend. (2) 1. Vanderbilt 0-3 Our Commies lost by a 41-7 score for the second consecutive week, this time to South Carolina. This is a roster that was already pushing the limits before this week’s game against Missouri had to be postponed. As things stand now, our No. 1 team is scheduled to resume competition on Halloween. That’s going to be a long layoff. Will they be able to hold onto the No. 1 spot the entire time? (1)

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