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College football rankings: Shakeup to Bottom 25 Playoff race as Arizona, UNLV pick up first wins

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25. Bowling Green 3-6 Bowling Green had last week off and found itself entering The Bottom 25. The Falcons won their last game! I don’t track these things, but I’m fairly confident they are the first team in history to enter The Bottom 25 off a win and a bye. We’ll forever remember this day. (Last Week: Not Ranked) 24. ULM 4-5 The Warhawks left us for a couple of weeks following a 41-31 win over South Alabama, but two straight losses have them back under .500 and back in The Bottom 25. They’ll hope to get out again this week with a win over No. 5 Arkansas State. (NR) 23. Tulsa 3-6 Tulsa literally came within inches of a possible upset win over Cincinnati on Saturday, fumbling at the goal line down eight in the final minutes. Instead, they lost 28-20 and joined The Bottom 25. Also, while I don’t know if the College Football Playoff selection committee reads this column, I have to point out that Cincinnati has struggled in three straight games against teams currently ranked in The Bottom 25. Tulsa will face one of them this weekend when it goes on the road to face No. 11 Tulane. (NR) 22. Texas State 3-6 The Bobcats picked up a nice 27-19 win over ULM on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough to get them out of The Bottom 25. They do have a couple of winnable games remaining on the schedule, though, including this week at home against No. 13 Georgia Southern. Could we see a winning streak begin? (15) 21. Indiana 2-7 The Hoosiers fell to Michigan 29-7 last week, giving them their sixth loss against a team ranked in one of those other inferior polls. That’s part of the reason the Hoosiers are only at No. 21 despite being 2-7 — their strength of schedule is a lot stronger than most of the other teams here. Things get a little easier this week when the Hoosiers host Rutgers. (25) 20. Louisiana Tech 2-7 The Bulldogs dropped their fifth straight despite taking an early 21-7 lead over UAB. Things turned quickly after that, as the Blazers outscored the Bulldogs 45-17 the rest of the way to win 52-38. Tech hopes to put an end to the streak this weekend against Charlotte. (24) 19. South Florida 2-7 The Bulls continue to show strong signs of feistiness as they fell to Houston 54-42. While the wins aren’t coming, this is a team that’s improving as the season goes on, and it could pull off a surprise before all is said and done. And what if that surprise is at home against Cincinnati on Friday? (19) 18. New Mexico 3-6 New Mexico found itself on the wrong end of UNLV’s first win in a 31-17 home loss. I was not surprised at the result, as I picked UNLV to win on the Locks Pod edition of The Cover 3 Podcast. I do not expect the Lobos to win this week at Fresno State, either. (22) 17. Temple 3-6 If The Bottom 25 rankings began in October, Temple would be a serious contender for a playoff spot. The Owls have lost four straight games and have been outscored 180-27 in the process. This team has run out of gas, which bodes well for its opponent this week: Houston. (23) 16. Rice 3-6 Rice was close to pulling off a victory Saturday but fell to Charlotte 31-24 in overtime. Close games have been a theme for the Owls since three early-season blowout losses. This week they’ll try to slow down the high-octane offense of Western Kentucky. (17) 15. Ohio 2-7 The Bobcats picked up their second win of the season last Tuesday, beating Miami (OH) 35-33 in The Battle of the Bricks. They’ll look to make it two wins in a row when they face Eastern Michigan on Tuesday night. Remember, kids; The Bottom 25 is The Unofficial Official Poll of #MACtion. (11) 14. Navy 2-7 Navy couldn’t maintain its strong level of play over recent weeks in South Bend, losing to Notre Dame 34-6. The Mids will have this week off to recover before returning to action next week against East Carolina. (16) 13. Georgia Southern 2-7 The excitement of hiring Clay Helton wasn’t enough to inspire the Eagles to victory against Coastal Carolina, as they fell 28-8. And you know what? If I’m going to lose a game, I’d rather do it with an odd-looking score than a normal one. Losing 28-7 doesn’t grab anybody’s attention, but when you lose 28-8? The people notice. Not as much as if you’d lost 28-5 or 5-2, but they notice. Southern hopes to turn more heads this weekend against No. 22 Texas State. (14) 12. Arizona 1-8 While Cal fans will be quick to point out how depleted their team was on Saturday, it should also be pointed out that Arizona is down to roughly its ninth-string QB as well. The Wildcats are far from 100%, and as I said up top, I don’t care how the win comes, so long as it comes. It probably came just in time, too, because Arizona’s final three games of the season won’t be easy. The first of the three is against Utah Saturday. (5) 11. Tulane 1-8 My beloved Wave have dropped seven straight and remain on the hunt for their first win over an FBS team in 2021. This weekend, the Wave hope to crash back from a 14-10 loss to UCF at home against No. 23 Tulsa. (13) 10. Vanderbilt 2-7 The Commodores had the weekend off but return to action this week against a Kentucky team licking its wounds following a loss to Tennessee. (12) 9. UNLV 1-8 OK, so I predicted last week that UNLV would get a win against New Mexico. So, you know what? I’m predicting the second win of the season will come this week when the Rebels host Hawaii. (4) 8. Akron 2-7 The Zips lost to Ball State 31-25 last Wednesday and fired coach Tom Arth on Thursday. It’s been a rough couple of years in Akron, but the Zips will look to pull off an upset over Western Michigan Tuesday night. (10) 7. FIU 1-8 There just aren’t a lot of positive things to say about the Panthers right now. Old Dominion was one of the more winnable games remaining on the schedule, and they lost at home to the Monarchs 47-24. Given their performance, it’s hard to be optimistic about chances against the remaining three teams, including this week’s contest at Middle Tennessee. (9) 6. New Mexico State 1-8 The Aggies fell 35-13 to one of the Mountain West’s best in Utah State, and this week they get to take on Alabama a week after the Tide nearly lost to LSU. So I’m sure that’s going to be a lot of fun for the Aggies. Still, the good news is the Aggies did find a home during the week, as they were one of four schools invited to join the new-look Conference USA. (7) 5. Arkansas State 1-8 It was a rough day for the Red Wolves in a 48-14 loss to Appalachian State, but there’s no time to feel sorry for themselves. They’ve just got to pick themselves up and dust themselves off because this week they’re hitting the road to take on No. 24 ULM in The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of the Week! (8) 4. Southern Miss 1-8 The bad news for the Golden Eagles is they lost by 24 to North Texas in The Bottom 25 Game of the Century of Last Week. The good news is games remain against No. 20 Louisiana Tech and No. 7 FIU, so a second win is possible. Maybe even a third. Of course, it’s not likely to come this week against UTSA, which means the Golden Eagles should hold onto their Bottom 25 Playoff positioning for at least another week. (6) 3. UConn 1-8 UConn was off again last week and will play its first game in 22 days on Saturday when it travels to Clemson. This means that the Huskies can blame a loss on being rusty if they’d like, or they can credit a possible upset win to being so well-rested. (3) 2. Kansas 1-8 The Sunflower Showdown did not go well. Kansas lost its 13th consecutive game to rival Kansas State, falling 35-10. This week the Jayhawks turn to an old reliable when it comes to looking for a conference win: Texas. (2) 1. UMass 1-8 The first leg of The Battle for New England did not go well for the Minutemen, as they lost to Rhode Island 35-22. They’ll look to salvage some pride this weekend in the second leg against Maine. (1)





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How to watch Appalachian State vs. James Madison: NCAA Football live stream info, TV channel, time, game odds

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Who’s Playing

James Madison @ Appalachian State

Current Records: James Madison 2-0; Appalachian State 2-1

What to Know

The James Madison Dukes watched the action from their couches last weekend, but are set to take to the field. James Madison and the Appalachian State Mountaineers will face off in a Sun Belt battle at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The odds don’t look promising for the Dukes, but the bigger the opponent is, the harder they fall.

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A well-balanced attack led James Madison over the Norfolk State Spartans every single quarter on their way to victory two weeks ago. James Madison claimed a resounding 63-7 win over Norfolk State at home. The game was pretty much decided by the half, when the score had already reached 35 to nothing.

Meanwhile, Appalachian State didn’t have too much breathing room in their contest with the Troy Trojans last week, but they still walked away with a 32-28 victory. Appalachian State QB Chase Brice was slinging it as he passed for two TDs and 279 yards on 34 attempts. Near the top of the highlight reel was Brice’s 53-yard TD bomb to WR Christan Horn in the fourth quarter.

Their wins bumped the Dukes to 2-0 and the Mountaineers to 2-1. Watch the matchup and check back on CBS Sports to find out who keeps up the positive energy and who hits a stumbling block.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Kidd Brewer Stadium — Boone, North Carolina
  • TV: ESPN Plus
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $40.99

Odds

The Mountaineers are a solid 6.5-point favorite against the Dukes, according to the latest college football odds.

The oddsmakers had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Mountaineers as a 7.5-point favorite.

Over/Under: -111

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Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.



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UTSA vs. Texas Southern: How to watch NCAA Football online, TV channel, live stream info, game time

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Who’s Playing

Texas Southern @ UTSA

Current Records: Texas Southern 1-2; UTSA 1-2

What to Know

The Texas Southern Tigers will take on the UTSA Roadrunners at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Alamodome. Texas Southern isn’t favored, but they just beat the odds in their last game, so don’t count them out.

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The Tigers kept a clean sheet against the Southern University Jaguars last week and took the matchup 24 to nothing. The squad ran away with 21 points in the first half and mostly just sat on those in the second to pick up the victory.

Meanwhile, it was all tied up 17-17 at halftime, but UTSA was not quite the Texas Longhorns’ equal in the second half when they met last week. The Roadrunners suffered a grim 41-20 defeat to the Longhorns. This contest was a close 17-17 at the break, but unfortunately for UTSA it sure didn’t stay that way. A silver lining for them was the play of RB Brenden Brady, who threw one touchdown in addition to punching in one rushing touchdown.

Texas Southern’s win lifted them to 1-2 while UTSA’s loss dropped them down to 1-2. We’ll find out if the Tigers can add another positive mark to their record or if UTSA can shake off the defeat and take the spring out of Texas Southern’s step.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Alamodome — San Antonio, Texas
  • TV: STADIUM
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $69.00

Odds

The Roadrunners are a big 42-point favorite against the Tigers, according to the latest college football odds.

Bettors have moved against the Roadrunners slightly, as the game opened with the Roadrunners as a 44-point favorite.

Over/Under: -110

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Series History

This is the first time these teams have played each other within the last seven years.



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North Carolina vs. Notre Dame live stream info, TV channel: How to watch NCAA Football on TV, stream online

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Who’s Playing

Notre Dame @ North Carolina

Current Records: Notre Dame 1-2; North Carolina 3-0

What to Know

The North Carolina Tar Heels will be returning home after a two-game road trip. They will take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Kenan Memorial Stadium after a week off. UNC is expected to win — but not by much — so they will need to come into the game prepared for a fight.

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The Tar Heels beat the Georgia State Panthers 35-28 two weeks ago. Among those leading the charge for UNC was RB Omarion Hampton, who rushed for two TDs and 110 yards on 16 carries. Hampton put himself on the highlight reel with a 58-yard TD scramble in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame netted a 24-17 victory over the California Golden Bears last week. RB Audric Estime and RB Chris Tyree were among the main playmakers for Notre Dame as the former punched in one rushing touchdown and the latter snatched one receiving TD.

Notre Dame’s defense was a presence as well, as it embarrassed California’s offensive line to sack QB Jack Plummer six times for a total loss of 47 yards. It was a group effort with four guys contributing.

The wins brought the Tar Heels up to 3-0 and the Fighting Irish to 1-2. A pair of stats to keep an eye on: UNC enters the matchup with 310 passing yards per game on average, good for 21st best in the nation. But Notre Dame comes into the contest boasting the 34th fewest passing yards allowed per game in the nation at 184. These opposing strengths should make for an exciting matchup.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Kenan Memorial Stadium — Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • TV: ABC
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App
  • Ticket Cost: $110.00

Odds

The Tar Heels are a slight 2.5-point favorite against the Fighting Irish, according to the latest college football odds.

The line on this game has moved quite a bit since it opened, as it started out with the Fighting Irish as a 1.5-point favorite.

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Over/Under: -110

See college football picks for every single game, including this one, from SportsLine’s advanced computer model. Get picks now.

Series History

Notre Dame have won all of the games they’ve played against North Carolina in the last eight years.

  • Oct 30, 2021 – Notre Dame 44 vs. North Carolina 34
  • Nov 27, 2020 – Notre Dame 31 vs. North Carolina 17
  • Oct 07, 2017 – Notre Dame 33 vs. North Carolina 10



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