NCAA Football: Indiana at Michigan

Indiana began the 2021 season ranked No. 17 in the AP Top 25 after making a breakthrough during the 2020 season that was impacted by COVID-19. The Hoosiers finished 6-1 in that abbreviated regular season with victories over Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin along with a lone 7-point loss on the road against an Ohio State team that was ranked No. 3 at the time. On the heels of such a celebrated season, IU's placement in the 2021 preseason poll seemed entirely appropriate.

Following a slow build from consecutive 5-7 seasons to an 8-5 campaign in 2019, the 2020 season validated coach Tom Allen's program and suggested the Hoosiers would become a perennial bowl team under the likable former longtime high school coach. In fact, Allen's own stock rose to the degree that his name was at least loosely connected to other jobs.

But since that magical 2020 season, the Hoosiers are just 8-22 (2-19 Big Ten), and after last week's 52-7 loss at Michigan, they are in the Bottom 25 for the first time this season. Indiana is not expected to contend for Big Ten titles, but the program's rise to respectability in 2019 and 2020 with Michael Penix Jr. at quarterback suggested it could be better than what it is now. At least the Hoosiers aren't alone this week. Vanderbilt joined them in cracking the Bottom 25 as the contingent of Power Five teams increased to four.

Bottom 25 rankings

After years as the QB1 of the Bottom 25, Tom Fornelli has passed the baton to David Cobb this season. We're still using Fornelli's power rankings to determine the order -- with the No. 1 ranking belonging to the worst FBS team -- but the written jabs are from Cobb. 

No longer ranked: Eastern Michigan, San Jose State, Central Michigan, Bowling Green, Stanford