Math confusion: The Bottom 10 unveils the Faux Pas Index for final rankings

NCAAF

Inspirational thought of the week:

“I know where I’d go.”
“Where?”
“I’d go to Akron. I’d go there with a pretty woman. A strange woman. A quiet woman. I wouldn’t even want to know her name. Where I would be just ‘Mr. Smith’ and I would send out for cold beer. Then I would tell her things. Things that I’ve never told to anyone. Things that are locked deep in here. And as I talk to her, I would want her to hold out a soft hand and say, ‘Poor thing. Poor, poor thing.'”
“How long would you want this to go on, doctor?”
“Two weeks.”
“Two weeks? Wouldn’t that get a little monotonous? Just Akron, cold beer and ‘poor thing’ for two weeks?”
“No, it would be wonderful.”

— Cecil Kellaway and Jimmy Stewart as Dr. Chumley and Elwood P. Dowd in “Harvey”

Here at Bottom 10 Headquarters, located in the room of file cabinets where Deion Sanders stores all the Power 5 job offers that he wants us to know about but doesn’t plan to take, we have been thrown off of our collective axis. Our schedule is uglier and more broken down than a Pontiac Aztek. Our calendar has been erased more times than someone trying to use an Etch A Sketch in a centrifuge. What we’re saying is that our normal end-of-regular-season routine has been ruined. Instead of the usual meeting of our Bottom 10 Selection Committee at the DFW Hacienda Courts, our annual assemblage of college football minds such as Jerry Glanville, Charlie Weis and Ed “Straight Arrow” Gennero, we told them all to stay home.

Why? The season isn’t over yet. No, none of our teams suddenly received an invite to a conference championship game. The problem is that a mountain of snow two weekends ago kept one of our contenders from playing its final game and now we have to wait to see what happens.

Dammit, Akron.

So, instead of holding our normal fake CFP committee vote, we have gone full old school and are instead employing a fake old-school BCS approach. Yes, we are doing math. But as opposed to relying on the sorcerously accurate ESPN FPI — the Football Power Index — we have conjured up the Bottom 10 FPI — the Faux Pas Index.

It’s simple really. And by simple, we mean totally convoluted. Teams receive one point for each win, minus one point for each loss, minus one point for each loss of their longest losing streak of the year, plus a minus-10 bonus if that streak is currently active. We also subtract the number of points they have surrendered from the number of points they have scored, subtract or add points based on turnover margin and throw in a 50-point reduction if they have fired their head coach this season, aka the Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus. Divide that by the number of games played — let’s call that the Akron Principle — and there’s your Bottom 10 FPI score.

So get off your ath, let’s do some math. Math, math, math, math, math.

With apologies to Dewey Finn, Euclid, former Michigan State Spartan Addie Gaddis and Steve Harvey, here’s the final (sort of) 2022 Bottom 10 rankings.

1. Colora-duh (1-11)

Wins: +1
Losses: -11
Longest losing streak: -6 (current -10)
185 points for, 534 points against: -349
Turnover margin: -12 (tied with Akron for fourth worst in FBS)
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: -50
Total: -437
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 Faux Pas Index: -36.42

While the Buffs wait to be rebuffed by Deion, they can at least spend that time celebrating a championship. We knew that 2022 had been a total mess, but once we pushed it through the numerical cheese grater of the Bottom 10 FPI formula, Colorado became the college football equivalent of Jared Leto’s “Morbius.” We were already plenty sure it was going to be bad. We just never could have imagined it would be that awful.

play

1:36

Keyshawn Johnson breaks down why Deion Sanders would be a good fit as the head coach at Colorado.

2. UMess (1-11)

Wins: +1
Losses: -11
Longest losing streak: -9 (current -10)
150 points for, 373 points against: -223
Turnover margin: -3
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Score: -255
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -21.25

The Minutemen finished the year by losing back-to-back Pillow Fights of the Week against Arkansaw State and Texas A&M, and then suffering the worst late November loss to Army since Allied forces crossed the Siegfried Line.

3. US(notC)F (1-11)

Wins: +1
Losses: -11
Longest losing streak: -10 (current -10)
336 points for, 494 points against: -158
Turnover margin: -4
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: -50
Total: -242
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -20.17

The Bulls ended the season riding college football’s second-longest active losing streak, a run that included L’s suffered at the hands of a TU and UT, fellow Bottom 10 resident Temple and reigning Myrtle Beach Bowl champs Tulsa, which just fired its head coach.

4. North by Northworstern (1-11)

Wins: +1
Losses: -11
Longest losing streak: -11 (current -10)
165 points for, 340 points against: -175
Turnover margin: -19 (worst in FBS)
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Total: -225
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -18.75

In case you were wondering who in the world could have lost more consecutive times than USF’s 10 in a row, allow us to show you around lovely Evanston, Illinois.

5. Give me Liberty or give me death …

at the hands of the Other Aggies! The Flames land in the Coveted Fifth Spot after flaming out at the end of an otherwise heavenly 8-4 season with a stunning 49-14 loss to natural geographic rival New Mexico State, a game that the other FPI said that Liberty had a 95.7% chance of winning. I imagine it was hard for Hugh Freeze to keep both eyes on the playbook while he was also on the sideline scrolling through WarDamnEagleHousesForSale.com.

6. Huh-why-yuh (3-10)

Wins: +3
Losses: -10
Longest losing streak: -4
257 points for, 451 points against: -194
Turnover margin: -8
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Total: -213
Games played: 13
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -16.38

Akron may have played too few games, but the Warriors have played too many as they have the only Bottom 10 FPI that was divisible by an unlucky 13. In fairness, Timmy Chang’s team improved dramatically as a season that started with it ranked first/worst early and often continued to plow ahead. In fact, Mauna Loa was so irritated over the season ending that it erupted for the first time in nearly 40 years.

7. Charlotte 3-and-9ers (3-9)

Wins: +3
Losses: -9
Longest losing streak: -4
294 points for, 473 points against: -180
Turnover margin: -8
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: -50
Total: -248
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -20.67

Speaking of eruptions, I am already bracing myself for my next visit to my local supermarket here in my home of Charlotte, where the kid who rings me up always has me on blast whenever I have his Niners in these rankings. I already know what he’s going to say first. “But we ended the season with a win over Louisiana Tech and they are also 3-9, so why aren’t they in the Bottom 10 instead of us?!” I will inform him that when we ran the 3-and-9ers vs. Lose-ee-anna Tech in the computer, it wasn’t even close. Charlotte, thanks to a much larger points for/against margin, turnover margin and fired coach bonus, nearly doubled Louisiana Tech’s FPI of minus-10.67. I also already know what he’ll say next. “Dude, what is with your groceries? You eat like an 8-year-old.”

8. Akronmonious (2-9)

Wins: +2
Losses: -9
Longest losing streak: -9
239 points for, 379 points against: -140
Turnover margin: -11
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Total: -167
Games played: 11
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -15.18

In case you were wondering, yes, the Zips just won their second game of the year and did so against another fellow #MACtion Bottom 10 contender in Northern Ill-ugh-noise. But as you know from watching the CFP rankings announcement shows each week, this is all about “body of work” and Akron’s anatomy is Thor in “Avengers: Endgame.” NIU’s Bottom 10 FPI is minus-6.08, barely more than a third of the Zips, who are 15.18 below zip. Speaking of in case you were wondering and speaking of numbers that start with 15, Akron has a 15.4% chance of winning its do-over at Buffalo on Friday night. But that’s according to the ESPN FPI, and now that we have seen how easy it is to come up with an FPI formula, we’re not sure we trust it anymore.

9. Whew Mexico No-bos (2-10)

Wins: +2
Losses: -10
Longest losing streak: -9 (current -10)
157 points for, 312 points against: -155
Turnover margin: +4
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Total: -178
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -14.83

The No-bos ended the year by providing former top/bottom team Colora-duh State with the win they needed to boost themselves over the wall and out of the Bottom 10 prison yard. So why aren’t they ranked higher/lower than they are? Look at that turnover margin. Whew Mexico ranks 38th in all of FBS, tied with the likes of Cincinnati and Washington State. Come on, guys, are you trying to win this thing, or aren’t you?

10. No-vada (2-10)

Wins: +2
Losses: -10
Longest losing streak: -10 (current -10)
226 points for, 371 points against: -145
Turnover margin: +2
Randy Edsall Fired Coach Bonus: N/A
Total: -171
Games played: 12
Final Bottom 10 FPI: -14.25

The race to secure this final spot was tighter than a pair of Underoos washed in too-hot water, but the Oof Pack edged out the rest of the, er, pack via the nation’s other second-longest losing streak. The difference between Whew Mexico and its Mountain West mates in Reno is thinner than the gravy on the $3 meatloaf in downtown Reno. They shared seven common opponents and while New Mexico lost to all seven, Nevada did beat Liberty destroyers Whew Mexico State back in Week 1. The Pack ended the season with a loss to unLv, who reacted by … immediately firing its coach?

Waiting list: Temple of Doom, Arkansaw State, Colora-duh State, Lose-ee-anna Tech, Old Duh-minions, Northern Ill-ugh-noise, Stampford, Virginia Tech No-kies, In A Rut-gers, #goBCc, Arizona Skate, the end of the regular season … boo.

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