Last Word On College Football Top 25: Week 9

College Football Top 25

By: Mike Loveall, Last Word On College Football

It was a “Prove It” weekend in college football. Seven undefeated teams went on the road to prove whether or not they deserved to be considered among college football’s elite. Some passed their test (Michigan, Washington, Clemson) while others fell to their competition (Nebraska, West Virginia, Baylor, Boise State). Even the teams that won did so with razor-thin margins. Every win for a Top 10 in action this weekend came down to the final drive. That included near upsets of Louisville and Ohio State by law school schools Virginia and Northwestern, respectively.

Last Word on College Football Top 25: Week 9

Not surprisingly, Alabama maintains its grip as our unanimous top ranked team. 14 of our 16 voters have the same top four teams of Alabama, Michigan, Washington and Clemson (in some order). So as we look to Tuesday’s College Football Playoff rankings, we expect to see those four on the top lines. The SEC and Big 10 dominate the Top 10, with eight of the top 11 teams. Auburn, Florida, and Virginia Tech were big movers up this weekend. Among those moving down were West Virginia and Baylor. It was a tough weekend for the Big 12. Only one team moved in to this week’s poll: Washington State. The Cougars replaced the recently departed Tennessee Volunteers in the wake of their lifeless loss at South Carolina.

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LAST WORD ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL TOP 25: WEEK 9

Rank


 Team


Points


Previous


1.

Alabama-Thumbnail-1

ALABAMA (16)  (8-0)

400 1
With close games across the nation the last three weeks, Alabama’s domination of its Top 10 opponents make the Tide a consensus national number one. Unfortunately for the Bama, trophies aren’t handed out in October. Mike Loveall


2.

Michigan_Wolverines_Logo.svgMICHIGAN  (8-0)

376 2
Michigan beat Michigan State in a closer-than-expected game, thanks to four scoring drives in the second quarter. Only three games until the Thanksgiving-weekend showdown with the suddenly-struggling Buckeyes. Yesh Ginsburg


3.

University_of_Washington_Block_W_logo.svgWASHINGTON  (8-0)

363 3
The Huskies beat Utah on the road to solidify their status as the favorites to win the PAC-12. Chris Petersen’s squad returns home to host Cal in Week 10. Donald King


4.

Clemson_University_Tiger_Paw_logo.svgCLEMSON  (8-0)

361 4
Clemson has redefined the program in the last two years with big game success in clutch situations. Last night was no different as the Tigers now have an inside track to the ACC Championship and the College Football Playoff. Justin Gordon


5.

louisville-cardinals-logoLOUISVILLE  (7-1)

331 5
The cardinals survived a scare on the road against Virginia 32-25. Lamar Jackson threw for four touchdowns in the win. Louisville will have to play better to keep CFP hopes alive. Jonathan Bailey


6.

OHIO STATE  (7-1)2013_Ohio_State_Buckeyes_logo.svg

320 6
Ohio State got out to an early 17-7 lead after two rushing TDs by Mike Weber. The Buckeyes were able to fight off Northwestern in a 24-20 win. Next week, the Buckeyes will face Nebraska after their tough overtime loss. Rob Gritzer


7.


TEXAS A&M
 (7-1)Texas_A&M_University_aTm_logo.svg

305 11
A comfortable victory for Texas A&M at home to New Mexico State means they move to seven wins for the season. Christian Kirk returning two punts for a touchdown and catching another touchdown. Next up is a road game at Mississippi State. Matthew Atkinson


8.

WISCONSIN  (6-2)wisconsin-badgers-logo

291 10
The Badgers were able to fight off Nebraska 23-17 in overtime. Wisconsin handed Nebraska their first loss of the season this week, leaving only Michigan undefeated in the B1G. Next week, Wisconsin will travel to face Northwestern who almost upset Ohio State. Rob Gritzer


9. 

2000px-auburn_university_athletics_logo-svgAUBURN  (6-2) 

249 14
The Tigers have found their stride. Behind a potent rushing attack and underappreciated defense, Auburn has clawed their way into the Top 25 after 1-2 start to the season. Lauren Beasley


10.

Florida_Gators_logo.svgFLORIDA  (6-1)

248 18
The Gator defense dominated Georgia, allowing only 21 rushing yards in a 24-10 win to move to 6-1. With a Tennessee loss, Florida looks like they’ll head to Atlanta to play in the SEC Championship Game. They travel to Arkansas next week. Zach Jones


11.

Nebraska_Cornhuskers_logo.svgNEBRASKA (7-1)

246 7
Despite a valiant effort in a thrilling game that went to OT, the Huskers unbeaten run ended with a 23-17 loss to Wisconsin. Their schedule doesn’t get any easier next week as they travel to Columbus to face Ohio State. John Bava III


12.

Oklahoma_Sooners_logo.svgOKLAHOMA  (6-2)

231 13
The Sooners won their fifth consecutive game in a dominating win over the Jayhawks, 56-3. Baker Mayfield threw 4 td’s in the win. Oklahoma travels to Iowa State to take on the Cyclones on Thursday night. Jason Rhea


13.

Baylor_University_Athletics_(logo).svgBAYLOR  (6-1)

190 8(T)
Baylor suffers its first loss of the season, despite a good offensive effort. QB Seth Russell had 364 total yards and three TDs on the day, including a 50 yard rushing TD. The defense allowed 250 yards on the ground to Texas RB D’Onta Foreman and that made all the difference. Sean Garmer


14.


Louisiana_State_University_(block_logo).svgLSU 
(5-2)

182 19
The Tigers are coming off a bye week. LSU is entering a tough four game stretch. Hopefully Leonard Fournette is well rested and ready to run as the Tigers welcome Alabama to Death Valley Saturday night. Kate Pearson-Halyburton


15.

broncologoWESTERN MICHIGAN  (8-0)

169 15
The Broncos had a bye this weekend. They’re out of the gate early this week with a game against Ball State on Tuesday. With Boise State losing, WMU has the fast track to a New Year’s Six bowl if they can run the table. John Bava III


16. 

west_virginia_flying_wv_logo-svgWEST VIRGINIA  (6-1)

155 8(T)
The Mountaineers suffered their first loss of 2016, falling 37-20 on the road in Stillwater. Skyler Howard struggled with turnovers, while the defense allowed more points than in any other game this season. Brendan Dzwierzynski


17. 

Osu_ath_brandOKLAHOMA STATE  (6-2)

139 24
Behind 3 TD passes from Mason Rudolph, the Cowboys knocked West Virginia from the ranks of the unbeaten, 37-20. Oklahoma State will take on the Kansas State Wildcats next Saturday in Manhattan. Jason Rhea


18.

vt_logo-svgVIRGINIA TECH  (6-2)

117 NR
After battling Connor and the Panthers, the Hokies managed to claw back to earn a 39-36 over Pitt. J.W. Gravley


19.

500px-penn_state_nittany_lions_svgPENN STATE  (6-2)

104 23
The Nittany Lions handled business against a lowly Purdue squad by a score of 62-24. James Franklin’s team is now 6-2 (4-1) and are in position to tie for first in the Big Ten East with Michigan and Ohio State. Zach Jones


20.

utah_utes_logo-svgUTAH  (7-2)

94 20
After getting down 14 to Washington, the Utes spent the rest of the game playing catch-up. It was a 60 yard punt return with just over three minutes left that gave them the 31-24 loss to the Huskies. Utah got 172 yards rushing and one TD out of the newly un-retired Joe Williams. Tony Siracusa


21.

University_of_North_Carolina_Tarheels_Interlocking_NC_logo.svgNORTH CAROLINA  (6-2)

76 21
After being on a bye week, the Tar Heels had a extra week to prepare for the triple option from Georgia Tech. UNC is in a crucial must win game. J.W. Gravley


22.

FSU_text_logo.svgFLORIDA STATE  (5-3)

70  16(T)
Dalvin Cook’s 4 touchdowns were not enough to lift Florida State past Clemson. The only 3-loss team in the poll, the Seminoles’ next opponent is NC State. Jonathan Bailey


23.

colorado-buffaloes-logoCOLORADO  (6-2)

60  25
The Buffaloes enjoyed a bye week in Week 9, preparing for a stretch run that sees them play three of their final four games at home. Next up is a struggling UCLA team, who will limp into Boulder on 11/5. Donald King


24.

bosu-15-mast-logoBOISE STATE (7-1)

44  12
QB Brett Rypien had his usual high stats game, going 22/35 for 295 yards, but it was his turnover at the end that cost Boise State. Rypien was sacked by Wyoming’s Chase Appleby, and fumbled with the ball bouncing out of the back of the end zone for a safety, giving the Cowboys a 30-28 win. Tony Siracusa


25.

  washingtonstatecougarsWASHINGTON STATE  (6-2)

20  NR
The Cougars finally overcome their opening loss to Eastern Washington to make it into the rankings. This team looks headed towards an Apple Cup that may decide the Pac-12 North. Yesh Ginsburg

Others Receiving Votes: Houston (16), San Diego State (15), South Florida (15), Troy (4), Tulsa (2), Appalachian State (2), Wyoming (1).


 

Next week’s slate is headlined by Alabama taking on LSU. Will the Tide have a the near-defeat experience that their Top 10 counterparts did this week, or will they continue their march towards Tampa? Only one way to find out: play the game.

Previous LWOS Polls:
Preseason Top 25
Week 1 Top 25
Week 2 Top 25
Week 3 Top 25
Week 4 Top 25
Week 5 Top 25
Week 6 Top 25
Week 7 Top 25
Week 8 Top 25

About the poll: Sixteen Last Word on College Football writers submit ballots and points are awarded on a inverse-scale (a first place vote receives 25 points, a 25th-place vote receives 1 point).

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