How the AP Top 25 should’ve looked based on Week 9 performances
There’s no doubt Les Miles and Co. posted college football’s most impressive win of the weekend, but several others shined as well including TCU’s 82-spot explosion against Texas Tech and Utah’s momentum-changing victory over USC.
Kentucky, even in defeat, impressed too.
No, this is not a real poll and is only a ranking of teams based on Saturday’s games only. We’ve included the Week 10 AP Top 25 for comparison.
Here’s how the AP TOP 25 should’ve looked based on Week 9 performances ONLY
1. Mississippi State — The SEC’s only remaining unbeaten was able to withstand several body blows from Kentucky in an exciting game in Lexington. Dan Mullen is keeping his team focused week to week and ignoring the polls, so he says.
2. Florida State — The Seminoles spent their bye week preparing for Thursday’s showdown at Louisville, arguably the defending national champions’ toughest game remaining.
3. LSU — Sticking to their true identity of a defense-first mentality, the Tigers went on a 13-play, 95-yard touchdown drive capped off by Logan Stokes’ 3-yrd reception with 5:07 remaining to beat previously unbeaten Ole Miss, 10-7. LSU has now won 24 games under Miles when trailing in the fourth quarter.
5. TCU — Quarterback Trevone Boykin deserves at least some Heisman mention after his 433-yard, seven-touchdown outing during his team’s 82-27 win over the Red Raiders. Drew Martin, the school’s assistant athletics director for marketing and licensing, said Saturday that the Horned Frogs have already used all of the post-touchdown pyrotechnics they ordered … for the entire season.
6. Notre Dame
7. Alabama — Lane Kiffin was all smiles in the first quarter in Knoxville after he called two scoring plays for Amari Cooper on the edge of Tennessee’s defense. Alabama built a 27-point first-half lead before winning by two touchdowns.
8. Michigan State
9. Auburn — There’s issues defensively, but the Tigers survived a high-scoring scare from Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks on the Plains. Gus Malzahn’s offense averaged over eight yards per carry and bludgeoned South Carolina at the point of attack, setting up a Playoff eliminator battle this weekend in Oxford.
11. Kansas State
12. Utah — The Utes drove 73 yards in two minutes and beat USC with eight seconds remaining on Travis Wilson 1-yard touchdown pass to Kaelin Clay. All three of the Trojans’ losses have come by six points or less this season.
14. Ohio State — Leading 17-0 against Penn State at intermission, the Buckeyes surrendered 24 unanswered points that spilled into overtime by quarterback J.T. Barrett’s 5-yard run knotted the score at 24. Ohio State won in the next session on Barrett’s second touchdown scamper.
16. Ole Miss — The Rebels are obviously better than a No. 16 ranking warrants as arguably the nation’s best one-loss team, but Saturday night in Death Valley included a comedy errors, mostly by coach Hugh Freeze mismanaging the game late. Bo Wallace’s game-ending interception was his first of the season against an SEC opponent.
17. Kentucky — Yes, the Wildcats lost by two touchdowns to No. 1 Mississippi State, but the final margin proved how far Kentucky’s come under second-year coach Mark Stoops. This team never quits and showed it again on Saturday.
18. Arizona State
20. West Virginia — The Mountaineers went on the road and dominated a talented Oklahoma State team, scoring 24 unanswered points in the second half. West Virginia’s now 4-1 in the Big XII.
22. Clemson — In desperate need of Deshaun Watson’s return under center, Dabo Swinney’s team won with defense for the third straight game. Clemson’s winning streak sits at five heading into a Thursday night affair at Wake Forest on Nov. 6.
25. East Carolina — The Pirates escaped UConn’s upset bid last Thursday night at home, but it didn’t strengthen East Carolina’s reputation among voters as a non Power 5 in need of support to play in one of the ‘Big 6’ bowl games.