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Breaking Down AP College Football Top 25 Rankings for Week 9

Welcome back to another installment of frustration with the AP’s College Football Top 25 Rankings. The good news is that we are in Week 9. The bad news is that it’s Week 9. The season is flying before our eyes, the college football top 25 rankings are changing every week, and fall is in the air. It’s a bittersweet moment to realize.

But, this ode to college football has a purpose, to introduce this week’s college football top 25 rankings! If you need to catch up, read the previous one here. Buckle up, as I will not stall any longer.

Breaking Down AP College Football Top 25 Rankings for Week 9
Credit: Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports

Breaking Down the AP College Football Top 25 Rankings

1. Georgia

Breaking news, the grass is green, the water is wet, and the sky is blue. It’s just a simple fact of life. Unless the Bulldogs get a loss to their name this year, then they will most likely hold this spot until the end of the season.

2. Ohio State

Once again, the Buckeyes stay anchored as the runner-up to Georgia. If this pace is kept between the two, they will probably see each other in the playoffs. Whether that’s the championship or not is not up to fate, but to the ever-hypocritical eyes of the Playoff Committee.

3. Tennessee

Admittingly, this is weird to see. It seems like eons ago that the traditional top four held their respective spots, but if there’s one thing about this season- it’s to expect the unexpected. The Vols have put their foot on the gas and are taking names on a glorious season so far.

4. Michigan

The Big Blue sits atop the Big 10 with an undefeated record… for now. Listen, is this ranking new to them? No. Does Michigan have a track record of choking? Yes. The Wolverines are poised to face their Spartan neighbors in a battle that will probably be an easy win for Michigan. I expect Michigan to round out the top four, barring some unimaginable loss.

5. Clemson

Well, it seems that my passive frustration with Clemson last week was read by Dabo himself. Their starting quarterback was benched after lackluster play against Syracuse. While the Tigers escaped with a win, it’s hard to fathom that a close call like that can warrant top-five status. Oh wait, I forgot to mention that the AP is biased in favor of Clemson.

6. Alabama

My glasses were fogged, I cleaned them, and I still managed to read that the Crimson Tide fell out of the top five. Last weekend, they got a much-needed victory against American icon Mike Leach, much to my chagrin. Additionally, the ship that they’ve righted has granted them blessings in the eyes of the Associated Press.

7. TCU

The Horned Frogs have surprised everyone in the NCAA, and have certainly shocked their Big 12 companions. They are undefeated at the moment and look poised to capture their conference. They’ve knocked out their conference competition. And it seems that their only possible fatality to their win column might come in the conference championship game.

8. Oregon

The Ducks are quacking it up right now. They are hot off of a victory against the UCLA Bruins, which catapulted their shot at the conference title. Outside of USC, it’s hard to see who poses a threat to the mighty Oregon Ducks.

9. Oklahoma State

The Cowboys’ only loss this season was to the seventh-ranked Horned Frogs. However, they just handed Kansas State a loss, therefore adding a victory for themselves and righting their recent wrong. Their recent victory over the Wildcats puts them back into contention with TCU and keeps their top-10 college football rankings alive.

10. USC

The Trojans had a bye week last weekend and are set to take on Arizona next. Lincoln Riley and company lost to the Utah Utes the last time they took the field, so a bye week might not have been the right medicine for the Trojans. They will have to battle themselves just as much as the opposing team this weekend. The good news is, they are playing Arizona. So, it might not be that much competition.

college football rankings
Credit: Jay Biggerstaff/The Butler Collegian

11. Wake Forest

By golly, they’ve done it! The Demon Deacons have moved up the rankings by two spots this week! I shall have to celebrate with them, as promised last week, as the Associated Press took my writing to heart. While I’m glad my wish was granted, I’m sure the atmosphere in their locker room is even more ecstatic.

12. UCLA

The Bruins finally got their first loss by way of the Oregon Ducks last week. The contention within the PAC-12 climaxed with the recent bout between the two. UCLA will most likely rebound on the season, but with USC looking like it does, the Bruins will most likely cede conference championship hopes as a result of their shortcomings.

13. Penn State

Call the National Guard and tell them to hold off the missiles. The Nittany Lions are back in the top fifteen and therefore, nature is back to healing itself. With the Buckeyes on the horizon, the upcoming matchup will decide their fate for the rankings, as well as their conference standings. However, it’s hard to imagine that they would miss a bowl game this year.

14. Utah

Still, the Utes hold the highest rankings for a team with two losses. Currently, they sit at 5-2 and are bound to face off against Washington State next. This game does have an upset alert, but Utah has proved they hang if they want to. The key phrase is “if they want to”. Let’s see which version of the team shows up this weekend.

15. Ole Miss

LSU spoiled the Rebels’ hopes of a perfect season after falling to the Tigers. However, Rebels fans need not fret too much, as their beloved team still ranks within the top fifteen. Maybe they drank too much of their proverbial kool-aid, and have been humbled. Hopefully, that loss fuels victories moving forward.

16. Syracuse

The Orange narrowly lost to Clemson last week in a nail bitter. They forced a QB controversy for the Tigers to now deal with. So, maybe they did escape with a victory in some ways. If the Orange can play this good against the traditional top dog of Clemson, then the ACC is truly for the taking. Let’s look for Syracuse to rebound.

17. Illinois

The Fighting Illini are fighting for a spot in my heart. This team is the blue and orange engine that could and then some. The Big 10 West is currently theirs and are going to face the Cornhuskers next to cement that narrative. However, the penultimate game of their schedule is against Michigan, so buckle up as they will be gathering momentum for that battle of the titans.

18. LSU

LSU, why did we ever doubt you?! LSU, we love you! The Tigers tranced the smoking-hot Rebels and made the football field look like a field at the battle site. The Rebels got demolished by the Tigers, 45-20. The Tigers are once again the highest-ranked team in the state of Louisiana.

19. Kentucky

The Wildcats rested this past weekend after a victory against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. However, they are slated to battle the Vols this weekend in a primetime affair for viewers. Kentucky will not only have to battle rust and rest but will also have to tough it out on the road as they travel to Tennessee. Maybe the new goalposts in Tennessee will give an advantage back to the Wildcats.

20. Cincinnati

The Bearcats have been consistent members of the top twenty-five, albeit at the bottom of the rankings. Once again, I am calling out the bias of the Associated Press to move the Bearcats up the rankings. There is no reason why teams with more losses should be ranked higher than them when the Bearcats are coming off a playoff appearance from last season.

21. North Carolina

The battles of the Carolinas have begun and the Tar Heels are leading the race at the moment. However, as you look below, you will realize how close of a race this game is. The Tar Heels have some easy matchups before facing Wake Forest and NC State to close out their year. They desperately need to keep the momentum up after resting this previous weekend.

22. Kansas State

The Big 12’s resident Wildcats had a heartbreaking loss to TCU last weekend. However, they have an equally tough matchup this upcoming Saturday against Oklahoma State. With the Jayhawks starting to lose again, it looks like the Wildcats run the state of Kansas. But, let’s see for how long.

23. Tulane

Last week, in a wild turn of events, the Green Wave were the highest-ranked team in Louisiana. While the Tigers have shot ahead of them, the Green Wave will look to reclaim their former glory against Tulsa in November. They have a bye week coming up and will need momentum before facing Cincinnati at the end of the year.

24. North Carolina State

The Wolfpack kickoff week nine’s slate of football on Thursday night against Virginia Tech. The battle for the title of the best team in the Carolinas is up for grabs, and the Wolfpack are contenders. Let’s just hope the Wolfpack doesn’t bite off more than it can chew.

25. South Carolina

Spencer Rattler and company have finally gotten noticed by the AP’s rankings. When Rattler transferred, it was to mixed reviews of hype and criticism. On one hand, it took them nine weeks to prove their hype correctly. On the other hand, it took them nine weeks to get noticed. Call it fate, call it karma, but they earned their way to this spot, no doubt about it.

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