With top teams jockeying for position and showing off for voters in blowouts, the magic cup game of the rest of the AP Poll is still going on as we get closer to finding out who’ll survive and who’ll fall.
Missouri was the big loser in Week 9, falling five spots after its heartbreaking loss in double overtime to South Carolina. Virginia Tech was erased from the rankings entirely after the team's home loss to Duke. Texas Tech also dropped from No. 10 to No. 15, with winner Oklahoma moving up to No. 13. South Carolina climbed up to No. 14 after the Gamecocks’ win over the Tigers, and eighth-ranked Auburn jumped up three spots.
The complete AP Poll (with first-place votes in parenthesis) is below:
1. Alabama (55)
2. Oregon (3)
3. Florida State (2)
4. Ohio State
12. Texas A&M
14. South Carolina
15. Texas Tech
16. Fresno State
18. Oklahoma State
21. Northern Illinois
24. Michigan State
25. Arizona State
Here are a few thoughts from this week’s results:
• Hey, welcome back Arizona State. The Sun Devils slipped in at No. 25 despite being idle this week. Gotta love the bye week strength of schedule boost. No matter how controversial the finish was, that Wisconsin win is going to be a good one all year, and that offense is for real. If ASU can find a way to sustain some momentum, there's a very real chance it could play its way into the Pac-12 title game.
• Northern Illinois was surely scoreboard watching as Fresno State struggled with San Diego State on Saturday night (it was late; maybe the Huskies watched Sunday morning on tape delay). The Bulldogs were able to escape in overtime to stay at No. 16, and NIU picked up an easy win over Eastern Michigan. The voters will keep the Huskies a bit lower until their stretch against Ball State and Toledo. If Northern Illinois makes it out of that sequence in one piece, that could give them the boost they need to climb in the rankings. • Voters were clearly impressed with Oklahoma’s win over Texas Tech, as the Sooners jumped four spots. The team seems to suffer a tough injury each week, this time losing fullback Trey Millard for the season with a knee injury, and Oklahoma will have a huge challenge keeping pace with Baylor’s offense next Thursday.