Miss. State retakes No. 1 in college football Power Rankings after Week 9

2:25 | College Football
College Football roundup: Week 9
Tuesday October 28th, 2014

Every neighborhood had one: the house that would give out pencils or raisins or stickers instead of candy on Halloween. You’d still go by their house in the hopes they finally wised up and changed their ways, but without fail there you were, stuck with one of those faded yellow Pencilmates (with the graphite that broke off when you started writing anyway) instead of the good stuff.

It was still something, so you couldn’t put it with the houses that deliberately turned their lights off and ignored the doorbell, pretending not to be home rather than having the courage to face the kids and say, “Nah, we don’t give out anything on Halloween.” The Raisins Lady deserved some praise, but it was never a contender for Top Trick Or Treating Spot.

That’s the part of the season we’ve reached in the Power Rankings. There are teams out there who have rightfully earned a place in the top 25, but they’re not going to make the playoff. They’ve either hurt themselves too much and too early, don’t (or won’t) have the wins to make it count, or in the case of a team like Marshall, just don’t play anybody good enough to prove it. You can’t skip over them because they still might surprise you, but we’ve come to know what to expect.

As for everybody else, they’re going house to house and filling up their pillowcases with all the sugary deliciousness. In just a few weeks, they’ll be dumping out their bags on the coffee table to compare what they got, and some teams are going to end up with a better haul than others.

• STAPLES: Is the SEC West as good as we thought? Punt, Pass & Pork

College Football Power Rankings
  • 1
    1Mississippi State Bulldogs
    last week: 2
    record: 7-0
    After the Bulldogs' win over Kentucky, coach Dan Mullen said, “I don’t know how many times I heard, ‘This is the first time you’ve ever played as the No. 1 team in the country.' They played a little tight at times. So, hopefully we can get all this ranking stuff behind us. It’s been neat. I think our kids are probably going to be over it as well.” This ranking stuff has Mississippi State at No. 1 with a chance to stay there.
    Last game: Beat Kentucky, 45-31
    Next game: Saturday vs. Arkansas

  • 2
    2Florida State Seminoles
    last week: 3
    record: 7-0
    If there’s any game left to trip up the Seminoles, the good old fashioned ACC Thursday night letdown game might be the best bet. Louisville’s defense is currently ranked sixth in S&P+ ratings, and Florida State is dealing with yet another off-field issue, as running back Karlos Williams is currently under investigation by the Tallahassee Police Department in a domestic battery case.
    Last game: Beat Notre Dame, 31-27
    Next game: Thursday at Louisville

  • 3
    3Oregon Ducks
    last week: 4
    record: 7-1
    Marcus Mariota’s stats deserve their own callout this far into the season. The redshirt junior quarterback now has 2,283 yards with 24 touchdowns to just one interception and is completing just under 69 percent of his passes. He also has 325 yards and five scores on the ground. Sure, Oregon’s system has something to do with it, but a lot of Mariota’s success is because he’s just a darned good player. He’s even better with a healthy offensive line.
    Last game: Beat Cal, 59-41
    Next game: Saturday vs. Stanford

  • 4
    4Auburn Tigers
    last week: 5
    record: 6-1
    The Tigers are right in the thick of the playoff race even with their loss to Mississippi State, but their odds would drop considerably if they're unable to beat Ole Miss on the road. The approach will likely revolve around a ground game that put up 395 yards against South Carolina on Saturday mixed with those magic beans Gus Malzahn got from that old man on the way to the market.
    Last game: Beat South Carolina, 42-35
    Next game: Saturday at Ole Miss 

  • 5
    5Michigan State Spartans
    last week: 6
    record: 7-1
    This salty, angry, "Network" “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore” Michigan State team is refreshing. The Spartans ran up the score to get back at Michigan for putting a stake in the ground at Spartan Stadium, and although they haven’t gone full heel turn, I’m still thinking Mark Dantonio would make one heck of a WWE villain. He just needs a really good wrestling name.

    Last game: Beat Michigan, 35-11
    Next game: Nov. 8 vs. Ohio State

  • 6
    6Ole Miss Rebels
    last week: 1
    record: 7-1
    Bo Wallace admitted that Tiger Stadium was “the craziest place [he’s] played” and that the noise at LSU impacted what the Rebels were trying to do, especially on third down. The schedule doesn't get any easier for Ole Miss with Auburn coming up, but at least the Rebels won’t have to worry about noise when they’re on offense at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on Saturday.
    Last week: Lost to LSU, 10-7
    Next game: Saturday vs. Auburn

  • 7
    7Alabama Crimson Tide
    last week: 7
    record: 7-1
    So much has been made about the Alabama offense under Lane Kiffin (and Amari Cooper, who now has 1,132 receiving yards and nine touchdowns) that the Crimson Tide defense has somehow become relatively unappreciated. The most yards Alabama has given up all season came in Week 1 to West Virginia (393), and it's holding teams to an average of 14 points per game.

    Last game: Beat Tennessee, 34-20
    Next game: Nov. 8 at LSU

  • 8
    8Notre Dame Fighting Irish
    last week: 8
    record: 6-1
    Fighting Irish fans have gone so far in trying to prove there’s a conspiracy against Notre Dame that Dan Brown may have enough fodder for his next book. Fans have way too much time off during bye weeks. The Illuminati is real, and it hates your team.

    Last game: Lost to Florida State, 31-27
    Next game: Saturday at Navy

  • 9
    9Georgia Bulldogs
    last week: 9
    record: 6-1
    The "will they or won’t they" on the Todd Gurley situation is reaching critical “Jim and Pam from The Office” levels. Hopefully a decision will come down from the NCAA soon, and we can go back to seeing one of the best players in college football actually play college football again.
    Last game: Beat Arkansas, 45-32
    Next game: Saturday vs. Florida (at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.)

  • 10
    10Baylor Bears
    last week: 10
    record: 6-1
    Normally with the Oklahoma game in two weeks, you’d point to this week's matchup and say “TRAP” in your best Gucci Mane impression, but several factors may keep Baylor from being in trouble. 1) The Bears are coming off a loss. 2) They had a bye week to stew over it. 3-99) They’re playing Kansas.
    Last game: Lost to West Virginia, 41-27
    Next game: Saturday vs. Kansas

  • 11
    11TCU Horned Frogs
    last week: 11
    record: 6-1
    The Horned Frogs could have maybe dropped 100 on Texas Tech on Saturday. I know coaches always talk about respecting their opponent, but where’s the respect for those red-blooded American football fans who just want to see a team hit triple-digits in an October conference game? Don’t they matter too?
    Last game: Beat Texas Tech, 82-27
    Next game: Saturday at West Virginia

  • 12
    12Kansas State Wildcats
    last week: 12
    record: 6-1
    Carefully submitted to the Quote of the Year board, this quote from Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder on why his team is so good at limiting penalties: “Well, if they get penalized, we shoot ‘em.”
    Last game: Beat Texas, 23-0
    Next game: Saturday vs. Oklahoma State

  • 13
    13Arizona State Sun Devils
    last week: 14
    record: 6-1
    It is not completely out of the realm of possibility that Arizona State could still play its way into the playoff conversation. The next two weeks will decide that. If the Sun Devils fall flat against Utah or Notre Dame, we can get distracted by a different shiny object. Go 2-0 in those games and be sitting at 8-1 in mid-November? Then they’d have our attention.
    Last game: Beat Washington, 24-10
    Next game: Saturday vs. Utah

  • 14
    14Ohio State Buckeyes
    last week: 13
    record: 6-1
    Let’s call timeout on talking about the officiating because all anybody ever wants to do is talk about officiating. I’ve probably watched the last play of Ohio State’s win over the Nittany Lions at least 100 times on a loop. Joey Bosa drove through his blocker through Christian Hackenberg like he was pushing a shopping cart into a pyramid of empty boxes. That shouldn’t be possible.

    Last game: Beat Penn State, 31-24 (2OT)
    Next game: Saturday vs. Illinois

  • 15
    15Nebraska Cornhuskers
    last week: 16
    record: 6-1
    Ameer Abdullah has rushed for at least 200 yards in four different games. Wake Forest has rushed for 276 total yards all season.
    Last game: Beat Rutgers, 42-24
    Next game: Saturday vs. Purdue

  • 16
    16Oklahoma Sooners
    last week: 17
    record: 5-2
    Do you think there is an alternate timeline where Oklahoma is actually 7-0 and ranked in the top four and both Mississippi teams are unranked and we also finally have flying cars?
    Last game: Lost to Kansas State, 31-30
    Next game: Saturday at Iowa State

  • 17
    17Arizona Wildcats
    last week: 19
    record: 6-1
    You’ll look at that Washington State score and say, “Wow, Arizona gave up 37 points. The defense must have played pretty poorly.” But it was 52-16 heading into the fourth quarter, so yeah, numbers lie. And numbers probably drank your last Diet Coke in the fridge, too.
    Last game: Beat Washington State, 59-37
    Next game: Saturday at UCLA

  • 18
    18LSU Tigers
    last week: NR
    record: 7-2
    Les Miles lost his mother, Martha, Friday night in Baton Rouge at the age of 91. A day later, LSU was able to upset Ole Miss at Tiger Stadium. “I can't tell you the number of young men that threw arms around me to tell me they loved me," Miles said after the game. "It was as touching as anything I've had happen. They gave me the game ball. I'd like to thank the people who have found it in their time to wish me well and send their condolences for my mom. Martha Miles, this is a great night, considering. I miss you, Mom."
    Last game: Beat Ole Miss, 10-7
    Next game: Nov. 8 vs. Alabama

  • 19
    19Utah Utes
    last week: 20
    record: 6-1
    I fell asleep Saturday night after watching Utah beat USC. But I dreamt that USC beat Utah. So I woke up on Sunday morning completely and utterly confused about which of the two actually happened and had to do a radio spot for Bleacher Report radio with Michael Felder and Brad Hopkins. Naturally I was asked about the USC-Utah game, and I talked in circles as my brain tried to sort out dream from reality. Now I’m worried I’m in a Charlie Kaufman movie.
    Last game: Beat USC, 24-21
    Next game: Saturday at Arizona State

  • 20
    20East Carolina Pirates
    last week: 15
    record: 6-1
    The gap between East Carolina and Marshall is shrinking. The battle for the best Group of Five team -- and the berth in one of the New Year's Six bowls that accompanies that title -- should get spiced up a little more than just “highest ranked” in my opinion. Make them climb the Aggro Crag or something instead. Really earn it.
    Last game: Beat UConn, 31-21
    Next game: Saturday at Temple

  • 21
    21West Virginia Mountaineers
    last week: 22
    record: 6-2
    Can Dana Holgorsen and Gary Patterson just have a gentleman’s agreement to try to score as many points as humanly possible for the good of humanity? Who knows? Maybe this game could be the secret to World Peace.
    Last game: Beat Oklahoma State, 34-10
    Next game: Saturday vs. TCU

  • 22
    22Clemson Tigers
    last week: 21
    record: 6-2
    In the four games since giving up 35 points to North Carolina, the Clemson defense has allowed just 36 points. That’s pretty good!
    Last game: Beat Syracuse, 16-6
    Next game: Nov. 6 at Wake Forest

  • 23
    23Marshall Thundering Herd
    last week: 24
    record: 8-0
    Running back Devon Johnson now has 1,203 rushing yards and 17 total total touchdowns this season, and this is his third position. As SI.com’s Lindsay Schnell pointed out last week, Johnson started as a linebacker and converted to a tight end before moving to the running back spot entering this season.
    Last game: Beat Florida Atlantic, 35-16
    Next game: Nov. 8 at Southern Miss

  • 24
    24Duke Blue Devils
    last week: 25
    record: 6-1
    Duke’s offense hasn’t been tearing it up in conference play, averaging 24.33 points per game, but the defense has been one of the best in the ACC. If it keeps playing at that level, the phrase “Duke football: back-to-back Coastal Division champs” will be a real thing and not just an EA Sports NCAA Football dynasty mode challenge.
    Last game: Beat Virginia, 20-13
    Next game: Saturday at Pitt

  • 25
    25Colorado State Rams
    last week: NR
    record: 7-1
    I’m ranking Colorado State, and you can’t stop me. Look at how much power I have. That is why they are called power rankings.
    Last game: Beat Wyoming, 45-31
    Next game: Saturday at San Jose State

Next five: Wisconsin, UCLA, Georgia Tech, Stanford, Missouri

• ​ELLIS: Marcus Mariota separates from the pack in Heisman Watch

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