Week 9 didn’t produce many fireworks, as there was opportunity for chaos but only four ranked teams lost to unranked teams, giving minimal shakeup to the top of the rankings. South Carolina’s stay in the rankings after defeating Texas A&M was short lived, as it lost to Missouri to fall almost completely off the voter roll. Kentucky picked up its third loss, getting thwacked in Knoxville to finally drop out of the Top 25. Cincinnati and UCF swapped spots as the Knights took down the Bearcats in a huge game in the American and NY6 race. Liberty sat back and watched this week on Bye, but still enjoyed itself with other carnage at the bottom of the rankings, allowing the 7-1 Flames to move to #23. Oregon State also got the benefit of the Bye week, jumping to #24.
#27 Kentucky - Who keeps voting for this team? Losing to Tennessee can be somewhat forgiven, but it looked abysmal against the Vols Saturday to pick up its third loss. The Wildcats’ other losses are to Mississippi and unranked South Carolina. UK’s non-conference competition is a joke, making it simple for Mark Stoops to re-up that lucrative lifetime forever extending contract, but taking down Youngstown State, Miami-Ohio, and Northern Illinois doesn’t contribute to a strong resume. With zero good wins (unranked 3-loss Mississippi State does not count), what are voters seeing here? The ‘Cats get Mizzou and Vandy to likely fool voters into thinking they should be ranked before the inevitable slaughter at the hands of the Georgia Bulldogs.
# 31 Washington - Yes, the Huskies have a dumb loss at Arizona State and a “good loss” by 8 points at UCLA. And you would be correct that they have no wins that stand out. However the Huskies have an offense led by Michael Penix that is dangerous enough to contend with anyone. Washington will have an opportunity to prove it on the field in the next two weeks: hosting #24 Oregon State and going to Autzen for #8 Oregon.
Leah Vann (@lvann_sports), Baton Rouge, LA - Count me among those very impressed with the Kansas State blowout shutout of OK State on Saturday. It was proof that a Will Howard-led team is as-good or better than the Wildcats with Adrian Martinez at the helm. One might even think it would give further credit to a team that defeated those same Will Howard-led Wildcats by double digits. Not Ms. Vann. Last week, she had KSU at a respectable #17 coming off its loss to TCU, relatively high compared to the voting populace. This week she bumped K-State to Number 6, with TCU behind the 2-loss ‘Cats at #7 on her ballot. The next highest voter on K-State is just a pair of voters at #10. I think it’s great to give huge props to Kansas State for its victory this weekend, but I don’t know how you square that with being ranked ahead of the undefeated team that beat the same team by two scores the week before.
With the only losses in the Top 10 coming behind the Frogs in the rankings, Oklahoma State and Wake Forest, there wasn’t much room for TCU to move up the rankings or get jumped by pesky squads waiting behind. TCU’s win in West Virginia was (perhaps fairly) never going to be enough for many voters to move the Frogs ahead of an idle 1-loss Alabama with no ranked wins. There has been a lot of talk about “how would a 1-loss Big 12 Champ get in over XYZ,” so for the Frogs it’ll be best if they make it easy on these voters and just never lose. With four tough games remaining in the regular season and a potential Big 12 Championship still remaining, TCU has a long way to go, but everything to play for going forward. The initial College Football Playoff rankings will be revealed on Tuesday November 1st, try to temper the inevitable fury that will undoubtedly bring.
Big 12 (+4) Votes
- #7 TCU - Lickity Lickity Zoo Zoo
- #13 Kansas State - An eye-opening performance as K-State blanked the previously Top-10 OK State to jump 9 spots and keep pace in the Big 12 race ahead of massive game against the Texas Longhorns.
- #18 Oklahoma State - The Cowboys had to play Will Howard. Was it luck or something more? For OSU it was very bad luck, as the Wildcats embarrassed them 48-0.
- #25 UCF - The Knights bounced back nicely following an ugly loss to ECU with a thrilling win over AAC titan Cinci. Next is consecutive road trips to Memphis and Tulane
- #29 Cincinnati - Bearcats take a huge tumble with last minute loss to UCF and may need to run the table to get to the AAC Championship
- #33 Baylor - The winner of the BU-TT Bowl, picking up some votes after knocking off the Red Raiders