LSU in Top 10, Ole Miss Still in Top 5 in Week 9 Saturday Blitz Top 25 Poll


Order is coming to the college football world here in the second half of the season. As we get set to bring you our Week 9 Top 25, it’s clear the good teams are finally taking shape. Once again this year, fans freaked out that there would be too many undefeated teams before the end of the year just a few weeks ago. But like always, things are playing out as the season goes on, and now we’re down to two undefeated teams in the Power Five. There’s also one more undefeated team in FBS.

Starting with the SEC, Les Miles’s LSU Tigers reminded the world that they are still among college football’s elite. Mississippi State won again, and Alabama and Auburn escaped. So once again, they are dominating our Top 25 and particularly the Top 10.

The Big 12 is still right on the heels of the SEC in terms of representation in our rankings, and that comes with only 10 teams in the conference. TCU, Kansas, and West Virginia all looked great on Saturday.

And after that the Pac-12 is still right there with four 1-loss teams who could all make a run at the College Football Playoff based on the way they are playing. The Big Ten looks better now as well, and it still has three 1-loss teams who could get into the conversation.

Finally, the ACC still has that one team that is undefeated and dominating, and it also has two other teams worthy of being in the Top 25, while there are two mid-majors in the Top 25 and one independent who is still in the College Football Playoff race as well.

So with three undefeated teams and 17 1-loss teams in our rankings, how did we sort everybody out? It’s important as we show you to remind everybody that margin of victory and style points have nothing to do with our rankings. We base them on record, head-to-head, quality wins, quality losses, and overall strength of schedule.

So with that, here is our Week 9 College Football Top 25 Poll.

More from Alabama Crimson Tide

1. Mississippi State Bulldogs

First of all, it doesn’t matter to us that Mississippi State didn’t blow out Kentucky in Lexington. They still have played the toughest schedule of any undefeated team, so they deserve to be No. 1. But digging even deeper, how could anybody hold it against them for not blowing out the Wildcats anyway? The game was at Kentucky, and this is a good team that is getting better under Mark Stoops. It’s irrelevant if they struggled a bit. But for our rankings, this is another winning team that Mississippi State beat, so they still belong at the top of this list.

2. Florida State Seminoles

The Florida State Seminoles are still probably the most talented team in college football, and after not playing this past weekend they still belong in our Top 2. But we’re keeping them at No. 2 because they don’t have the same number of quality wins as Mississippi State. It’s close, though, and their schedule so far has been underrated after beating Clemson, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma State. With road games against Louisville this Thursday and Miami later in the year, this team still can’t take any breaks yet.

3. Auburn Tigers

We’re sticking with the fact that Auburn has by far the best resume of any 1-loss team in college football. That’s due to the fact that their only loss was on the road to right now the No. 1 team in college football, and the quality wins against LSU and Kansas State are looking great now. We don’t care about the fact that they struggled with South Carolina. They’re still our highest ranked 1-loss team for right now. Two Top 10 wins by our count and a loss to the No. 1 team in the country is nothing to be ashamed of.

4. Ole Miss Rebels

That’s right, we only dropped the Rebels one spot. Call us crazy, but this was a game in Death Valley on a Saturday night where anything could have happened. They still have the head-to-head tiebreaker over Alabama, and in the grand scheme of things, Hugh Freeze’s team still controls its own destiny to get to the SEC championship and the College Football Playoff. All Saturday’s loss means is that they have to win out, which could be hard in the SEC but isn’t enough to drop this team yet.

5. Alabama Crimson Tide

A 34-20 win against Tennessee was really a lackluster performance after a 27-0 start, but the Tide are still a Top 5 team in college football and one step closer to controlling their own destiny again after Ole Miss lost on Saturday. We know from a talent perspective that this is still probably the best team in college football along with Florida State. West Virginia looks like a great quality win now, and Ole Miss is still not a bad loss on the road, so from a resume perspective, this team still belongs with the college football elite for right now.

6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Like Ole Miss, Notre Dame still controls its own destiny to reach the College Football Playoff. Their only loss is to Florida State, which won’t be enough to keep them out of any postseason if they get to 11-1 and have wins against Stanford, Arizona State, Louisville, and USC on the schedule. With Stanford already a win, that’s enough to keep them in our Top 10 right now and possibly in our Top 5. And it will be more than enough to get them into the College Football Playoff if they win the rest of the way.

7. Baylor Bears

Baylor still has one of the best resumes in college football and certainly in the Big 12, so we are not going to drop this team simply due to the fact that they didn’t play over this past weekend. The Bears have as much control over their own destiny in the College Football Playoff race as anybody and particularly the Big 12 race. Also, the loss to West Virginia doesn’t look as bad anymore after the way the Mountaineers played Saturday, and the win over TCU is also looking pretty good right now, even if it was by hook or crook.

8. Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State had a convincing win against Texas on Saturday, but that’s not enough for us to change where we put them. They have one of  best resumes of any Big 12 team year. Beating Oklahoma was good enough, and their only loss is a close loss to a very good Auburn team. After playing this past weekend, they have still earned the right to be in the Top 10, and the rest of the country needs to take note. Bill Snyder’s team is in the thick of the College Football race and also controls its own destiny in the Big 12 race.

9. TCU Horned Frogs

This may be a bit unfair, but despite blowing out Texas Tech over the weekend and putting up 82 points in a great offensive performance last Saturday, we can’t put TCU ahead of Kansas State and Baylor right now. The Horned Frogs lost to Baylor, and they both have 1 loss, so they can’t be ahead of the Bears. And they also are now below Kansas State because both teams’ best win is against Oklahoma, and Kansas State’s loss to Auburn is better by our estimation than TCU’s loss to Baylor. That’s the difference for us right now.

10. LSU Tigers

That’s right, we’ve moved LSU back into the Top 10. This could change very soon, and there are teams below the Tigers that actually have control of their own destiny to reach the College Football Playoff. But currently, LSU has played three of the Top 5 teams in the country, and their two losses are to the No. 1 and No. 3 teams in the country, while they beat our No. 4 team in the country. Is that any reason to bump this team outside of the Top 10? No. Beating Ole Miss is enough of a reason to put them back in the Top 10 with this resume.

11. Arizona Wildcats

The Arizona Wildcats still have the head-to-head advantage and good enough resume to be the highest ranked team in the Pac-12. A 28-26 loss to USC may be unfortunate, but this is a 1-loss team who beat Oregon. That’s a huge quality win, and this team still controls its own destiny to win the Pac-12 and make the College Football Playoff.

12. Oregon Ducks

Once again, if we were doing power rankings, this would be different, but the Oregon Ducks can’t be above the Arizona Wildcats right now when both teams have one loss and the Wildcats beat the Ducks. Complain all you want, head-to-head records matter to us, and for that, we’re going to keep this team at No. 12 for now. But if they keep winning, things will fall into place.

13. Arizona State Sun Devils

Arizona State has continued to look very impressive after getting blown out by UCLA, and throwing the margin of victory aside, which is what we do here, we are going to say that this team right now has as good of a resume as any 1-loss Pac-12 team. And, with Notre Dame on the schedule, the Sun Devils are right now the only team certainly in control of their own destiny to make the College Football playoff, and they also might control the fate of the Pac-12 with that game.

14. Utah Utes

Don’t look now, but Utah controls its own destiny in the Pac-12 Championship race and possibly for the College Football Playoff. That’s enough for us to put this team at No. 13 right now after a solid win against USC. We don’t care if these guys are winning ugly. They’re winning, and that’s all that matters. And with Arizona State and Oregon coming up, we’ll find out soon enough if this team belongs in the College Football Playoff race.

15. Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia is another one of our 1-loss teams that may be low right now but has plenty of chances to move up. The Dawgs still control their own destiny in the College Football Playoff race as well, believe it or not, but a 1-loss team in the SEC East doesn’t measure up resume-wise to 1-loss teams in the Pac-12, Big 12, or SEC West. The Dawgs will be fine if they keep winning, though, especially with Auburn on the slate down the road.

16. Michigan State Spartans

The Spartans are right now the best of the Big Ten, but as we have noted, although the conference is better than we thought, it is still not above the SEC, Pac-12, or Big 12 this year. So a 1-loss Big Ten team is not going to get the same love, especially when that one loss is to Oregon. In conference play the Spartans belong over everybody for right now, and they still will have chances to move up if other teams start losing, but we can’t do that yet.

17. Nebraska Cornhuskers

The only thing keeping Bo Pelini’s Nebraska Cornhuskers from being much higher on this list is a very close loss on the road to Michigan State. But this team still controls its own destiny in the Big Ten race, and with a few breaks it could be in the College Football Playoff race. With 1 loss in the conference, this team has a lot to look forward to despite only being No. 17 right now.

18. Ohio State Buckeyes

At least we were able to bump Ohio State over Minnesota. But that honestly never should have happened because of the way the Buckeyes were so lucky to escape on Saturday against Penn State. Still, our rankings are only based on wins and losses, and Ohio State won. They remain our final team still in contention for the College Football Playoff based on their resume.

19. Oklahoma Sooners

Bob Stoops’s Oklahoma Sooners didn’t play last week, but despite 2 losses, they still belong in our Top 20. Remember, we base things on record, schedule strength, and head-to-head, and they still beat 2-loss West Virginia. Meanwhile, both of their losses are to Top 10 teams, so the resume is enough for us to keep this team at No. 19, even if they are completely out of College Football Playoff contention.

20. West Virginia Mountaineers

The West Virginia Mountaineers once again showed they are a very good team by blowing out Oklahoma State, but as we mentioned above, we aren’t going to put them above Oklahoma when both teams have 2 losses and Oklahoma beat them. This team still has a great resume with wins over a Top 10 team and two teams with winning records, and their 2 losses to Alabama and Oklahoma are nothing to be ashamed of. But it’ll take a bit more to move this team up.

21. UCLA Bruins

Call us crazy, but a win is a win. And even if it was against Colorado in overtime, the UCLA Bruins moved to 6-2 and still have a pretty impressive resume. Memphis, Texas, and Virginia is a very solid non-conference slate, and the win against Arizona State still counts. The losses to Utah and Oregon aren’t so bad either, so in short, this team still deserves to be in the Top 25.

22. Clemson Tigers

Clemson has played a sub-par schedule being in the ACC, but there’s nothing wrong with your only 2 losses being to Georgia and Florida State. The Tigers have still beaten decent teams such as Louisville, and as a 6-2 Power Five team, they’ve shown enough to be in the Top 25 for right now. That’s mainly due to whom they played to start the season.

23. East Carolina Pirates

Again, East Carolina keeps winning, and at 6-1 they belong in the Top 25, but we aren’t going to be able to project this team to go anywhere. The Pirates did nothing impressive by beating UCONN over the weekend, but they are a very solid mid-major team. Playing Virginia Tech and South Carolina is enough for us to give this team some respect, and believe it or not, we still have them above some 1 and 2-loss Power Five teams.

24. Marshall Thundering Herd

At 8-0, this is obviously one of the best mid-major teams in college football. And because they are undefeated, there is no way that we can leave the Marshall Thundering Herd out of the Top 25. But once we factor in schedule strength, there is also no way we can put them above any undefeated, 1-loss, or 2-loss Power Five teams. So for right now we’re keeping them in the Top 25, but that’s it.

25. Duke Blue Devils

As a 6-1 Power Five team Duke has now earned the right to be in the Top 25 despite not playing last week, but being in the Top 25 is all they’ve earned. The Blue Devils unfortunately have played a very weak schedule to this point, with Georgia Tech and Virginia as their best wins. But their side of the ACC is also very weak. Still, if this team keeps winning, it could move up. But for now, we’re just going to keep it in the Top 25.