Originally written October 29, 2012 on isportsweb.com:
Tailgater Top 25 Rankings, Week 9 I was pretty rough on Notre Dame when the Irish were helped to their win over Stanford.  And for the record, Notre Dame deserved it.  Stanford still isn’t very good, that Stephon Taylor still scored that touchdown.But college football changes week to week more than any other sport, and week 9 is no exception.  After struggling against the Cardinal and BYU, Notre Dame rolled into Norman a double-digit underdog.  So of course the Irish would dominate Oklahoma. Notre Dame’s defense dominated the Sooners in Norman (US Presswire/ Cashore) It’s the first time that Bob Stoops has lost two home games in the same season, and with the loss Oklahoma is all but out of the Big 12 conversation.  Notre Dame, on the other hand, has virtually locked up a BCS berth. If you believed Brent Musberger on Saturday, Notre Dame is headed for the National Championship, can cure cancer, put a man on the moon, and turns yard waste into candy canes.  If you didn’t quite buy into his unique brand of ludicrous overstatment, it’s still worth noting that Notre Dame has climbed to #3 overall, behind Alabama and Kansas State. The number of unbeatens is down to six after Rutgers, Ohio, Oregon State, and Mississippi State all fell.  Of those, the most surprising team to lose was OSU; the Beavers were likely headed for a tumble, but I didn’t expect it to be against Washington. The perfect half-dozen, which might as well be five given Ohio State’s ineligibility: ‘Bama, Kansas State, Louisville, Oregon, Notre Dame.  One of those things is not like the others.  One of those things just doesn’t belong… Here are our updated college football rankings for week 9. Zach Bigalke John Mitchell Matt Strobl 1. Alabama 2. Oregon 3. Kansas State 4. Notre Dame 5. Louisville 6. Ohio State 7. Florida State 8. Clemson 9. Georgia 10. Florida 11. LSU 12. Louisiana Tech 13. Boise State 14. Mississippi State 15. Oregon State 16. Toledo 17. Tulsa 18. Kent State 19. Rutgers 20. Northern Illinois 21. Nebraska 22. Stanford 23. Ohio 24. Texas A&M 25. Louisiana-Monroe 1. Alabama 2. Kansas State 3. Oregon 4. Notre Dame 5. Ohio State 6. LSU 7. Georgia 8. Louisville 9. Florida 10. Florida State 11. Clemson 12. Oregon State 13. South Carolina 14. Mississippi State 15. Texas A&M 16. Louisiana Tech 17. Boise State 18. Oklahoma 19. Stanford 20. USC 21. Texas Tech 22. Toledo 23. Nebraska 24. Kent State 25. Rutgers 1. Alabama 2. Kansas State 3. Oregon 4. Notre Dame 5. Ohio State 6. LSU 7. Florida 8. Georgia 9. Louisville 10. Florida State 11. Clemson 12. Mississippi State 13. Oregon State 14. Boise State 15. Oklahoma 16. Texas A&M 17. Texas Tech 18. South Carolina 19. Oklahoma State 20. Louisiana Tech 21. Stanford 22. USC 23. Nebraska 24. Kent State 25. Rutgers Bigalke: 1-10:Alabama, Oregon, Kansas State all followed their usual formula to victory. Notre Dame moves up after crushing Oklahoma in Norman and losses by Florida and Oregon State. So does Louisville, who survived Cincinnati in a Friday night thriller. Ohio State hovers outside the top 5, undefeated and ineligible for postseason play. These, ladies and gentlemen, are the six remaining undefeated teams of 2012. At the moment, Florida State is back to playing the part of the best one-loss team lying in wait, with Clemson nipping at their heels and SEC East hopefuls Georgia and Florida close behind.   11-20:LSU hovers outside e top ten ahead of next week’s showdown with Bama. WAC and Mountain West leaders Louisiana Tech and Boise State are looking better with each passing week of attrition. Aft falling from the ranks of the unbeaten, Mississippi State and Oregon State fall to 14 and 15. This year, AQ and non-AQ distinctions seem pointless; thus I’m not about to pass over the hot starts of Toledo, Tulsa, Kent State and Northern Illinois. Rutgers slots just ahead of the Huskies and behind the Golden Flashes, who dealt the Scarlet Knights their first loss of the year on Saturday. 21-25: At this point Nebraska looks like the best (eligible) team in the Big Ten. Stanford could have warned the Beavers about playing Washington. Ohio fell big, now just third-best in the MAC East. Texas A&M continues to play surprisingly well in their new conference. Finishing the top 25 is another non-AQ darling, Sun Belt leader Louisiana-Monroe. Mitchell: 1-10: 1-10: Two top five teams went down this weekend with Florida losing to Georgia and Oregon State being stunned by Washington. Alabama remains #1 after a dominant display against previously undefeated Mississippi State. Oregon continues to blow teams out, but for now I have moved Kansas State to #2 after they hammered a solid Texas Tech team. Oregon’s schedule gets tougher from here on out, so don’t be surprised if I move them back to 2nd if they win out. Notre Dame moves up to 4th after a big road win over Oklahoma, and Ohio State continues to run through the Big Ten. At 6 and 7 I have what I perceive to be the best one loss teams in the country in LSU and Georgia. Louisville moves up to 8th as they remained unbeaten after their win over Cincinnati. Florida falls to 9th after their loss, and Florida State rounds out the Top-10 after blowing out Duke. 11-20: Clemson looks like a lock to win 10 games unless they Clemson a game away against inferior competition. Oregon State drops to 12 after losing to Washington, but I still think the Beavers have a really good team. South Carolina has two losses, but there isn’t any shame in road losses to LSU and Florida. Mississippi State was exposed, but then again they were beaten by the best team in the country. Texas A&M also has two losses, but those defeats came to Florida and LSU just like South Carolina. Louisiana Tech struggled against New Mexico State, but the Bulldogs still look like the best non-AQ team to me. Boise State seems to control their own destiny for a BCS berth. Oklahoma took one on the chin, but their two losses have come against two teams ranked in the Top-4. Stanford and USC round out the Top-20 after the Trojans were upset by Arizona. 21-25: Texas Tech hangs on to a spot in the Top-25 after getting smacked around by Kansas State. Toledo struggled against Buffalo, but they are still 8-1 with a lone loss coming in overtime to Arizona. Nebraska jumps back into the Top-25 after a two-touchdown win over Michigan. The Huskers look like a safe bet to make it to the Rose Bowl, but who really knows with the Big Ten this year. Kent State makes their debut in the poll after an impressive win over Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights hang on to a spot at #25 despite their loss to the Golden Flashes.   Strobl: 1-10: The Oregon Stte loss was big; I thought the Beavers might make  run at being undefeated for their matchup with Oregon.  Not that they would have beaten the Ducks, but a loss in the Civil War doesn’t hurt so much.  Losing to Washington?  That does.  Alabama, Oregon, and Kansas State are the three best teams in the nation, and by a large margin.  Due respect to Notre Dame for the big win at Oklahoma, I’m still concerned about the Irish offense.  Ohio State looked as good as it has in more than a month against PSU in Happy Valley, and the best of the one-loss SEC teams are fighting to stay in line for a second chance, should the unthinkable occur at the top.   11-20: Now populated with two-loss teams, this portion of the rankings becomes somewhat of a free-for-all.  Each of these teams has a chance to finish with a respectable overall result, but few, if any, are part of the BCS picture any longer.  The exception to that statement is Boise State, which almost certainly will go to the BCS.  Clemson also has an outside shot if FSU stumbles.   21-25: I’m forced to let Nebraska back in after its win over Michigan.  Now the ‘Huskers seem like the probable Rose Bowl representative, should the Big Ten keep that affiliation alive.  Rutgers loss has them tumbling, and Kent State enters the picutre by virtue of its win over the previously unbeaten Knights.  I chose Kent over Toledo because of the quality of that win versus the Rockets’ triumph over Cincinnati.
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