The Associated Press (AP) Top 25 College Football Rankings for Week 9 saw little movement in the Top 10, but Florida’s win over a tough Mississippi State squad pushed them back into the AP Poll top spot, stopping Alabama’s tenure at the top of the college football rankings at one week. Alabama’s near loss to an equally tough Tennessee (who gave Florida problems earlier in the season) cost them their position in Week 9. Oregon (who beat Washington) jumped into the Top 10 of the AP Top 25 Poll as Miami fell out (with a loss to Clemson). Numbers 3-7 in the AP Poll remained static. A high-powered TCU jumped LSU to gained the #8 spot and LSU slipped into the #9 slot for Week 9.
Alabama dodged a bullet when Tennessee lined up at the end of the game for a field goal. They blocked it. Alabama won the game 12-10 but lost the AP Poll #1 position.
Florida outlasted a persistent Mississippi State team, finally getting some distance in the last few minutes of the game to win 29-19. Florida’s win over Tennessee by ten points earlier this season no doubt helped the pollsters. Florida won the balloting by a mere 15 total points.
No. 4 USC truly held off a tenacious Oregon State team that just would not stop scoring. USC got the ball with a 6-point lead after an Oregon State touchdown and simply ground the clock to zero. It helped them maintain their No. 4 position for another week in the AP Top 25 Poll.
But previously #8 Miami wasn’t so fortunate with the unranked Clemson Tigers. Fighting to 34-34 tie by the end of regulation, the two teams played dueling field goals in overtime. Clemson scored two, Miami one — advantage Clemson, 40-37. Miami’s loss dropped them to the #18 position.
Previously #20 Pittsburgh moved the furthest in the Week 9 college football rankings. After crushing a very good South Florida team, 41-14, Pittsburgh is showing some late season muscle and may prove to be a contender. They’ll also have to fight off #20 West Virginia (Week 9) and #5 (and undefeated) Cincinnati their last two games.
It should be noted that in the AP Top 25 Preseason Poll, not one Big East team was ranked. Now they hold three positions in Week 9. Pittsburgh was the closest to breaking in at #28.
Brigham Young, previously #16, fell out of the AP Top 25 Poll after losing to TCU. Kansas (previously #24) lost to Oklahoma and fell out. And Texas Tech (previously #21) fell out after losing to unranked rivals Texas A&M.
Arizona entered the AP Top 25 college football rankings for the first time this season at No. 23. Mississippi and Notre Dame reentered at #24 and #25, respectively.
A note on class: The West Virginia Mountaineers greeted the UConn Huskies as they entered Mountaneer field with a roaring ovation, a tribute to the Uconn star cornerback Jasper Howard who was stabbed and killed last Saturday night. Coach Bill Stewart and the West Virginia Mountaineers met the Uconn Huskies at the center of the field and a moment of silence was conducted for the fallen player. The crowd again gave the Uconn Huskies a lengthy ovation as the teams took the field. West Virginia went on to win 28-24.
Jasper Howard’s funeral will be held Monday in Miami, his hometown. No one has been charged in his killing.
AP Top 25 College Football Rankings Poll (Week 9)
6. Boise State
11. Georgia Tech
12. Penn State
13. Oklahoma State
14. Virginia Tech
17. Ohio State
18. Miami (Fla.)
20. West Virginia
21. South Carolina
25. Notre Dame
For comparison, see the AP Top 25 College Football Rankings (Week 8).
Associated Press (via ESPN.go.com)