#1 Mississippi St took the week off, but still retained the top spot. They travel to Kentucky this weekend for one of Week 9’s key matchups.
#2 Mississippi crushed Tennessee 34-3. The win pushed them into a tie with #1 Mississippi St on victory points, but the Bulldogs retain the top spot because they have played fewer games. This Saturday, the Rebels travel to Death Valley to play #15 LSU in the game of the week.
#3 Florida St held their spot after winning yesterday’s most intriguing matchup, 31-27 victory over #8 Notre Dame. Despite the Irish outgaining the Noles 470-323, Florida St rallied in the second half and stopped Notre Dame on fourth and goal in the game’s waning moments to secure the victory. Florida St needs to avoid a letdown after such a key victory. They will take this Saturday off as they prepare for their Thursday night showdown at #24 Louisville the day before Halloween. Will the Cardinals offer a trick or a treat?
Hulk smash. Perhaps angered by recent performances – a loss at #2 Mississippi and a narrow escape against undermatched Arkansas – #4 Alabama returned to form and obliterated #33 Texas A&M 59-0. The Tide outgained the Aggies 602-178 in a completely dominating performance. The current Alabama vintage might not equal past teams – Saban has likely lost one too many assistant coaches – but the Crimson Tide aim to prove they can still make some noise in the National Championship conversation. Alabama travels to Knoxville next week in an easily winnable game before facing three ranked teams in their final four games down the stretch.
#5 Auburn retained their spot despite taking the week off. They face a disappointing South Carolina squad in Jordan-Hare this Saturday.
#8 Notre Dame fell from the top five following their heartbreaking loss to #3 Florida St. However, the Irish still retain playoff hopes. Four of the seven teams ahead of them play in the SEC West, so we can expect some attrition. Notre Dame will take this weekend off to regroup.
#23 West Virginia leapt into the rankings following a 41-27 victory over #28 Baylor in Morgantown. The Victory Point Rankings never believed the media hype surrounding Baylor. Despite a 6-0 record, the Bears had only climbed to #15 after a come-from-behind win against #16 TCU. The rest of Baylor’s schedule consisted of cream puffs like 0-6 SMU. Apparently they couldn’t handle legitimate success. West Virginia QB Clint Trickett – a great name for a Mountaineers QB – threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns, including the two scores in the final period that decided the margin of victory. West Virginia crept up on most football fans. They fell outside the Top 40 in the Week 7 rankings, but their only two losses came in competitive games against #4 Alabama and #21 Oklahoma. The Mountaineers can further prove themselves with a victory at #35 Oklahoma St on Saturday afternoon.
Georgia Tech joined this year’s initial Victory Point Rankings as the #7 team in the country, a pleasant surprise at 5-0 and fresh off a victory over #35 Miami (FL). Two weeks later and the Yellow Jackets have tumbled down the ladder to #32 in the wake of consecutive conference losses. Historically, the home loss to #27 Duke would have proven more embarrassing, but in these rankings, the more recent loss to 3-4 North Carolina has done more damage. Despite their pounding triple option attack producing 43 points, the Yellow Jackets defense could do nothing to slow down Carolina’s passing attack. Heels QB Marquise Williams followed an impressive effort in the loss to Notre Dame with 390 passing yards, 73 rushing yards, and five total touchdowns against Georgia Tech. On the final drive of the game, Georgia Tech let Williams drive 75 yards in three minutes to score the game-winning touchdown with 11 seconds remaining on the clock. Tech coach Paul Johnson may have his unique triple option offense firing on all cylinders, but his team will continue to struggle until they learn to stop somebody.
|Rutgers at #17 Nebraska, Noon|
|#1 Mississippi St at Kentucky, 3:30 PM|
|#23 West Virginia at Oklahoma St, 3:30 PM|
|#2 Mississippi at #15 LSU, 7:15 PM|
|#19 Ohio St at Penn St, 8:00 PM|
|#20 USC at Utah, 10:00 PM|