Week 9: Reranking College Football’s top 25

Zach Remelius, Courier Staff

No.1 Ohio State Buckeyes: The Buckeyes have won every game by more than 20 points and they are making it look easy. After a slow start against Wisconsin, the offense got it going in the second half, scoring 28 points. Justin Fields had a down day passing but J.K. Dobbins went for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Chase Young had four sacks on the day in another dominant defensive performance.

No. 2 LSU Tigers: Auburn presented LSU with a big challenge and instead of the LSU offense taking control, it was the LSU defense limiting Bo Nix and company. Joe Burrow still threw for a touchdown pass and almost 350 yards as his Heisman campaign continues. Next week they have a bye before heading to Tuscaloosa.

No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide: No Tua Tagovailoa, no problem for the Crimson Tide. They obliterated Arkansas as Mac Jones went 18 for 22 and 235 yards to go along with three touchdowns in his first start as a member of the Tide. The Razorbacks were never going to be a challenge for Alabama and now we wait on the status of Tagovailoa for their game against LSU in two weeks.

No. 4 Clemson Tigers: After the scare against UNC a few weeks ago, Clemson has turned it on. Winning their last three by 31, 35 and 52 points respectively, they are finally starting to look like the team we all thought we would see at the beginning of the season and that should scare everyone. Trevor Lawrence was efficient and Travis Etienne looked strong on the ground. Clemson should continue to cost to the playoff.

No. 5 Penn State Nittany Lions: After a highly emotional win against Michigan, it was impressive for Penn State to go into East Lansing and lay the smackdown on a Michigan State team that has owned them in recent years. Sean Clifford threw for four touchdowns while the run game struggled for large portions of the game. The Nittany Lions didn’t allow the Spartans to do anything on offense. PSU has a bye week before going on the road to an undefeated Minnesota team.

No. 6 Florida Gators: The Gators caught a couple of lucky breaks in a win over South Carolina a couple weeks ago but have looked extremely solid all season. They go up against Georgia for the SEC East title game next week after being on a bye.

No. 7 Georgia Bulldogs: The Bulldogs were also on a bye as they gear up to play Florida next week. The loser of the game is back in the playoff hunt and headed to the SEC Championship game.

No. 8 Oregon Ducks: After that loss to Auburn, Oregon has gone on a run. The last couple of weeks the defense hasn’t been as good, but the offense has picked up the pace in wins over Washington and Washington State. Against Washington State, C.J. Verdell ran for 257 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns. They will need some help to get into the playoff but they aren’t dead yet.

No. 9 Utah Utes: Tyler Huntley still has trouble throwing the ball at points but Utah has rebounded nicely after losing to USC. Like Oregon, they have crept back into the playoff discussion but need to win out and continue to win by a lot of points. The last four games the Utes haven’t allowed an opponent to go over 13 points.

No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners: What in the world was that? Kansas State isn’t a bad team, but to let them walk up and down the field methodically was embarrassing for the Sooner defense. After being down 48-23, Jalen Hurts tried leading a comeback but it wasn’t meant to be. With Texas continuing to look worse and worse, Oklahoma is going to need a lot of help to even get back in the playoff race.

No. 11 Baylor Bears: The current first place team in the Big 12, the Bears are undefeated and will face Oklahoma and Texas in back to back weeks in the middle of November. Matt Rhule has done a fantastic job with this team and wouldn’t it be wild to see an undefeated Baylor team in the playoffs?

No. 12 Minnesota Golden Gophers: The first four games of the season the Gophers barely survived against some lesser competition but the last four games they have dominated. No one can debate they have had an easy schedule but 8-0 is 8-0. With a two-game lead in the Big 10 West, they will take on Penn State, Iowa Northwestern and Wisconsin.

No. 13 SMU Mustangs: The Mustangs are the current favorite for that group of five New Year’s Day Spot. They have a big test next week when they head to the Liberty Bowl to face Memphis. Win that game and it is easy street to finish out the season for Sunny Dykes and crew.

No. 14 Auburn Tigers: It is hard to punish Auburn too hard. They have two losses, both on the road against Florida and LSU. This is a good team and appear to have a solid quarterback for the future, but Bo Nix has his freshmen moments and when they happen, they’re ugly. Auburn may be out of the SEC West and playoff race, but they can still try and ruin the seasons of Georgia and Alabama as they get those teams at home.

No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers: The loss to Ohio State is excusable. More and more the Buckeyes look like the best team in college football. That loss to Illinois though, what was that? The Badgers now face a two-game deficit in the Big 10 West behind Minnesota with a head to head still to come. What was once a very promising season has quickly fallen apart.

No. 16 Michigan Wolverines: Where did that come from? Jim Harbough finally gets a signature win at Michigan as they destroyed a very talented Notre Dame team by 31 points. In a downpour, they only threw the ball 14 times and just carved the Fighting Irish up on the ground. Hassan Haskins ran for 149 yards and Zach Charbonnet found the endzone twice for the Michigan grown game.

No. 17 Notre Dame Fighting Irish: What was faint playoff hopes came crashing down in Ann Arbour. The Fighting Irish run defense got decimated and on offense, Ian Book couldn’t find any sort of rhythm in heavy rain as the run game struggled mightily. The playoffs are now out of the question but a New Year’s Day Bowl is still attainable.

No. 18 Cincinnati Bearcats: Cincy’s only loss came to Ohio State and that is nothing to be ashamed of. The social media team had the best tweet of the year after their win over UCF, so they are picking up wins on and off the field. They should cruise through the AAC before heading to Memphis in their regular season finale. This is another team in line for that Group of Five New Year’s Day spot.

No. 19 Applachain State Mountaineers: 7-0 are the Mountaineers and they will play Georgia Southern on Thursday before heading to South Carolina the following week. There are so many good Group of Five teams looking for that bowl spot and a win over the Gamecocks may put the Mountaineers over the top. They have run through the Sun Belt with no problem and no reason that shouldn’t continue.

No. 20 Iowa Hawkeyes: Yes, the Hawkeyes shutout Northwestern, but anyone who watched that offense knows that might not be all that great of an accomplishment. It has been quite simple for Iowa this year: play a good team they will lose, play a bad team they will win. They can change that narrative with games against Wisconsin and Minnesota coming up. Nate Stanley will need to play better than he did against the Wildcats to get wins in those games.

No. 21 Wake Forest Demon Deacons: It feels like everyone was on a bye week this week, but Wake Forest moves up by virtue of everyone else losing. They have skated by the tip of their nose in a lot of wins this year but a bunch of close wins have to account for something. They are the biggest test Clemson has left and that includes the ACC title game.

No. 22 Boise State Broncos: The loss to BYU last week stings but this is still a very good football team that has a chance to get back to a New Year’s Day game. The first goal, though, should be to win the Mountain West and that is no easy task. After the bye week this week, the Broncos still have to face Wyoming and go on the road to Utah State.

No. 23 Memphis Tigers: They barely hung on against a not very good Tulsa team, but a win is a win for Mike Norvell’s squad. The win sets up a big matchup at home against SMU next week. Kenneth Grant again went off for 149 yards and three touchdowns. A win next week puts them in the conversation for that Group of Five New Year’s Day bowl spot.

No. 24 Kansas State Wildcats: The win over Oklahoma is a massive win for Chris Klieman in his first year at the helm. They were able to march up and down the field and quarterback Skylar Thompson ran for four touchdowns against the Sooners. In the first three quarters, the defense was able to limit Hurts and company and held on for the upset win.

No. 25 Texas Longhorns: Texas is not back folks. They let TCU quarterback Max Duggan run all over them and Sam Ehlinger threw four picks in the loss. Sitting at 5-3, Texas still has to face a Kansas State team that is riding high, go on the road to Ames, Iowa and take on undefeated Baylor. 6-6 isn’t out of the question for this team which would be a major disappointment.