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Zach Pekale | | October 27, 2019

College football rankings: LSU passes Alabama for top spot in latest AP poll

Relive some of the best college football moments of week 9

On Saturday, LSU became the first team in the AP Poll era to win three top-10 matchups through its first eight games. Now, the Tigers are the third team in 2019 to grace the pinnacle of the AP Top 25.

Alabama seemed to have found a home as the top-ranked team in the AP Poll, holding onto the No. 1 spot for four consecutive weeks before being dethroned by the Tigers on Sunday. LSU, fresh off a 23-20 win over then-No. 9 Auburn, flipped spots with the Crimson Tide. In most weeks, Ohio State’s 38-7 rout of Wisconsin would be enough for the Buckeyes to move up. However, the Tigers' latest marquee victory coupled with Alabama's dominant performance neutralized the No. 3 Buckeyes. Clemson remained at No. 4 after a 59-7 win over Boston College.

RANKINGS: All Top 25 polls

Statements were made in Week 9 and three Top 10 teams fell, meaning there was an abundance of movement in the latest poll.

1 LSU (17) 8-0 1476 2
2 Alabama (21) 8-0 1474 1
3 Ohio State (17) 8-0 1468 3
4 Clemson (7) 8-0 1406 4
5 Penn State 8-0 1302 6
6 Florida 7-1 1226 7
7 Oregon 7-1 1108 11
8 Georgia 6-1 1093 10
9 Utah 7-1 1032 12
10 Oklahoma 7-1 1017 5
11 Auburn 6-2 910 9
12 Baylor 7-0 882 14
13 Minnesota 8-0 778 17
14 Michigan 6-2 744 19
15 SMU 8-0 666 16
16 Notre Dame 5-2 563 8
17 Cincinnati 6-1 524 18
18 Wisconsin 6-2 513 13
19 Iowa 6-2 456 20
20 Appalachian State 7-0 393 21
21 Boise State 6-1 280 22
22 Kansas State 5-2 218 NR
23 Wake Forest 6-1 200 25
24 Memphis 7-1 188 NR
25 San Diego State 7-1 50 NR

Moving up

Michigan and Oregon each made noteworthy forward progress this week. The Wolverines had the largest movement of any previously ranked team, surging five spots to No. 14 after a 31-point win over Notre Dame. The Ducks improved four spots to No. 7, a season-high, after a last-second field goal pushed them past Washington State.

Among the remaining undefeated teams, Southern Methodist, Minnesota, Baylor and Appalachian State all maintained perfect records and were rewarded with some significant movement in this week’s poll.

  • For a third straight week, Appalachian State broke the Sun Belt record for the conference’s highest-ranking ever. The Mountaineers moved up one spot to No. 20. 
  • Baylor jumped two spots to No. 12. This is pretty significant considering the Bears, currently 8-0, finished 1-11 two seasons ago.
  • The last time Minnesota started 8-0 was 1941, a year the program finished as national champion. The Golden Gophers are up to No. 13, tied with Oregon for the second-largest jump this week.
  • SMU also remains unbeaten, earning its highest AP ranking in 34 years. The Mustangs are No. 15.

UNDEFEATED TRACKER: Nine unbeaten teams remain

Moving in

Three teams entered the Top 25 this week: Memphis, San Diego State and Kansas State.

Kansas State potentially had the biggest win of Week 9, a home upset of then-No. 5 Oklahoma. The Wildcats built a 25-point lead and hung on 48-41 to shock the Sooners. Following the win, Kansas State goes from not receiving votes last week to No. 22. Memphis and San Diego State narrowly avoided defeat against Tulsa and UNLV, respectively. With a combined record of 14-2, the Tigers and Aztecs join the rankings at Nos. 24 and 25.

SOONERS STUNNED: Kansas State thwarts fourth-quarter comeback, upsets No. 5 Oklahoma 48-41

Dropping back

Seven teams in the Top 25 lost this week, three coming against ranked opponents. The most notable result was Oklahoma’s loss to Kansas State. The Sooners nearly erased a 25-point deficit, coming up just short as they slide from No. 5 to No. 10. Notre Dame dipped eight spots to No. 16 after a road loss to Michigan. Wisconsin, ranked in the Top 10 two weeks ago, is now at No. 18 after struggling against Ohio State in a second straight defeat.

Three teams — Texas (15), Iowa State (23) and Arizona State (24) — dropped out.

Big 12 

Outside of Baylor, ranked teams in the Big 12 had a weekend they’d presumably like to forget. Conference heavyweight Oklahoma was dealt its first loss of the year while Texas and Iowa State fell out of the rankings after losses to TCU and Oklahoma State.

For reference, this is the third straight year Oklahoma has lost in the regular season. In both of the previous occasions, the Sooners won out to reach the College Football Playoff.

No. 1 votes

Once again, first-place votes were shared among four teams. However, the number each received varies from the previous week.

  • Alabama drops from 24 to 21 No. 1 votes.
  • LSU improved from 16 to 17 No. 1 votes.
  • Ohio State increased from 13 to 17 No. 1 votes.
  • Clemson drops from nine to seven No. 1 votes.

The margins between No. 1 and No. 3 are minimal. LSU is a mere two points in front of Alabama and just six clear of Ohio State. A Week 11 matchup between LSU and Alabama may offer some clarity down the road.

Looking ahead to Week 10

Only two games feature a pair of Top 25 teams in Week 10, but both are big-ticket items. Top 10 programs Georgia and Florida go head-to-head on a neutral field while SMU and Memphis battle it out for control of the American Athletic Conference. Additionally, two of the nine remaining undefeated teams will look to steer clear of any trickery on Halloween night.

  • No. 6 Florida vs. No. 8 Georgia | 3:30 p.m. Saturday | CBS
  • No. 15 SMU vs No. 24 Memphis | 7:30 p.m. Saturday| ABC
  • No. 12 Baylor vs. West Virginia | 8 p.m. Thursday | ESPN
  • No. 20 Appalachian State vs. Georgia Southern | 8 p.m. Thursday | ESPNU

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