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Andy Wittry | | October 24, 2021

College football rankings: Pittsburgh climbs, Penn State, Oklahoma State fall in AP Top 25 poll for Week 9

College football rankings: Alabama jumps Oklahoma; Penn State dips

It's always the weeks where you least expect it when chaos strikes. In a week in which there wasn't a single top-25 matchup, five ranked college football teams lost in Week 8, including two that were ranked in the top 10. That meant there were going to be some major changes in the latest college football rankings.

Here are our takeaways from the latest AP poll.

Here's the complete AP poll ahead of Week 9's action.

AP Top 25 Poll: Week 9


school (first-place vOtes)




1 Georgia (63) 1,575 1 7-0
2 Cincinnati 1,477 2 7-0
3 Alabama 1,417 4 7-1
4 Oklahoma 1,383 3 8-0
5 Ohio State 1,311 5 6-1
6 Michigan 1,270 6 7-0
7 Oregon 1,165 10 6-1
8 Michigan State 1,160 9 7-0
9 Iowa 1,035 11 6-1
10 Ole Miss 1,034 12 6-1
11 Notre Dame 922 13 6-1
12 Kentucky 849 15 6-1
13 Wake Forest 801 16 7-0
14 Texas A&M 700 17 6-2
15 Oklahoma State 682 8 6-1
16 Baylor 513 20 6-1
17 Pittsburgh 510 23 6-1
18 Auburn 481 19 5-2
19 SMU 473 21 7-0
20 Penn State 471 7 5-2
21 San Diego State 390 22 7-0
22 Iowa State 298 NR 5-2
23 UTSA 235 24 8-0
24 Coastal Carolina 132 14 6-1
25 Brigham Young 44 NR 6-2

Others receiving votes: Arkansas 36, Louisiana-Lafayette 32, North Carolina State 28, Houston 12, Virginia 9, Oregon State 7, Arizona State 7, Texas 6, Appalachian State 5, Florida 3, Minnesota 1, UCLA 1

Previously undefeated teams fall for the first time

Week 8 saw the number of remaining undefeated college football teams at the FBS level dwindle to nine, as Coastal Carolina and Oklahoma State each fell on the road by three points to Appalachian State and Iowa State, respectively. Cincinnati, Oklahoma and Wake Forest — three teams that are still undefeated — each had moments, if not entire quarters on Saturday, where their perfect records appeared to be in jeopardy before they pulled out wins.

The biggest movers

After Pittsburgh's 27-17 win over Clemson, the Panthers climbed six spots in the AP poll to No. 17, which was the biggest jump of any team in the country. They currently hold a two-game lead in the loss column over Virginia in the ACC Coastal and they're bowl-eligible at 6-1 through Week 8.

Baylor was the second-biggest positive mover as its ranking improved by four spots to No. 16, even though the Bears were off in Week 8. Losses by Penn State, Coastal Carolina, NC State and Auburn allowed Baylor to move up in the AP poll, while sitting at home over the weekend, preparing for its upcoming game against Texas.

Then there's No. 7 Oregon, No. 12 Kentucky, No. 13 Wake Forest and No. 14 Texas A&M, each of which improved its ranking by three spots.

In the other direction, Penn State fell 13 spots to No. 20 after its nine-overtime loss to Illinois. After their first losses of the season, No. 24 Coastal Carolina dropped 10 spots while No. 15 Oklahoma State fell seven spots.

Week 9's ranked matchups to watch

  • No. 6 Michigan at No. 8 Michigan State | 12 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 30 (FOX)
  • No. 10 Ole Miss at No. 18 Auburn | 7 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 30 (ESPN)
  • No. 20 Penn State at No. 5 Ohio State | 7:30 p.m. ET, Saturday, Oct. 30 (ABC)

There are a pair of top-25 matchups in the Big Ten East, as Michigan and Michigan State meet for the first time in series history when each has a record of 7-0 or better. Michigan is the higher-ranked team but the game is in East Lansing and Michigan State won last year's meeting in Ann Arbor and nine of the last 13 meetings.

Ohio State will host Penn State, as the Nittany Lions try to rebound from their 20-18 loss to Illinois in Week 8, which was decided in the ninth overtime.

In the crowded SEC West, Auburn will host Ole Miss in a matchup between top-25 teams that each only has one loss in conference play. Alabama currently sits in first place in the division at 4-1 in the SEC. Both the Rebels and Tigers have scored and allowed a similar number of points in conference play — Ole Miss has allowed 136 points and scored 135, while Auburn has allowed 76 points while scoring 72 — so expect this game to be competitive.

Click or tap here to view the complete FBS scoreboard for Week 9.

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