As is the case each and every season, each and every week, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.
CALM(ISH) BEFORE THE STORM
After a few weeks worth of utter tumult, we were due.
Entering Week 9, we were looking at a slate of games heavy on the mundane and light on intrigue. Exiting it, the landscape is essentially the same as it began — with one very large exception.
No. 3 Ole Miss’ loss to No. 24 LSU was easily the most high-profile upset of the day, even as it probably shouldn’t be referred to as an upset. Playing in Death Valley, at night no less, is no easy task for any squad regardless of how highly-ranked they are, especially facing a Tiger team riding an emotional roller coaster after the death of their head coach’s mother Friday night.
Certainly there were, in the weekend before Halloween, some scares for the Top 25. No. 5 Auburn was able to survive an upset bid by South Carolina, exiting Jordan-Hare with a seven-point win. No. 13 Ohio State and No. 25 UCLA were even more fortunate, getting taken to double-overtime by Penn State and Colorado, respectively, before scrambling back to Columbus and Los Angeles, respectively, with their closer-than-expected wins. Even No. 1 Mississippi State had its “lemon-booty” moments in a 14-point win over Kentucky on the road.
That, though, was essentially the gist of the Week 9 tumult, as it were.
Of the 16 teams that played an unranked team this week, exactly none went down in defeat. The average margin of victory in those games was 17.6. A whopping 13 of the 16 were decided by at least 10 points, with five of them coming by 20 or more. Of course, there was also that 55-point shellacking that we mention below.
The four remaining Top 25 teams that hit the field this weekend played each other, with the lower-ranked team winning one (the previously referenced Ole Miss-LSU game) and the higher-ranked team winning the other (No. 19 Utah over No. 20 USC).
In other words, expect very little change in the Top 25 when the polls are released Sunday afternoon, the last polls, incidentally, before the first release of the newly-minted College Football Playoff rankings Tuesday night.