Another week closer to the College Football Playoff and Dabo Swinney might want to start working on his Rodney Dangerfield impression; his Clemson Tigers are getting no respect, no respect at all. Clemson fell to 2nd overall in Week 6, then dropped to 3rd in Week 8 and are now 4th. Alabama has looked good and hasn’t gotten into any tight games yet, unlike Clemson in Durham, but this Tigers’ team crushed Bama last season. LSU has had good wins over Texas and their opponents in the SEC. But Ohio State? Really? The Buckeyes have yet to play anyone worthy of a top 25 spot in a top heavy BIG10 - Clemson deserves the benefit of the doubt as the defending champs over the consistently underachieving Buckeyes.
Elsewhere in this week’s poll, one-loss SEC squads Florida, 7th, and Auburn, 9th, inch their way back up the polls to round out the top 10. They, along with steady Georgia, 10th again this week, are within striking distance of Alabama for the SEC’s spot in the playoff. A slew of solid squads moved up in the bottom half of the rankings this week. SMU, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Iowa, and Appalachian State each moved up 3 spots this week, making up 16-21 with Michigan sandwiched between them at 19. The blue and maize lost yet another game to a ranked team, falling 28-21 to 6th ranked Penn State. The Nittany Lions were up 21-0 before the Wolverines came back to make it interesting.
Several teams lost big this week - the Boise State Broncos being the biggest loser with an 8-spot drop. The surprising Broncos surged all the way to 14th before a 28-25 loss to the BYU Cougars in Provo sent them crashing back to earth. They were missing their freshman sensation at QB, Hank Bachmeier, and Chase Cord couldn’t do enough in his first-ever start to replace him. The Wisconsin Badgers also tumbled, 7 spots, down to 13th after Lovie Smith scored a signature win for his Illinois Fighting Illini, 24-23. The victory snapped a 4-game losing streak for the Illini. The Arizona State Sun Devils were the other team to drop 7 spots in the Week 9 poll, now sitting at 24th following their big defeat at Utah, 21-3.