In recent weeks, Texas had fallen behind Florida and Alabama in the pecking order of elite teams. However, Saturday’s 41-14 rout of Oklahoma State in Stillwater was the kind of signature win the Longhorns needed to impress our voters and sandwich themselves back between the two SEC powers. Florida returned to the top spot after its 41-17 win over Georgia, with the Longhorns and the idle Crimson Tide splitting the rest of the first-place votes.
Predictably, USC’s loss to Oregon saw the Trojans slide out of the top 10. The Ducks moved to No. 8, emerging as our voters’ pick as the nation’s best one-loss team, with LSU, Georgia Tech and Penn State close behind.
Cal, Wisconsin and BYU returned to the Top 25 this week.
Here are this week’s rankings:
|College Football Power Rankings – Week 9|
|1 (2)||Florida (9)||8-0||368||It turns out all Florida needed to snap out of its offensive funk was a meeting with Georgia. The Gators’ 41-17 win belonged to their offense, especially Tim Tebow. He eclipsed Herschel Walker’s SEC record for career rushing touchdowns.|
|2 (3)||Texas (3)||8-0||359||Texas feasted on a smorgasbord of Oklahoma State turnovers, as the Longhorns’ secondary accounted for as many points as OSU’s offense. Zac Robinson threw four picks — two that were returned for TDs — in the 41-14 Texas win.|
|3 (1)||Alabama (3)||8-0||353||Alabama was off Week 9, but the intensity in Tuscaloosa will ratchet up this week with LSU paying a visit Saturday.|
|4 (6)||TCU||8-0||316||TCU ensured it suffered no letdown after beating BYU 38-7 on the road in Week 8. The Horned Frogs dismantled UNLV in a 41-0 win with Andy Dalton tossing three touchdown passes and the TCU defense allowing just seven first downs.|
|5 (5)||Cincinnati||8-0||306||In the two full games he’s filled in for Tony Pike, Zach Collaros has completed more than 80 percent of his passes, and has thrown for 548 yards and seven TDs. He led the Bearcats to a 28-7 win over Syracuse on Saturday, and they host Connecticut next.|
|6 (8)||Boise State||8-0||305||Kellen Moore threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns — including one to his younger brother, Kirby — as Boise State raced past San Jose State 45-7. It was the Broncos’ 21st win in their past 22 WAC games.|
|7 (7)||Iowa||9-0||290||Oops, they did it again. The Hawkeyes left it until late in the game, this time against Indiana, before turning it on in the fourth quarter to escape with a 42-24 win. It’s an act Iowa fans are grudgingly getting accustomed to. But how long will it last?|
|8 (10)||Oregon||7-1||278||Oregon couldn’t have scripted it any better, delivering a 47-20 beatdown on USC that folks in Eugene and Los Angeles won’t forget anytime soon. Oregon dropped 613 yards of total offense on the Trojans — the most ever in the Pete Carroll era.|
|9 (9)||LSU||7-1||258||Tulane didn’t offer up much resistance in a 42-0 loss to LSU, and the Tigers were able to start directing their attention to Saturday’s reunion with former coach Nick Saban. Brandon LaFell’s two TD catches moved him into second on LSU’s all-time list.|
|10 (11)||Georgia Tech||8-1||237||The nation’s second-best rushing team hit Vanderbilt for 404 yards on the ground in a 56-31 win. Jonathan Dwyer turned in his best performance of the season with 186 yards rushing and three touchdowns.|
|11 (12)||Penn State||8-1||221||Northwestern kept things interesting for a half at least. But Penn State blew the game open in the second half, cruising to a 34-13 win behind Evan Royster’s 118 yards and one TD.|
|12 (4)||USC||6-2||195||USC won’t be able to forget its performance against Oregon easily. It’s simple to run the gamut of the negative milestones reached during the 47-20 loss, but suffice to say, Pete Carroll will be addressing his defense’s shortcomings in practice this week.|
|13 (15)||Pittsburgh||7-1||187||Pitt spent its bye week watching West Virginia fall from the ranks of unbeaten Big East teams, leaving only the Panthers and Cincinnati atop the league standings. Pitt hosts Syracuse on Saturday.|
|14 (16)||Houston||7-1||166||With apologies to fans of the Pac-10, Big 12 and SEC who may beg to differ, Week 9′s best game could be found in C-USA. Case Keenum (career-high 559 yards, 5 TDs) found Patrick Edwards with 21 seconds left to give Houston a 50-43 win over Southern Miss.|
|15 (17)||Miami (FL)||6-2||158||It looked like Riley Skinner and Wake Forest were going to run Miami out of the building Saturday. But the Hurricanes came alive in the fourth quarter, and Jacory Harris’ TD pass to Travis Benjamin with just more than a minute left gave Miami a 28-27 win.|
|16 (18)||Ohio State||7-2||150||New Mexico State didn’t offer up much in the way of competition, but the Aggies were kind enough to offer a warm-up ahead of the Buckeyes’ visit to Penn State on Saturday. OSU allowed just 62 yards of total offense and two first downs in a 45-0 rout.|
|17 (19)||Utah||7-1||149||That loss to Oregon in September suddenly doesn’t look as bad. The Utes won their fifth straight, 22-10 over Wyoming, since falling to the Ducks. They host New Mexico on Saturday before battling at TCU for MWC supremacy on Nov. 14.|
|18 (22)||Arizona||5-2||123||Arizona took sole possession of second place in the Pac-10 during its bye week after Oregon beat USC. The Wildcats host Washington State on Saturday before consecutive games against the Ducks and Cal.|
|19 (21)||Oklahoma||5-3||84||Oklahoma raced out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter against Kansas State but needed a couple of DeMarco Murray TDs in the fourth quarter before it could put away a resilient Wildcats team in a 42-30 win.|
|20 (25)||Notre Dame||6-2||83||No late heroics from Jimmy Clausen were necessary this week. In fact, Clausen spent the fourth quarter watching from the sidelines as the Fighting Irish made quick work of Washington State in a 40-14 win at the Alamodome in San Antonio.|
|21 (14)||Oklahoma State||6-2||80||Zac Robinson will have nightmares of Texas’ secondary after the Oklahoma State QB suffered the worst performance of his career in the Cowboys’ biggest game. OSU’s dream of challenging for a Big 12 title proved to be just that — a dream.|
|22 (29)||California||6-2||56||Cal and Arizona State racked up more than 100 yards each in penalties, but the Golden Bears managed to overcome the ugliness to win 23-21. Kevin Riley (351 yards passing) engineered a late drive to set up Giorgio Tavecchio’s game-winning field goal.|
|23 (13)||Virginia Tech||5-3||55||North Carolina’s field goal as time expired sent Virginia Tech to a 20-17 loss — the Hokies’ second ACC defeat. They have a chance to get back on track in this week’s Thursday night matchup against East Carolina.|
|24 (30)||Wisconsin||6-2||46||Wisconsin rebounded after two consecutive losses with a 37-0 win over Purdue. John Clay rushed for 123 yards and three TDs for the Badgers, who visit Indiana on Saturday.|
|25 (28)||Brigham Young||6-2||16||BYU had a bye week to digest its 38-7 loss to TCU on Oct. 24 at home. The Cougars hit the road for consecutive weeks starting Saturday with a trip to Wyoming followed by a visit to New Mexico the following week.|
|Others receiving votes: South Florida (13), Clemson (13), Tennessee (4), Texas Tech (3), Oregon State (2), Auburn (1)|
Tags: Alabama 3, Bearcats, Byu, College Football Power Rankings, crimson tide, Elite Teams, ESPN, Full Games, Herschel Walker, Horned Frogs, Letdown, Longhorns, Ncaa College Football, Pecking Order, Place Votes, Rout, Rushing Touchdowns, Sec Record, Smorgasbord, Win 3, Win 3 1, Zac Robinson
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