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In many ways, week 9 was an uneventful week of college football. Of the top 18 teams in last week’s SRS, only one lost in week 9. On the surface, the loss by Ole Miss — ranked 2nd in the SRS last week and 3rd in the polls — was a big loss. But as long as the Rebels keep winning, it wasn’t a big deal at all. Ole Miss, like Mississippi State, like Alabama, like Georgia, and like Auburn (more on them later) all control their own destiny for the playoffs. Ole Miss still has to play Auburn, Arkansas, and MSU, so it’s not as though things will be easy for the Rebels; but they do control their own destiny, just as they did a week ago.

Among top-30 SRS teams last week, only three others lost, and in two of those games it was to fellow top-30 teams. Utah (#22 in last week’s SRS) defeated Southern Cal (#19) on a touchdown pass with 8 seconds left, to give the Utes a 24-21 home win. Tennessee (#24 last week) lost at home to Alabama in the Lane Kiffin Bowl. The one real surprise was Virginia Tech (#29) losing 30-6 at home to a Miami team that was just 43rd in the SRS entering week 9.

The table below shows the SRS ratings through nine weeks. Breaking up the SEC West stranglehold at the top is TCU, and the Horned Frogs now lead the nation in scoring. It appears as though style points may not be an issue, so for TCU, the biggest hurdle may just be finishing the year 11-1. For the Horned Frogs, the toughest two games remaining are the next two: at West Virginia next week, and against Kansas State a week later. As always thanks to Dr. Peter R. Wolfe for providing the weekly game logs. Some more playoff thoughts about the jump:

RkTeamConfConf RkGMOVSOSSRSREC
1MississippiSEC1819.34766.37-1
2AlabamaSEC2818.347.265.57-1
3AuburnSEC3715.849.765.46-1
4TCUB12172339.462.46-1
5Mississippi StSEC4717.944.362.27-0
6GeorgiaSEC5718.941.760.66-1
7OklahomaB122713.146.359.35-2
8OregonP121817.14158.17-1
9Michigan StB101820.437.557.87-1
10Kansas StB123715.342.157.46-1
11BaylorB12472136.157.16-1
12LSUSEC6912.344.556.87-2
13NebraskaB102817.338.455.67-1
14Ohio StateB103718.636.154.76-1
15Florida StACC1716.138.654.67-0
16Notre DameInd171242546-1
17Southern CalP12289.643.653.15-3
18ClemsonACC289.943.153.16-2
19Texas A&MSEC788.843.652.45-3
20West VirginiaB12589.942.1526-2
21UtahP123712.339.651.96-1
22ArkansasSEC889.242.251.44-4
23UCLAP1248645.351.36-2
24WisconsinB104714.836.451.25-2
25MarshallCUSA1825.725.3518-0
26ArizonaP125711.639.350.96-1
27TennesseeSEC98-0.650.750.13-5
28LouisvilleACC3813.836.2506-2
29Arizona StP126711.438.6506-1
30MissouriSEC108940.549.56-2
31StanfordP127810.838.2495-3
32Miami FLACC488.54048.55-3
33FloridaSEC1160.746.3473-3
34Georgia TechACC588.738.3476-2
35DukeACC6716.330.7476-1
36MemphisAmer1712.234.146.34-3
37Boise StMWC18738.145.16-2
38Virginia TechACC783.141.544.64-4
39South CarolinaSEC1280.444.144.54-4
40Boston CollegeACC887.336.443.75-3
41MarylandB1058340.643.65-3
42WashingtonP12884.838.743.55-3
43MinnesotaB1068538.243.26-2
44East CarolinaAmer2714.328.943.26-1
45VirginiaACC983.539.5434-4
46Louisiana TechCUSA286.436.342.75-3
47Colorado StMWC289.832.642.47-1
48IowaB10775.337.142.45-2
49Oklahoma StB12681.440.842.25-3
50KentuckySEC1384.437.742.15-3
51Georgia SouthernSun1818.222.941.16-2
52North CarolinaACC108-2.442.840.44-4
53Penn StateB10872.637.840.44-3
54SyracuseACC118-3.643.840.33-5
55Central FloridaAmer37535.240.25-2
56NorthwesternB1097-0.94140.23-4
57PittsburghACC1283.336.840.14-4
58CaliforniaP1298-1.641.439.84-4
59NevadaMWC383.136.739.85-3
60Brigham YoungInd281.738.139.84-4
61TexasB1278-4.743.839.13-5
62Utah StMWC484.634.338.95-3
63Arkansas StSun274.933.738.64-3
64Washington StP12108-4.342.338.12-6
65Iowa StB1287-7.745.537.82-5
66MichiganB10108-3.441.237.83-5
67North Carolina StACC138-0.938.637.74-4
68HoustonAmer476.930.837.64-3
69Oregon StP12117-0.437.737.34-3
70CincinnatiAmer571.535.5374-3
71PurdueB10118-4.341.136.93-5
72IndianaB10127-3.839.635.83-4
73ToledoMAC180.83535.85-3
74RutgersB10138-0.43635.75-3
75Western KentuckyCUSA373.931.535.43-4
76Alabama-BirminghamCUSA483.531.835.34-4
77IllinoisB10148-540.135.14-4
78RiceCUSA572.132.734.74-3
79Western MichiganMAC286.528.234.75-3
80Middle Tennessee StCUSA682.931.534.45-3
81ColoradoP12128-7.141.234.12-6
82Texas TechB1298-9.843.934.13-5
83TempleAmer678.325.433.74-3
84NavyInd382.13133.14-4
85San José StMWC57-1.734.232.53-4
86San Diego StMWC673.928.632.54-3
87Central MichiganMAC391.630.832.35-4
88Louisiana-LafayetteSun37-1.934.132.24-3
89UTEPCUSA77-0.93332.14-3
90Air ForceMWC775.826.131.85-2
91Florida Int'lCUSA88-2.33431.73-5
92Fresno StMWC88-5.33731.63-5
93Florida AtlanticCUSA98-8.439.631.23-5
94South AlabamaSun473.12831.25-2
95Northern IllinoisMAC484.526.631.16-2
96AkronMAC582.428.230.64-4
97Ball StMAC68-0.530.730.23-5
98Hawai`iMWC98-5.935.9302-6
99WyomingMWC108-9.138.529.43-5
100Texas-San AntonioCUSA108-8.636.6282-6
101VanderbiltSEC148-14.542.127.62-6
102Southern MissCUSA118-10.937.9273-5
103KansasB12107-10.437.226.82-5
104Bowling GreenMAC78-1.928.726.75-3
105South FloridaAmer78-7.934.626.73-5
106MassachusettsMAC89-3.829.425.62-7
107Wake ForestACC148-9.334.725.42-6
108TulaneAmer87-9.234.625.42-5
109New MexicoMWC117-7.632.224.72-5
110Old DominionCUSA128-6.330.724.43-5
111Ohio U.MAC99-7.331.123.84-5
112Texas St-San MarcosSun572.121.623.74-3
113Appalachian StSun67-0.924.323.42-5
114Louisiana-MonroeSun77-8.231.423.23-4
115Miami OHMAC109-7.830.923.22-7
116BuffaloMAC118-2.324.822.53-5
117North TexasCUSA138-6.727.7212-6
118ConnecticutAmer97-12.433.3211-6
119TulsaAmer107-14.634.620.11-6
120ArmyInd47-929202-5
121New Mexico StSun88-9.128.719.62-6
122Kent StMAC128-12.931.618.71-7
123UNLVMWC128-15.333.117.82-6
124Georgia StSun98-14.131.717.61-7
125IdahoSun107-10.628.217.51-6
126TroySun118-16.33215.71-7
127Eastern MichiganMAC138-17.831.713.92-6
128SMUAmer117-32.345.613.30-7

You might be wondering how Mississippi State ranks “only” 5th in the SRS, behind four one-loss teams, including three from its own division. It’s mostly due to strength of schedule; and not only has MSU faced an easier schedule than Ole Miss, Alabama, and Auburn, but the Bulldogs’ MOV is lower than than of both Ole Miss and Alabama. Is this a big deal? Of course not. But it’s a reminder that among the top 4 in the SEC West, MSU isn’t any better than the other teams just because it hasn’t suffered a loss yet.

To date, MSU has only faced Auburn among the Big 4; the next two toughest games for the Bulldogs were LSU and A&M. Mississippi State got an easy draw out of the SEC East, but the big games on the schedule (at Alabama, at Ole Miss) still loom. MSU is also “hurt” a bit in these ratings by a 13-point win over UAB; you can argue that such a performance is meaningless, and I don’t think I’d disagree with you. But as a general rule, 13-point wins over the 76th best team in the SRS are not good things, which is why it’s included in the rankings.

As for Auburn… I still support the candidacy of a two-loss Auburn team, much less a one-loss squad. By the end of the year, Auburn will have played:

  • at Mississippi (#1 in the SRS)
  • at Alabama (#2)
  • at Mississippi State (#5)
  • at Georgia (#6)
  • at Kansas State (#10)
  • LSU (#12)
  • Texas A&M (#19)
  • Arkansas (#22)

That. Is. Insane. Going 6-2 against that schedule (and beating #39 South Carolina) would be an incredible accomplishment. Think about it this way: If they do so, the Tigers would finish with 3 wins against top ten teams… on the road. My guess is Auburn would actually get in with a 10-2 record, but mostly because other top contenders will also fall as the calendar hits November. More likely, the Tigers finish with 1 or 3 losses, making life easier on the playoff committee. But a 2-loss Auburn would arguably still be the best team in the country, if no other team has gone undefeated.

That excludes, of course, Marshall. Unfortunately for the Thundering Herd, 19-point home wins against Florida Atlanta are not going to move the needle. Marshall ranks 25th in the SRS, but it would need to have more style points to really earn consideration for a playoff spot.

One final thought: let’s assume both TCU and Baylor finish the year 11-1. If that’s the case, Baylor will win the Big 12 by virtue of the head-to-head win. Does that mean the committee should pick Baylor over TCU for the playoffs? Or do other factors matter? My vote would be for the latter, but let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Below are the week 9 game results. The top performance of the week came from Wisconsin, as the Badgers blew out a decent Maryland team, 52-7. TCU scored 68 points against Texas Tech… in the first three quarters, finishing with an 82-27 win that was the second best score of the week.

DateTm_ConfPFOppPAH/RW/LDiffMOVOpp_ConfSOSSRS
10-25-2014Wisconsin_B1052Maryland7HomeWin4533B1043.676.6
10-25-2014TCU_B1282Texas Tech27HomeWin5538B1234.172.1
10-23-2014Miami FL_ACC30Virginia Tech6RoadWin2425.5ACC44.670.1
10-25-2014West Virginia_B1234Oklahoma St10RoadWin2425.5B1242.267.7
10-25-2014Georgia Tech_ACC56Pittsburgh28RoadWin2827.5ACC40.167.6
10-25-2014Alabama_SEC34Tennessee20RoadWin1417SEC50.167.1
10-25-2014LSU_SEC10Mississippi7HomeWin30SEC66.366.3
10-25-2014Arizona_P1259Washington St37RoadWin2224.5P1238.162.6
10-24-2014Boise St_MWC55Brigham Young30HomeWin2522Ind39.861.8
10-24-2014Oregon_P1259California41RoadWin1821P1239.860.8
10-25-2014Arizona St_P1224Washington10RoadWin1417P1243.560.5
10-25-2014Arkansas_SEC45Alabama-Birmingham17HomeWin2824.5CUSA35.359.8
10-25-2014Kansas St_B1223Texas0HomeWin2320B1239.159.1
10-25-2014Mississippi St_SEC45Kentucky31RoadWin1417SEC42.159.1
10-25-2014Michigan St_B1035Michigan11HomeWin2421B1037.858.8
10-25-2014UTEP_CUSA34Texas-San Antonio0RoadWin3430.5CUSA2858.5
10-25-2014South Carolina_SEC35Auburn42RoadLoss-7-7SEC65.458.4
10-25-2014Stanford_P1238Oregon St14HomeWin2421P1237.358.3
10-25-2014Mississippi_SEC7LSU10RoadLoss-30SEC56.856.8
10-25-2014Utah_P1224Southern Cal21HomeWin30P1253.153.1
10-25-2014Southern Cal_P1221Utah24RoadLoss-30P1251.951.9
10-25-2014Auburn_SEC42South Carolina35HomeWin77SEC44.551.5
10-25-2014Central Florida_Amer34Temple14HomeWin2017Amer33.750.7
10-25-2014Nebraska_B1042Rutgers24HomeWin1815B1035.750.7
10-21-2014Louisiana-Lafayette_Sun55Arkansas St40HomeWin1512Sun38.650.6
10-25-2014Ohio State_B1031Penn State24RoadWin710B1040.450.4
10-25-2014Illinois_B1028Minnesota24HomeWin47B1043.250.2
10-25-2014Georgia Southern_Sun69Georgia St31RoadWin3832.5Sun17.650.1
10-25-2014North Carolina_ACC28Virginia27RoadWin17ACC4350
10-25-2014Tennessee_SEC20Alabama34HomeLoss-14-17SEC65.548.5
10-25-2014Clemson_ACC16Syracuse6HomeWin107ACC40.347.3
10-25-2014Marshall_CUSA35Florida Atlantic16HomeWin1916CUSA31.247.2
10-25-2014Syracuse_ACC6Clemson16RoadLoss-10-7ACC53.146.1
10-25-2014Memphis_Amer48SMU10RoadWin3832.5Amer13.345.8
10-25-2014Kentucky_SEC31Mississippi St45HomeLoss-14-17SEC62.245.2
10-25-2014Penn State_B1024Ohio State31HomeLoss-7-10B1054.744.7
10-25-2014Colorado_P1237UCLA40HomeLoss-3-7P1251.344.3
10-25-2014Vanderbilt_SEC14Missouri24RoadLoss-10-7SEC49.542.5
10-25-2014Western Michigan_MAC42Ohio U.21HomeWin2118MAC23.841.8
10-25-2014Ball St_MAC35Akron21HomeWin1411MAC30.641.6
10-25-2014UCLA_P1240Colorado37RoadWin37P1234.141.1
10-25-2014Nevada_MWC26Hawai`i18RoadWin811MWC3041
10-25-2014Louisiana Tech_CUSA31Southern Miss20RoadWin1114CUSA2741
10-24-2014Cincinnati_Amer34South Florida17HomeWin1714Amer26.740.7
10-25-2014Rutgers_B1024Nebraska42RoadLoss-18-15B1055.640.6
10-25-2014Colorado St_MWC45Wyoming31HomeWin1411MWC29.440.4
10-25-2014Navy_Ind41San José St31HomeWin107MWC32.539.5
10-25-2014Rice_CUSA41North Texas21HomeWin2017CUSA2138
10-25-2014Texas_B120Kansas St23RoadLoss-23-20B1257.437.4
10-24-2014California_P1241Oregon59HomeLoss-18-21P1258.137.1
10-25-2014Michigan_B1011Michigan St35RoadLoss-24-21B1057.836.8
10-25-2014Western Kentucky_CUSA66Old Dominion51HomeWin1512CUSA24.436.4
10-23-2014Connecticut_Amer21East Carolina31RoadLoss-10-7Amer43.236.2
10-25-2014Florida Atlantic_CUSA16Marshall35RoadLoss-19-16CUSA5135
10-25-2014Wake Forest_ACC17Boston College23HomeLoss-6-9ACC43.734.7
10-25-2014Missouri_SEC24Vanderbilt14HomeWin107SEC27.634.6
10-25-2014Boston College_ACC23Wake Forest17RoadWin69ACC25.434.4
10-25-2014Virginia_ACC27North Carolina28HomeLoss-1-7ACC40.433.4
10-25-2014Washington_P1210Arizona St24HomeLoss-14-17P125033
10-25-2014Toledo_MAC42Massachusetts35HomeWin77MAC25.632.6
10-25-2014Central Michigan_MAC20Buffalo14RoadWin69MAC22.531.5
10-25-2014Wyoming_MWC31Colorado St45RoadLoss-14-11MWC42.431.4
10-25-2014Texas St-San Marcos_Sun22Louisiana-Monroe18RoadWin47Sun23.230.2
10-25-2014Hawai`i_MWC18Nevada26HomeLoss-8-11MWC39.828.8
10-25-2014Utah St_MWC34UNLV20HomeWin1411MWC17.828.8
10-25-2014Massachusetts_MAC35Toledo42RoadLoss-7-7MAC35.828.8
10-25-2014Southern Miss_CUSA20Louisiana Tech31HomeLoss-11-14CUSA42.728.7
10-25-2014Minnesota_B1024Illinois28RoadLoss-4-7B1035.128.1
10-23-2014East Carolina_Amer31Connecticut21HomeWin107Amer2128
10-25-2014Oregon St_P1214Stanford38RoadLoss-24-21P124928
10-25-2014Northern Illinois_MAC28Eastern Michigan17RoadWin1114MAC13.927.9
10-25-2014UNLV_MWC20Utah St34RoadLoss-14-11MWC38.927.9
10-25-2014Alabama-Birmingham_CUSA17Arkansas45RoadLoss-28-24.5SEC51.426.9
10-24-2014South Alabama_Sun27Troy13HomeWin1411Sun15.726.7
10-25-2014Oklahoma St_B1210West Virginia34HomeLoss-24-25.5B125226.5
10-25-2014Washington St_P1237Arizona59HomeLoss-22-24.5P1250.926.4
10-25-2014San José St_MWC31Navy41RoadLoss-10-7Ind33.126.1
10-25-2014Miami OH_MAC10Kent St3HomeWin77MAC18.725.7
10-25-2014Texas Tech_B1227TCU82RoadLoss-55-38B1262.424.4
10-25-2014Old Dominion_CUSA51Western Kentucky66RoadLoss-15-12CUSA35.423.4
10-25-2014Buffalo_MAC14Central Michigan20HomeLoss-6-9MAC32.323.3
10-25-2014Temple_Amer14Central Florida34RoadLoss-20-17Amer40.223.2
10-24-2014Brigham Young_Ind30Boise St55RoadLoss-25-22MWC45.123.1
10-23-2014Virginia Tech_ACC6Miami FL30HomeLoss-24-25.5ACC48.523
10-24-2014South Florida_Amer17Cincinnati34RoadLoss-17-14Amer3723
10-21-2014Arkansas St_Sun40Louisiana-Lafayette55RoadLoss-15-12Sun32.220.2
10-24-2014Troy_Sun13South Alabama27RoadLoss-14-11Sun31.220.2
10-25-2014Pittsburgh_ACC28Georgia Tech56HomeLoss-28-27.5ACC4719.5
10-25-2014Akron_MAC21Ball St35RoadLoss-14-11MAC30.219.2
10-25-2014Maryland_B107Wisconsin52RoadLoss-45-33B1051.218.2
10-25-2014North Texas_CUSA21Rice41RoadLoss-20-17CUSA34.717.7
10-25-2014Eastern Michigan_MAC17Northern Illinois28HomeLoss-11-14MAC31.117.1
10-25-2014Ohio U._MAC21Western Michigan42RoadLoss-21-18MAC34.716.7
10-25-2014Louisiana-Monroe_Sun18Texas St-San Marcos22HomeLoss-4-7Sun23.716.7
10-25-2014Kent St_MAC3Miami OH10RoadLoss-7-7MAC23.216.2
10-25-2014SMU_Amer10Memphis48HomeLoss-38-32.5Amer46.313.8
10-25-2014Georgia St_Sun31Georgia Southern69HomeLoss-38-32.5Sun41.18.6
10-25-2014Texas-San Antonio_CUSA0UTEP34HomeLoss-34-30.5CUSA32.11.6

As always, the NCAA Games page has been updated to reflect the week 9 results.