College Football Playoff predictions for Week 9 actually favor a school that had a bye. Though the college football world didn’t see many games where top ranked schools proved they deserved to be in the playoff, several schools took big hits. The Utah Utes came into the week ranked No. 3 in the AP Top 25 and No. 7 in the Coaches Poll. The team got upset by USC on October 24, falling 42-24 in a very important Pac-12 game.
Utah had a lot of support among sportswriters, receiving 16 first place votes in the most recent AP Top 25 vote. With this loss, those votes are going to get dispersed among the other top ranked schools when the Week 9 college football rankings come out on Sunday, October 25. This is a big help to TCU, even though the school had a bye week. The 7-0 Horned Frogs had been ranked No. 4 in the AP Top 25 and No. 3 in the Coaches Poll, but should see a push in votes from both groups.
The No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide will also take a hit after barely squeaking by Tennessee over the weekend. That could allow teams like Stanford and an undefeated Iowa or Oklahoma State to get a push in the rankings. For most of the season, Alabama has been one of the teams getting a lot of attention in the College Football Playoff predictions. By having a rough week at the same time LSU improved to 7-0, it could cause some of the college football analysts to start siding with the Tigers as an SEC representative this year.
Another school that will take a huge hit in the Week 9 college football rankings are the Florida State Seminoles. The school had a great chance to move up past at least Alabama and Utah in the new polls, but couldn’t get past a previously 2-5 Georgia Tech team. It also became the first win for the Yellow Jackets in ACC games this season, showing just how unexpected this upset game will be to the voters. Schools that could now pass Florida State in the rankings include Stanford, Notre Dame, Iowa, Florida, Oklahoma State, and possibly even Ole Miss after they beat Texas A&M this weekend.
In the last College Football Playoff predictions from CBS Sports, the analysts went with Ohio State, TCU, Alabama, and Clemson as the four schools. None of those schools picked up a loss over the weekend, even though Alabama had an upset scare against Tennessee. The voters at CBS Sports had Alabama out-ranking Clemson, Utah, LSU, Baylor, and Michigan State. It could likely remain the same safe predictions when the Week 9 predictions are released.
The playoff picture as expressed by ESPN.com has (in order) Ohio State, Baylor, Utah, and TCU as the top four schools. The Utah Utes are going to likely tumble from that prediction, especially with the school not ranked highly in the college football power index. This gives room for LSU and Clemson to move up, as those were the two schools with the best strength of record coming into Week 8. Michigan State could also move up after improving to 8-0 and taking a bit step closer to the Big Ten Championship Game.
As the college football rankings get shaken up again, there could be three conferences that each have two teams ranked in the top seven very soon. The SEC could have LSU and Alabama, the Big Ten could have Ohio State and Michigan State, and the Big 12 could have TCU and Baylor. That could set up the nation for some really great games down the stretch, especially since the winners of those three conferences will likely be one of these six schools. The new College Football Playoff predictions may also punish the Pac-12 for having no undefeated teams left, though fans of the conference aren’t going to like it.
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