Week 9 AP Top 25: What’s right and wrong

Week 9 of the college football rankings saw big moves with No. 4 Ohio State entering the top four, No. 9 Wisconsin testing positive for COVID-19

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RYAN PUGH | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

No. 24 USC and No. 13 Oregon are the only two Pac-12 teams in the top 25.

KURIA POUNDS, Evergreen columnist

The AP Poll released its top 25 rankings for week nine of the college football season. The debut of the Big Ten conference saw No. 3 Ohio State and No. 9 Wisconsin both look like heavy favorites to win the conference, as well as No. 13 Michigan.

The Big 12 looks to have a sole contender for the College Football Playoff, with No. 6 Oklahoma State leading the pack, along with No. 16 Kansas State. Both teams are undefeated in the conference and looked to be the favorites for the conference championship.

No. 1 Clemson struggled a little bit against Syracuse, with junior quarterback Trevor Lawrence throwing two interceptions; one of them led to a defensive touchdown, the first of his career as a Tiger. No. 4 Notre Dame proved to me why they are a top-five team in the country, after routing the Pittsburgh Panthers on the road.

After a wild week of college football, here is what is right and what is wrong with the AP Poll’s rankings for this week.

What is right with the poll:

Wisconsin and Ohio State moving up multiple spots after their dominant wins makes the CFP talk more interesting. The Buckeyes beat Nebraska at home, in what was a close game at first, but Ohio State ran away with it at the end. Junior quarterback Justin Fields looked like a Heisman candidate, throwing 20 completions for a total of 276 yards and two touchdowns.

For the Badgers, true freshman quarterback Graham Mertz had one incompletion the whole game against Illinois. Mertz completed his first 14 passes and threw for five touchdowns. Mertz tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time within a week, and Big Ten protocol states Mertz will have to miss minimum 21 days.

The Badgers have had multiple positive COVID-19 tests and as a result, their upcoming game against Nebraska is canceled. We will have to wait after the Badgers’ outbreak passes to see if this team is a contender for the national championship.

Michigan moving up five spots as well showed how the Big Ten is not to be messed with this year. Led by head coach Jim Harbaugh, the Wolverines went into Minnesota and beat them down on all sides of the ball. Even with most of the Gophers’ offensive line being on the COVID-19 list, Michigan still put up 49 points against this team.

Don’t sleep on No. 19 Marshall or No. 20 Coastal Carolina. Yes, both teams are in a Group of Five conferences, with Marshall in the Conference-USA and Coastal Carolina being in the Sun Belt, but they both looked great this weekend. The Herd is a very defensive-heavy team, only allowing 9.4 points per game on average, and looking like a contender for a New Year’s Six bowl game.

Coastal Carolina looks like the team to beat in the Sun Belt, but with some tough competition on the horizon, it may not last for long, unless they keep scoring when it matters.

No. 18 Penn State fell 10 spots. They deserve it. The Nittany Lions looked confused against No. 17 Indiana, being down 17-7 at one point. The excuse of “no competition” is valid for now, but they were a good favorite against the Hoosiers and struggled the whole game, ending in a crucial overtime loss.

What is wrong with the poll:

Does Indiana deserve to be number 17 in the country after a lucky win against Penn State? Not in my book. The Hoosiers almost blew a 17-7 lead and had a lucky call to win the game in overtime. They deserve to be in the top 25, but 17 is too high for me. If they want to be number 17, beat another good team.

Why are both No. 24 Oklahoma and No. 23 Iowa State in the top 25 with two losses? Yes, the Cyclones lost a close game to Oklahoma State, but that loss at the beginning of the season to Louisiana-Lafayette matters a lot more now, considering the Ragin’ Cajuns are not in the top 25 anymore. The loss to Louisiana-Lafayette was horrible, and Iowa State should fall more because of it.

Oklahoma is one of those teams that looks so inconsistent week-by-week, I don’t know how people voted them into the top 25. One week, the Sooners look like a top 10 team, the next week, they look like a last-place team. They are not consistent and are a prime example as to why the Big 12 is not reliable, in terms of the top 25.

Notable matchups this week:

No. 7 Cincinnati faces Memphis at 9 a.m. PST Saturday on ESPN

No. 16 Kansas State plays West Virginia at 9 a.m. PST Saturday on ESPN2

No. 6 Oklahoma State hosts Texas at 1 p.m. PST Saturday on FOX

No. 25 Boise State faces Air Force at 3 p.m. PST Saturday on CBS Sports Network

No. 3 Ohio State plays No. 18 Penn State at 4:30 p.m. PST Saturday on ABC