The best teams in College Football have shaken free. Penn State provided the most impressive victory of Week 8 when dominating Michigan 42 to 13. Notre Dame wasn’t that far behind. The Irish put a beat down on rival USC 49 to 14. In my rankings, every team, as has been the case in Week 1 through Week 8, is chasing Alabama.
Keep reading for my 2017 College Football Top 20 Rankings for Week 9!
2017 College Football Top 20 Rankings Week 9
1. Alabama Crimson Tide 8-0
I had a feeling Alabama coach Nick Saban might not call off the dogs until late versus Tennessee. He didn’t do that. Instead, Saban allowed his second and third string players to get in on the action. One player that caught everyone’s eye was back-up freshman QB Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa hails from Hawaii. The power of Nick Saban is such that he’s out recruiting the Pac 12 in Hawaii.
2. Penn State 7-0
The Nittany Lions dominated Michigan in their first huge Big Ten test of the season. The Lions beat up the Wolverines every way imaginable. Michigan lost too much on defense last season to be as good as everyone thought they’d be. In 5 days, Penn State battles Top 10 ranked Ohio State. That’s the game that should determine the Big Ten representative in the College Football Playoff…unless the winner is upset at some other time during the season.
3. TCU 7-0
As a -37 favorite, Texas Christian had every right to take the day off versus the Kansas Jayhawks. The Jayhawks had no shot of keeping this one close. TCU could have slacked off on defense in the second half after building a 28 to 0 lead. The Horned Frogs didn’t. Kansas couldn’t even post 3 points versus what’s become one of the top defenses in college football. TCU’s 43 to 0 win was impressive.
4. Georgia 7-0
The Bulldogs took the week off after beating Missouri 53 to 28 on Oct. 14. Georgia has some tough games coming up starting this week with a road tilt versus Florida. The Gators got the week off after 2 straight losses to LSU and Texas A&M. Florida might be ready for Georgia, which makes this game way more interesting than many might think.
5. Wisconsin 7-0
College football fans have been forced to pay attention to Wisconsin now that the Badgers are 7 and 0. Say what you will, the Badgers are undefeated. One thing that doesn’t strike me as being in their favor is that Wisconsin won’t play a single Top 20 ranked team from now until the Big Ten Championship. That includes their battle versus Michigan, which is pretty much meaningless after Penn State smacked the Wolverines.
6. Miami 6-0
Miami is undefeated. I’m not sure they’re the best team in the ACC. The Canes found it tough to beat Georgia Tech 24 to 25 on Oct. 14. Then, they beat Syracuse 27 to 19 on Oct. 21. The Canes do play Virginia Tech and Notre Dame in the next few weeks. There’s time for Miami to prove itself.
7. Notre Dame 6-1
Some college football handicappers moved Notre Dame all the way into the Top 4. They’re definitely not ahead of Georgia who beat the Irish 20 to 19 earlier this season. The win over USC was impressive. I saw it coming, though. So, from my perspective, Notre Dame’s Week 7 victory was what they were supposed to do.
8. Ohio State 6-1
Ohio State got the week off. It’s a good thing. The Buckeyes battle Penn State in College Football Week 8. I don’t believe Ohio State fairs as well as everyone thinks they will. Maybe, everyone doesn’t? The line opened Ohio State -7.5. It’s all the way down to Ohio State -6.
9. Clemson 6-1
Clemson’s 24 to 27 straight up loss to Syracuse was a shocker. The Tigers don’t get a reprieve this Saturday. Georgia Tech isn’t a bad football team. Not only that, but Clemson QB Kelly Bryant might take the week off due to a concussion he suffered versus Syracuse. Week 8 is make or break time for the Clemson Tigers.
10. Oklahoma State 6-1
I debated on which team to put ahead of the other, Oklahoma or Oklahoma State. I’m going with Oklahoma State because they’ve got a shot to prove their Top 10 status this Saturday in Morgantown versus West Virginia.
11. Oklahoma 6-1
Oklahoma’s defense has fallen off a cliff. There’s no way Kansas State should have scored 35 points versus the Oklahoma Sooners’ D. K-State had the game tied until the Sooners scored at the 7 second mark. Oklahoma’s got 3 straight tough games head starting in Week 8 with Texas Tech.
12. NC State 6-1
One of College Football Week 8’s top matchups has NC State traveling to Notre Dame to take on the Irish. The Wolfpack has emerged as one of the better teams in the ACC. That might not do them any good versus Notre Dame. One thing that’s in NC State’s favor is that the Pack is 4 and 1 ATS in their last 5 games.
13. Washington 6-1
The Huskies took Week 7 off after their horrible 7 to 13 loss to Arizona State on Oct. 14. ASU’s defense has become good. That doesn’t matter. The Pac 12 is a bad conference. If Washington has any hope of making it to the College Football Playoff, they must hope a lot of teams in front of them lose. Not only that, but they’ll need to impressively beat every team left on their schedule.
14. Virginia Tech 6-1
Beating the North Carolina Tar Heels 59 to 7 doesn’t do a lot for me. I’m not sure how impressed I’m supposed to be by it considering that North Carolina is terrible against the spread this season. VA Tech does play Miami and Georgia Tech on the road. The Hokies have a shot to impress.
15. UCF 6-0
Central Florida’s offense was just too much for the Navy Midshipmen to handle in Week 7. The Knights beat Navy 31 to 21. That makes UCF’s overall ATS record 5-0-1 this season. UCF battles Austin Peay on Oct. 28. There’s a good chance oddsmakers don’t set a line in that battle.
16. South Florida 7-0
The Bulls did beat the Tulane Green Wave 34 to 28 in Week 7. The problem is that South Florida’s defense isn’t close to being as good as Central Florida’s defense. South Florida battles the rival Knights on November 24. The American Athletic Conference champion shouldn’t be decided until then.
17. Washington State 6-1
Beating Colorado 28 to 0 was nice. It wasn’t good enough for me to move Washington State into the Top 15. In fact, I moved them down after the win. I’m just not sold on any team in the Pac 12 this season. One of my upset picks this week is when Washington State heads to Arizona. No matter what the Cougars do, the 3 to 37 loss to California on Oct. 13 was too bad to forgive.
18. West Virginia 6-2
The Mountaineers barely beat the Baylor Bears 38 to 36 in Week 7. That wasn’t a great win by West Virginia, a team that fought hard on the road versus TCU in early October. West Virginia could make a statement in the Big 12 this Saturday. The Mountaineers battle Top 10 ranked Oklahoma State. If WVU can pull off the upset as a close to 8-point dog, they could still win the conference.
19. Iowa State 6-2
Talk about a statement matchup in College Football Week 8. Iowa State has gone 6 and 1 ATS this season, just like they’ve gone 6 and 1 SU this season. The Cyclones are a 6.5 home dog versus Big 12 powerhouse TCU on Saturday. If the Cyclones were to beat TCU, forget it. They’re a serious football team. That’s amazing considering that Iowa State was one of the worst football programs in the nation only two years ago.
20. LSU 6-2
LSU’s 42 to 24 road victory over Ole Miss makes it 3 in a row for the Tigers that play in the bayou. LSU gets Week 8 off. Then, they take on Alabama in Tuscaloosa. That should be a tougher game than the point-spread indicates just because LSU always battles Alabama hard.