For the second consecutive week, major upsets at the top of the rankings have altered the college football landscape and jolted the national championship race.
|USA Today Coaches Poll Top 25 Week 9|
|Rank||Team (First Place Votes)||Record||Points||B/R Ranking|
|3||Florida State (1)||6-0||1410||3|
After three teams inside the top-10 went down to lower-ranked or unranked opponents in Week 7, six fell this past weekend, as Clemson, Louisville, Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina and UCLA all saw their national title hopes take a devastating blow.
Florida State blasted Clemson in Death Valley, winning by 37 points on the road behind another dominant performance by freshman quarterback Jameis Winston, who continues to make a strong case for the Heisman Trophy. Meanwhile, Louisville, Texas A&M, LSU and South Carolina all surrendered last-minute scores to lose in dramatic fashion.
As a result of the madness at the top, previously under-the-radar unbeatens like Miami (FL), Baylor, Missouri and Texas Tech have all benefited, rising up the poll and inching closer to a potential BCS National Championship Game berth.
The two favorites to play for the crown coming into the weekend, Alabama and Oregon both won big at home on Saturday and have clearly been the two best teams in college football through eight weeks given their performance and competition level. Unsurprisingly, both remain atop the USA Today poll heading into Week 9.
Like the Crimson Tide and Ducks, Urban Meyer's Ohio State Buckeyes advanced to 7-0 with a 10-point win over Iowa in Columbus. It wasn't easy for the Big Ten heavyweights, though, as they trailed by a touchdown on three separate occasions.
The good news for Ohio State is that only one of their final five opponents (Michigan) is ranked inside the top 25.
The Buckeyes shouldn't be the ones smiling, though. Fortunately for college football fans, there will be plenty of more twists and turns in Week 9, as there are several can't-miss showdowns scheduled for next Saturday, including the following high-stakes clashes: UCLA vs. Oregon, Penn State vs. Ohio State, South Carolina vs. Missouri, Oregon State vs. Stanford and Texas Tech vs. Oklahoma.
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