NCAA Football Rankings 2013: Predicting the Top 25 After Week 9

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2013

Byron Marshall and Oregon sent UCLA out of Autzen Stadium thinking about a loss.
Byron Marshall and Oregon sent UCLA out of Autzen Stadium thinking about a loss.

Ranked teams largely took care of weaker opponents during Week 9 of the 2013 college football season. But while there were fewer down-to-the-wire contests and shocking upsets than the two previous weekends, not every ranked team avoided a loss.

In the headline game, No. 2 Oregon scored 28 unanswered points during the second half and bested 12th-ranked UCLA 42-14.

Late-entering Connor Shaw and No. 20 South Carolina used a furious fourth-quarter rally to shock No. 5 Missouri in a heart-stopping 27-24 double-overtime win. 

Seventh-ranked Miami escaped an ACC matchup with Wake Forest 24-21, aided by Antonio Crawford's game-sealing interception with less than 45 seconds remaining.

No. 8 Stanford trailed conference foe Oregon State early, but Tyler Gaffney keyed a 20-12 win for the Cardinal.

Tenth-ranked Texas Tech could not go on the road and overcome No. 17 Oklahoma, falling 38-30 in a game that nearly eclipsed 1,000 combined offensive yards.

Despite forcing four turnovers, No. 16 Virginia Tech was defeated by the visiting Duke Blue Devils 13-10.

Quarterback Taylor Martinez returned after missing the Cornhuskers' previous three games, but No. 25 Nebraska fell to Minnesota 34-23.

Notes: Previous rankings based on Week 9 AP Top 25. This is an AP projection, not BCS.

Projected Week 10 Rankings
Rank (Last week)Team
1 (1)Alabama
2 (2)Oregon
3 (3)Florida State
4 (4)Ohio State
5 (6)Baylor
6 (8)Stanford
7 (7)Miami
8 (9)Clemson
9 (11)Auburn
10 (13)LSU
11 (14)Texas A&M
12 (17)Oklahoma
13 (15)Fresno State
14 (20)South Carolina
15 (18)Louisville
16 (5)Missouri
17 (10)Texas Tech
18 (19)Oklahoma State
19 (12)UCLA
20 (21)Central Florida
21 (22)Wisconsin
22 (23)Northern Illinois
23 (24)Michigan
24 (NR)Arizona State
25 (NR)Notre Dame
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Fun Facts

The SEC leads the projections with six programs in the ranking. The Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12 each have four member schools in the poll. The ACC drops to three schools listed, but each one is ranked in the Top 10.

After defeating South Florida 34-3, this will be Louisville's 100th non-preseason AP poll ranking (106th overall).

Ohio State will be ranked in the Top 10 for the 20th consecutive week. It will be the first time the Buckeyes have accomplished this feat since 2006-2007, despite 80 poll appearances between the end of the previous streak until now.

After being projected to do so last week, now-No. 21 Central Florida will officially achieve the program's highest-ever ranking.


Falling: Virginia Tech Hokies

Virginia Tech had its highest ranking since Week 3 of last season, but the Hokies' stay at No. 16 was short-lived, falling to Duke 13-10 at home.

At the hands of Virginia Tech, David Cutcliffe becomes the first Duke head coach to take the Blue Devils to back-to-back bowls. Conversely, longtime Hokies' head coach Frank Beamer felt his seat warm up a little.

Logan Thomas accounted for 315 offensive yards (214 passing, 101 rushing), but the senior quarterback threw four interceptions, including one in the end zone. 

The loss was Virginia Tech's first in ACC play, and it puts the Hokies into a tough spot in the Coastal Division behind Miami.


Rising: South Carolina Gamecocks

This game was over. Heading into the fourth quarter, Missouri led South Carolina 17-0.

But an injured Connor Shaw had entered the game for the Gamecocks midway through the third quarter, and the senior quarterback eventually engineered three consecutive scoring drives to force overtime.

Down three points during the second overtime, Missouri kicker Andrew Baggett—who drilled five field goals last week—missed a 24-yard attempt. His holder also failed to spin the ball to avoid kicking laces—a cardinal sin in holding duties.

Shaw tossed three touchdowns, Bruce Ellington caught 10 passes and two scores and South Carolina earned bowl eligibility with its sixth win.


Falling: UCLA Bruins

/Getty Images

UCLA had dreams of upsetting second-ranked Oregon, and an early touchdown set the Bruins in the right direction.

Brett Hundley kept the game close until halftime, leading the team into the locker room tied at 14, but UCLA failed to score during the second half.

The Bruins could not contain Byron Marshall and "that Oregon speed" as the Ducks amassed 325 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

UCLA dropped its second straight game, but a date with Colorado next week should get the Bruins back on track.


Rising: Stanford Cardinal

Oct 26, 2013; Corvallis, OR, USA; Stanford Cardinal running back Tyler Gaffney (25) runs with the ball against the Oregon State Beavers during the first half at Reser Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, Stanford trailed the Miami Hurricanes by only 12 votes, so following its victory over underrated Oregon State, the Cardinal will jump "The U."

Miami struggled mightily against Wake Forest, but David Shaw's crew went on the road and outlasted BCS-ranked Oregon State 20-12.

Although Kevin Hogan threw for just 88 yards, Tyler Gaffney tallied 145 yards and three scores.

Stanford improves to 7-1 and will get a 12-day layoff before a Thursday night showdown at home against Oregon that will decide the Pac-12 North Division.


Falling: Texas Tech Red Raiders

/Getty Images

Texas Tech had its first Top 10 ranking in five seasons, but the Sooners did not allow the Red Raiders to win steal a win in Norman, Oklahoma.

Oklahoma gashed the Red Raiders defense for 277 rushing yards and three touchdowns, and quarterback Blake Bell tacked on 249 yards and two scores through the air.

Davis Webb threw for 385 yards and two touchdowns. Jace Amaro (8 REC, 119 YDS), Eric Ward (9 REC, 106 YDS, 2 TD) and Jakeem Grant (8 REC, 99 YDS, 1 TD) were snagging passes all over the field for the Red Raiders.

But Texas Tech lost its first game of the season (7-1) and will face a Top 20 Oklahoma State team next Saturday night.


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