Although the top contenders for the national championship were able to escape the weekend unscathed, they have a little less company now. A pair of previously unbeaten teams fell on Saturday and took a tumble in the AP rankings.
Here are the latest rankings along with Bleacher Report's official Top 25.
Missouri got itself into the title conversation by virtue of a 7-0 start, and the Tigers seemed poised to improve their record on Saturday. Unfortunately for them, a late-game collapse against South Carolina cost them the win and an opportunity to compete for all the marbles.
The Tigers held a 14-0 lead at halftime, but the Gamecocks scored 17 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, capped by a touchdown pass from Connor Shaw to Nick Jones with just 42 seconds remaining. Missouri ended things by missing a game-tying field-goal attempt in double overtime.
Mizzou wasn't the only undefeated team to fall on Saturday, as Texas Tech also came up short. The Red Raiders trailed by as many as 14, but they took a three-point lead late in the third quarter against rival Oklahoma. That lead was short-lived, though, as the Sooners struck back and held on for a 38-30 victory.
While Missouri and Texas Tech suffered disappointment, the clear-cut top four was dominant again on Saturday. No. 1 Alabama wasn't tested at all in a 45-10 romp over Tennessee. Aside from a seven-point win over Texas A&M early in the season, the Crimson Tide's smallest margin of victory has been 25 points, so they are more than deserving of the top spot.
We've got some big challenges and some stiff competition against some very good teams coming up here. This bye week comes at a really good time for us. We've got a lot of guys nicked up, could use the rest, and also use the time to help some of our players improve. That's going to be our focus for this week.
Florida State and Oregon continue to battle neck and neck for the No. 2 position, and both made a strong case on Saturday. The Seminoles blasted past their opponent once again behind the strong arm of freshman quarterback Jameis Winston. They easily knocked off NC State 49-17.
Not to be outdone, potential Heisman Trophy favorite and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota helped the Ducks rout UCLA 42-14. The game was tied at 14 after the first half, but Oregon scored four unanswered touchdowns in the second half as it took care of a capable opponent.
Ohio State continued to hang around as well, and it came away with its most impressive win in recent weeks by throttling Big Ten rival Penn State 63-14. Penn State isn't a pushover team by any means, but the Buckeyes made the Nittany Lions look like an FCS squad. Quarterback Braxton Miller and running back Carlos Hyde had their way all game.
Miami (FL) and Baylor were able to remain on the fringes of the national title conversation as both remained undefeated. The Hurricanes were living dangerously on Saturday, though. They trailed Wake Forest late, but a touchdown run by Duke Johnson with less than a minute remaining gave Miami a 24-21 win.
Baylor continued to prove that it is deserving of a bit more love, and it didn't break a sweat in a 59-14 win over Kansas. It was Baylor's sixth game this season with 59 or more points, and quarterback Bryce Petty is proving to be a true Heisman contender. The pollsters will see what Baylor is really made of in the coming weeks, as it will face Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State in succession.
Which undefeated team will be the next to lose?
A pair of strong one-loss teams continue to hang around as well, as both Stanford and Clemson came away victorious. The Cardinal outlasted a tough Oregon State team on the road in Corvallis, Ore., by a score of 20-12. Stanford held potential Heisman candidate and Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion to 271 yards passing and one touchdown.
Clemson had an easier time with Maryland. The Tigers broke things open in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't a dominant performance. Clemson came away with a 40-27 win, though, and kept itself among the top tier.
One team that plummeted in the rankings was Virginia Tech, as the Hokies suffered a surprising loss to Duke. The Blue Devils are among the biggest surprises in the country at 6-2, and they certainly seemed to ambush Virginia Tech. They won 13-10 and severely hurt the Hokies' bid for an ACC championship.
Although Week 9 didn't provide a great deal of shocking upsets, it sifted a couple of pretenders away from the true contenders, and that figures to continue in the coming weeks. As long as the top four teams continue to win, the battle for a berth in the national championship will come right down to the wire.
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