AP College Football Poll 2018: Week 9 Top 25 Rankings Announced

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 21, 2018

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - OCTOBER 20: Rondale Moore #4 of the Purdue Boilermakers runs the ball and tries to fight off Jahsen Wint #23 of the Ohio State Buckeyes at Ross-Ade Stadium on October 20, 2018 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The revolving door of teams behind Alabama in the Associated Press Top 25 continued in Week 9, with Clemson the latest team to earn the No. 2 spot in the rankings.

The Crimson Tide received all 61 first-place votes in this week's poll after their 58-21 win over Tennessee. Ohio State's stunning 29-point loss against Purdue knocked the reigning Big Ten champions down nine spots from No. 2 to No. 11. This is the third consecutive week that the poll features a new No. 2 team, as Georgia dropped from that spot a week ago. 

Here is how the AP Top 25 poll looks for the week of Oct. 21-27, via AP.org:

1. Alabama (8-0)

2. Clemson (7-0)

3. Notre Dame (7-0)

4. LSU (7-1)

5. Michigan (7-1)

6. Texas (6-1)

7. Georgia (6-1)

8. Oklahoma (6-1)

9. Florida (6-1)

10. Central Florida (7-0)

11. Ohio State (7-1)

12. Kentucky (6-1)

13. West Virginia (5-1)

14. Washington State (6-1)

15. Washington (5-2)

16. Texas A&M (5-2)

17. Penn State (5-2)

18. Iowa (6-1)

19. Oregon (5-2)

20. Wisconsin (5-2)

21. South Florida (7-0)

22. North Carolina State (5-1)

23. Utah (5-2)

24. Stanford (5-2)

25. Appalachian State (5-1)

Ohio State is making it an annual tradition to get blown out on the road against Big Ten opponents during the middle of the season. 

While things are looking dour for the Buckeyes right now, they overcame a 55-24 loss against Iowa last November to win the Big Ten. They still missed out on the College Football Playoff but climbed back up to No. 5 in the final rankings and defeated USC in the Cotton Bowl. 

Head coach Urban Meyer noted after the 49-20 loss on Saturday that they were exposed by Purdue. 

"The glaring shortcomings we have were exposed," Meyer said, via ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg. "Number one, off the top, is our red-zone offense. We go down there a few times, two field goals and one missed field goal. We've never had this issue. We're going to get a real thorough evaluation of that. And then the big plays on defense."

The Buckeyes are on a bye this week before a home game against Nebraska on Nov. 3. 

While Ohio State is searching for answers right now, Jim Harbaugh is pushing all the right buttons at Michigan. The Wolverines were all over Michigan State, limiting their conference rival to 94 yards of total offense. 

Per ESPN Stats & Info, Saturday's win was also a significant breakthrough for Harbaugh and Michigan:

After disposing of Michigan State, the Wolverines will look to make another statement when they host Penn State in their next game on Nov. 3. 

As impressive as teams like Michigan, LSU, Oklahoma and Notre Dame have been this season, things are pointing toward another matchup of Alabama and Clemson in the College Football Playoff. 

Alabama is playing an entirely different version of football this season. The defending national champions have scored at least 39 points in each of their first eight games, and their smallest margin of victory during this span has been 22 points. 

Clemson looks to be putting all of its pieces together, especially on offense. Freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw for a career-high 308 yards in a 41-7 win over North Carolina State. The Tigers don't have another ranked opponent on their schedule for the rest of the regular season. 

The schedule for Week 9 figures to feature a lot more turnover in the rankings with rivalry games between Clemson and Florida State, Penn State and Iowa and Florida and Georgia in the world's largest outdoor cocktail party.

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