Newsweek college football Top 20 rankings, games to watch for Week 9

College football’s noon window has provided some of the more interesting games so far this season, and Saturday was another nailbiter for fans of ranked teams playing the early games.

Cincinnati and Oklahoma, who were both undefeated and ranked second and third, both traveled to face teams that were each 1-5, and both favored teams trailed early while looking lethargic.

Cincinnati finally pulled away to beat Navy, 27-20. Oklahoma went scoreless in the first half and needed a big second half to come back and beat Kansas, 35-23, in a game much closer than the final score. The Sooners scored 21 points in the third quarter and got some timely calls in their favor to avoid an upset.

The Georgia Bulldogs were idle Saturday, and they retain the top spot in the Newsweek top 20 rankings. Cincinnati stays at No. 2 while Oklahoma dropped one spot to No. 4. Alabama is the new No. 3 team after whooping Tennessee.

There were three upsets in the top 10, though, starting with former No. 10 Coastal Carolina losing to Appalachian State in a Wednesday night game. Oklahoma State lost to a very good Iowa State team, 24-21, and Penn State lost, 20-18, to Illinois in the lowest-scoring game one might ever see for nine overtimes. It was the longest game in Division I history.

The football comes loose as Jaquan Brisker #1 of the Penn State Nittany Lions tackles Chase Brown #2 of the Illinois Fighting Illini during the first half at Beaver Stadium on October 23, 2021 in State College, Pennsylvania.
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Michigan State was idle Saturday, and they keep their No. 5 spot. The Spartans will host No. 6 Michigan this Saturday. The Wolverines stayed at No. 6 after their big win over Northwestern.

Oregon remains at No. 7, followed by Ohio State (8), Texas A&M (9) and Iowa (10).

The Big Ten has four teams in the Top 10. The Michigan-Michigan State game will be at noon on Fox, and No. 15 Penn State travels to face No. 8 Ohio State with an 8 p.m. kickoff on ABC. No. 10 Iowa travels to face Wisconsin, which looked impressive in its win over Purdue this weekend.

Ole Miss moves up three spots to No. 11 after a solid win over LSU. Wake Forest stays undefeated and moved up four spots to No. 12 after a 70-56 win over Army that didn’t need any overtimes. Oklahoma State dropped five spots to No. 13, Notre Dame is No. 14 after a convincing win over USC.

SMU and Pittsburgh enter the Newsweek rankings at Nos. 16 and 17, respectively, and Baylor enters this week at No. 20.

Here are the rankings for for Week 9 — October 24, 2021

Rank

Team

Record

Previous

Next Game

1

Georgia

8-0

1

vs Florida (in Jacksonville)

2

Cincinnati

7-0

2

at Tulane

3

Alabama

7-1

4

Nov. 6 vs LSU

4

Oklahoma

8-0

3

vs Texas Tech

5

Michigan State

8-0

5

vs Michigan

6

Michigan

7-0

6

at Michigan State

7

Oregon

6-1

7

vs Colorado

8

Ohio State

6-1

11

vs Penn State

9

Texas A&M

6-2

12

Nov. 6 vs Auburn

10

Iowa

5-1

13

at Wisconsin

11

Ole Miss

6-1

14

at Auburn

12

Wake Forest

6-0

16

vs Duke

13

Oklahoma State

6-1

8

vs Kansas

14

Notre Dame

6-1

17

vs North Carolina

15

Penn State

5-2

9

at Ohio State

16

SMU

7-0

NR

at Houston

17

Pittsburgh

6-1

NR

vs Miami

18

Kentucky

6-1

18

at Mississippi State

19

San Diego State

7-0

19

vs Fresno State

20

Baylor

6-1

NR

vs Texas

Dropped Out: Dropped Out: No. 10 Coastal Carolina, No. 15 North Carolina State, No. 20 Auburn

Here are the top games to watch this week:
(Thursday) Troy at Coastal Carolina

Saturday Games
Cincinnati at Tulane
Michigan at Michigan State
Iowa at Wisconsin
Texas at Baylor
Miami at Pittsburgh
Iowa State at West Virginia
Georgia vs Florida
Colorado at Oregon
Texas Tech at Oklahoma
Ole Miss at Auburn
Kentucky at Mississippi State
SMU at Houston
Penn State at Ohio State
Virginia at BYU
North Carolina at Notre Dame
Fresno State at San Diego State

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