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SALT LAKE CITY — This week had seven Top 25 teams lose a game, including Oklahoma falling victim to unranked Kansas State in a down-to-the-wire finish for the Wildcats.
For the six Top 25 teams with a bye weekend, it was a great opportunity to let the chaos unfold around them without fear of dropping a game. With all the craziness of Week 9 play, here’s a look at my ballot for the week:
Rising: Michigan, Ohio State, Utah
Ohio State takes a turn as my No. 1 team this week, despite LSU earning its third win over a Top 25 team. The Tigers easily have the best resume and are doing some fantastic things on the field, but Ohio State has consistently dismantled opponents this season. The Buckeyes are consistently playing like the best football team in the country, so they get the honor of the No. 1 spot for the week.
Utah has only allowed 23 points in its last four games and claimed its first shutout in Pac-12 play since the league expanded in 2011. The Utes are playing like the best team in the Pac-12 and have its diverse offense and stout defense to thank for the consistency each week.
Falling: Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin
What happened to Notre Dame? The Fighting Irish were merely a speed bump to Michigan Saturday in a lopsided affair. The game may have given Jim Harbaugh some breathing room, or just delayed what many believe to be inevitable. Either way, this game still has me questioning everything this season, and that’s mostly because I haven’t trusted Michigan.
Oklahoma has one of the most prolific offenses in the country and found themselves battling back for a win. The Sooners trailed by double-digits throughout the game, but nearly came back to beat Kansas State. Oklahoma is still a good team, and Kansas State is no slouch, but this game shows how hard it is to go unblemished in a season.
Added: Kansas State, Navy, Wake Forest
Kansas State gets the nod for taking down the giant of Jalen Hurts and the always impressive Lincoln Riley offense. It’s an impressive feat to out-Oklahoma the Sooners, but the Wildcats managed to get it done. The rest of the schedule this season is manageable for the Wildcats, so their return to the Top 25 could be for good.
Navy has quietly been going about its business and winning games. The service academy program doesn’t have the most impressive resume, but they are winning games and improving as the season progresses. A matchup against Notre Dame and SMU looms, but a speed bump against UConn is a good warmup to a tough closing schedule.
Dropped out: Arizona State, Iowa State, Texas
Arizona State is broken, and somehow UCLA is still in contention for a Pac-12 South Division title. Nothing makes sense in the Pac-12. But what would you really expect?
Also, Texas is not back ... sorry.
Teams in consideration: Air Force, San Diego State, UCF
As always, hit me up on Twitter (@JFurKSL) if you have any questions about my ballot.