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College football winners, losers, overreactions for Week 9: Georgia cements status as playoff rankings near

Week 9 was the ultimate probability for the highest tier groups within the sport to make their respective instances forward of the primary reveal of the School Soccer Playoff Rankings on Tuesday night time, and some groups had been within the highlight greater than others. 

No. 5 Ohio State wanted a string of late subject targets to outlast No. 20 Penn State in one of many extra stunning matchups of the weekend. No. 8 Michigan State, in the meantime, used an enormous effort from star operating again Kenneth Walker III to high in-state rival No. 6 Michigan and create a authentic playoff case. 

Elsewhere, one of many SEC’s signature applications jumped on a younger upstart and ended a dark-horse Heisman case. The checklist of unbeatens fell by two. And, maybe surprisingly, the ACC has an awesome new favourite after No. 17 Pitt fell. 

Eight new groups joined the pile of ranked groups to lose, with 5 of them falling to unranked opponents (with two ranked groups at the moment in motion at time of writing). Now greater than ever, surviving and advancing shall be rewarded. 

Listed below are winners, losers and overreactions from an action-packed Week 9 of college football

Winners

Georgia: For all intents and functions, No. 1 Georgia simply punched its ticket to the School Soccer Playoff. Granted, the Bulldogs have video games remaining in opposition to Missouri, Tennessee and Georgia Tech. Based mostly on the legal guidelines of physics and matter, it is technically doable for UGA to lose a sport earlier than possible enjoying Alabama in Atlanta on Dec. 4. I am going to take my possibilities. By eviscerating Florida 34-7 and giving its fourth straight opponent an existential disaster, Georgia cemented its No. 1 spot within the preliminary School Soccer Playoff Rankings and gave itself sufficient leeway that it ought to simply be within the playoff even when it loses the SEC title sport and finishes 12-1. The Bulldogs are deservedly overwhelming favorites to win the nationwide championship, and the efficiency in Jacksonville solely bolstered the case. 

Miami: Do the Hurricanes have somewhat one thing? Since embracing the youth motion after D’Eriq King’s harm, Miami has been surprisingly spectacular. Freshman Tyler Van Dyke out-dueling Heisman hopeful Kenny Pickett and No. 17 Pitt was a headliner, however beating NC State every week earlier supplied loads of idea. Even the 2 losses had been by a mixed 5 factors in opposition to strong Virginia and North Carolina squads. Expectations had been deservedly excessive getting into the season, however the cabinet is just not naked in Coral Gables. Whether or not it is Manny Diaz or a brand new employees in 2022, Van Dyke provides Miami an thrilling new piece to construct round long run. 

Houston: The Cougars have been on the lookout for a signature win since Dana Holgorsen took over this system in 2019. Regardless of practically blowing a 17-point benefit, Houston cornerback Marcus Jones took a sit back 100 yards with fewer than 30 seconds remaining to shock No. 19 SMU and ship UH on a path to the AAC Championship Sport. The Cougars haven’t overwhelmed SMU since Sonny Dykes took over the Mustangs, however the win moved Houston to 7-1 and clinched the primary successful season for Holgorsen with this system. With the Cougars set to make a transfer to the Huge 12, getting some on-field momentum is vital, particularly if it might probably translate to off-field momentum. 

Need extra faculty soccer in your life? Pay attention under and subscribe to the Cover 3 College Football podcast for top-notch perception and evaluation past the gridiron.

Losers

Texas: Suppose again to halftime of the Purple River Showdown on Oct. 9 in opposition to Oklahoma. The Longhorns appeared poised to take over the Huge 12 Championship Sport race and perhaps even get again into the nationwide dialog. Since blowing the largest lead in Purple River historical past, the season has introduced nothing however ache. A loss to Baylor is the third straight loss the place Texas blew a lead getting into the fourth quarter, the third staff to hit that ground since 2016. The Longhorns are on a three-game dropping streak for the primary time because the final three video games of the Charlie Robust period. Steve Sarkisian has work to do, and it most likely will not occur this season. 

Iowa: Midnight has hit. Iowa is a pumpkin now. The Hawkeyes put collectively some of the embarrassing performances of the school soccer season, posting zero first downs and detrimental dashing yardage for many of the first half. The ultimate numbers weren’t a lot better. Since beating a Penn State staff pressured to show to its backup QB, the Hawkeyes have been outscored 51-14 over the previous two video games. Iowa was all the time on the new seat after successful its early video games with a mix of turnovers and defensive positioning, however the resume meant the Hawkeyes needed to be thought of. After a second straight blowout loss to an unranked opponent, Iowa is at severe danger of falling out of the rankings altogether. 

Ole Miss: The Rebels had been a pleasant story to begin the yr after taking pictures as much as the highest 10 behind a wave of high-flying offense. Sadly, that’s all they are going to finally be after a 31-20 loss to No. 18 Auburn. Ole Miss fell behind the Tigers by 11 factors within the first half and by no means recovered after permitting Tank Bigsby to hurry for 140 yards and Bo Nix to throw for 276. The loss all however eliminates the potential of the Rebels enjoying spoiler and competing for the SEC West because the Alabama colleges emerge as the ultimate one-loss groups within the division. Quarterback Matt Corral’s Heisman case can also be possible over. Ole Miss continues to be 6-2 and might play its approach again into New Yr’s Six consideration if issues break proper, nevertheless it as soon as appeared the Rebels may do extra. 

Kenneth Walker III is new Heisman chief

Heading into November, the Heisman race is as open because it has ever been. I’ve made no secret that I am a Kenneth Walker III fan, even choosing him as my midseason Heisman pick. After all the things that occurred on Saturday, Walker must be the brand new betting favourite in my eyes. 

Walker rushed for 197 yards and 5 touchdowns in opposition to No. 6 Michigan to offer the Spartans the largest win of the Mel Tucker period by far. Whereas operating the ball is all the time a staff effort, Walker’s poise and steadiness underneath strain helped energy Michigan State regardless of the Wolverines out-gaining MSU by greater than 150 yards. 

The Wake Forest switch is not the largest or the strongest again, however his presence has reworked Michigan State right into a authentic contender for the Huge Ten championship and, by extension, the School Soccer Playoff. Between his on-field affect, online game numbers — he is on tempo for 1,800 yards dashing and 14 touchdowns in a 12-game season — and sensational narrative, Walker has all the things he wants to come back residence with the {hardware}. 

It would not harm that Texas RB Bijan Robinson, Pitt QB Kenny Pickett and Ole Miss QB Corral all suffered losses. Walker is the man. 

TCU is bottoming out

The Horned Frogs had been projected as a possible dark-horse Huge 12 title contender getting into the season with huge manufacturing again on either side, however just about all the things has gone unsuitable. Offensive points can be one factor after the previous few years, and there have been a lot to go round in a 31-12 loss to Kansas State that wasn’t as shut as the ultimate rating. However what’s been most confounding in Patterson’s twenty second season is that the protection is perhaps the worst of the Gary Patterson period. 

The Wildcats averaged greater than a yard higher per play in opposition to TCU than they’ve the remainder of the season — simply the newest occasion of a Huge 12 program having a get-right sport in opposition to the Frogs. Each FBS opponent TCU has performed has reached 29 factors, even bottom-feeding offenses like Cal and West Virginia. However, maybe most regarding, the staff actively appears to be floundering and regressing, which is horrible information with three ranked opponents remaining. 

Patterson took over this system after the Frogs had been not noted of the Huge 12 and dragged them again to nationwide relevance. That is his program and he deserves to exit on his personal phrases. That stated, a 14-16 report over the previous three seasons and sole possession of ninth place within the Huge 12 standings ought to have everybody within the constructing asking arduous questions.

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