This week, the College Football Playoff committee will be revealing the first set of rankings for the 2022 season. With this taking place, fans should know that the playoffs are soon approaching. Now that we are officially at the midway point, things are heating up as the stakes get higher. With Alabama on a bye week, we were still treated to some good games, including the annual Michigan vs. Michigan State rivalry game that was not nearly as compelling as it was a year ago.
So, here we go!
What Did We Learn In Week 9?
When it comes to Southwestern Athletic Conference teams, Deion Sanders and the Jackson State Tigers are the gold standard. In front of a capacity crowd, Jackson State shutout the Southern Jaguars.
Just when you thought Penn State was on the verge of a major upset, Ohio State came alive before the midway point of the fourth quarter, scoring 28 unanswered points, ruining what was once a celebratory atmosphere at Beaver Stadium. If there were any doubts, Ohio State had a special player in J.T. Tuimoloau.
TCU is not just a Cinderella story, folks; they are for real. They are 8-0, with a special quarterback in Max Duggan, and well on their way to booking a spot in this year's Big 12 Conference Championship. The question pending is whether they are playoff-worthy.
If someone were to have told you that Kansas State was going to shutout a team like Oklahoma State, you would have thought that person was a comedian. Well, guess what? It happened. Whatever chances they had to play in this year's Big 12 title game may have evaporated with this loss.
Unfortunately for Michigan State, Kenneth Walker III was going to come in and save them this year. Considering how they were thoroughly beaten by Michigan on Saturday evening, they would have needed a lot more to even compete with them. As for Michigan, it is clear they are a playoff team—the type of playoff team no one wants to face.
At this point, Oregon quarterback Bo Nix deserves to be on your Heisman Trophy ballot. Today, he accounted for six touchdowns (three rushing, three passing) against a California Bears team that showed some fight. Nix is literally carrying this team on his back.
The Georgia vs. Florida contest was not even a contest. The difference between both teams is consistency. Anthony Richardson showed some shades of what he can do offensively, but he could not match the output of Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett IV.
With a convincing win over a talented Arizona Wildcats team, the USC Trojans are one of the few undefeated teams left this season. Between them and Oregon, perhaps the Pac-12 Conference may finally have a team representing them in this year's College Football Playoffs.
One thing is for sure: Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin should be out of a job sooner or later. Despite having plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, they have been underwhelming all year. Their loss to Arkansas was a microcosm of how far they have fallen.
Oklahoma found ways to win on defense, as they accounted for four turnovers in their win over Iowa State. Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel did not have a great game, but he didn't need to be on this day.
Wake Forest ran into a buzz saw called the Louisville Cardinals defense, which accounted for eight sacks and eight total turnovers. The best part was that Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham did not have to carry the team on his back. This game was a rude awakening for a Wake Forest team that was climbing the AP polls.
Syracuse did not underestimate Notre Dame; they simply were not ready for them. At 6-2, they have a long way to go if they want a chance at playing for the ACC title. As for Notre Dame, their defensive line is arguably the best in the nation, regardless of their record.
Will Florida State make it to a title game this year? Probably not. Yet, 2022 may end up being the year they rebuild their winning culture. Their win over Georgia Tech was an example of their potential.
Congratulations to the East Carolina Pirates for clinching their spot in a Bowl game this year after their big win over BYU.
Week 9 Top Performers
QB Bo Nix - Oregon
QB Drake Maye - North Carolina
QB Caleb Williams - USC
RB Mohamed Ibrahim - Minnesota
QB Will Howard - Kansas State
WR Dorian Singer - Arizona
TB Brock Bowers - Georgia
RB Blake Corum - Michigan
QB Max Duggan - TCU
WR Antoine Green - North Carolina
RB Israel Abanikanda - Pittsburgh
QB Hendon Hooker - Tennessee
RB Chase Brown - Illinois
QB Jayden de Laura - Arizona
WR Jalin Hyatt - Tennessee
QB Jordan Travis - Florida State
RB Raheim Sanders - Arkansas
RB Henry Parrish Jr. - Miami
DL J.T. Tuimoloau - Ohio State
DB Kei'Trel Clark - Louisville
LB Payton Wilson - NC State
CB Quincy Riley - Louisville
DL Deontae Craig - Iowa
DB Ronnie Hickman - Ohio State
DB Brandon Joseph - Notre Dame
LB Owen Pappoe - Auburn
LB Jared Verse - Florida State
LB Tatum Bethune - Florida State
S Ronnie Hickman - Ohio State
LB Drake Thomas - NC State
DB Mansoor Delane - Virginia Tech
LB Mohamoud Diabate - Utah