A battle in the western nether-regions of the Southeast shifted the fortunes for a few teams. Another showdown in the heart of the Great Plains turned the tide for two more schools. And a Pacific Northwest thriller raised — and then answered — a few more questions.
How did all of this affect the poll this week? Before we go any further, here’s how our ballots combined to form the Week 9 poll as we near Halloween and the final month of the 2013 regular season:
ALSO RECEIVING VOTES: Michigan (1)
An early upset by Minnesota dropped Nebraska completely from our ballots this week, the Cornhuskers’ defeat clearing up the Legends Division of the Big Ten a little bit more. Teams like UCF and Houston kept themselves ahead of Louisville in the AAC race. By and large, it was shaping up like a relatively vanilla weekend for college football.
Then Oklahoma dealt Texas Tech its first loss to change the complexion of the Big 12 picture. Connor Shaw came off the bench to lead South Carolina to a come-from-behind overtime upset of Missouri that gave the Gamecocks new life in the SEC East. And Duke upset the Hokies, making the ACC even more of a two-horse race that should be settled next weekend.
Then there was UCLA, who kept level with Oregon for a half in Autzen Stadium. For a moment, it looked like more seismic activity was ready to obliterate the Top 25 yet again. But the Duck defense clamped down on the Bruins in the second half and the offense finally forced the mascot to do some pushups. It left the top five spots unchanged, the entirety of the restructuring occurring from 6-25.
That said, you’ve probably got a different opinion than us. With the spirit of contention in mind, you will find our individual ballots below. Leave your personal picks, acrimonious invective, base insults, insulting suggestions, or belligerent rants down in the comments below. You’re also always welcome to hit up any of us on Twitter to offer a piece of your mind… even if we’ve left you feeling like this guy:
@zbigalke your poll crapped all over it. /endconversion
— James (@james_bhm) October 21, 2013
About the Author: Zach Bigalke
Zach is a historian and author who has been covering sports near and far for various publications since 2006. Formerly the managing editor of Informative Sports and Global Turnstile, he has also been featured at Helium, FanSided, the Portland State Vanguard and other online publications and is the author of three books, including "Dispatches from Vancouver: A Non-Traditional Sports Fan in America's View of the XXI Winter Olympiad". He currently lives in Eugene, Oregon. Follow him at Twitter @zbigalke; for more info on his books, visit Amazon.