Campus Insiders Rankings: Week 9

Please scroll down for each committee member’s top four write-up. Along with the rankings compiled by all the members, each one explains what went into creating the top four. 

The Campus Insiders Week 9 Top Four
1. Mississippi State – 272 votes
2. Florida State – 262
3. Alabama – 254
4. Auburn – 238

Others Receiving Votes: Oregon (225), Ole Miss (201), TCU (196), Notre Dame (195), Georgia (188), Michigan State (179), Kansas State (166), Baylor (159), Arizona (148), Ohio State (118), Arizona State (114), Utah (95), LSU (85), Nebraska (80), West Virginia (64), Oklahoma (63), Marshall (62), East Carolina (62), Clemson (45), Duke (36), UCLA (20), Colorado State (15), USC (15), Stanford (5), Boise State (4), Louisville (4), Missouri (2), Wisconsin (2)

LAST WEEK 
1. Mississippi State, 2. Ole Miss, 3. Florida State, 4. Baylor

The Committee: Doug Chapman, Rich Cirminiello, Geoff Coyle, Jeff Dantzler, Phil Dawson, Kristi Dosh, Pete Fiutak, Steve Greenberg, Russ Lande, Michael Lev, Paul Loeffler, Lachlan McLean, Russ Mitchell, Chris Plank, Dan Schwab, Crowley Sullivan 

Rich Cirminiello 
@RichCirminiello 

Cirminiello Bio
– Associate Editor at Campus Insiders
– Director of College Awards for the Maxwell Football Club 

1. Mississippi State
The Bulldogs are the current kings of the SEC West, which also means they’re the national team to beat with a month left in the regular season. 

2. Florida State
Two unbeaten Power Five schools remain, and the ‘Noles are one of them. Beating Notre Dame two weeks ago provided validation for a team that’s been vulnerable at times this year. 

3. Oregon
The Ducks are rolling now that the O-line is healthy again. They own one of the best non-conference wins of 2014, beating Michigan State by 19. 

4. Auburn
How good does that 41-7 paddling of LSU look now that the Bengals have upset Ole Miss? Auburn’s only loss came at top-ranked Mississippi State. 

Jeff Dantzler 
@jeffdantzlertv 

Dantzler Bio
– Longtime University of Georgia and Athens radio personality and writer
– Athens SportsRadio 960 the Ref
 
1. Mississippi State 
The Maroons took a Kentucky’s best shot and got out of Commonwealth Stadium with a nice win. Running back Josh Robinson had a tremendous game. It will be a street fight with Arkansas, but the MSU front seven is tough and physical. 

2. Florida State 
The Seminoles had this past week off to enjoy the win over Notre Dame and get ready for a Thursday night showdown with Louisville. There will be a lot of teams with playoff hopes pulling for the Cardinals. 

3. Ole Miss 
The Rebels 10-7 loss at LSU was a heart-breaker and the end of the game a head-scratcher. Ole Miss will have to be on its “A-game” as Auburn comes to call Saturday. 

4. Alabama 
The Crimson Tide chalked up an eighth straight win over Tennessee. Amari Cooper is a special wide receiver. Both Bama and LSU are off this week to get ready for their annual clash in Baton Rouge. 

Pete Fiutak 
@PeteFiutak 

Fiu Bio
– Managing Editor of Campus Insiders, Publisher of CollegeFootballNews.com
– Voter and/or on advisory board for almost every major college football award 

1. Mississippi State
Shaky, but it’s still unbeaten. The big tests will come.

2. Oregon
I’m willing to overlook Arizona now. Don’t let me down against Stanford.

3. Auburn
I’m trying to buy in – I’m assuming the defense will sharpen up and the running game will be even more explosive. 

4. LSU
Yup. The two losses came to Mississippi State and Auburn, so for the moment, you have to put the Tigers ahead of Ole Miss and Alabama.

Steve Greenberg 
@SLGreenberg 

Greenberg Bio
– Chicago Sun-Times national college football and basketball columnist 
– Former college football and basketball editor for Sporting News 

1. Mississippi State
Love to see some other stars emerging for the Bulldogs besides the wonderful Dak Prescott. You want to try to tackle Josh Robinson? No, you don’t. And there goes Christian Holmes making like he’s Christion Jones. Great stuff, great fun. 

2. Florida State
Can’t wait to see how this team plays out of a bye week. It’ll take a good amount of focus for the Seminoles to get the job done on a Thursday night in Louisville, but a locked-in FSU would have no real trouble. 

3. Ole Miss
Can’t in good conscience jump Alabama ahead of the Rebels, not only because of their head-to-head result but because the Rebels have beaten a better group of opponents, too. Would like to see Bo Wallace play better, but who wouldn’t? 

4. Alabama
Good to see you again, Amari Cooper. Lookin’ good. Lookin’ real good. I’m not too worried about the Tide repeatedly hitting the snooze button after building an early lead on Tennessee. 

Michael Lev 
@MichaelJLev 

Lev Bio
– USC football/basketball beat reporter, Orange County Register
– 2-time FWAA writing award winner, AP Top 25 voter, Heisman Trophy voter 

1. Mississippi State
A deep, talented team with playmakers at multiple positions. An unimpeachable resume. And a looming date with Alabama that could change everything. 

2. Florida State
A lot of analysts believe FSU is going to stumble at Louisville on Thursday. Like, way too many. But until that happens, the Seminoles retain their spot. 

3. Georgia
So much love for the SEC West. So little respect for the leader of the SEC East. It helps (I think) that South Carolina, which beat Georgia in Week 3, almost beat Auburn. 

4. TCU
I know you can’t take away the fourth quarter against Baylor, but if you could, TCU would be No. 2 at worst. Also: Trevone Boykin belongs in the Heisman conversation. 

Paul Loeffler 
@P356Loeffler 

Loeffler Bio
– Voice of the Fresno State Bulldogs (football, basketball, baseball) — Author of Underdogs to Wonderdogs
– Hosts syndicated radio show Hometown Heroes 

1. Florida State
Well-rested and used to showing up with all the pressure on, the ‘Noles have stayed incredibly focused through all the distractions of the last 14 months. No reason that should change Thursday in Louisville. 

2. Mississippi State
Arkansas’ defense gave Alabama fits. Can the Hogs do the same to Robinson and Prescott in Starkville Saturday? Now that Ole Miss has a loss, will MSU feel more of the mounting pressure?

3. Alabama
The playoff starts 11/8 for the Crimson Tide, with both Alabama and LSU enjoying a bye this week. SEC has had some incredible games in 2014, but this Tigers vs. Tide duel might top them all. 

4. Notre Dame
Irish get the nod for the playoff over Oregon because ND’s razor-thin loss on the road to unbeaten Florida State outweighs the Ducks falling at home to an Arizona team only a couple plays removed from 4-3. 

Lachlan McLean 
@Lach840 

McLean Bio
– Host of Sports Talk 84 — one of the most popular sports talk radio shows in Louisville
– 15 years of daily coverage of University of Louisville and University of Kentucky athletics 

1. Mississippi State
At some point I will not in good conscious be able to vote a team number one when they have the WORST DEFENSE IN THE SEC (91st in NCAA overall). But Josh Robinson showed that MSU isn’t a one-man-team so they get another week in the top spot. 

2. Florida State
The Noles can make a statement this week because Louisville is always ready for Thursday night home games. A blowout would convince me to jump FSU to number one. 

3. Auburn
Win at Kansas State just keeps looking better, as does blowout of LSU. Ridiculous that Bama is ahead of them in any poll. 

4. TCU
Frogs have played only 10 bad minutes of football all year. They’ve scored at least 30 in every game and their non-conference win over Minnesota isn’t too different than Bama’s over West Virginia. Still amazed at the knee-jerk worship of the Tide by national media. 

Chris Plank 
@PlankShow 

Plank Bio
– Host of the Big Show from 2-6pm weekdays on 1430 in Tulsa 
– Fox Sports Radio Host of “The Plank Show” Sunday nights from 6-9pm cst
 
1. Miss State 
The Bulldogs responded well on the road against an improving Kentucky team. Prescott to me is the Heisman front runner 

2. Florida State
The Noles continue to benefit by others faltering around them.

3. Alabama 
The Tide are starting to gel as a team. Could be the scariest of the 4 teams come January 

4. Auburn
The Tigers squeezed one out against South Carolina. Not overly impressive but simply getting it done.

Dan Schwab 
@DanSchwabCI 

Schwab Bio
– Executive Producer, Campus Insiders
– Executive Producer, Answers Media Productions 

1. Florida State
2. Mississippi State
3. Alabama
4. TCU

Crowley Sullivan 
@rcsullivan435 

Sullivan Bio
– Executive Vice President/General Manager, CampusInsiders.com
– Peabody & Emmy Award winner for ESPN SportsCentury, “The Fifty Greatest Athletes of the Century” 

1. Mississippi State
Bulldogs hold on to the top sport from here on out – until they lose.

2. Florida State
Defending champs have earned a very close second until they falter.

3. Alabama
Saban has the Tide surging at just the right time – and they might just surge all the way to the title – again. 

4. Georgia
These Dawgs are foaming at the mouth at the thought of this week’s Adult Beverage Get Together That Takes Place Outside.