College Football Playoff picks after Week 9

The most influential game of the day came in East Lansing where much more than the Paul Bunyan Trophy was on the line between Michigan and Michigan State.

The storied rivalry meant even more this season as both teams entered with their hopes set on the College Football Playoff after undefeated starts. Despite trailing by 16 in the second half, the Spartans rallied and capitalized on a late Michigan fumble by turning it into the game-winning touchdown. The 37-33 win lands Michigan State on each ballot this week, the first time the Spartans have gotten more than one vote this season.

Georgia is once again the unanimous No. 1 team on each ballot after routing rival Florida, 34-7, in Jacksonville. The Gators didn’t get on the scoreboard until the waning minutes of the second half as the Bulldogs’ defense again looked like it was playing on a different level than nearly everyone in the country.

Following a shaky first half, Cincinnati rebounded and outscored Tulane 17-0 over the final two quarters to cruise to a 31-12 win. The Bearcats were once a near unanimous selection for the No. 2 spot on each ballot, but they’ve fallen a spot or two — even dropping off a few ballots — following back-to-back uneven performances.

Alabama had the comfort of a bye week in Week 9 ahead of a rivalry game with LSU next week. The Crimson Tide are on nearly every ballot despite a loss this season.

Most ballots had the same collection of four teams, but Oklahoma climbed into the top four on four ballots after a 52-21 win against Texas Tech. The Sooners are 9-0 this season.

Andrea Adelson: 1. Georgia, 2. Michigan State, 3. Cincinnati, 4. Alabama
Kyle Bonagura: 1. Georgia, 2. Cincinnati, 3. Alabama, 4. Michigan State
Bill Connelly: 1. Georgia, 2. Michigan State, 3. Cincinnati, 4. Oklahoma
Heather Dinich: 1. Georgia, 2. Alabama, 3. Michigan State, 4. Cincinnati
David M. Hale: 1. Georgia, 2. Cincinnati, 3. Oklahoma, 4. Michigan State
Chris Low: 1. Georgia, 2. Michigan State, 3. Cincinnati, 4. Alabama
Ryan McGee: 1. Georgia, 2. Michigan State, 3. Cincinnati, 4. Alabama
Adam Rittenberg: 1. Georgia, 2. Michigan State, 3. Cincinnati, 4. Alabama
Alex Scarborough: 1. Georgia, 2. Alabama, 3. Michigan State, 4. Cincinnati
Mark Schlabach: 1. Georgia, 2. Alabama, 3. Oklahoma, 4. Michigan State
Paolo Uggetti: 1. Georgia, 2. Michigan State, 3. Alabama, 4. Cincinnati
Tom VanHaaren: 1. Georgia, 2. Michigan State, 3. Cincinnati, 4. Alabama
Dave Wilson: 1. Georgia, 2. Michigan State, 3. Oklahoma, 4. Alabama

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