College Football Top 25: Week 8by Charlie Parent October 18, 2021 1 comment
While Week 7 of the college football season did not feature any massive matchups in the Top 25 around the country, we still got the pandemonium that we have seen all season long. More top-five teams fell, others rolled, and the playoff race gets progressively hotter.
Check out last week’s edition of the College Football Top 25 here.
1. Georgia (7-0) (5-0 SEC)
Last week: vs Kentucky (W 30-13) | This week: at Florida (4-3)
The Bulldogs once again proved that they are the clear-cut best team in the nation with another dominating win over a top 15 opponent. This defense is looking unstoppable, and the team is not even close to being at full strength… yet, they keep winning.
2. Cincinnati (7-0) (3-0 American)
Last week: vs UCF (W 56-21) | This week: at Navy (1-5)
Let’s just start off by saying that teams ranked second through fourth here are very interchangeable. With that being said, the Bearcats were at number two in our ranks last week, and proved they deserve this spot with another blowout performance over UCF. They should continue to beat up on AAC opponents until their showdown with SMU on Nov. 20.
3. Oklahoma (7-0) (4-0 Big 12)
Last week: vs TCU (W 52-31) | This week: at Kansas (1-5)
It’s clear that Caleb Williams is a difference-maker for this team. Without him, they wouldn’t be anywhere close to the top 10, but now, we call them a playoff squad. The offense finally looked in sync against TCU last week and they’ll get another week to tune it up with the new quarterback at the helm against Kansas.
4. Alabama (6-1) (3-1 SEC)
Last week: at Mississippi State (W 49-9) | This week: vs Tennessee (4-3)
After their upset loss to Texas A&M, the Tide bounced back in Tide fashion, crushing Mississippi State. They still need to earn their ranking back, but this was a great step towards a comeback in the playoff conversation, and the ranks.
5. Ohio State (5-1) (3-0 Big 10)
Last week: BYE | This week: at Indiana (2-4)
Unfortunately, here’s the time where we hit a stretch where a lot of teams had byes last week, thus there is not much to talk about with them. Week by week, it seems the Buckeyes get better ever since their loss to Oregon, and this Indiana game will be a nice test because the Hoosiers still have lots to prove about their season.
6. Michigan (6-0) (3-0 Big 10)
Last week: BYE | This week: vs Northwestern (3-3)
College football’s newest rivalry takes the stage this week between Michigan and Northwestern. The Wolverines are coming off a bye after a nailbiter against Nebraska, and they hope that this week’s game can be an easy one before traveling to East Lansing and taking on Michigan State.
7. Oklahoma State (6-0) (3-0 Big 12)
Last week: at Texas (W 32-24) | This week: at Iowa State (4-2)
What a comeback it was for Oklahoma State who, just for a second there, looked like frauds in the top 15. However, they pulled it together and dominated Texas in the fourth quarter behind Jaylen Warren‘s near 200-yard rushing performance. The Cowboys do not get any breaks, though, as they take on an Iowa State team this week that is still very dangerous.
8. Penn State (5-1) (2-1 Big 10)
Last week: BYE | This week: vs Illinois (2-5)
This bye week couldn’t have been more beneficial to Penn State. With Sean Clifford‘s injury in the Week 6 Iowa game, they needed time for him to get healthy and they got it. Now, it’s no guarantee he plays against Illinois this week, but even if he doesn’t, they should be perfectly fine.
9. Michigan State (7-0) (4-0 Big 10)
Last week: at Indiana (W 20-15) | This week: BYE
Indiana struggled in their first game against a solid defense. The rushing attack could not get going but the team still managed to edge out a victory. They now have an extra week to prepare for their top 10 showdown with Michigan.
10. Iowa (6-1) (3-1 Big 10)
Last week: vs Purdue (L 7-24) | This week: BYE
Picking the 10th best team in the country is really hard because, quite frankly, they have all been pretty bad after Michigan State. Iowa was upset by Purdue last week, and their weakness of having zero offense whatsoever showed. It’s so difficult to rank this team now, so we’ll just have to keep monitoring them.
11. Ole Miss (5-1) (2-1 SEC)
Last week: at Tenessee (W 31-26) | This week: vs LSU (4-3)
Despite the scoreline, Ole Miss was impressive against the Vols’. Going into such a hostile environment is a tough task for any team and they pulled out with a victory. Let’s remind ourselves that this team has only lost to Alabama, and is still well in the hunt for the SEC title.
12. Coastal Carolina (6-0) (2-0 Sun Belt)
Last week: BYE | This week: at Appalachian State (4-2)
Coastal sees a boost in the rankings, even with a bye week last week. They look to continue their dominance in Boone this week, and keep up the pursuit of a New Year’s Six Bowl, especially with BYU’s loss last week, making them a two-loss team.
13. Kentucky (6-1) (4-1 SEC)
Last week: at Georgia (L 13-30) | This week: BYE
At this point, teams who lose to Georgia are barely going to be affected in the ranks. Yes, they lost but the Bulldogs have been unstoppable up to this point, especially at home. Kentucky, though, does have a relatively easy schedule the rest of the way, and could even potentially win out here.
14. Notre Dame (5-1)
Last week: BYE | This week: vs USC (3-3)
After their road win against Virginia Tech, Notre Dame had a bye week last week but they still moved up a spot. If they can win a game by more than one score for once then this could actually be a dangerous team, but we’ve yet to see that really take place.
15. Oregon (5-1) (2-1 PAC 12)
Last week: vs California (W 24-17) | This week: at UCLA (5-2)
This Oregon team is really good at playing down to other teams’ levels. Struggling against a now 1-5 California team is nearly unacceptable. If they can beat UCLA this week then we’ll start adding them back to the top 10 conversation, however.
16. Baylor (6-1) (3-1 Big 12)
Last week: vs BYU (W 38-24) | This week: BYE
Baylor continues to impress us, with their one loss coming against a top 10 team in Oklahoma State and multiple top 25 wins. Depending on the play of some others this week, we could definitely see this team jumping into the top 15, even with their bye.
17. Wake Forest (6-0) (4-0 ACC)
Last week: BYE | This week: at Army (4-2)
Nothing much to say about Wake Forest here this week. We could see a potential trap game at West Point, due to the nature of the service academies but they should be able to handle Army comfortably.
18. Texas A&M (5-2) (2-2 SEC)
Last week: at Missouri (W 35-14) | This week: vs South Carolina (4-3)
The Aggies shoot up here because of their dominant nature the last two weeks. Is this team still prone to some upsets? Probably. However, they do deserve this ranking so far and should improve to a very solid 6-2 with a win over South Carolina.
19. NC State (5-1) (2-0 ACC)
Last week: at Boston College (W 33-7) | This week: at Miami (2-4)
There were concerns about this Wolfpack team following a struggle against LA Tech, however, those were silenced quickly with their blowout over a solid Boston College team. They’ll continue to soar up these ranks, as they pursue an ACC title this year.
20. SMU (6-0) (2-0 American)
Last week: BYE | This week: vs Tulane (1-5)
Yet another team with a bye last week, the Mustangs look to sort of bounce back after a struggle against Navy two weeks ago. This Tulane team has a horrible record, but can still be pretty sneaky with their offense, so we’ll see if they can make it a game.
21. Auburn (5-2) (2-1 SEC)
Last week: at Arkansas (W 38-23) | This week: vs Ole Miss (5-1)
This Auburn team is just so interesting. They’ve landed some big wins, but had some bad losses as well and it’s really hard to tell where they sit. Their victory against Arkansas was really great to see but that is a team that is hurting mightily, so we’ll definitely keep an eye on their top 25 matchup with Ole Miss this week.
22. Pittsburgh (5-1) (2-0 ACC)
Last week: at Virginia Tech (W 28-7) | This week: vs Clemson (4-2)
What in the world is going on in the ACC this year where Wake Forest, NC State, and Pittsburgh are the conferences’ front runners more than halfway through the season? This is the Panthers’ first time in the rankings this year and the team really deserves it. Quarterback Kenny Pickett is lighting up defenses and the team is rattling off a beautiful streak of wins now.
23. UTSA (7-0) (3-0 Conference USA)
Last week: vs Rice (W 45-0) | This week: at LA Tech (2-4)
When previewing the Conference USA this year, we knew this team would be the most highly ranked, and they have yet to prove us wrong. The Roadrunners have strung off several high-scoring performances and remain unbeaten all the way until now. Their biggest game will come on November 6th against UTEP, to basically determine the best team in the conference.
24. San Diego State (6-0) (2-0 MWC)
Last week: at San Jose State (W 19-13 OT) | This week: at Air Force (6-1)
San Diego State enters are rankings for the first time after a close win against San Jose State. Yes, it’s not the best win but they’ve been impressive this entire season and are one of the only remaining unbeatens in college football.
25. Utah (4-2) (3-0 Pac 12)
Last week: vs Arizona State (W 35-21) | This week: at Oregon State (4-2)
The Utes have taken sole command of first place in the Pac 12 South division and with that comes a spot in the top 25. This is a team that can be very dangerous in this conference, and have won three straight. This Oregon State game will be a nice road test for them before going up against second-place UCLA in two weeks.
Outside looking in: Clemson, Purdue, Air Force, Arkansas, Iowa State
New teams: Auburn (21), Pittsburgh (22), UTSA (23), San Diego State (24), Utah (25)
Dropped out: Arkansas, Arizona State, Texas, BYU, Florida
Follow Charlie Parent on Twitter @Charlie_Parent
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