Top 50 NCAA Football Rankings: Week 8
Week 8 didn’t feature any ranked vs ranked matchups according to the AP Poll, but there were plenty of big games that impacted my top 50. Here is the latest edition of the top 50 heading into a huge Week 9 slate.
1. Georgia (7-0, 5-0) ↔️
Georgia remains the number one team in the country after the bye week. They only have one more top 50 opponent on their schedule & they will play them this week (Florida).
2. Cincinnati (7-0, 3-0) ↔️
The Bearcats didn’t look like the number two team in their narrow win against Navy. The Midshipmen are a physical football team that exposed the Cats a bit. However, Cincy got the win & that’s what matters.
3. Oklahoma (8-0, 5-0) ↔️
Oklahoma came out flat in the first half. Caleb Williams was due for a let down & that happened. The Sooners do deserve credit for turning that game around in the 2nd half. Oklahoma still has their toughest stretch of the year coming up.
4. Michigan (7-0, 4-0) ↔️
Michigan wore down Northwestern in the trenches. The Wolverines have looked good in most of their wins this year. They have a chance to get a quality win this week when they travel to East Lansing in a battle of undefeated teams.
5. Michigan State (7-0, 4-0) ⬆️1
Michigan State moves up a spot after Oklahoma State’s loss. The Spartans had a bye week to get rested & healthy for their big game against Michigan on Saturday. This will be the biggest game in the history of the Michigan-MSU rivalry.
6. Alabama (7-1, 4-1) ⬆️1
The score of the Tennessee-Alabama game on Saturday was not indicative of the game. Bama struggled early on defense. They did pull away in the 4th quarter, outscoring Tennessee 28-7. The Tide have a bye week before they take on LSU.
7. Oregon (6-1, 3-1) ⬆️3
Oregon picked up a solid road win as underdogs over UCLA. The Ducks don’t win with style points, but that comes second fiddle to winning the game. Oregon now has three top 50 wins on the season.
8. Ohio State (6-1, 4-0) ⬆️3
Ohio State has dominated their competition in their last four games. CJ Stroud looks better and better & the defense has been holding opponents to 11 points per game in those last four games. The Buckeyes will be tested this week against Penn State at home.
9. Kentucky (6-1, 4-1) ↔️
Kentucky remains at number 9 after their bye week. The Cats have a favorable remaining schedule. Don’t be shocked to see them end the regular season with only one loss. Do not forget about Big Blue Nation.
10. Ole Miss (6-1, 3-1) ⬆️2
Ole Miss is one of the best one loss teams in the nation. They took care of business against LSU this past Saturday. The Rebels are so well balanced on offense. They have a tough game at Auburn this Saturday.
11. Wake Forest (7-0, 4-0) ⬆️3
Wake Forest’s offense has yet to be stopped. The Deacs put up 638 yards of total offense against Army on Saturday. Wake will face solid defenses coming up against NC State & Clemson.
12. SMU (7-0, 3-0) ⬆️3
SMU dominated Tulane as they put up 612 total yards. The Mustangs need to keep winning to help the case for an AAC team to make the playoff. They have a huge road game at one loss Houston on Saturday.
13. Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-1) ⬇️8
Oklahoma State suffered their first loss of the season at Iowa State. The Pokes are still a really good football team with a great defense. They are 3-1 against top 50 opponents & can still win the Big 12.
14. Notre Dame (6-1) ⬆️3
Notre Dame had a solid win over rival USC. Jack Coan & Tyler Buchner both played well at QB. The Irish have an intriguing game coming up against North Carolina & their explosive offense.
15. Pitt (6-1, 3-0) ⬆️7
Pitt had a program defining victory over Dabo Swinney this past Saturday. Kenny Pickett has been a stud for this team & should be in the Heisman race. Pitt is undefeated in ACC play & every other team in the Coastal has at least two losses.
16. Iowa (6-1, 3-1) ↔️
Iowa had a bye week to recover from that terrible home loss to Purdue. The Hawkeyes still have some tough games left against Minnesota & at Wisconsin on Saturday.
17. Penn State (5-2, 2-2) ⬇️9
Penn State was extremely disappointing against Illinois in the longest game in FBS history. The Nittany Lions have back to back losses & they have to travel to Columbus on Saturday.
18. Auburn (5-2, 2-1) ↔️
Auburn had a bye week this past week. Hopefully, they got some time to rest because they play two tough teams in Ole Miss & Texas A&M in their next two games.
19. UTSA (8-0, 4-0) ⬆️1
UTSA keeps on winning. They dominated Louisiana Tech this past Saturday. The Roadrunners have a bye week before traveling to El Paso for a game against one loss UTEP. Keep an eye on Sincere McCormick & the rest of UTSA.
20. San Diego State (7-0, 3-0) ⬆️4
San Diego State held a physical Air Force team to only 248 total yards & they forced 2 turnovers. The Aztecs have a great defense which has carried them. They will need to score some more points on Saturday when they play Fresno State.
21. Baylor (6-1, 3-1) ↔️
Baylor is back in the Big 12 title race after Oklahoma State’s loss. The Bears have a critical game against Texas on Saturday. Their other tough game left is against Oklahoma in Week 11.
22. Iowa State (5-2, 3-1) ⬆️18
The Cyclones bolt up the top 50 after their big win over Oklahoma State. This was a huge win because it puts them back within reach of a Big 12 title. Iowa State will play at West Virginia on Saturday in a trap game.
23. BYU (6-2) ⬆️2
BYU picked up a road win over a controversy filled Washington State team. the Cougars remain highly ranked because of their 3-1 record against top 50 teams. They have a chance to improve that record again against Virginia in a very underrated matchup.
24. Texas A&M (6-2, 3-2) ⬆️5
Texas A&M’s defense held South Carolina to 185 total yards. The Aggies had 290 rushing yards with Achane & Spiller both over 100. Their next two games after the bye week are against Auburn & Ole Miss.
25. Houston (6-1, 4-0) ⬆️8
Houston makes their first appearance in the top 25 this season. They needed overtime to take down East Carolina after a five hour weather delay. The Cougars have a huge game against SMU on Saturday. Both teams are undefeated in conference play.
26. NC State (5-2, 2-1) ⬇️7
NC State lost a heartbreaking road game against Miami on Saturday. However, still control their own destiny in the ACC Atlantic. The Wolf Pack need a win against Wake Forest though.
27. Arizona State (5-2, 3-1) ↔️
Arizona State will take on Washington State this week coming off of a bye. The Sun Devils have a very winnable remaining schedule. They are currently tied with Utah on the top of the Pac 12 South.
28. Arkansas (5-3, 1-3) ↔️
Arkansas picked up an easy win over FCS Arkansas Pine Bluff this week. They needed to get back on track after three straight losses. The Hogs have a bye week before they finish their season with four SEC games.
29. Virginia (6-2, 4-2) ⬆️13
Brennan Armstrong has been the MVP for this team. He should be in the Heisman conversation. Virginia now has four straight wins heading into their visit to Provo to take on BYU.
30. Fresno State (6-2, 3-1) ⬆️5
Fresno State picked up a solid home win over Carson Strong & Nevada. That improves Fresno’s record against top 50 teams to 2-1. The Bulldogs schedule doesn’t get easier as they face undefeated San Diego State on Saturday.
31. Coastal Carolina (6-1, 2-1) ⬇️18
Coastal Carolina suffered their first loss of the season on Wednesday night at Appalachian State. The Chants don’t have any other top 50 teams remaining on their schedule which will hurt their resume.
32. Louisiana (6-1, 4-0) ⬆️6
Louisiana narrowly escaped Jonesboro with a win over Arkansas State. With App State’s win over Coastal Carolina, Louisiana’s win over App State looks a lot better. The Ragin Cajuns have a favorable schedule moving forward.
33. Oregon State (5-2, 3-1) ⬆️14
Oregon State won their first game over a top 50 opponent this past Saturday against Utah. Believe it or not, the Beavers are in a tie for first place in the Pac 12 North with rivals Oregon.
34. Minnesota (5-2, 3-1) ⬆️14
Since the loss to Bowling Green, Minnesota has won three straight conference games. The Golden Gophers could finish this season on a hot streak. Their toughest remaining game is at Iowa.
35. Appalachian State (5-2, 2-1) ⬆️14
Appalachian State has had a roller coaster ride in these past two weeks. They were trounced by Louisiana, but then upset undefeated Coastal Carolina. App State could very well finish the regular season with 10 wins.
36. Utah (4-3, 3-1) ⬇️10
Utah couldn’t back up their win over Arizona State. The Utes fell on the road to Oregon State. Utah will end their tough three game stretch this Saturday against a solid UCLA Bruins team.
37. Texas (4-3, 2-2) ↔️
Texas stays at 37 after their bye week. They will be trying to avoid three straight losses when they visit Baylor on Saturday. These next two games for the Longhorns (at Baylor & at Iowa State) are critical if they want to win the Big 12.
38. Clemson (4-3, 3-2) ⬇️15
Preseason Heisman contender DJ Uiagalelei was benched in the Tigers’ loss to Pitt. Clemson does not have the offense to compete for an ACC title. They do have a winnable game this weekend against Florida State.
39. Kansas State (4-3, 1-3) ⬆️12
Kansas State picked up their first conference win over Texas Tech this weekend. The Wildcats could use a win against a 3-4 TCU team to cement themselves in the top 50.
40. UCLA (5-3, 3-2) ⬇️4
UCLA gave Oregon all they could handle. They put up 352 yards against a solid defense, but they had three turnovers. The Bruins have another tough game this weekend against a solid Utah team on the road.
41. UTEP (6-1, 3-0) ↔️
UTEP had a bye week as they prepare for a trip to FAU. If they win, the Miners will be hosting undefeated UTSA at the Sun Bowl on November 6th with only one loss. That will be the game of the year in the CUSA.
42. Nevada (5-2, 2-1) ⬇️10
Nevada was a two point conversion away from sending the game into overtime against a solid Fresno State team. Carson Strong had 476 passing yards & 203 of them were to Romeo Doubs. Nevada faces rival UNLV on Friday.
43. Florida (4-3, 2-3) ↔️
Just like Georgia, Florida had a bye week. They head into Jacksonville as big underdogs against the number one team Georgia. Dan Mullen has to decide which QB will start against the Dawgs.
44. Louisville (4-3, 2-2) ⬆️7
Louisville enters the top 50 after their win over Boston College in a great defensive display. We will know what Louisville is made of as they face NC State & Clemson in their next two games.
45. Texas Tech (5-3, 2-3) ⬇️6
Texas Tech suffered a heartbreaking one point loss to Kansas State over the weekend. The Red Raiders have one of the toughest remaining schedules in the nation. They play Oklahoma, Iowa State, Oklahoma State & Baylor, who are all in the top 25.
46. Utah State (5-2, 3-1) ⬆️5
Utah State survived Colorado State after the clock management debacle by the Rams. With that win, Utah State is now in first place in the Mountain division. They have a favorable remaining schedule that starts against Hawaii.
47. Liberty (6-2) ⬇️2
Liberty was not dominant in their win over North Texas. The Mean Green were blown out by other solid teams like SMU & UAB. Liberty plays UMass before entering a tough three game stretch against Ole Miss, Louisiana & Army.
48. Boston College (4-3, 0-3) ⬇️14
Boston College was not impressive at all in their loss to Louisville. The Eagles have lost three straight games to Clemson, NC State & the aforementioned Louisville. BC needs a conference win & they will have a decent shot against Syracuse on Saturday.
49. Northern Illinois (6-2, 4-0) ⬆️1
Northern Illinois needed a mishandled snap on a game winning FG attempt to get by Central Michigan. The Huskies deserve a lot of credit for being undefeated in a parity filled MAC. NIU has a bye before they get into midweek MACtion play.
50. Air Force (6-2, 3-2) ⬇️20
Air Force out gained San Diego State on Saturday, but turnovers cost them. The Falcons have a bye week to reset & get ready for the Army game. If they win, they take home the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy.
On the Horizon