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Poll Watch: The AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll after Week 8 of College Football

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With Penn State, Oklahoma State, Costal Carolina, and other top 25 teams suffering losses, the polls have some movers and shakers this week.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Kansas Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the loss we all saw coming for Penn State finally came, we just didn’t think it would take 9 OT periods for it to happen. On top of that loss another top 10 team, Oklahoma State, also suffered defeat. The wild weekend of college football also had plenty of near upsets. Kansas nearly got the best of Oklahoma, they even held onto the lead heading into the fourth quarter. The Cincinnati Bearcats needed a late interception to beat Navy, a now 1-6 team. Alabama also had a shaky first quarter against Tennessee before dropping the Thor hammer on them in the fourth.

When it comes to the top 10, Alabama, Cincinnati, and Oklahoma all faced first-half deficits while being double-digit favorites. Oregon was also in a war against UCLA, those near-upsets really show the exciting up-and-down nature of college football each week.

From Pitt’s win against Clemson, Wake Forest still going strong, and to Iowa State jumping back into the Big 12 picture, the polls this week are in for some movers and shakers in the rankings.

Coaches Poll

Syndication: The Knoxville News-Sentinel Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

1. Georgia Bulldogs

2. Cincinnati Bearcats

3. Alabama Crimson Tide

4. Oklahoma Sooners

5. Ohio State Buckeyes

6. Michigan Wolverines

7. Michigan State Spartans

8. Oregon Ducks

9. Ole Miss Rebels

10. Iowa Hawkeyes

11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

12. Kentucky Wildcats

13. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

14. Texas A&M Aggies

15. Oklahoma State Cowboys

16. SMU Mustangs

17. Penn State Nittany Lions

18. Baylor Bears

19. Pittsburgh Panthers

20. San Diego State Aztecs

21. Auburn Tigers

22. USTA Roadrunners

23. Iowa State Cyclones

24. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

25. NC State Wolfpack

Other teams receiving votes: UL Lafayette 42; Brigham Young 42; Arkansas 41; Houston 27; Arizona State 27; Virginia 23; Oregon State 13; Florida 13; Fresno State 10; Air Force 9; Appalachian State 5; Texas 3; Liberty 3; Utah 1.

AP Top 25

NCAA Football: Illinois at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

1. Georgia Bulldogs

2. Cincinnati Bearcats

3. Alabama Crimson Tide

4. Oklahoma Sooners

5. Ohio State Buckeyes

6. Michigan Wolverines

7. Oregon Ducks

8. Michigan State Spartans

9. Iowa Hawkeyes

10. Ole Miss Rebels

11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

12. Kentucky Wildcats

13. Wake Forest Demon Deacons

14. Texas A&M Aggies

15. Oklahoma State Cowboys

16. Baylor Bears

17. Pittsburgh Panthers

18. Auburn Tigers

19. SMU Mustangs

20. Penn State Nittany Lions

21. San Diego State Aztecs

22. Iowa State Cyclones

23. USTA Roadrunners

24. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers

25. BYU Cougars

Other teams receiving votes: Arkansas 36, Louisiana-Lafayette 32, North Carolina State 28, Houston 12, Virginia 9, Oregon State 7, Arizona State 7, Texas 6, Appalachian State 5, Florida 3, Minnesota 1, UCLA 1

Analysis

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Mississippi Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Georgia Bulldogs had the week off and with Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Alabama, and Ohio State all pulling off wins, the top four teams in the polls really didn’t have too much movement. However, Ole Miss was one of the biggest beneficiaries from some of the the other losses in the top 10. The Rebels improved to 6-1 with a win their 31-17 against the LSU Tigers, they improved to 10th in the AP. Alabama also jumped back into the top 3 this week.

In one of the bigger upsets of the weekend, Illinois, a team who had lost four games against Power Five opponents by an average of 2 TDs, came to play this weekend. And by the way, they are also a team who had a home loss to UTSA. The Fighting Illini squad took down PSU, 20-18 after a FBS-record 9 OTs. Penn State only had 227 yards of offense against Illinois’ No. 84 defense (SP+). The bigger story here is that the game and overtime was a disaster to watch. Both offenses looked horrible. The first 10 two-point conversions failed, in a disastrous display of dropped passes, trick plays, and failed rushes. Illinois finally ended the misery when Casey Washington made the play. The NCAA may want to adjust the OT rules because I can’t help but feel that we were all made worse for watching it. James Franklin’s eighth season in Happy Valley will be another without a CFP playoff appearance that's for sure. Penn State dropped all the way to 20.

Now, to a team who still has CFP standing but still has question marks, Oklahoma. And I get it, a win is a win and then survived yesterday. But this is a top 4 team here. They were really taken to the cliff’s edge and needed a rulebook upholding desperation play to beat Kansas. Oklahoma won, but national championship teams don’t go down by multiple scores to the Jayhawks. The Sooners took their first lead of the game after 48 minutes of play. Oklahoma might still win the Big 12 and make the playoff, but I’m convinced they have zero chance of making noise when they get there. Oklahoma dropped one spot in the AP and is now at 4.

Also in the Big 12, after the Cyclones were sent packing earlier in the year by Iowa and Baylor, we all thought that they were done. But yesterday they squeaked by Oklahoma State with a 24-21 win and pulled off the upset. This also puts them back in the Big 12 Championship Game conversation. There are four Big 12 teams with just one conference loss— Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State. There’s a lot of games to play and if Iowa State can continue their trend, they can win their first conference championship since 1912. Iowa State is back in the polls at 22.

In the Pac 12, USC did not continue the weekend of upsets as they fell to Notre Dame 31-17. The win launched Notre Dame to in the polls to 11. Another team that didn’t pull off the upset was Chip Kelly’s UCLA Bruins. The Ducks survived Anthony Brown two second-half INTs and a slew of injuries to leave Pasadena, California with their College Football Playoff hopes still a possibility after their 34-31 win. Kayvon Thibodeaux also put on a show in front of a lot of NFL scouts with 6 QB pressures and 3 sacks. His performance helped land Oregon to 7 in the AP.

Can any of us wait until November 27th when OSU takes on Michigan? They appear to be on a collision course to their annual rivalry game. They both impressed yesterday with Michigan destroying the Northwestern Wildcats, 33-7 and Ohio State doing the same in their 54-7 beatdown of the Indiana Hoosiers. The wins have both teams in the top 10. OSU is ranked at 5 and Michigan isn’t far behind at 6.

In the ACC, Wake Forest improved to 7-0 on the season with their 70-burger against Army. In the Demon Deacons’ 70-56 win, Sam Hartman finished 23 of 29, fo 458 yards, and had 5 passing touchdowns. He also had a rushing TD. Wake Forest is now 7-0 for the first time since 1944. Dave Clawson’s program is now ranked 13th in the AP.

Clemson continues to prove they’re not the same team that has won the last six ACC Championships. The Pittsburgh Panthers passed another test with their 27-17 win over the Tigers. Pitt outgained Clemson by more than 150 yards. Kenny Pickett also threw for 302 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Panthers defense also put the clamps on Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei. Dabo Swinney even benched him after his second interception. Pitt is the clear ACC frontrunner and Pickett is a Heisman contender in my book. Up next for the 17th ranked Panthers, is the Miami Hurricanes.