Clemson escaped an upset, Oregon dominated UCLA, and Alabama rebounded in Week 8. So what will the AP Top 25 college football rankings look like now?
Last week was full of calamity and full-blown chaos, headlined by Alabama getting taken down by Tennessee. But while both of those teams had encore efforts to put forth on Saturday in Week 8, it was actually a light slate of action overall as there were eight teams inside the AP Top 25 college football rankings that were off for the week.
But that still left room for some drama. Clemson made sure we saw that as they had to come back in a tight one against Syracuse. Texas and Oklahoma State also delivered drama with the Pokes winning and knocking the Longhorns out of the Top 25 almost surely. And let’s not forget a big UCLA-Oregon matchup that ended up being one-sided, the same of which can be said of Ole Miss traveling to face LSU.
Now that the dust has settled on Saturday, though, let’s take a look at our projections for the Week 9 AP Top 25 college football rankings after a wild, even if not jam-packed, Week 8 in the sport.
Projected AP Top 25 college football rankings after Week 8: No. 25-21
25. Oregon State Beavers
Perhaps the quietest 6-2 team in the country, Oregon State has put forth a super strong start to the season and deserves to get rewarded with a spot in the AP Top 25 now. On Saturday night, they laid a hurting on the lowly Colorado Buffaloes in a 42-9 victory. They are now bowl eligible for the second straight year after seven prior seasons missing the postseason. But this could be the best yet if things keep up.
24. Kansas State Wildcats
Considering that Kansas State had to face an undefeated TCU team in Fort Worth while playing the majority of the game without starting quarterback Adrian Martinez and the Wildcats still only lost 38-28 in the game and were in position to potentially win it until late in the fourth quarter, it doesn’t feel right to dismiss them from the AP Top 25 just yet, especially with some contenders to make it into the rankings not getting the job done (looking at you, Purdue).
23. Tulane Green Wave
One of the jokes made about Willie Fritz’s Tulane team after they cracked the college football rankings for last week was that the Green Wake were going to come out flat and lose their spot in the hierarchy. Instead, they came out and handled Memphis with relative ease, much more so than the 38-28 final score would indicate. This is a team that is looking more and more like it might be the best in the American.
22. NC State Wolfpack
Point blank, NC State is clinging onto their spot in the AP Top 25 for dear life considering that they are now without star quarterback Devin Leary for the rest of the season and had the week off after taking a disheartening 24-9 loss against Syracuse. The Wolfpack might be able to eke out a win over Virginia Tech next week, but looming dates with Wake Forest, Louisville and UNC could be trouble.
21. LSU Tigers
From unranked to the No. 21 team in college football is definitely a big jump but its one that LSU has earned. There have been shaky showings from Brian Kelly’s team to start the year, but the fact of the matter is that they’ve looked like they’ve figured things out both with Jayden Daniels on offense and on defense. They could be looking to play a real spoiler role in the SEC West, especially with the Alabama matchup looming in the near future.