AP Top 25: Takeaways From Week 8 Poll

The AP Top 25 for Week 8 was released Sunday afternoon. Here are some takeaways about the movement in the newest edition of the poll.

There was some movement in the top five this past weekend thanks to NC State’s tough matchup with Dabo Swinney’s Tigers. Clemson took the win in overtime, 24-17, but it still fell one spot to No. 4. The Tigers now get a bye week before visiting the Florida State Seminoles.

And Mitch Trubisky may be on the outside looking in when it comes to the Heisman Trophy race, but his Tar Heels are in the Top 25 once again. North Carolina fell out of the poll after losing to Virginia Tech in Week 6, but it took down the Miami Hurricanes in Coral Gables, 20-13, and now Larry Fedora’s team is ranked No. 22. Mark Richt’s team, subsequently, has fallen from the Top 25.

And those same Hokies, who took down the Tar Heels two weekends ago, are also outside of the Top 25 after falling on the road to Syracuse, 31-17.

Here are some other instant AP Top 25 takeaways from the newest edition of the poll.

Barely Beaten Badgers

Make that two tough losses in a three-week period for Paul Chryst’s Badgers. They went into Ann Arbor two weeks ago and barely fell to Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines in the Big House, 14-7. After a bye week in Week 6, Wisconsin sat at No. 8 in the AP Top 25 with a big-time matchup against Ohio State in Madison this past Saturday.

Urban Myer’s Buckeyes needed every bit of the 60 minutes it was given and an overtime session to take down the Badgers, 30-23. The result for Wisconsin is a slight drop to No. 10 in the poll. A win would have bee nice, obviously, but we now have a better understanding of the Badgers as they head to Iowa on Saturday.

Big Four In Big Ten

That nail-biter between the Buckeyes and Badgers allowed the Big Ten to keep four teams in the top 10 for the second straight week. Wisconsin’s loss combined with Nebraska’s 27-22 win over Indiana led to a swap in the rankings between the two programs.

The Cornhuskers now sit at No. 8 in the AP Top 25. And while the Badgers took that last spot in the top 10, one could argue they should have only fallen one spot to No. 9. After all, a tight-knit overtime loss to the Buckeyes is more impressive than Baylor’s 49-7 win over a one-win Kansas team.

Speaking of Ohio State, it stood at No. 2 thanks to its win versus Wisconsin — as it should have after a top-10 win. And rival Michigan climbed one spot to No. 3 during its bye week thanks to Clemson’s narrow win over NC State.

SEC Shakeup

The Crimson Tide absolutely demolished the Tennessee Volunteers in Neyland Stadium, 49-10, rightfully keeping Alabama in the No. 1 spot. But take a look at the steep drop for Butch Jones’ team.

The Vols stayed at No. 9 after they fell in College Station to Texas A&M in double overtime, but a blowout loss to Nick Saban’s Tide dropped Tennessee nine spots to No. 18.

With that loss to Alabama, the Vols lost control of the SEC East lead thanks to Florida’s 40-14 win over Missouri in The Swamp, which moved the Gators up into the No. 15 slot.

And Arkansas’ 34-30 win at home versus Ole Miss helped the Razorbacks slide up five spots to No. 17 while the Rebels dropped from No. 21 to No. 23.

Last but not least, Ed Orgeron’s Tigers are back in the top 25. With 5-star linebacker Dylan Moses unexpectedly taking in the atmosphere in Death Valley, LSU took down Southern Miss, 45-10, and found its way to the No. 25 spot in the rankings.

Western Michigan Keeps Moving

After debuting at No. 24 last week following a 45-30 win over Norther Illinois, P.J. Fleck’s Broncos were back at it this past weekend. They went on the road and shut out Akron, 41-0, to move up four spots to No. 20 in the AP Top 25.

Western Michigan could be in for another move up the rankings after Week 8 with some ranked matchups slated up and some potential upsets on the docket. It will host Eastern Michigan this weekend with hopes of improving to 8-0.

Looking ahead

Three ranked matchups – all in the SEC – highlight the college football slate this coming weekend:

  • No. 6 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama
  • No. 17 Arkansas at No. 21 Auburn
  • No. 23 Ole Miss at No. 25 LSU

Potential upset matchups include BYU at No. 14 Boise State, No. 19 Utah at UCLA and TCU at No. 12 West Virginia.

MORE: Complete College Football Bowl Projections – Week 8