Predicting the College Football AP Top 25 Poll for Week 8: LSU Climbs, Georgia Falls

For the first time of the college football season, a team ranked in the top four of the AP Top 25 poll lost.

No. 3 Georgia lost at home, 20-17, to unranked South Carolina in double overtime, which certainly will have an immediate impact on the AP poll and will likely affect the College Football Playoff picture.

After taking into consideration Week 7’s results, here’s how we believe the AP Top 25 poll will look in Week 8.

As a reminder, this isn’t a personal AP ballot, this is a prediction of how AP poll voters will collectively vote.

Dropped out of rankings: No. 20 Virginia, No. 23 Memphis, No. 24 Texas A&M


25. Iowa (4-2)

The Hawkeyes managed just 12 points at home against Penn State, failing to reach the end zone until the fourth quarter. Iowa rushed for just 70 yards, 29 of which came on one run by Tyler Goodson, and kicker Keith Duncan missed a 44-yarder in a four-point game in the second quarter. Iowa has now dropped back-to-back games against Big Ten East foes.


24. Wake Forest (5-1)

The Demon Deacons suffered their first loss of the season – in a home game against Louisville of all spots – and their 28 points in the fourth quarter weren’t enough in a 62-59 defeat. Wide receiver Sage Surratt caught 12 passes for 196 yards and all three of quarterback Jamie Newman’s touchdowns but Newman also threw two interceptions.


23. Appalachian State (5-0)

The Mountaineers are a sneaky candidate to be the Group of Five representative in the New Year’s Six as Appalachian State will take an undefeated record into a home game with UL Monroe in Week 8. App State beat Louisiana 17-7 on Wednesday.


22. Missouri (5-1)

Back in December, after Kelly Bryant announced his intent to transfer to Missouri, we speculated about the possibility of Missouri cracking the top 15 when the 2019 College Football Playoff rankings debut. Thanks to a season-opening loss at Wyoming that’s unlikely to happen but the Tigers have won five games in a row after a 38-27 win over Ole Miss.


21. Cincinnati (5-1)

There was no hangover for the Bearcats after their massive home win over UCF as they traveled to Houston and left with a 38-23 win in a game in which they scored on their opening drive and never trailed. Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder aired the ball out, completing 14-of-24 attempts for 263 yards (11 yards per attempt) and three touchdowns.


20. Minnesota (6-0)

It’s time to talk to your kids about 6-0 Minnesota and while you’re having that conversation, it’s probably worth sitting them down, giving them a glass of milk and cautiously mentioning the possibility of 8-0, or dare I say 9-0, Minnesota. The Gophers handled Nebraska with ease, 34-7, and next up is a road trip to Rutgers, a home game against Maryland and then a tougher test against Penn State.


19. Baylor (6-0)

The Bears secured bowl eligibility in their sixth game of the season thanks to John Mayers’ game-tying, 19-yard field goal that forced overtime against Texas Tech and Baylor won 33-30 in double overtime on JaMycal Hasty’s five-yard touchdown run. It was an odd statistical game for Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer, who threw for 352 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions but also ran for three touchdowns.


18. SMU (6-0)

The Mustangs were off in Week 7 following their triple-overtime win over Tulsa. Next up is a home game against Temple, which is coming off of a win against a ranked Memphis team.


17. Arizona State (5-1)

When Arizona State cracked the AP Top 25 last season, the Sun Devils fell out of the poll the next week. This year they’re here for a longer stay. Arizona State rallied from a 10-point deficit in the game’s opening 10 minutes to tie the game at halftime and win on Jayden Daniels’ 17-yard touchdown run in the final minute. Daniels completed 26-of-36 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns, while running back Eno Benjamin took 19 carries for 137 yards and a score.


16. Michigan (5-1)

The Wolverines had an interesting trip to Champaign, Illinois, where they jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the first half, only to nearly let it slip away as the Fighting Illini clawed back to make it 28-25 in the fourth quarter. But Michigan added two more touchdowns in a three-minute stretch in the fourth to make it 42-25. Hassan Haskins and Zach Charbonnet both rushed for more than 100 yards and a touchdown.


15. Utah (5-1)

The Utes dominated Oregon State, 52-7, as they scored multiple touchdowns in each of the first three quarters and didn’t allow the Beavers to score until the fourth quarter. Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley was an efficient 14-of-17 passing for 247 yards and two touchdowns, while running back Zack Moss needed just five carries to rush for 121 yards and two touchdowns, thanks to a 91-yard touchdown run.


14. Boise State (6-0)

Despite losing freshman quarterback Hank Bachmeier to an injury, Boise State was able to hold off a pesky Hawaii time late Saturday night. Chase Cord came in the game in replacement and completed 6-of-9 passes for 69 yards and one touchdown in the first half, helping the Broncos take a 31-14 lead into halftime.


13. Texas (4-2)

The Longhorns were unable to win the Red River Showdown in back-to-back seasons as they covered the spread but failed to knock off the No. 6 Sooners in a 34-27 defeat. Oklahoma’s defense was overwhelming and the Longhorns spent all afternoon chasing (and failing to tackle) Sooners wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, who finished with 10 receptions for 171 yards and three touchdowns. There’s a chance that Texas has lost to two playoff teams.


12. Oregon (5-1)

The Ducks picked off Colorado quarterback Steven Montez four times and Oregon’s Cyrus Habibi-Likio ran for three touchdowns as the Pac-12’s highest-ranked team won 45-3 on Friday night. CJ Verdell took 14 carries for 171 yards and quarterback Justin Herbert threw for 261 yards and two scores.


11. Auburn (5-1)

The Tigers were off in Week 7, giving them a chance to regroup after losing 24-13 at Florida in Week 6. Next up is a trip to Arkansas in Week 8.


10. Notre Dame (5-1)

The Fighting Irish held off USC 30-27, scoring 20 unanswered points after trailing 3-0 after the first quarter. Running back Tony Jones Jr. rushed 25 times for 176 yards as Notre Dame ran for 308 yards on the evening.


9. Georgia (5-1)

The Bulldogs’ College Football Playoff hopes may have gone down the drain with their 20-17 home loss to South Carolina in Week 7. Georgia now needs to win out in order to contend for the playoff and it’ll be positioned behind a group of undefeated teams in the next AP Top 25 poll.


8. Florida (6-1)

The Gators lost their undefeated record in Baton Rouge, falling 42-28 after leading 28-21 early in the third quarter. But the good news, if Florida fans are in the mood for it, is that Georgia also lost on Saturday (and against a far inferior South Carolina team), meaning Florida can still win the SEC East and there’s a chance the Gators may have lost on the road against the best team in the country. Quarterback Kyle Trask performed admirably, completing 23-of-39 passes for 310 passing yards, three touchdowns and a costly interception in the end zone.


7. Penn State (6-0)

With a 17-12 win over No. 17 Iowa, the Nittany Lions picked up their first road win over a ranked opponent in six seasons, having lost their previous six opportunities since beating No. 14 Wisconsin in Madison in 2013. Noah Cain ran for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.


6. Wisconsin (6-0)

After Wisconsin’s 38-0 win over Michigan State, the Badgers have now shut out back-to-back opponents and four of their six foes so far this season. Assuming Wisconsin can handle a road trip to Illinois in Week 8, there will be a huge clash between Ohio State and Wisconsin in Columbus. So far, there’s no reason to believe the Badgers’ defense isn’t one of the best in the country after they held Brian Lewerke to an 8.3 QBR and Rocky Lombardi to a 7.1 QBR. They were a combined 12-of-30 for 119 yards, four yards per attempt, no touchdowns and two picks.


5. Oklahoma (6-0)

The Sooners won the Red River Showdown 34-27 in a rivalry game that had an unexpected influx of defense as Oklahoma sacked Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger nine (!) times, holding him to just 5.5 yards per attempt and the Longhorns to just 100 rushing yards, including sack yardage. Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts was responsible for 366 total yards of offense and four touchdowns.


4. Ohio State (6-0)

The Buckeyes were off in Week 7 following their 34-10 win against Michigan State. Next up is a road trip to Northwestern for a game on Friday night.


3. Clemson (6-0)

After a narrow win over North Carolina, followed by a bye week, Clemson unleashed a 45-14 win over Florida State in which the Tigers led 42-0 in the middle of the third quarter. Running back Travis Etienne had 17 carries for 127 yards, while Trevor Lawrence had a quiet but fairly efficient performance with 17-of-25 passing for 170 yards, three touchdowns and one pick, as well as a rushing touchdown.


2. LSU (6-0)

The Tigers have two of the best wins in the country, if not the best combination of two wins in the country, after they beat previously unbeaten Florida 42-28 in Baton Rouge. Heisman contender Joe Burrow threw for as many touchdowns (three) as he had incompletions (21-of-24 passing) in a 293-yard effort, while running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran wild to the tune of 13 carries for 134 yards and two touchdowns.

LSU’s ranking in the Week 8 AP Top 25 poll will be the ultimate test of how much voters value a team’s 2019 record and wins, regardless of what it has done in previous season. LSU has a case to be ranked No. 1, above the Alabama and Clemson programs that have won the last four national championships.


1. Alabama (6-0)

Unfortunately for the Crimson Tide, Alabama’s Week 7 road win at No. 24 Texas A&M may not last as a win over a ranked opponent as it dropped the Aggies to 3-3 on the season. Texas A&M struck first but each of the Aggies’ first four scoring drives were following by two unanswered Alabama scoring drives. Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa completed just over 61 percent of his pass attempts (21-of-34), which is low by the Heisman frontrunner’s standards, but he threw for 293 yards and four touchdowns.


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