The Associated Press released its top 25 college football poll this past weekend, with many voters wondering if the rankings were too early to be taken seriously. The question is complicated by the fact that there are no true undefeated teams left in 2018 and a lack of quality wins for some programs who felt they should have been ranked higher.
The “top 25 college football rankings 2021” was released on Sunday and the reaction has been mixed. The AP Top 25 poll is a ranking of the top 25 college football teams in the country.
2:05 p.m. Eastern
The AP Top 25 college football poll is out, and there’s some movement in the standings following a crazy weekend of games. What’s next for each rated team is as follows:
1st place previously
Week 8’s outcome: no game
What’s next: Florida versus (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET)
X factor: Quarterback Stetson Bennett IV will try to avenge himself against Florida on Saturday in Jacksonville. He had a shoulder injury against the Gators last season and was ineffective in a 44-28 defeat. The Bulldogs were crushed by Florida’s high-flying attack after going out to a 14-0 lead. Bennett threw for 78 yards on 5 of 16 passing with one touchdown and one interception. On a 32-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint, who shattered his leg on the play, he separated his right shoulder. Bennett started the past three games while Daniels was out with a lat injury, and Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart hasn’t specified whether Bennett or JT Daniels will start against Florida.
What you should know: In their rivalry game versus the Gators, the top-ranked Bulldogs will continue their pursuit for their first national title in 41 years. After previous coaches Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer dominated the rivalry, Georgia has reversed the series in the last decade, winning six of the last ten games and three of the last four. Despite losing two of its last three games, including a 49-42 loss at LSU a week ago, Florida will be looking to end Georgia’s flawless season. Schlabach, Mark
Previous position: 2
The outcome of Week 8 was a 27-20 victory against Navy.
What’s next: Tulane University (Saturday, noon ET)
X factor: In the Bearcats’ tense victory against Navy, running back Jerome Ford averaged 6 yards per carry on just 15 rushes. Ford and the Bearcat offense spent much too much time on the sideline, thanks to some extended Navy drives, a slew of Cincy three-and-outs, and a few of short-yardage miscues.
What you need to know: The Bearcats have escaped their first upset scare of the season, as well as a legitimately bad performance, and now it’s time to see how they react. Because of the CFP committee’s past handling of Group of 5 teams in the playoffs, we know that style points might be crucial in Cincinnati’s playoff hopes, and they didn’t get any on Saturday. Bill Connelly’s quote
Previous position: 4
Tennessee was defeated 52-24 in Week 8 of the NFL season.
What’s next: a matchup with LSU (Nov. 6)
X-factor: Alabama’s junior receiver Jameson Williams has earned the title of Mr. Big Play. In the victory against Tennessee, he caught six catches for 123 yards, including a 65-yard reception in the fourth quarter that set up a Brian Robinson Jr. touchdown run and a 14-point advantage. In four of the previous five games, Williams had one reception of more over 30 yards.
What you should know: Alabama’s offense is on fire right now. This season, the Tide have scored more than 30 points in each of their eight games and more than 40 points in six of them. However, the defense has been poor enough to make November a nerve-wracking month. Alabama will have a bye this weekend before hosting LSU and Arkansas in SEC home games and finishing the regular season on the road against Auburn. — Low-cost
3rd place before.
Week 8 result: a 35-23 victory against Kansas City.
What’s next: a matchup with Texas Tech (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET)
Delarrin Turner-Yell is the X-factor. The senior safety had been sidelined for many weeks with a hamstring injury, but when he warmed up before Saturday’s game, he seemed to be close to returning. While his replacement, sophomore Key Lawrence, made eight tackles against Kansas, the Oklahoma secondary has struggled without him against Texas, TCU, and Kansas, and all hands will be needed against Texas Tech’s onslaught.
What you should know: Against the Sooners, Kansas quarterback Jason Bean set season highs in completion percentage (73.9 percent, season normal 58.3%) and QBR (86.5, season average 46.3). Tyler Shough, Texas Tech’s starting quarterback, is out, and his backup, Henry Colombi, completed only 10 passes for 148 yards and a QBR of 22.6 in a defeat to Kansas State on Saturday. Dave Wilson is an author.
Previous position: 5
Week 8’s outcome was a 54-7 victory against Indiana.
What’s next: a matchup with Penn State (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET)
X factor: Since getting a week off against Akron, quarterback C.J. Stroud has thrown 14 touchdown passes in his previous three games. He’s been in charge of the offense and has looked more and more at ease with it each week.
What you should know: The Buckeyes have scored 51 points or more in each of their last four games. The offensive is starting to look more like the Ohio State attack we’ve seen in the past, and it’s ready for its clash with Penn State. The Nittany Lions have struggled with a wounded quarterback in Sean Clifford, while the Buckeyes are improving in every way. With the way Ohio State is playing right now, the Buckeyes have a legitimate opportunity at a College Football Playoff spot. Tom VanHaaren (Tom VanHaaren)
Previous position: 6
Week 8’s outcome was a 33-7 victory against Northwestern.
What’s next: Michigan State University (Saturday, TBA)
X factor: Michigan’s run game has been strong this season, but if the Wolverines are to overcome Michigan State this week, quarterback Cade McNamara will need to be successful via the air. Keeping Michigan State’s defense honest with a balanced assault will give the squad the greatest opportunity to win, and McNamara will have to have one of his finest games of the season to do so.
What you should know: Aidan Hutchinson, a defensive end, said in the summer that watching the tape of last year’s defeat to Michigan State made him nauseous. Michigan’s defense has improved significantly this season, ranking No. 20 in total yards allowed per game, but they’ll have to be at their best against Michigan State. The Spartans score 34.9 points per game and average 451.7 yards per game. After the way the last game ended, Michigan’s defense was sick of it (a 27-24 MSU win). On Saturday, they’ll get a chance to redeem themselves, but it’ll be their toughest test yet. Tom VanHaaren (Tom VanHaaren)
Previous position: 10
Week 8 ended with a 34-31 victory against UCLA.
What’s next: a matchup with Colorado (Saturday, TBA)
Joe Moorhead, the offensive coordinator, is the X factor. Is it possible for a coach in a booth to be considered an X factor? Moorhead, on the other hand, has a strong case. The Ducks’ lone defeat is still the only game he hasn’t been able to coach, and Moorhead received the explosive plays he was seeking for from his Oregon offense in his first trip game since emergency surgery.
What you should know: The Ducks play 2-5 Colorado in Eugene next week, which is perhaps their easiest game on the schedule. Anything less than a resounding victory would be cause for concern. Paolo Uggetti (Paolo Uggetti)
Previous position: 9
Week 8’s outcome: no game
What’s next: Michigan against (Saturday, TBA)
Safety is the X factor. Henderson, Xavier Henderson and Angelo Grose have combined for 113 tackles in seven games, making them one of the most prolific safety tandems in the country. With seven tackles for loss, two sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception, Henderson has been extremely disruptive. He’ll be crucial in slowing Michigan’s rushing attack.
What you should know: MSU is gearing up for their biggest game since winning the Big Ten and making its lone trip in the College Football Playoff in 2015. This is the first MSU-Michigan game since 1964 in which both teams are rated in the top 10 by the Associated Press. MSU is 9-4 versus Michigan since 2008, although the Spartans have lost their previous two encounters at Spartan Stadium. Adam Rittenberg’s remark
Previous position: 11
Week 8’s outcome: no game
What’s next: a trip to Wisconsin is in the cards. (Saturday, 12 p.m. ET)
Tyler Goodson, a running back, is the X factor. Goodson only had 12 carries in the Purdue defeat, which enraged Hawkeye supporters. The paucity of touches was due to Iowa’s deficit, but Goodson could have a much greater role this week against Wisconsin. With these two defenses, points will likely be few, but Iowa boasts the best running back on the field.
What you should know: The Purdue defeat was devastating, but Iowa can still establish themselves in the Big Ten West Division fight and stay around on the edge of the CFP conversion following an open week. A victory against rival Wisconsin will go a long way toward rebuilding faith. Iowa hasn’t won at Camp Randall Stadium since winning the division in 2015. — Richard Rittenberg
Previous position: 12
Week 8’s outcome was a 31-17 victory against LSU.
What’s next: it’s back to Auburn (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET)
The Ole Miss defense has struggled at times this season, but it stepped up against LSU, particularly when it came to pressuring quarterback Max Johnson. Chance Campbell and company will go a long way if they can maintain a pass rush for the remainder of the season.
What you should know: Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin isn’t planning on running quarterback Matt Corral 30 times like he did against Tennessee last week. He could have discovered a better pattern against LSU by using Corral sparingly and depending on Snoop Conner to move the chains.
Previous position: 13
Week 8’s outcome was a 31-16 victory against USC.
What’s next: a matchup with North Carolina (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET)
X factor: The Irish may have finally worked out a unique way to let quarterback Jack Coan’s abilities shine. Against USC, Notre Dame used pace and rapid passing, and “hurry-up Jack” delivered by completing 20 of 28 passes and hitting a variety of receivers. “Based on the body of work after four quarters, we believe it’s incredibly sustainable,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said.
What you should know: After a lot of experimenting and fluctuation, Notre Dame may have found its offensive sweet spot, integrating more speed with the passing game while riding top rusher Kyren Williams. On Saturday, the Irish defense faced the greatest receiver it will play all season (USC’s Drake London), and it now prepares for North Carolina’s Sam Howell, who is most certainly the best quarterback. This season, both clubs have battled with consistency. With one exception, Notre Dame never stopped discovering new ways to win. — Richard Rittenberg
Week before last: 15
Week 8’s outcome: no game
Next stop: Mississippi State (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET)
X factor: Last season, Kentucky’s defense pulled in one of its greatest performances under Mark Stoops, shutting out a Mike Leach-coached offense for the first time in Leach’s career. The Wildcats, on the other hand, are dealing with injuries on the defensive line. Due to a lower leg injury, defensive lineman Octavious Oxendine will miss the remainder of the season, while nose guard Marquan McCall missed the final game against Georgia due to the same issue.
What you should know: Despite losing 30-13 to Georgia a week ago, Kentucky is still on track to have one of its finest seasons ever. The Wildcats will be big favorites the rest of the way, with games against Mississippi State (on the road), Tennessee (at home), Vanderbilt (on the road), New Mexico State (at home), and Louisville (on the road). Kentucky would be in position to participate in a New Year’s Six bowl game for the first time if they finished 11-1. It would be the Wildcats’ most important playoff game since Bear Bryant led them to a 20-7 Cotton Bowl win against TCU in 1952. Schlabach’s words
Week before last: 16
Week 8 score: 70-56 victory vs Army
Next up: versus. Duke (Saturday, 4 p.m. ET)
Wake Forest receivers Jaquarii Roberson and A.T. Perry combined for 303 receiving yards and four touchdowns in the victory against Army. They’re both big-play threats, so opposing defenders will have a hard time focusing on one of them.
What you should know: This Wake Forest squad continues to make history. For just the second time in school history, the Deacons have started 7-0. It was 1944 when they went 7-0 for the first time. However, things are only going to become more tough from here. Wake Forest’s remaining four games are all on the road, with the sole home game being against No. 18 North Carolina State. — Low-cost
17 in the previous week
Week 8’s outcome was a 44-14 victory against South Carolina.
Next up: versus. Auburn (Nov. 6)
Zach Calzada is the X-factor. After passing for 285 yards and three touchdowns in an upset victory against Alabama, the sophomore quarterback became an A&M hero. Against South Carolina, he went 12 of 24 for 187 yards and two touchdown passes to Jalen Wydermyer. However, as the season approaches its end, the Aggies are still seeking for greater consistency and a deep threat.
What you should know: Following disheartening defeats to Arkansas and Mississippi State that seemed to throw the season into a tailspin, A&M has put together a fantastic three-game winning run. With a bye week approaching, the Aggies can concentrate on a difficult final stretch that includes home games against Auburn and road games against Ole Miss and LSU. Wilson’s words
Week before last: 8
Week 8 ended with a 24-21 defeat against Iowa State.
What’s next: Kansas versus (Saturday, TBA)
Jaylen Warren is the X-factor. Warren’s record of four consecutive 100-yard games came to an end against Iowa State, who had been dominating down the stretch. He rushed for 76 yards on 18 attempts against the Cyclones, but the Cowboys were unable to wear down Iowa State as they had in prior weeks.
What you need to know: The Cowboys return to Stillwater to face a Kansas club that battled Oklahoma until late in the fourth quarter before the Sooners put them away. Mike Gundy is 12-1 versus the Jayhawks, with his one defeat coming against a KU team that went 12-1 and won the Orange Bowl in 2007. Dave Wilson is an author.
Week before last: 20
Week 8’s outcome: no game
What’s next: Texas against (Saturday, noon ET)
Linebacker Dillon Doyle recorded four tackles, 1.5 sacks, and a running score and a receiving touchdown against BYU on Oct. 16. On occasion, he has filled in at fullback and served as the lead blocker. Teams have had success running on Texas, which is coming up next, so Doyle might see some more double duty.
What you should know: Texas has won five of the last six seasons against Baylor. Between 2010 and 2014, Baylor defeated Texas four times in a row under Art Briles. The Longhorns, like the Bears, got the weekend off, but are coming off two second-half losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Longhorns have a 55 percent probability of winning, according to the FPI. Wilson’s words
Week before last: 23
Week 8 result: Clemson wins 27-17.
Next up: versus. Miami (Saturday, noon ET)
The whole Pitt offensive line is the X factor. In Saturday’s game, there were too many holding penalties up front, but it’s an experienced bunch that allows Kenny Pickett time to pass, responds effectively to blitzes, and helped the Panthers run for 163 yards against a strong Clemson defense.
What you should know: Pittsburgh’s sole defeat this season came against Western Michigan at home, and the Panthers’ coaches and players are still bitter about it. The way this club has reacted to that setback, especially the defense, says a lot about them. Since that 44-41 setback to Western Michigan, the Panthers have not allowed more than 21 points in four consecutive victories. Pitt will most certainly be favored in their next five regular-season games, three of which are at home, beginning this Saturday against Miami. — Low-cost
Week before last: 19
Week 8’s outcome: no game
What’s next: a matchup with Ole Miss. (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET)
The Bo Nix Experience is a roller coaster, and it’s now going up. In a victory against Arkansas a week ago, he had one of his greatest games in recent memory, rushing for one score and completing 80.8 percent of his throws for two touchdowns and one interception.
What you should know: Nix has a knack for distributing the ball over the field, making it tough for defenders to concentrate on a single target. Demetris Robertson, Kobe Hudson, and Shedrick Jackson are the only players with 20 or more receptions, while seven others have five or more catches.
Week before last: 21
Week 8 score: 55-26 victory against Tulane
What’s next: we’ll be in Houston (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET)
Ulysses Bentley IV is the X-factor. After being hindered by injury, the sophomore running back only got two runs against Navy and none this week, but SMU expects to have him back for this week’s game against Houston. Before Saturday night’s late game against East Carolina, the Cougars were allowing just 2.95 yards per run.
What you should know: SMU coach Sonny Dykes and Houston coach Dana Holgorsen have worked together since their days at Texas Tech. Houston was recruited by Holgorsen, and Dallas was recruited by Dykes, and both spotted the potential in these positions and are at the top of the AAC. This is the first of two consecutive significant road games (Memphis on Nov. 6) that will serve as a litmus test before a crucial game at No. 2 Cincinnati on Nov. 2. Wilson’s words
Previous position: 7
Week 8’s outcome was a 20-18 defeat against Illinois (9 OT)
What’s next: I’ll be at Ohio State University (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET)
The X factor: When quarterback Sean Clifford was taken out of the game against Iowa, the offense’s dynamic was totally disrupted. He started against Illinois, but wasn’t at full strength, and the offense faltered once again against the Illini. Clifford’s health is critical for the Nittany Lions to complete the season on a positive note.
What you should know: Penn State has two conference defeats under its belt, but it still has Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State to play. If Clifford isn’t entirely healthy or the offense can’t figure out how to function without him at 100 percent, the offense might tumble after a 5-0 start, moving into the top five of the rankings. VanHaaren (VanHaaren)
Week before last: 22
Week 8 result: a 20-14 victory against the Air Force Falcons.
What’s next: a matchup with Fresno State (Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET)
Punter Matt Araiza has an X element that no other punter in collegiate football has. On Saturday, he punted a ball that went 84 yards in the air against Air Force. It was just his second longest punt in the last two weeks, after an 86-yarder against San Jose.
What you should know: The Aztecs are off to their best start since 1975, and they just finished what may be their toughest game of the season. The next opponent is Fresno State, in a showdown of the West Division’s top two teams. A victory for SDSU would be huge in the conference championship chase, while a defeat would affect the whole season’s direction. Kyle Bonagura (Kyle Bonagura)
Unranked in the previous ranking
Week 8’s outcome was a 24-21 victory against Oklahoma State.
What comes next: a trip to West Virginia (Saturday, 2 p.m. ET)
Isn’t it Xavier Hutchinson who has the X-factor? He caught 12 catches for 125 yards and two scores, but a touchdown was called back due to an egregious celebration penalty. With QB Brock Purdy on the rise, Hutchinson should have something to cheer about in the future.
What you should know: After a slow start to the season that featured losses to Iowa and Baylor, the Cyclones have won three straight games and will travel to West Virginia before hosting Texas at home.
Week before last: 24
Week 8’s outcome was a 45-16 victory against Louisiana Tech.
What’s next: I’ll be at UTEP (Nov. 6, 4 p.m. ET)
Jeff Traylor is the X factor. With the UTSA program, the Roadrunners coach has done miracles. The college football world has taken note as they go into a bye week, and his name has begun to pop up in coaching carousel speculation.
What you should know: According to FPI, UTSA is an overwhelming favorite the rest of the way, with an 85 percent or more probability of winning three of its four games and a 62 percent chance of winning at home versus UAB. Next up is a journey to El Paso to play the surging UTEP Miners. Wilson’s words
14th place before.
Week 8 outcome vs. Appalachian State: 30-27 defeat
What’s next: Troy versus (Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m. ET)
X factor: In the Chants’ 30-27 defeat to Appalachian State last week, we saw how crucial the Coastal run game is: backs Reese White, Shermari Jones, and Braydon Bennett were averaging 8.0 yards per rush before the trip to Boone, but just 2.8 yards on Wednesday night.
What you need to know: The Chants are still entertaining, innovative, aggressive, and mullet-obsessed, and they have a great opportunity to go 11-1 the rest of the way. To have a chance at another Sun Belt East crown, they’ll need App State to lose again. Bill Connelly’s quote
Unranked in the previous ranking
Week 8 ended with a 21-19 victory against Washington State.
What’s next: Virginia against (Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET)
Tyler Allgeier is the X-factor. In Saturday’s triumph against Washington State, BYU’s running back rushed for 192 yards and two scores. On the season, he has 866 yards and 11 touchdowns.
What you need to know: At this point, we may as well crown the Cougars Pac-12 champs. BYU has more Pac-12 victories than any other school in the league this season, going 4-0 versus the conference. The pass defense of BYU will now be put to the test against Virginia and red-hot quarterback Brennan Armstrong.
The “ap top 25 football 2020” is a reaction to the AP Top 25 college football poll. The AP Top 25 college football poll was released on September 23rd, 2020.
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