For the sixth time in eight weeks, multiple top-10 college football teams suffered defeat, creating yet more work for the voters of the AP Top 25 and Coaches Poll.
At this point, they must be getting used to it.
Those unlucky teams in Week 8 were No. 7 Penn State and No. 8 Oklahoma State. The Nittany Lions struggled mightily on offense in what was an absurd nine-overtime loss to unranked Illinois. Nothing was more indicative of their inability to score than the fact the final result was a 20-18 loss for Penn State. Oklahoma State, meanwhile, could not mount a comeback in a bitterly fought 24-21 loss to Iowa State, itself a top-10 preseason team.
No games will have bigger impacts than those losses on the post-Week 8 polls, though there were some close calls among other top-tier teams that will inform the latest top 25. That includes surprisingly close wins by No. 2 Cincinnati and No. 3 Oklahoma over Navy and Kansas, respectively — teams that after Saturday combined for a 2-12 record. The Bearcats needed a last-minute interception against the Midshipmen to secure a 27-20 victory, while the Sooners’ 35-23 win had college fans turning to the NCAA rulebook.
Oregon also needed yet another defensive stop in as many weeks to avoid an upset, sealing a 34-31 victory over UCLA with a late interception against the Bruins.
But those weren’t the only impactful games, as far as the latest rankings go. Coastal Carolina lost its first regular-season game since 2019, falling Wednesday night to traditional Sun Belt power App State, 30-27. No. 25 Purdue, a week after jumping in among the ranked teams, also lost 30-13 against unranked Wisconsin.
No. 23 Pitt also handled its business in the ACC matchup vs. Clemson, prompting questions as to what exactly went wrong for the Tigers in 2021.
All those games and more will re-shuffle the latest top-25 rankings. With that, Sporting News looks ahead to Sunday’s poll release, attempting to project what the latest rankings will look like:
Projected college football rankings for Week 9
|22||San Diego State||7-0|