In the thick of conference play, our poll is experiencing significant turnover on a weekly basis based on all of the new information we keep learning. The one thing that remains a constant is Alabama and then Clemson are the best two teams in the nation. After that, a slew of teams have reasonable cases. Good thing there are four more games on most teams' schedules to sort it out.
All of our staff voted for a combination of Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame and LSU in the top 4 EXCEPT Michigan received one top-4 ranking. With Alabama and LSU facing off this Saturday, a shakeup in the “if the season ended today” College Football Playoffs is inevitable next week.
Ripping off back-to-back wins over Oregon and Stanford over the last two weeks, Washington State is the biggest riser this week within the poll. Boasting a 7-1 record, the Cougars climbed 11 spots in the rankings. Utah and Virginia both climbed 7 spots with wins as both increased their records to 6-2.
The biggest faller within the poll was Texas who fell to rival Oklahoma State on Saturday. No at 6-2, the Longhorns 38-35 loss to the Cowboys resulted in a slide of 7 spots.
Although most of the nation has played 8 games so far this season, a whopping 6 new teams entered and fell out of our rankings. Welcome Mississippi State, Syracuse, Boston College, Fresno State, Houston and Utah State. Goodbye to Stanford, NC State, USF, Oregon, Wisconsin and Washington. Crazy to think about how Wisconsin and Washington were considered playoff contenders entering the season.
As a reminder, our poll is the consensus of all members of the TDN staff’s individual rankings averaged out to build a composite poll. A whopping 35 different teams received votes from our staff (listed below).
Our top 25 after Week 8:
Others receiving votes: Oregon, Texas Tech, Washington, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Wisconsin, Auburn, Northwestern, Buffalo and Michigan State.