College News & Analysis

College Football Week 8: Top 25 Rankings

Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) passes the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first quarter at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Tennessee jumps into the top three: The Volunteers make the leap after their massive Week 7 victory over Alabama.

TCU stands as Big 12's final unbeaten: The Horned Frogs took down Oklahoma State in double overtime in Week 7.

UCLA joins the top 10: The Bruins are the last undefeated team in the Pac-12.

Estimated Reading Time: 5 mins

With six games between ranked teams on the Week 7 slate, the hype was almost impossible to live up to.

And yet, it did. Then-No. 6 Tennessee took down then-No. 3 Alabama in what was the game of the year so far. Then-No. 13 TCU outlasted then-No. 8 Oklahoma State in double overtime. And then-No. 7 USC suffered its first loss of the season to then-No. 20 Utah.

That massive week brings massive changes to this week’s top 25. Please note this ranking is not the same as PFF’s power rankings.

1. Ohio State Buckeyes (Record: 6-0, AP Ranking: 2nd)

Week 8 Matchup: vs. Iowa Hawkeyes

Ohio State fields the best offense in the country, boasting a Power Five-leading 94.4 team offense grade.

The Buckeyes' offense faces will face its toughest test yet this week against Iowa, though. The Hawkeyes have a 93.9 team defense grade, which is also the best in the Power Five.

Ohio State Offense vs. Iowa Defense
Unit Grade (P5 Rank) EPA/play (P5 Rank)
Ohio State offense 94.4 (1st) 0.380 (1st)
Iowa defense 93.9 (1st) -0.249 (3rd)

2. Georgia Bulldogs (Record: 7-0, AP Ranking: 1st)

Week 8 Matchup: Bye

Georgia dominated Vanderbilt in a 55-0 shutout in Week 7. 

Stetson Bennett threw two touchdowns against the Commodores, snapping a three-game stretch of no passing scores. The former walk-on has still had an excellent season, with his 87.4 grade ranking 11th-highest among Power Five quarterbacks.

3. Tennessee Volunteers (Record: 6-0, AP Ranking: 3rd)

Week 8 Matchup: vs. Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks

Tennessee-Alabama was a shootout for the ages. In the end, the Volunteers continued their magical season with a 52-49 win over the then-No. 3 Crimson Tide. 

Few, if any, saw this start coming for Tennessee. The Vols started the year unranked in the AP poll and now sit at third two months later. Tennessee has beaten four top-25 teams so far, more than any other school in the country.

4. Michigan Wolverines (Record: 7-0, AP Ranking: 4th)

Week 8 Matchup: Bye

The two games between top-10 teams were polar opposites this week. The aforementioned TennesseeAlabama contest was decided on the final play. Meanwhile, then-No. 5 Michigan had a much easier time with then-No. 10 Penn State, destroying them 41-17.

The Wolverines thoroughly outplayed the Nittany Lions, racking up 295 more yards and 18 more first downs. Michigan also possessed the ball for nearly 70% of the game, thanks to its dominant ground game. Donovan Edwards and Blake Corum rushed for 172 and 166 yards, respectively. In total, the Wolverines ran for 422 yards, averaging 7.8 yards per attempt.

5. Clemson Tigers (Record: 7-0, AP Ranking: 5th)

Week 8 Matchup: vs. No. 14 Syracuse Orange

Clemson had a bit of a scare against Florida State, escaping Tallahassee with a 34-28 win.

The Tigers' offensive line struggled against the Seminoles, allowing a 32.1% pressure rate — their highest since the 2021 season-opener against Georgia. That Bulldogs front-seven had six players drafted in 2022, as well. Clemson’s offensive line will look to bounce back against No. 14 Syracuse in a battle between the ACC's last two undefeated teams. 

6. Alabama Crimson Tide (Record: 6-1, AP Ranking: 6th)

Week 8 Matchup: vs. No. 24 Mississippi State Bulldogs

Alabama suffered a soul-crushing, 52-49 loss to then-No. 6 Tennessee in Week 7.

The Volunteers exposed the Crimson Tide’s normally elite defense, with Alabama's team defense grade and EPA per play allowed figure both easily their worst marks of the season.

Alabama’s Defense | 2022
Weeks Team Defense Grade (P5 Rank) EPA/play allowed (P5 Rank)
First six games 93.5 (2nd/65) -0.298 (2nd/65)
vs. Tennessee 51.4 (47th/47) 0.195 (36th/47)

7. Ole Miss Rebels (Record: 7-0, AP Ranking: 7th)

Week 8 Matchup: at LSU Tigers

Ole Miss was in a Week 7 dogfight with Auburn, winning 48-34 to preserve its 7-0 record. 

The Rebels leaned on true freshman running back Quinshon Judkins, who tallied 146 total yards and three touchdowns in the win. His 84.7 grade this season is the highest in the Power Five among true freshmen. 

8. TCU Horned Frogs (Record: 6-0, AP Ranking: 8th)

Week 8 Matchup: vs. No. 17 Kansas State Wildcats

The TCU-Oklahoma State game didn’t receive as much attention since it kicked off at the same time as TennesseeAlabama, but it was just as thrilling. The then-No. 13 Horned Frogs mounted a 14-point comeback in the final 10 minutes to tie the then-No. 8Cowboys, before pulling off the 43-40 victory in double overtime.

With the win, TCU becomes the final undefeated team standing in the Big 12 after starting the season unranked. The Horned Frogs have their offense to thank for that. They’ve averaged 0.264 expected points added per play this season, ranking third in the Power Five behind only Ohio State and USC.

9. UCLA Bruins (Record: 6-0, AP Ranking: 9th)

Week 8 Matchup: at No. 10 Oregon Ducks

Three teams started the season unranked but now sit in the top 10: Tennessee, TCU and UCLA. And with USC’s loss to Utah, the Bruins are now the final undefeated team in the Pac-12. 

UCLA had off this past weekend ahead of a massive showdown in Eugene against No. 10 Oregon. 

10. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Record: 5-1, AP Ranking: 11th)

Week 8 Matchup: vs. No. 20 Texas Longhorns

Oklahoma State suffered its first loss of the season at the hands of TCU this past Saturday.

A normally stingy Cowboys defense allowed 510 yards to the Horned Frogs. They’ll need to get back on track this week against Quinn Ewers, Bijan Robinson and a very explosive Texas offense.

11. USC Trojans (Record: 6-1, AP Ranking: 12th)

12. Illinois Fighting Illini (Record: 6-1, AP Ranking: 18th)

13. Penn State Nittany Lions (Record: 5-1, AP Ranking: 16th)

14. Oregon Ducks (Record: 5-1, AP Ranking: 10th)

15. Texas Longhorns (Record: 5-2, AP Ranking: 20th)

16. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (Record: 5-1, AP Ranking: 13th)

17. Syracuse Orange (Record: 6-0, AP Ranking: 14th)

18. Kansas State Wildcats (Record: 5-1, AP Ranking: 17th)

19. Utah Utes (Record: 5-2, AP Ranking: 15th)

20. Kentucky Wildcats (Record: 5-2, AP Ranking: 19th)

21. Mississippi State Bulldogs (Record: 5-2, AP Ranking: 24th)

22. Cincinnati Bearcats (Record: 5-1, AP Ranking: 21st)

23. North Carolina Tar Heels (Record: 6-1, AP Ranking: 22nd)

24. Purdue Boilermakers (Record: 5-2, AP Ranking: NR)

25. LSU Tigers (Record: 5-2, AP Ranking: NR)

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