Written By: Ryan Lippert|@Lippert42
Rankings By: Ryan Lippert & Bobby Greco (@BobbyGreco)
After a lot of back and forth due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are finally at a point where we have had multiple weeks of college football being played. To add to the excitement, the Big 10 is set to start this weekend and the Pac-12 will start in November. With that in mind, it’s time to take our first look at the top 25 teams in college football. Things are a little strange as some teams have more games than others and some teams haven’t played at all but here are our week eight college football power rankings.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0): As was expected with many key players returning this season, Alabama is off to a hot start. Their offense has been unstoppable led by quarterback Mac Jones who is starting to make a name for himself throwing to two elite wide receivers in Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith. Running back Najee Harris hasn’t been too bad either. They picked up their biggest win of the season last week in a 41-24 victory over Georgia and will look to keep things rolling on the road against Tennessee.
2. Clemson Tigers (5-0): Honestly, you could label Alabama and Clemson as 1A and 1B as both teams are living up to their high expectations and the case could be made for either one as the top team in the country. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the early favorite to win the Heisman and has proven to be QB1 for next year’s draft like everyone expected. Running back Travis Etienne is right behind him in the Heisman race as he has continued to be one of the most electric players in college football. The Tigers should stay undefeated this week as they are at home against a struggling Syracuse team.
3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-0): While Notre Dame did have a talented roster coming back, not many people would expect them to be ranked this high at this point in the season. While Ian Book and the offense have done enough to win games, they have been led by their stingy defense. The Fighting Irish have only allowed 11.5 points per game so far this season. They will look to continue their undefeated season on the road against Pittsburgh this weekend.
4. Georgia Bulldogs (3-1): Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they just didn’t have enough in them down the stretch to pull off the win against Alabama this past weekend. However, make no mistake about it, this is still a very good football team. Their defense has played tremendous so far and quarterback Stetson Bennett has played surprisingly well minus this last game. It also helps that they have a very good running back in Zamir White to take off some pressure. The Bulldogs have a bye week to regroup before looking to get back on track in a road game against Kentucky next weekend.
5. Ohio State Buckeyes (0-0): Although the Buckeyes have yet to play a game this season, this team is far too talented to keep them out of the top five. Quarterback Justin Fields is back to lead this offense as he looks to not only lead them to the College Football Playoff but also improve his already very high draft stock. He will have a variety of weapons at his disposal in this offense with receivers Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson, along with tight ends Luke Farrell and Jeremy Ruckert. It also helps that they will have a two-headed monster in the backfield in Master Teague III and Oklahoma transfer Trey Sermon. The Buckeyes will open their 2020 season at home against Nebraska.
6. Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-0): While they were definitely seen to be in contention, it will come as a surprise to some that Oklahoma State is the top team in the Big 12 at this point in the season. With quarterback Spencer Sanders dealing with an ankle injury, Shane Illingworth has stepped up in his place and has done a solid job leading this offense. However, his job hasn’t been too difficult as he has Chubba Hubbard in the backfield and Tylan Wallace to throw to who are both looking like top-level NFL prospects. While their offense was expected to be good, it has been their defense that has exceeded expectations this season as they have only allowed nine points per game so far. The Cowboys will have a huge test this weekend with a home game against a tough Iowa State team.
7. Texas A&M Aggies (3-1): After a tough week two loss at Alabama, the Aggies have regrouped to prove that they are not only one of the best teams in the SEC but in the country as well. Led by their talented dual-threat quarterback Kellen Mond, they have picked up two impressive victories in a row in an upset over Florida and on the road against Mississippi State. The Aggies have a bye week this weekend they will look to stay on their hot streak at home against Arkansas next Saturday.
8. Miami Hurricanes (4-1): Besides their tough road loss against Clemson, the Hurricanes have looked very good this season. The addition of Houston transfer D’Eriq King at quarterback has provided a huge lift to their offense. King has been outstanding this season with over 1,000 passing yards and ten touchdowns while also showing his ability as a runner. It also helps that he gets to throw to tight end Brevin Jordan who is off to a great start to this season as he tries to make his case as the top tight end in the upcoming draft class. The Hurricanes will look to keep their winning ways going at home against a struggling Virginia team this weekend.
9. Cincinnati Bearcats (3-0): One of the hottest teams in the country that has truly burst onto the college football scene this season is the Cincinnati Bearcats. They are off to an undefeated start due in large part to an outstanding effort by their defense which has only allowed 12.3 points per game. Their offense hasn’t been bad either, scoring 35.7 points per game themselves. They will have their toughest task so far this weekend as they will go on the road to face an undefeated SMU team.
10. Penn State Nittany Lions (0-0): Much like I said about Ohio State (but on a lower level), the Nittany Lions are simply too talented of a team to keep too low on this list. While they did lose star linebacker Micah Parsons who opted out of the season, Penn State still has a lot of promising talent on their roster. Running back Journey Brown is back to be the face of their offense as he tries to improve his draft stock in a crowded running back class. On defense, they return a lot of experience, led by edge rusher Shaka Toney and cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields. They open their 2020 season this weekend on the road against Indiana.
11. Florida Gators (2-1)
12. North Carolina Tar Heels (3-1)
13. BYU Cougars (5-0)
14. SMU Mustangs (5-0)
15. Oregon Ducks (0-0)
16. Iowa State Cyclones (3-1)
17. Virginia Tech Hokies (3-1)
18. Wisconsin Badgers (0-0)
19. Kansas State Wildcats (3-1)
20. Minnesota Golden Gophers (0-0)
21. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (4-0)
22. Marshall Thundering Herd (4-0)
23. North Carolina State Wolfpack (4-1)
24. Liberty Flames (5-0)
25. USC Trojans (0-0)