College Football Top 25: Week Eight

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Dr. G's Top 25: Week Eight

Top 25
Brian Spurlock-US Presswire

The Doc is in.

Week seven brought some major shakeups to the top 25. For my personal submission, you can believe several finals on Saturday caused a fair amount of movement top to bottom.

No changes to the top two teams as the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Oregon Ducks remain one and two respectively. How does this week's top 25 look different than last? Let me count the ways.

Trending Up:

Jumping from an unranked team to 15 is the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Upset doesn't do a 49-14 beat-down justice. Upending the top five West Virginia Mountaineers have the Raiders dreaming big. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish continue to protect an unblemished record and defeat the Stanford Cardinal in OT.

The USC Trojans have been quitely sneaking their way back up the charts ever since being upset by Stanford. I have Troy at 6 in my latest rankings. Bob Stoops' Oklahoma Sooners demolished their rival the Texas Longhorns.

Trending Down:

A top five team no more, the Mountaineers slide all the way to 17. After a definitive win over the Georgia Bulldogs the South Carolina Gamecocks coudn't take the next step and win at the LSU Tigers. Carolina stays in my top 10 (barely) but is officially on notice.

Perhaps it was an aberration, but the Ohio State Buckeyes had a less than impressive 52-49 win over the Indiana Hoosiers, and slide to 11.

Dropping Out:

No Longhorns this week. Two losses in a row including this Saturday's embarassment at the hands of Oklahoma. Staying in the Big 12, the Oklahoma State Cowboys no longer fit in my rankings with two losses and close win at the lowly Kansas Jayhawks.

Sitting at 25 last week was the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, who were knocked out by the Texas A&M Aggies this week. Don't be surprised to see La Tech back in mix in the next few weeks.

What to Watch For in Week Eight:

South Carolina is at Florida in a huge SEC East match-up. The Kansas State Wildcats play at West Virginia with Big 12 title implications. LSU has a shot to reinvent their season with a win at College Station.

The following is my submission to the Rant Sports Official Top 25.

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James Gomez is a Pac-12 and Mountain West columnist for Rant Sports and member of the Football Writers Association of America. You can follow James on Twitter as well.

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25. Stanford Cardinal (4-2) (2-1 Pac-12)

Stanford
Brian Spurlock-US Presswire

If how you lose means anything, than consider the Cardinal good losers. Taking Notre Dame into overtime holding a lead through much of the game, Stanford was stopped at the goal line by a stingy Irish defense. Running back Stepfan Taylor appeared to get the ball over the plane. Upon review the Irish remained undefeated and the Cardinal were handed their second loss.

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24. Arizona State Sun Devils (5-1) (3-0 Pac-12)

ASU
Ron Chenoy-US Presswire

Averaging 40 points a game, the Arizona State Sun Devils are making a name for the themselves under new coach Todd Graham. Can the success continue against mighty Oregon this weekend?

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23. TCU Horned Frogs (5-1) (2-1 Big 12)

TCU
Jerome Miron-US Presswire

An impressive win over the Baylor Bears is nothing to scoff at. Tevone Boykin was stellar in his second start throwing four touchdown passes. Many TCU Horned Frogs' faithful are sayng, Casey Paschall who?

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22. Boise State Broncos (5-1) (2-0 MWC)

BSU
Brian Losness-US Presswire

In the biggest Mountain West game of the season, the Boise State Broncos took care of business and put the high-powered Fresno State Bulldogs offense to sleep. A strong defense, blue turf, and the one-two punch of running backs D.J. Harper and Jay Ajayi are proving too much to handle.

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21. Cincinnati Bearcats (5-0) (1-0 Big East)

UC
Rob Leifheit-US Presswire

Saturday's contest against the Fordham Rams was essentially a week off. The next two weeks will determine how good this Cincinnati Bearcats squad really is. If the defense can hold expect big things in 2012.

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20. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-0) (3-0 Big East)

RU
Joe Camporeale-US Presswire

Led by excellent defensive play and the efficiency of quarterback Gary Nova, the Rutgers Scarlet Knights have the goods to make a run for a Big East Title.

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19. Louisville Cardinals (6-0) (1-0 Big East)

UL
Charles LeClaire-US Presswire

Charlie Strong's stock is rising faster than a Kentucky colt. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (above) is the catalyst for an offense that averages 33 points a game. With Rutgers and Cincinnati looming, the Big East race is still wide open.

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18. Texas A&M Aggies (5-1) (2-1 SEC)

TAM
Kevin Jairaj-US Presswire

Quarterback Johnny Manziel (above) has looked great and like a freshman. Tangling with the top SEC defenses will hold the Texas A&M Aggies back this year. This week the LSU Tigers plan on shutting down the Aggies attack. A&M has a big opportunity.

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17. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-1) (2-1 Big 12)

WVU
Michael Johnson-US Presswire

It finally happened. Defense let the Mountaineers down in a major way. Unfortunately a poor offensive showing did in West Virginia as they found themselves in a shootout in Lubbock. Heisman contender Geno Smith and company forgot to bring any ammo.

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16. Clemson Tigers (5-1) (2-1 ACC)

Clemson
Joshua S. Kelly-US Presswire

Don't turn your back on the Clemson Tigers. With only one loss the ACC title is still on the table. Of course Dabo Swinney's defense has to improve.

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15. Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-1) (2-1 Big 12)

TTU
Michael Johnson-US Presswire

In one Saturday the Texas Tech Red Raiders killed the hopes and dreams of an entire state situated between Ohio and Virginia. Is former SEC coach Tommy Tuberville rubbing off on a Raiders D that is the 17th best at points against in the FBS?

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14. Florida State Seminoles (6-1) (3-1 ACC)

FSU
Melina Vastola-US Presswire

An offensive explosion against the Boston College Eagles could mean Jimbo Fisher's bunch are back on track. E.J. Manuel passing for 439 yards certainly helps. The Florida State Seminoles could be 10-1 when they host the Florida Gators.

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13. Georgia Bulldogs (5-1) (3-1 SEC)

UGA
Daniel Shirey-US Presswire

A much needed week off after being blasted by South Carolina, the Georgia Bulldogs get a small reprieve with the Kentucky Wildcats. Assuming the Dogs can handle UK, their season can turn around for the better with an upset of rival Florida.

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12. Mississippi State (6-0) (3-0 SEC)

MSU
Spruce Derden-US Presswire

Each week the Dan Mullen led Mississippi State Bulldogs pass the test laid before them. Circle Saturday October 27 as the Dogs will be in Tuscaloosa for an undefeated SEC showdown.

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11. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-0) (3-0 Big Ten)

OSU
Pat Lovell-US Presswire

While the Urban Meyer squad is still undefeated, their scare against Indiana is enough to make the folks in Columbus a little nervous. The silver lining for the Ohio State Buckeyes is that the Big Ten is down as a whole, and 2013 is when they can make a run at a title. Probation keeps OSU out of postseason play this year, but the message has been sent. Urb is in the neighborhood.

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10. South Carolina Gamecocks (6-1) (4-1 SEC)

USC
Derick Hingle-US Presswire

Getting over the hump is proving near impossible for Steve Spurrier. This was the year that the Gamecocks had a legitimate shot at the SEC title. Until this team can win two big games in a row, one being on the road, expect a similar story. Good, but not good enough. This week the Gators are a must win.

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9. LSU Tigers (6-1) (2-1 SEC)

LSU
Derick Hingle-US Presswire

Even with an ugly loss in Gainesville, the Tigers rebounded nicely and beat a very good South Carolina team. The big question is, will the Bayou Bengals survive both A&M and the Alabama Crimson Tide in their next two games? Unlikely.

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8. Oregon State Beavers (5-0) (3-0 Pac-12)

OSU
Douglas C. Pizac-US Presswire

Backup QB Cody Vaz (above) looked anything but in Provo Saturday as the Oregon State Beavers continued to stay undefeated. It's possible the Beavers could stay unblemished as they wait for the possible return of Sean Mannion against Stanford.

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7. Oklahoma Sooners (4-1) (2-1 Big 12)

OU
Matthew Emmons-US Presswire

Save for a turnover prone contest against the Kansas State Wildcats, the Oklahoma Sooners could be talking about a National Championship run. As for now, the Big 12 is in play with an outside shot at something more in the background.

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6. USC Trojans (5-1) (3-1 Pac-12)

USC
Steven Bisig-US Presswire

The good news for the USC Trojans is that they leave the state of California only one more time for the rest of the season. Receiving tandem Marqise Lee and Robert Woods (pictured above) have the goods to score with that team from Eugene November 3rd.

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5. Kansas State Wildcats (6-0) (3-0 Big 12)

KSU
Peter Aiken-US Presswire

Everything has been Cool and the Gang for the bunch from Manhattan thus far. The second half of the season includes trips to Morgantown, Ft. Worth, and Waco. Toss in home matches opposite Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Texas, and one could see why a loss is likely lurking in Bill Snyder's future. Until then, Collin Klien is a legitimate Heisman contender.

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4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-0)

ND
Matt Cashore-US Presswire

As long as the Irish can keep the score close, their defense can win the day. Unfortunately road games at Oklahoma and USC will likely expose a weak offense. That being said, what Brian Kelly has done in South Bend is truly impressive. Manti Te'o (above) is the leader of a team that believes. Perhaps that is the scariest attribute of the Irish.

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3. Florida Gators (6-0) (5-0 SEC)

UF
Don McPeak-US Presswire

Right now the Gators are a top five squad thanks to solid defense and a punishing run game led by back Mike Gillislee. UF draws South Carolina and Georgia in back-to-back weekends. If Will Muschamp's team can make it through unscathed, a date with the Crimson Tide awaits in Atlanta.

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2. Oregon Ducks (6-0) (3-0 Pac-12)

UO
Scott Olmos-US Presswire

If the loss of Derron Thomas was supposed to put the Oregon Ducks in rebuilding mode, Chip Kelly didn't get the memo. Freshman Marcus Mariota (above) took care of business in his first true road test in Seattle last Saturday. Thursday night in Tempe brings yet another chance for the Honolulu native to prove Kelly right for handing him the keys to the sports car that is Oregon football.

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1. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0) (3-0 SEC)

UA
Denny Medley-US Presswire

Was there ever any doubt? Nick Saban's Tide is here to stay at the one spot. Not even LSU can derail Alabama on their way to the SEC championship game. This team is too strong on both sides of the ball for a one-dimensional squad to pull an upset.

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