NCAA Football Rankings 2013: Projected Top 25 After Upset-Filled Week 8

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistOctober 20, 2013

If your favorite team escaped Week 8 without a soul-crushing upset loss, consider yourself lucky. Some teams weren't as fortunate. 

Blake Bortles and the UCF Golden Knights put the rest of college football's Top 25 on notice by upsetting No. 8 Louisville on Friday night. And it wasn't long before Vanderbilt and Tennessee decided they would join the party on Saturday by beating the No. 15 Georgia Bulldogs and No. 11 South Carolina Gamecocks, respectively. 

With just about all of the Top 25 in action Saturday, there's sure to be plenty of movement in this week's unveiling of the new rankings. Here's a look at where each team should be when the new rankings are announced. 

Predicted Top 25
RankRank (Last Week)Team
35Florida State
44Ohio State
916Texas Tech
107Texas A&M
1617Fresno State
1811South Carolina
1919Virginia Tech
2021Oklahoma State
2223Northern Illinois
25NROle Miss
Previous Week Ranking per AP


High-Impact Upsets

UCF Knocks Louisville Out of National Championship Hunt

The Louisville Cardinals had a legitimate shot at joining the national championship conversation this year, but the margin of error was slim. With a paper-thin schedule and no prestigious background to lean on, the Cardinals needed to go undefeated and look good doing so to reach college football's biggest game. Unfortunately, UCF put an end to any of that talk with its stunning 38-35 victory over the Cardinals.

Teddy Bridgewater was as great as advertised against the Knights, throwing for 341 yards and two touchdowns. But Blake Bortles was up to the task of besting him. He threw the go-ahead touchdown with just 23 seconds left.

The loss wasn't just devastating to Louisville, though. It proved that UCF is just as much a threat to be the AAC BCS representative. The Golden Knights have just one loss to their name (28-25 to South Carolina) and control their destiny in the conference now.


Auburn Knocks Texas A&M Out of Top 10: Are Aggies out of BCS Contention?

When Johnny Manziel and the Texas A&M Aggies lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide back in September, it wasn't a huge blow to the Aggies. After all, an early-season loss doesn't necessarily knock a team out of national championship contention. A berth in the BCS National Championship Game was still possible, and a BCS berth was well within reach. 

However, a 45-41 upset loss to the Auburn Tigers has most likely put an end to any BCS aspirations this season. The Tigers rode 379 yards on the ground to outscore the Aggies in one of the most wild games of the week. 

With two losses in the conference, Manziel and Co. now sit behind Alabama and Auburn in the SEC West. That's going to be a difficult hole to dig themselves out of to live up to their preseason hype. 


South Carolina Comes up Short Against Tennessee

The Aggies weren't the only SEC team that may have cost itself a shot at a BCS bowl down the road. The South Carolina Gamecocks picked up their second loss of the season on the road against the Tennessee Volunteers, 23-21. 

For the first time all year, it wasn't Jadeveon Clowney under the microscope, as he put together one of his best performances of the season. Rather, it's the Gamecocks offense that can be held responsible for the disappointment. 

Quarterback Connor Shaw was just 7-of-21 for 161 yards before he was forced out of the game with an injury, per Josh Kendall of The State:

With just one loss to the Georgia Bulldogs, the Gamecocks would have had a shot at the SEC East and a BCS bowl berth. But with two losses, they have an uphill battle that doesn't get any easier, with Missouri, Florida and Clemson still on the schedule. 


LSU Fails Road Test Against Ole Miss

It really looked like this was the year that the LSU Tigers had what it took make a run at the BCS National Championship Game.

Senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger entered the game against Ole Miss with 15 touchdowns to just two interceptions through the air and had his Tigers averaging 41.4 points per game. For a program that usually relies on a stout defense to remain an elite program, that's a recipe for a special season. 

Unfortunately for the Tigers, Mettenberger took a huge step backward on Saturday. He thew three interceptions in the game to raise his total on the season from two to five, and the Tigers were downed by the Ole Miss Rebels on a 41-yard field goal. 

The loss makes the Rebels a legitimate threat to crack the Top 25 and all but eliminates LSU from the national championship hunt. Even overtaking Alabama and Auburn for a berth in the SEC title game seems nearly impossible at this point.


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