NCAA Football Rankings 2013: Predicting the Top 25 After Week 8

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistOctober 20, 2013

Florida State was undoubtedly the story of the day, demolishing No. 3 Clemson by 37 points.
Florida State was undoubtedly the story of the day, demolishing No. 3 Clemson by 37 points.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

If college football nation thought Week 7 was utter mayhem, then Week 8 was sheer insanity times five.

One weekend after seven ranked teams were beaten, five programs in the Top 10 fell to their respective competition.

Central Florida kicked off the crazy week on Friday night by scoring 31 points during the game's final 20 minutes to shock eighth-ranked Louisville, 38-35.

No. 3 Clemson was absolutely dismantled by fifth-ranked Florida State, falling 51-14 at home to Jameis Winston's Seminoles.

Unranked Ole Miss bounced back from a three-game losing streak as Andrew Ritter connected a last-second 41-yard field goal, and the Rebels derailed No. 6 LSU, 27-24.

Dee Ford sacked Johnny Manziel on fourth down with less than 25 seconds remaining, and No. 24 Auburn toppled No. 7 Texas A&M, 45-41, at Kyle Field.

No. 13 Stanford rebounded from a loss and took out ninth-ranked UCLA, holding Brett Hundley to 219 total yards and winning 24-10.

Additionally, No. 11 South Carolina, No. 15 Georgia and No. 20 Washington each lost to unranked opponents, so the AP poll will undergo enormous changes for the second consecutive week. Will your team make an appearance in the rankings?

Note: Previous rankings based on Week 8 AP Top 25.

Projected Week 9 Rankings
Rank (Last week)Team
1 (1)Alabama
2 (2)Oregon
3 (5)Florida State
4 (4)Ohio State
5 (12)Baylor
6 (13)Stanford
7 (14)Missouri
8 (10)Miami
9 (3)Clemson
10 (9)UCLA
11 (7)Texas A&M
12 (6)LSU
13 (16)Texas Tech
14 (24)Auburn
15 (NR)Central Florida
16 (8)Louisville
17 (17)Fresno State
18 (18)Oklahoma
19 (19)Virginia Tech
20 (11)South Carolina
21 (21)Oklahoma State
22 (23)Northern Illinois
23 (25)Wisconsin
24 (NR)Michigan
25 (NR)Nebraska
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Fun Facts

The SEC leads the projections with six schools, down from last week's record eight teams due to Georgia and Florida's losses. The ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 each have four schools listed, headlined by Florida State jumping Ohio State for the third spot in the nation.

Central Florida has only been ranked twice, and its highest appearance in the poll is No. 21 during the final rankings of the 2010 season. Therefore, No. 15 would be the program's best-ever ranking.

If Baylor does in fact reach No. 5, it would be the Bears' first appearance in the Top Five of the AP poll since Week 7 of the 1953 season.

Despite the loss, this will be Texas A&M's 400th poll appearance in school history.


Rising: Missouri Tigers

COLUMBIA, MO - OCTOBER 19:  Defensive lineman Kony Ealy #47 of the Missouri Tigers reacts after a sack of quarterback Tyler Murphy #3 of the Florida Gator sduring the game at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Columbia, Missouri.  (Photo
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The Tigers pulled off an upset against Georgia last week, but Mizzou lost James Franklin, its starting quarterback, to injury.

But freshman Maty Mauk stepped up, threw for 295 yards and sealed the game with a 17-yard touchdown run late in the fourth quarter for a 36-17 win. Henry Josey scurried for 136 yards and a score, and L'Damian Washington led Gary Pinkel's upstart squad with 84 yards receiving.

Missouri's defense held the Gators to just 151 yards and a 20 percent (3-of-15) third-down conversion rate.

The Tigers carry an unblemished 7-0 record into a battle with South Carolina that, fortunately for Mizzou, will be at home.


Falling: Washington Huskies

Oct 19, 2013; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils defensive lineman Jaxon Hood (92) sacks Washington Huskies quarterback Keith Price (17) during the second half at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past two weeks, Washington dropped a heartbreaker to Stanford and was thumped by Oregon.

Keith Price and Co. looked to get back on track against Arizona State, but Taylor Kelly and Marion Grice instead sent them out of the rankings with a 53-24 trouncing.

Bishop Sankey was held to 22 yards on 13 carries, and as a team, the Huskies' ground game was thwarted, losing five yards on 25 attempts. Price completed just 16 of 39 passes for 217 yards and was sacked seven times.

Washington falls to 4-3 and returns home to host California next week.


Rising: Central Florida Knights

Viewed by non-big-name-conference haters as the nation's last chance to upend Louisville, Central Florida did just that.

Storm Johnson ran for 109 yards and a touchdown as well as reeling in four passes for 79 yards and another TD. William Stanback added 65 yards and two scores, and the Knights defeated the Cardinals, 38-35.

Blake Bortles threw for 250 yards and tossed the game-winning touchdown to Jeff Godfrey with 23 seconds remaining.

Consequent to Central Florida's win, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's Heisman hopes and the Cardinals' national championship bid slipped away.

The Knights improve to 5-1 and control their own destiny in the American Athletic Conference, but will the voters rank UCF higher than Louisville as George O'Leary's team deserves?


Falling: Texas A&M Aggies

Johnny Manziel suffered a shoulder injury and fought through temporarily not being able to throw the ball to lead a go-ahead drive and nearly the game-winner before bowing out to Auburn, 45-41.

Manziel finished the game with 502 total yards of offense, and Mike Evans reeled in 11 passes for a career-high 287 yards and each of Manziel's four touchdowns.

The Aggies defense, however, allowed 615 yards, constantly getting gashed by Tre Mason and Nick Marshall as Auburn racked up 379 on the ground.

Texas A&M drops to 5-2 and will play Vanderbilt next Saturday afternoon.


Rising: Stanford Cardinal

A week after being upset by Utah, Stanford locked down Brett Hundley and the UCLA offense, giving up just 266 total yards during a 24-10 victory.

Tyler Gaffney gashed the Bruins' defensive unit, racking up 171 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries. Cardinal quarterback Keith Hogan completed 18 of 25 passes for 227 yards and a score.

Devon Cajuste led Stanford with 109 receiving yards, and Ty Montgomery added 50 more, but a little-known sophomore stole the show.

As seen in the accompanying video, Kodi Whitfield possibly made the catch of the year with a one-handed beauty which iced the game for the Cardinal.

Stanford is now 6-1 and will take on Oregon State next weekend before a pivotal Pac-12 matchup with second-ranked Oregon 12 days later.


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