College Football Coaches Poll 2021: Week 8 Rankings Unveiled for Top 25 Teams

Adam WellsOctober 17, 2021

Purdue wide receiver David Bell (3) runs from Iowa defensive back Matt Hankins, right, after catching a pass during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Iowa City, Iowa. Purdue won 24-7. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

There was a change near the top of the AFCA Coaches Poll for Week 8 of the 2021 season. 

Georgia, fresh off an easy 30-13 win over Kentucky on Saturday, remained in the No. 1 spot and received all 65 first-place votes. Iowa fell nine spots to No. 11 after its 24-7 loss to Purdue at home.      

The Hawkeyes' misfortune opened the door for Oklahoma to move up one spot in the rankings to No. 2 overall. Cincinnati, Alabama and Ohio State round out the Top Five. 

Coaches Poll Top 25 (Week of Oct. 17-23)

1. Georgia Bulldogs (7-0)

2. Oklahoma Sooners (7-0)

3. Cincinnati Bearcats (6-0)

4. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-1)

5. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-1)

6. Michigan Wolverines (6-0)

7. Michigan State Spartans (7-0)

8. Penn State Nittany Lions (5-1)

9. Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-0)

10. Oregon Ducks (5-1)

11. Iowa Hawkeyes (6-1)

12. Mississippi Rebels (5-1)

13. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-1)

14. Kentucky Wildcats (6-1)

15. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-0)

16. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (6-0)

17. Texas A&M Aggies (5-2)

18. North Carolina State Wolfpack (5-1)

19. SMU Mustangs (6-0)

20. Baylor Bears (6-1)

21. San Diego State Aztecs (6-0)

22. Auburn Tigers (5-2)

23. Pittsburgh Panthers (5-1)

24. Clemson Tigers (4-2)

25. Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners (7-0)

Saturday marked the third consecutive game for the Bulldogs against an SEC opponent that was ranked in the Top 20 at kickoff time. They have defeated Arkansas, Auburn and Kentucky by a combined score of 101-23. 

Georgia has next week off before taking on Florida on Oct. 30. The Gators won the last meeting between the two schools 44-28 on Nov. 7, 2020. The Bulldogs have rattled off 11 straight wins since that day in Jacksonville. 

Next week's game did lose some of its luster with Florida falling 49-42 to LSU on Saturday. The Gators have already lost three games this season and are unranked in the Coaches Poll for the first time since Sept. 2018. 

Staying in the SEC, Alabama looked much better this week coming off its loss to Texas A&M. Head coach Nick Saban's squad took it to Mississippi State in a 49-9 win. The Crimson Tide had a 543-299 advantage in yards and forced Will Rogers to throw three interceptions. 

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Alabama blowing out Mississippi State šŸ‘€ <a href="https://t.co/kXe965NToG">pic.twitter.com/kXe965NToG</a>

Alabama does have a favorable schedule to run the table for the rest of the season. It doesn't have any games remaining against teams currently ranked in the Top 25. 

Outside of the SEC, Oklahoma State improved to 6-0 with a 32-24 win over Texas. This marks the program's best start since 2015 (10-0). The Cowboys will be hoping for a better finish this time around, as that team lost three straight to end the year. 

One encouraging sign is how well Oklahoma State's defense fared in the second half of Saturday's win:

Max Olson @max_olson

Oklahoma State's D owned this second half. Final 6 drives for the Horns:<br><br>17 plays<br>14 yards <a href="https://t.co/d1F8JFgh5S">pic.twitter.com/d1F8JFgh5S</a>

Baylor returned to the Top 25 this week thanks to an impressive 38-24 victory over BYU. The Cougars' once-promising season has taken a turn for the worse with back-to-back losses after a 5-0 start. 

Another team that has been flirting with disaster recently are the Oregon Ducks. They lost their first game of the season one week ago on the road against Stanford. Head coach Mario Cristobal's squad was able to avoid another upset on Friday with a 24-17 victory over Cal. 

ESPN @espn

No. 9 OREGON SURVIVES šŸ™Œ<br><br>A last-second goal line stand seals the deal for the Ducks over Cal. <a href="https://t.co/dYodZZX68l">pic.twitter.com/dYodZZX68l</a>

Next week's schedule is light on head-to-head matchups featuring Top 25 programs. Oregon does have a potentially difficult game at UCLA. Oklahoma State will play its second consecutive road game, this one against Iowa State. 

The race for the top spot in the Big Ten East will remain a hotly-contested battle between four teams. Michigan State will remain in the top spot by virtue of having a bye week. Michigan (vs. Northwestern), Ohio State (at Indiana) and Penn State (vs. Illinois) have winnable games to keep pace with the Spartans. 


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