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

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVOctober 17, 2021

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 16: Georgia Bulldogs Offensive Linemen Justin Shaffer (54) and Georgia Bulldogs Running Back James Cook (4) celebrate during the college football game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Georgia Bulldogs on October 16, 2021, at Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA. (Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Georgia Bulldogs were still the consensus No. 1 college football team in the country when the Associated Press Top 25 poll for Week 8 was released Sunday.

Georgia remains undefeated, moving to 7-0 with a convincing 30-13 victory Saturday over the then-No. 11 Kentucky Wildcats.

Here is a full rundown of the Top 25, courtesy of the AP (with the previous week's ranking in parentheses):

1. Georgia (1)

2. Cincinnati (3)

3. Oklahoma (4)

4. Alabama (5)

5. Ohio State (6)

6. Michigan (8)

7. Penn State (7)

8. Oklahoma State (12)

9. Michigan State (10)

10. Oregon (9)

11. Iowa (2)

12. Ole Miss (13)

13. Notre Dame (14)

14. Coastal Carolina (15)

15. Kentucky (11)

16. Wake Forest (16)

17. Texas A&M (21)

18. NC State (22)

19. Auburn (NR)

20. Baylor (NR)

21. SMU (23)

22. San Diego State (24)

23. Pittsburgh (NR)

24. UTSA (NR)

25. Purdue (NR)

The Bulldogs are now the only undefeated team remaining in the SEC and one of only six Power Five conference teams without a loss.

Journeyman senior quarterback Stetson Bennett was solid once again in place of injured starter JT Daniels with three touchdown passes, but it was the Bulldogs defense that continued to lead the way.

Georgia shut down running back Chris Rodriguez, who was the SEC's leading rusher going into the game. Blayne Gilmer of UGASports.com noted how remarkably the Georgia front seven played against Kentucky:

Blayne Gilmer @BGilmer18

Holding Kentucky to 51 rushing yards is one of the more impressive feats in college football this season! What a front 7 Georgia has

ESPN's Peter Burns expressed his belief that Georgia is the clear favorite to win the national championship as well:

Peter Burns @PeterBurnsESPN

Feels like we’ve reached the point from saying that Georgia could win the title this year to….it would be pretty shocking if they didn’t. <br><br>Banged up and still playing absolutely dominating football.<br><br>Impressive.

In seven games, the Dawgs have not allowed more than 13 points in a single one, and their defense is surrendering just 6.5 points per contest.

While there is no real argument to be made against Georgia being the best team in the nation, things are far less certain behind the Bulldogs.

Iowa entered Week 8 with a perfect 6-0 record and the No. 2 ranking, but the Hawkeyes had no answer for Purdue wide receiver David Bell on Saturday.

Bell carved Iowa up for 240 receiving yards in a 24-7 win, resulting in the Hawkeyes dropping from second to No. 11 in the rankings.

Iowa's loss opened the door for several other teams to move up the rankings, including Cincinnati, Oklahoma and Alabama.

The Bearcats remained undefeated with a 56-21 win over UCF, and quarterback Desmond Ridder kept himself in the Heisman Trophy conversation.

If Cincy runs the table, it has a strong chance to become the first team from outside a Power Five conference—besides independent Notre Dame—to reach the College Football Playoff.

Oklahoma also continues to be unbeaten, as the Sooners cruised past TCU by a 52-31 score.

True freshman Caleb Williams got his first start at quarterback over Spencer Rattler and likely did plenty to keep the job, as he accounted for 361 total yards and five total touchdowns.

Former Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys head coach Barry Switzer expressed his belief that Williams could find himself in the Heisman race despite beginning the year as a backup:

Barry Switzer @Barry_Switzer

Caleb Williams keeps playing like he has in the first quarter Oklahoma versus TCU he will become the Heisman favorite midseason!!@OU_Football

While no longer undefeated, Alabama earned its way back into the Top Four on Saturday with a 49-9 trouncing of Mississippi State on the road.

It marked a solid bounce-back performance for a Crimson Tide team that was shocked 41-38 by Texas A&M one week earlier.

While the loss to the Aggies put a damper on the season for Bama, it remains one of the most explosive offensive teams in college football history, as evidenced by this stat courtesy of SEC Network:

SEC Network @SECNetwork

.<a href="https://twitter.com/AlabamaFTBL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AlabamaFTBL</a> has scored 30+ points in 33 straight games.<br><br>The longest streak in major college football history. <a href="https://t.co/eEM4XsN03L">pic.twitter.com/eEM4XsN03L</a>

In addition to Georgia, Cincinnati and Oklahoma, other undefeated teams in the Top 25 include Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Coastal Carolina, Wake Forest, SMU and San Diego State.

Of those teams, Michigan State, Oklahoma State and San Diego State were all victorious while the rest were idle.

In terms of schools besides Iowa that experienced a drop due to a loss, Kentucky fell from 11th to 15th as Arkansas, Arizona State, BYU, Florida and Texas all fell out of the Top 25.

New entries into the AP Top 25 include Auburn, Baylor, Pittsburgh, UTSA and Purdue.


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