A week of shootouts and close calls has once again shaken up the college football rankings.
Nothing could match the array of upsets that plagued the top schools in Week 6, but several notable teams found themselves at the brink of defeat on Saturday. Baylor, Notre Dame, Alabama and Oklahoma held on for dear life, while Arizona suffered a setback after vaulting up the ranks.
Then there was the monumental SEC showdown between Auburn and Mississippi State, the latter of which defeated its third premier conference opponent in as many weeks in convincing fashion. The Bulldogs' victory forced everyone to think long and hard about whether they or the Florida State Seminoles deserve the No. 1 spot.
After another chaotic Saturday, the updated polls are now out. Let's take a look at how the Top 25 were ordered in the Associated Press Poll and Amway Coaches Poll, along with Bleacher Report's weekly outlook.
|Week 8 College Football Top 25 Rankings|
|Rank||Associated Press||Amway||Bleacher Report|
|1||Mississippi State||Mississippi State||Mississippi State|
|2||Florida State||Florida State||Florida State|
|3||Ole Miss||Ole Miss||Ole Miss|
|5||Notre Dame||Notre Dame||Notre Dame|
|13||Ohio State||Ohio State||Ohio State|
|14||Kansas State||Kansas State||Kansas State|
|15||Oklahoma State||Oklahoma State||East Carolina (T15)|
|16||Arizona||East Carolina||Oklahoma State (T15)|
|17||Arizona State||Arizona||Arizona State|
|18||East Carolina||Arizona State||Arizona|
|21||Texas A&M||Texas A&M||Clemson|
|AP.org, USAToday.com, Bleacher Report|
Week 7 Breakdown
There's a new sheriff in town. Mississippi State is the new consensus No. 1 team after registering an impressive victory over Auburn.
Mississippi State's last three opponents each entered its Bulldogs matchup ranked inside the Top 10. The underdog every time, the Bulldogs rattled off three victories by a combined 37 points. Their latest statement came during Saturday's 38-23 stomping of Auburn, who dropped from No. 2 after the defeat.
In his worst passing game of the season, Heisman hopeful Dak Prescott still finished with 367 total yards and three touchdowns.
|Dak Prescott vs. Auburn (Week 7)|
|CMP/ATT||PASS YDs||PASS TDs||INTS||YPA||RUSH YDs||RUSH TDs|
After surviving their gauntlet schedule so far, the Bulldogs are one of six undefeated teams left standing, per College GameDay:
If it wasn't there already, Mississippi State now has a huge target on its back. Wide receiver De'Runnya Wilson discussed the new circumstances with USA Today's Dan Wolken.
"We have great leadership," Wilson said. "I knew we’d come out and win. I had that feeling. If we’re No. 1 we’re just going to have to work harder because each and every week it only gets tougher in the SEC, and we’re just going to work harder and try to stay No. 1."
Given their pulverizing level of opposition, Mississippi State usurps Florida State, who allowed 412 total yards during a 38-20 victory over 2-4 Syracuse. The offense has scored at least 37 points in every game started by Jameis Winston, but the shaky defense and friendly schedule can't be ignored.
The Seminoles can change all that by claiming a signature victory over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, who displayed another side to themselves during an unconventional 50-43 win over North Carolina. Per ESPN Stats & Info, they have never overcome such a poor defensive outing:
Notre Dame shockingly allowed 510 total yards during a shootout, but the defensive-minded program edged out a victory on the strength of Everett Golson's arm. The senior tossed 300 passing yards and three touchdowns in an unusual victory for a team that allowed 60 combined points in the previous five games.
It's safe to say FSU vs. Notre Dame is Week 8's game of the week. The winner will challenge the Bulldogs for the No. 1 spot, while the loser will join a long list of fallen juggernauts looking to avenge a loss and still make the playoffs.